Kick start your day with a good breakfast

Happy New Year!

There’s nothing like the dawn of a new year.

grapefruitIt’s an inviting blank slate.

slice of white breadOur eyes re-open to fresh possibilities.

two fried eggsThe way is clear for a new start.

glass of water

The hard knocks are still to come.

brown egg

Let the changes begin!

P.S. One piece of old business from 2013: how did the cheddar cheese corn muffin I baked this morning from batter I made and refrigerated yesterday  come out? It worked!

Light, airy, nice chewy cornmeal texture... maybe I'm on to something here!

Light, airy, nice chewy cornmeal texture… maybe I’m on to something here!

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Santa’s Leftovers


What does the big man in the red suit eat for breakfast? Leftovers from Christmas Eve. He blows the pocket lint off the cookies children had put out for him, he pulls out of the vegetable drawer the apple slices he wrestled from his glistening, hard-working reindeer team, and he pours himself a cold glass of milk. And he settles down in his p.j.s to catch up with The New York Times.

ny times

Eva Grayson, who helps tend the Cairngorm Reindeer Herd in Aviemore, Scotland, attracted a hungry following Monday.


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A Pear CARE Package

It's like mining for gold! There's more under the top layer.

It’s like mining for gold! There’s more under the top layer.

Oh, baby! This is bounty like you wouldn’t believe. Harry & David packaged it, my godmother and aunt Nancy Brown gave two of these to Dad, and he came bearing one as a gift yesterday. Thanks all ’round!

Have you ever seen two more beautiful sisters?

Have you ever seen two more beautiful sisters?

Love you, Nancy–you’re as close to a mother as I have on this earth.


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Gifts to My Kitchen

smoked salmon and gingerbread--not perfect together, but lovely on their own!

smoked salmon and gingerbread–not perfect together, but lovely on their own!

‘Tis the season to gather goodies! At left, Cambridge House(R) Atlantic smoked salmon (thanks to a friend of my dad, Ed Arnold, whose taste in Christmas gifts is impeccable!). At right, handmade gingerbread animals. Sue Tamoney rolls sheets of gingerbread dough as thin as paper and cuts out 1,000 animals, using a toothpick to put on two drops of icing for eyes. Deliciously spicy! You’ve eaten about 35 before you know it which is why 1,000 is barely enough to satisfy Sue’s fans.

I don’t have a photo of the Leckerlee lebkuchen I got from a friend in publishing because I re-gifted it to my father-in-law, as German as J.S. Bach (but not nearly so talented!).

I’ve got to make this short; thinking of J.S. Bach, here’s the opening of this glorious Christmas Oratorio to help you, too, power through those last chores before we celebrate!

german xmas market



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Gifts From the Kitchen

The kitchen gives so many gifts; its warmth, the aromas of good food, the satisfaction when a recipe comes out right. Oh, those are gifts to me! Gifts from my kitchen…. Unlike my early days, when baking frazzled my nerves, I hope my treats convey some sense of the calm, well-balanced, harmonious environment they’re made in. And there’s a little nostalgia, too, particularly at Christmas when a certain vintage kitchen tool gets into the mix.


Mom’s Sunbeam Mixmaster is still whirling, God only knows how (probably from the “gentle” [read minimal] use it gets!). There’s no time of the year when I miss Mom more.

Chappaqua, NY, c. 1980

Chappaqua, NY, c. 1980

These oatmeal-dried-cranberry-raisin cookies will go to the Christmas tree sellers on our corner.


They’re also for the California Whittinghams I’m looking so forward to seeing tomorrow, as a little extra with their Christmas presents, and to the cook this morning for breakfast. Self-gifting’s all the rage!


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TGIF Treat–Hot, Buttered Toast


“Simple pleasures are the last refuge of the complex.”–Oscar Wilde

I make no claim to be complex, but life can certainly get as demanding as a astrophysics textbook. So, I’m indulging in my favorite comfort food: hot, buttered toast while I wrap a couple of small gifts for the colleagues without whom I wouldn’t be able to survive at work.

How cute is this kitchen timer? Thank you, Fish’s Eddy, one of my favorite stores on the planet. I can’t wait for one of my friends to try it; I want to hear this chick ring them bells!

$12.95 and cheap at twice the price!

$12.95 and cheap at twice the price!

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Tree-Trimming Breakfast

'Tis not the season until our French-Canadian Christmas tree sellers appear on 71st & 1st!

‘Tis not the season until our French-Canadian Christmas tree sellers appear on 71st & 1st!

I know I should’ve planned something warm, seasonal, and appealing for this morning’s tree trimming, but…life intervenes, doesn’t it?!

So breakfast turns into lunch and PB&J is on the menu with a tall, cold glass of milk.

With Chuck home, Grace behaving herself, and Michael Bublé’s “Jingle Bells” with the Puppini Sisters on the CD player, all is right with the world!

Is that an ornament in her hair or is this a remake of "The Birds"?

Is that an ornament in her hair or is this a remake of “The Birds”?



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Leftover Breakfast (Again!)–Turkey Hash

In last Wednesday’s New York Times Dining section, Wylie Dufresne contributed his turkey hash recipe which, with its splash of sherry, may not be the wisest choice for Monday morning, but I said to myself, “It’s the holiday shopping season and the bosses will be extra-anxious, so I need a good breakfast under my belt.” I soon thought better of that (recalling my earliest days in publishing when the elevator on Monday mornings smelled like a distillery–not from me at 23 years old, mind you!) and used chicken broth to de-glaze instead.


He calls for diced boiled potato, but our boiled potatoes were victim to the Great Thanksgiving Pyrex Explosion, so last night I popped the one leftover russet into the 400° oven I used to make turkey Tetrazzini for an hour which worked just fine, too. Red pepper added color which would normally come from the two sunny-side up eggs, but I figured I could save a few calories by omitting them. Still very substantial!

This morning’s news about the Metro-North Hudson Line derailment is so sad. The NY Times profiled two of the four people who died: hard-working, caring people who will be dearly missed by their families and communities. RIP.

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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…


and scones.



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.”


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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