butterscotchblastoff

Kick start your day with a good breakfast

Thankful for…Bacon

Breakfast ingredients that go the whole distance are such wonderful things. Yes, bacon, I’m talking about you!

DSC01885Not only does bacon complement scrambled eggs, but it certainly enhances quiche Lorraine…

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and scones.

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Today, it adds the salty note to turkey club sandwiches, part of my dad’s and my tradition of leftover lunch on Thanksgiving weekend.

As a Southern gentlewoman who ran a popular restaurant along the Appalachian Trail back in the ’40s and ’50s was quoted as saying, “Lard is a gift from God.”

pig

Amen to that!

 

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TGIF–Pie for Breakfast!

This year, the acronym above stands for “Thank God it’s finished!” This Thanksgiving will go down in the near-disaster column, with a large helping of “I told you so” (this involves a Pyrex roasting pan on a hot coil–you can imagine what happened next).

Really, overall, the meal was delicious and Gracie was perfectly behaved (better than some two-legged guests, and that’s all I’m going to say about that).

Here’s to pie for breakfast: this is an apple crostada from Claudia Fleming, the first pastry chef at Gramercy Tavern: buttery pastry, zesty lemon-and-cinnamon flavored apples, and a crunchy brown sugar crumble. When people ask what a “crostada” is, I tell them it’s like a fruit-flavored volcano.

DSC01884She improves this even more with a bacon toffee sauce! It’s heavenly with or without.

Now, let the holiday frenzy begin!

it's a wonderful life

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Thanks for the Memories

Chuck and I will be thinking of our sweet, talented, fun-loving mothers today.

Marion Goehring

Marion Goehring

Jean Whittingham

Jean Whittingham

Grace will be thinking of her mom, a champion Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

Am. Can. Ch. Caralon Calista's Yes I Can

Am. Can. Ch. Caralon Calista’s Yes I Can

Let’s keep all of our loved ones close in our arms, if we can, and our hearts if we can’t. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Breakfast of Thanksgiving Nibbles

In preparation for the feast tomorrow, I made cheddar-sage biscuits this morning.

Small NYC kitchen--you use every level space you can find!

Small NYC kitchen–you use every level space you can find!

I found the recipe in an issue of Everyday Food years ago and they come piping-hot out of the oven but once a year. I could eat the entire batch in one sitting. I’ll be distributing the majority up and down the floor of my apartment building to avoid the temptation.

Cheddar and Sage Biscuits

Makes 12

Prep time: 15 mins       Total time: 30 mins

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 TBSP baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp coarse salt

2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese (5 1/2 oz)

1/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 450°. In a food processor, pulse flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add cheddar and sage and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture is the texture of coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces butter remaining. Add buttermilk and pulse just until combined, 2 to 3 times.

2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead just until it comes together. With a floured rolling pin, roll dough to a 3/4-inch thickness. With a floured 2 3/4-inch round biscuit cutter, cut out 12 biscuits (re-roll and cut scraps).

3. Place biscuits on a baking sheet, 1 1/2 inches apart, and bake until puffed and golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

With a dollop of Chuck’s homemade cranberry sauce, I can test two items on tomorrow’s menu at the same time–APPROVED!

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Best right out of the oven (there’s nothing like seeing the steam rise when you crack one open), but they’re still lovely warmed very briefly in the oven a day later.

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Breakfast on Broadway

Oh, what a beautiful morning! 

DSC01881Now what would make me say that on a gray day with so much threat in the weather forecast?

Last night, Dad took me to see “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” starring the chameleon-like Jefferson Mays in about a dozen parts.

gentleman's post

The show was inventive, pretty to look at, Mays and his co-star Bryce Pinkham as the murderer of all his rivals to an earldom were fabulous, and it was perfect for those of us on the edges of our seats waiting for the new season of “Downton Abbey” to start. But…as a musical, it had no memorable music. Less than 24 hours later, I couldn’t sing you a single song.

During its Golden Age, the hits popped off Broadway stages and into people’s memories like bubbles in good champagne. “Guys and Dolls,” “Call Me Madam,” and “South Pacific” were all running at the same time in 1950!

I know, I know…stop with all the nostalgia. Live in the present, look to the future. Just give me some wonderful rhythm and melody to take me there!

