butterscotchblastoff

Kick start your day with a good breakfast

Kitchen Experiments–What Shall I Do With Bacon?

Yesterday was International Bacon Day–and boy, do I love bacon! Looking around my larder this morning, I decided to try a twist on angels on horseback, oysters wrapped in bacon and broiled. I cut a quarter of a ripe plum, wrapped it in half a slice of raw bacon and broiled it until I was afraid the kitchen would catch on fire.

Scoop these up with a spoon!

Scoop these up with a spoon!

Even so, the bacon was not crispy enough for me. The plums got so soft, they oozed out of the bacon. Not bad, but my plan to introduce “Sweet Temptations” to the world needs more work.

I opted for a green salad with crispy, crumbled bacon, plum slices, and yellow pepper strips in a balsamic vinaigrette. On a humid late-summer morning, it was cold and crunchy, had that sweet-savory punch, and the fresh fruit and veg  assuaged my guilt for having eaten four slices of bacon before 9:30. Give it a try!

I need a pair of madras Bermuda shorts in this color combination!

I need a pair of madras Bermuda shorts in this color combination!

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Aloha Summer! TGIF Tropical Treat

Glazed earthenware mold (1780) in the collection of Colonial Williamsburg

Glazed earthen jelly mold (c. 1780) in the collection of Colonial Williamsburg

The pineapple is a charming symbol of hospitality and its sweet fruit a welcome addition to just about any breakfast dish, including a Dutch baby.

I have the greatest little doll-size cast iron skillet from my mother-in-law that makes a single serving of this classic country pancake to perfection.

Don't disturb this by peeking; the magic needs peace and quiet to work.

Don’t disturb this by peeking; the magic needs peace and quiet to work.

Put your cast iron skillet into the oven; preheat it to 475ºF.

Beat one egg, at room temperature, well; add ¼ cup milk at room temperature and stir together. Slowly whisk in ¼  cup of sifted, all-purpose flour, a dash of vanilla extract, and a tiny pinch of salt.

Take your skillet out of the oven and turn down the heat to 425ºF. Put a tablespoon of butter in the skillet; watch it melt; swirl it all over the bottom and sides.

Put a handful of pineapple chunks in the bottom of the skillet and pour over the egg mixture.

Bake about 12 minutes until puffy and turn out on a plate. Whether you sprinkle with powdered sugar or flaked coconut, it’s love at first bite.

You’re welcome!

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Aloha Summer! Plum-Kiwi Smørrebrød

This needs pomegranate seeds as a finishing touch.

This really needs pomegranate seeds as a finishing touch.

A tropical smørrebrød might see like a crazy combination until you think of two things:  Indonesian rijsttafel and Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon-Tiki, classic Northern European-South Seas mash-ups.

kon tiki

Not the full Viking voyage, but Heyerdahl did sail from South America to Polynesia, no small feat!

The weather here is gray and humid; this blast of briny breeze is a refreshing image, the taste of kiwi and plum with a splash of fresh lime juice was invigorating. Point me toward the horizon and anchors aweigh!

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Aloha Summer! Papaya-Banana Smoothie

Oh, wait...that's for tonight!

Oh, wait…this is for tonight!

Tropical drinks come in all strengths…a mai tai will be perfect for tonight as I watch the Yankees. They need strength…and so do their fans.

As I’ve mentioned, I love to stop-and-shop at my corner fruit cart; the morning team gets my second “Good morning!” every day (well, third if you count the dog). This morning, this was my source for the papaya and bananas in this smoothie from Bobby Flay.  The perfect start to hump day.

Life is sweet on East 70th Street.

Life is sweet on East 70th Street.

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Aloha Summer! Morning Glory Muffins

Hibiscus just says  "Aloha!" to me!

Hibiscus just says
“Aloha!” to me!

This recipe from AllRecipes.com for Easy Morning Glory Muffins is terrific. Today, I replaced the walnuts with macadamia nuts and the apple with drained, crushed pineapple to put a little Polynesia into the muffin pan. You can see my little taste tester in the corner waiting for her bite (don’t worry, I remove the raisins from hers).

These rise beautifully, so grease the top of the pan, too.

