Kick start your day with a good breakfast

Saturday Morning Biscuits



May I admit something sacreligeous? I think Southerners are close to ruining biscuits. They’re easy, people! Our friends from Down South want us to believe they’ve got the special touch, the secret, the last word on the subject. But Yankees know biscuit-baking, too! Just see how simple this recipe from The Yankee Magazine Cookbook is and you’ll never despair that you weren’t born with a box of White Lily flour in one hand and a bottle of buttermilk in the other.

Baking Powder Biscuits

2 cups flour

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons butter

¼ to 1 cup cold milk or water

Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives. Stir in liquid to form a stiff dough. Turn out on floured board and knead briefly. Pat out to 3/4-inch thickness. Cut into rounds with floured biscuit cutter. Place close together on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes in 400° oven, until tops are lightly browned. Serve piping hot with lots of butter.

Makes about 12.

Copyright © 1981 by Yankee Magazine. Harper & Row Publishers, New York

I made mine with half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose white and it took 3/4 of a cup of milk to get the right consistency. A wine glass works perfectly well for a biscuit cutter–and that’s a real Yankee touch!





Bastille Day

I have to admit, I didn’t realize it was Bastille Day yesterday until mid-morning by which time I’d had an English muffin (sacre bleu!) with Swiss cheese (quelle domage) and kiwi fruit (qu’est-ce que c’est “keeeeeweeee”?). I’ll have to try to salvage the holiday by reminiscing about our honeymoon in Paris which was everything a romantic could hope for.

The courtyard outside the apartment loaned to us by Paul Audi's family.

The courtyard outside the apartment loaned to us by Paul Audi’s family.

Love's young (well, young-ish) dream

Love’s young (well, young-ish) dream

Catching up on the news en plein air.

Catching up on the news en plein air.

We’ve been back once, maybe twice, but never will we know that same nervous excitement, the thrill of discovery, the heightened sensations. Vive la France…vive l’amour! 

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Reunion Breakfast

Forty years ago, on the first day of college, I met Paula. We were about 18, two sheltered Catholic girls who were looking forward to lives filled with excitement. Well, we got that, with a lot more to come.

Paula lives in Denver now. I hadn’t seen her for a few years. On a trip East this week, we fell right back into the old rhythms. Today, we wandered over to Roosevelt Island on a foggy, drizzly morning, a perfect backdrop to visiting the ruins of the Smallpox Hospital.


We couldn’t eat our picnic breakfast on the actual Four Freedoms Park grounds, but there were tables set out by the East River, so we sat and reminisced and caught up and saw what’s new on the Long Island City side.



It was like those groggy college mornings, after long nights of studying and laughing and arguing and sharing, where we fueled ourselves for another day of pushing forward into a future filled with promise.

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TGIF Treat–Burrito With Scrambled Egg and Red Sauce

Last night, I squirreled away a couple of tablespoons of an easy, delicious red sauce I made for enchiladas so I could have a spicy, scrambled egg in a whole wheat tortilla this morning. Here’s the sauce recipe, courtesy of Betty Crocker’s Southwest Cooking:

1 large onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

¼ cup vegetable oil

½ cup chicken broth

4 medium tomatoes, chopped (about 4 cups)

1 tablespoon ground red chiles

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

⅛ teaspoon pepper

Cook and stir onion and garlic in oil in 10-inch skillet over medium heat until onion is tender. Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Copyright © 1989 by General Mills, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota

And here’s the burrito, served with a side of peace on earth. Happy Friday!



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Well, we had a Crumbs bakeshop in this building, but as of today…wiped away. According to an article in Business Insider on June 5, 2014,

“We need additional capital to fund future cash flow requirements, and we may not be able to obtain such funds on acceptable terms. Raising additional funds by issuing securities or through lending or licensing arrangements may cause dilution to [Crumbs’] existing security holders, restrict our operations or require us to relinquish proprietary rights. Management believes that our cash flow requirements will likely consume our existing capital resources and cash from anticipated sales unless we are able to raise additional funds prior to June 30, 2014.”

Does this make David Saks’ new book on food trends more or less credible?


I did enjoy what I read, his take on artisan cupcakes and bacon, heirloom rice, and more. Maybe if Crumbs had piled bacon on the frosting, they’d have brought in enough stay in business. A lost opportunity?

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Home or Away?


Yes, it’s Saturday, and a holiday weekend no less, but I have to spend a few hours at the office. In that neighborhood, we have a Crumbs Bake Shop, a Pret-a-Manger, a Chipotle, a Europa Cafe…which to choose for something delicious? Hmmm…burrito or Girl Scout Chocolate PB Creme cupcake?


An egg-and-bacon breakfast baguette or blueberry yogurt parfait?

Each of these choices is over 400 calories (a fully loaded burrito is more like 900!) If I make a poached egg on a grilled tomato with whole wheat toast, it’s only 350.

Say it with me now: It’s always best to eat at home!



For lots of delicious ideas for breakfasts under 400 calories, go to 3 Fat Chicks!


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Mother Nature Does It Best

How can you improve on this?

from NaturRipe in Martinez, Georgia

from NaturRipe in Martinez, Georgia

Mysterious sprung up outside my apartment building, NYC July 2014

Mysteriously sprung up outside my apartment building, NYC July 2014

Craftspeople, fashion designers, and food scientists try to improve on nature, but its colors, shapes, delicacy (and in the case of this gladiola, its courage!), and flavor are irreplaceable.



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