 

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What’s for Breakfast–Calcium

Going for a bone density scan tomorrow and, yes, at my age, they’ll be less dense than the last time I had one.

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved milk and cheese, thank goodness, so consuming the recommended three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy products a day is no problem.

chicago c. 1960

If only my teeth today were so white! I grew up to love wine, coffee, tea, and deliciously unhealthy foods like bacon, too. My typical breakfast of coffee with skim milk, a bacon-dried cranberry scone with butter, and a tall glass of cold milk probably tips the scales in my bones’ favor a tiny bit. It’s give and take…like so much in life.

 

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Good Morning!

This is my 100th post and I want to say thank you to all the encouraging readers out there. This blog is so much fun to write.

Bacon-cranberry scone

Bacon-cranberry scone

Here’s the recipe for six of these, adapted from my baking guru, Lauren Chattman:

3 TBSP unsalted butter, chilled

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

2 oz. sugar

1/2 TBSP baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

Add-on ingredients (see step 2 below)

1 large egg, lightly beaten

3 oz. whole or lowfat milk

1. Preheat the oven to 450°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the butter into 1/4-inch dice. Put it in the freezer while you pull together the dry ingredients.

2. Combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the chilled butter pieces and, with an electric mixer, mix on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the add-on ingredients (3 strips crisply cooked bacon, crumbled, and 3 oz. dried cranberries, in this case).

3. Stir in egg and milk and mix until the dry ingredients are just moistened.

4. Turn the dough onto the baking parchment and shape into a 6-inch disk. With a sharp knife, cut disk into six wedges. Place the wedges 1/2 inch apart on the baking sheet and bake until golden, about 15 minutes.

But wait, there’s more!

Summer morning, Seaside Park, NJ

Summer morning, Seaside Park, NJ

I’m in the middle of a book that’s very unlike what I usually read: Louise Hay and Cheryl Richardson’s You Can Live an Exceptional Life. With all the upheaval at my office, I thought I could use a big dose of positive energy. They deliver that in spades. Of course, I appreciate it because we are on the same wave length: “Nourish your body with a good morning meal; and nourish your mind with good, comforting thoughts.” Writing this blog, whether it’s doing the draft the night before or fresh first thing in the morning, helps me to center myself before another day of uncertainty and frustration. Here’s a good, comforting thought from General Joseph Stillwell, translated from his pidgin Latin:

don't let the bastards get you down

 

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Breakfast in Princeton

PJ’s Pancake House in Princeton is not just for breakfast anymore. Had a delicious panini mid-afternoon in this classic diner.

154 Nassau Street

154 Nassau Street

Chuck, his lifelong friend Tom, and I walked all over the Princeton University campus and up to the graduate college which I’d never seen. For this woman who spent a formative year at Oxford University, it was neo-Gothic heaven. The two quads at the graduate college are as close to those at Oxford’s as I’ve seen here. Gorgeous even in almost-winter. We couldn’t get into Proctor Hall which is a shame, but that’ll be something to look forward to. Tom took us into the Dean’s garden, a formal space next to the graduate dean’s residence. At the center where two paths cross is a sundial; against the brick wall is a beautiful stone fountain…just magical! The trees were still brilliantly colored and it was stone-cold silent.

For Chuck, who grew up here, it was a surprise, a first! He’d biked all over that campus, played with his nephews on all its green spaces, breakfast many times at PJ’s with Grandma Hoffman, but he’d never seen that garden. And he’s grown up to have an amazing green thumb. Life is funny that way.

chuck with brad and christopher

 

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TGIF Treat–Chelsea Morning

More breakfast music and images to send you out into your life with a lightness in your step… on a day that holds a long-time sadness for so many of us.

Joni Mitchell’s Chelsea Morning

chelsea hotel

at the chelsea hotel

bowl of oranges

janis joplin

owls by night

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Breakfast Music

Cat Stevens’ Morning Has Broken

I’m off on a little visit to beautiful Rumson, New Jersey for a couple of days, so I thought I’d leave you with some pretty music and pictures that might bring a smile to your face.

Runny yolks!

Runny yolks!

A cup of coffee to get you hopping...

A cup of coffee to get you hopping…

Half full or half empty?

Half full or half empty?

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