These rise beautifully, so grease the top of the pan, too.

Downstairs, in the scruffy little area that can’t exactly be called a garden although the super and a lovely lady have tried to brighten it up with tulips in spring and marigolds this summer, there’s a morning glory…I walk by this scrappy little vine and Carly Simon’s “Anticipation” starts playing in my head. Will it flower before the first frost?

In NYC, we take our flora any way we can get it!

In NYC, we take our flora any way we can get it!

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Aloha Summer! Tropical Parfait

Conjuring up cool ocean breezes for the last, relaxed days of a waning season.

Conjuring up cool ocean breezes for the last, relaxed days of a waning season.

I don’t want to let summer go, but the seasons in the Northeast will roll on, no matter what I say (a top-five reason I live here, to be honest). I’ll say good-bye to August this week with bold colors and bright flavors, chilled parfaits, muffins packed with fresh fruits and nuts, and more. (You can tell I work in bookselling; “and more” is the copywriter’s fall-back when you’ve run out of content to list!)

Why don't I eat my breakfast out of crystal every morning?

Why don’t I eat my breakfast out of crystal every morning?

I just ate this parfait while I listened to IZ Kamakawiwo’Ole sing “Over the Rainbow,” one of my favorite discoveries on YouTube ever!  Chopped, toasted macadamia nuts over fresh bananas, chopped pineapple, flaked coconut, blood orange sorbet and vanilla yogurt, with a waterfall of lime juice.

A breakfast this pretty, this sweet and refreshing, made in less than 10 minutes  (with a few extra minutes for chilling the glass), would make any girl click her heels three times and say, “There’s no place like home.”

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Banana Split for Breakfast

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When I was twelve, there was nothing I loved more than to ride my blue Schwinn bicycle from 309 Corte Madera Road in Mill Valley, CA to the Baskin-Robbins in town for a banana split. Well, here it is (choke, cough) years later and I’m still lovin’ it, without the bike, without the B-R. I make it right here at home a little bit healthier.

Scoop three different flavors of your favorite frozen yogurt or sorbet into a banana boat. Place two halves of a banana, sliced lengthwise, on either side. Spoon blueberry and pineapple preserves on the right and left scoops. Garnish them all with chopped pecans. Drop a dollop of Greek yogurt on the middle scoop and finish with a section of clementine on top.

Happy National Banana Split Day!

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Breakfast on the Water

The birds have scattered, the fish have flown...Beth is on the water!

The birds have scattered, the fish have flown…Beth is on the water!

It’s an absolutely gorgeous morning in Rumson, NJ on the Navesink River. I packed a little breakfast of a toasted bagel with cream cheese and a crisp apple, slipped out before almost anyone else was up, and floated off for a little exercise.  Life is good!

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TGIF Treat–Breakfast in Bed

It’s been  a long week, and there’s just one more day to endure. God, give me strength.

"Brush those crumbs out of the sheets before you make the bed!"

“Brush those crumbs out of the sheets before you make the bed!”

There’s the last of that zucchini bread. Now I’m ready for anything!

For fans of “Downton Abbey,” couldn’t this be a tray O’Brien brings to Cora? I love the way the married ladies get to lounge around while poor Edith has to take breakfast in the dining room with Papa and Branson and Matthew. Some marvelous moments have happened over breakfast in that series. More on this later!

 

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English Breakfast. Improved

The Brits and the Aussies love a good “fry-up:” eggs, bacon, baked beans, fried bread, grilled to-mah-to.

It's August! We're tripping over succulent tomatoes. Use 'em!

It’s August! We’re tripping over succulent tomatoes. Use ’em!

With to-may-toes at their peak right now, let’s fiddle this “fry-up” a bit to lower the body count.

Cut a thick slice from the center of a ripe tomato. Grill on both sides in olive oil. Top with a poached egg. Season to taste with salt, pepper, fresh basil. Serve with lightly buttered whole grain toast.

A little naked without the bacon....

A little naked without the bacon….

Prep/cooking time: 7 minutes

Pots and pans* to wash: 3: frying pan, saucepan, small cup for pouring raw egg into boiling water

*this doesn’t count the plate, utensils, knife and cutting board.

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