Kick start your day with a good breakfast

What will you be eating this weekend?

Just poking around on the Internet looking for health food trends and I found a column at the Washington Post by Ellie Krieger, a nutritionist and the host on Food Network’s “Healthy Appetite.”

ellie k

Can’t resist her Apple Cranberry Brown Betty. Is is Saturday yet?!


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Bring Back Home Ec!

Having learned the joy of cooking rather late in life, I’m like an ex-smoker. I can’t stop talking about the benefits and haranguing people to be more like me. Please visit my other blog Bring Back Home Ec for photos and instructions on making a bacon-and-egg croissant-wich in your own kitchen.


Why go out for this? Nobody wants to see us in the morning before we’ve taken a shower. Only our families should have to put up with that.

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And blueberries make good pancakes

The last of Shirley’s blueberries went into pancakes this morning (I’m on a pancake jag, for some reason*). Celebrating the start of a fall day that promises to be absolutely priceless, weather-wise. How lucky can you get?



* Just found out via Foodimentary, 9/23 was National Pancake Day. The universe was shouting and I must’ve heard!


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Whither Paradise?


Here’s a thought for a Sunday morning: if Eve had only eaten a pear instead of an apple, would we all still be living in Paradise?

This pear was not as juicy as I’d hoped, but as easy breakfasts go, it”s just about perfect. With oranges and grapes, you’ve got to deal with the seeds; when you peel kiwi and papaya, you lose some of the fruit; bananas go rotten so quickly. Both apples and pears are inexpensive, portable, don’t require peeling, and you can eat right down to the core. So where was the pear tree for Eve to turn to, to show that snake in the grass she wasn’t born yesterday.

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Have a nice day!

When the title of this post is said without sincerity, I want to rip the person’s face off.

yellow smiley face

However, when it’s said with an authentic smile and an honest wish for the next 24 hours to go well, there’s no better greeting.


Not only am I honestly wishing you all a terrific day, I’m shouting out thanks to my sister-in-law Jan for the gift of these new summer accessories: melamine plate, fireworks napkin, raffia napkin ring, and white star bowl. Could they be any cuter?


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Queen for a Meal

queen for a day

Sunday morning’s tailor-made for a little pampering: a puff pastry tart of egg on sour cream flavored with herbes de Provence and s/p with a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese on top.


The 1950s TV show “Queen for a Day,” which must’ve been in re-runs in the early ’60s since I remember my mother weeping over these women’s pathetic stories of hunger and hardship, is a far, far cry from “Desperate Housewives” and the RHO… franchise. Now that I think of it, it was more like “The Hunger Games,” since four or five competed with one another for the prizes. What happened if you lost? Back to the cold-water flat and the child in the iron lung, waiting for the electricity to be turned off.

OK, let’s take this in another direction. I’ll leave you with this thought from nutritionist and author of Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit, Adelle Davis :

“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.”








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No Bread? No Problem!

A literal example of “man does not live by bread alone:” with not a slice, not even a heel, in the house, I’ve had to make do with puff pastry–poor me!

apple tart easter 2014

Yesterday, it was a hot dog rolled in pastry, spread with Dijon mustard and sprinkled with celery salt. This morning, it’s Red Delicious apple on apricot jam with a little dried rosemary.  I think I’ll survive.

Happy Easter to all!

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Welcome to my world

If only Vermeer were around to paint this scene of domestic tranquility!


This Sunday morning, I thank God for my happy little family.



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An Early Taste of Summer

Did you know you could time-travel by opening your freezer? Frozen fruit whisks you forward into midsummer in a second. What a way to start another threatening snow day!


If you drop a few slices of peaches onto your hot skillet as you’re flipping your last pancake to get them all warm and soft, you’ll have a yummy alternative to maple syrup which, however delicious, drags you right back to winter. Let me delude myself that it’s 80 degrees outside for a few more minutes.




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A Breakfast Surprise

Who’d have thought you could get breakfast from a cookbook like this?

by Rick Marzullo O'Connell; (c) Copyright 1991; HarperCollins Publishers;

 (c) Copyright 1991; HarperCollins Publishers

I usually use this for serving company a delicious recipe for Chicken Breasts With Artichokes, Cream, and Tomatoes. Chuck loves it for the White Beans With Tuna. Yesterday, I got a craving for rosemary focaccia for a savory breakfast. I had coincidentally just bought a freezer-ful of frozen fruit: blueberries, peaches, and strawberries. What should my eye fall on in this book but Blueberry Focaccia: “this combination is not as untraditional as it may seem. It is inspired by Italian flat breads baked with wine grapes and rosemary, called schiacciate con l’uva. Serve with a dab of sour cream or mascarpone cheese.” Well, there’s the answer for that last bit of crème fraîche I bought last week for a lemon tea bread.

I halved the recipe and used an 8x8 pan. Savory rosemary and garlic focaccia tomorrow!

I halved the recipe and used an 8×8 pan. Savory rosemary and garlic focaccia tomorrow!

Now that I’ve tasted this, a sweet whipped cream would better complement the tartness of the berries (I used a light, light hand with the sugar).

It starts with a traditional pizza dough:

1 cup warm water (about 100°)

¼ teaspoon sugar

1 envelope (¼ ounce) active dry yeast

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

1. In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup water with sugar and yeast. Let stand in a warm place for 10 to 12 minutes. The yeast will become bubbly and give off a yeasty odor.

2. In another bowl, combine flour and salt. Make a well in flour, add proofed yeast, remaining ¾ cup warm water, and olive oil. Begin mixing flour and liquid together with your hand; mix until you form a dough that cleans sides of bowl.

3. Clean off your hands.  Lightly flour a work surface. Place dough on surface and begin to knead with heel of your hand, turning and folding dough as you knead it. Knead 5 to 8 minutes, or until dough becomes smooth and elastic. Put dough into a clean bowl and let rise, covered with a kitchen towel, in a warm place (75° to 80°) 1 to 2 hours, until doubled in bulk.

4. At this point, punch dough down with fist. Knead 1 minute. You are now ready to shape dough according to recipe.

Then we move onto the focaccia:

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1 recipe traditional pizza dough

1 cup blueberries

¾ cup sugar

1. Preheat over to 350°. Brush a 10 x 8-inch pan with 1 tablespoon butter. Pat or roll dough to fit pan. Brush surface with remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Indent surface of dough by pressing all over with your fingertips. Top with blueberries and sugar, pressing gently into dough.

2. Let dough rise, covered with a kitchen towel, in a warm place 45 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.

3. Bake focaccia 30 minutes, or until puffy and lightly golden.


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