Kick start your day with a good breakfast

What We Need Right Now–Grit(s)

Grit will get you through anything: keep your head, focus on your work, and “illegitimi non carborundum.”


Grits will get your through the day. At work, a colleague brought us a lovely basket of goodies from Charleston’s Own®, a specialty store in South Carolina. The Pecan Pralines went like the wind, the Cheese Zingers disappeared in a second, but the grits were left like an old stray hound at the shelter. Really?! I thought after a day or two and snagged them.

Does it get any better than a fresh bowl of hot stone-ground grits with cheese, ham, and spicy peppers? What’s the matter with people that they don’t have the time to stir a pot of this awesomeness for a half-hour or less (2 cups of water, a half-cup of grits, 1/4 tsp of salt and 1 TBSP of butter took 20 minutes).

bowl of grits.jpg

They were heavenly. I’m ready for whatever this day brings me!


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TGIF…thank God, it’s feta

Gray…wet…slushy. Yup, no reason to celebrate this February Friday, unless

you have fresh Greek feta in your fridge. Go from this.


Lexington Avenue @ 52nd Street, NYC

to this…

greek table

Lerapetra, Crete

in 60 seconds!

Fry an egg in olive oil and slide onto a piece of toast. Cover with crumbled feta, sliced black olives and a generous shake of oregano. καλή όρεξη!

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Surprise Inside!

When I’m admonished to eat breakfast because “it’s good for you!” I think of my wonderful mother who ate the skins of her baked potatoes with great gusto so that we might do the same. We balked, she wheedled, we nibbled, she conceded. It left a bad taste in my mouth.

And, in the odd way my minds works, that leads me to remember the cereals of my youth–with a prize inside!


So sugary, these cereals sent more dentists’ kids through college than Claiborne Pell. Why did we need the school bus? On those sugar highs, we could’ve run all the way there ourselves.

Now, as a reasonably responsible adult, I try to balance flavor with some modicum of nutrition and a little bit of fun.

That brings me to the breakfast taco.


I happened to have some ready-made taco shells on the shelf into which I spooned some drained, crumbled breakfast sausage. I added some green salsa and a couple of dollops of sour cream. Downed it with an icy glass of lime water.


Try it, you’ll like it!


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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TGIF Treat: One-Egg Omelet

One of the reasons I’d rather cook for myself in the mornings is the three-egg (or God forbid, four-egg) omelet the NYC delis and coffee shops serve up. Too much! I find that one egg binds the filling together without overwhelming their flavors.

DSC01970I sauteed a sliced fresh mushroom, three sun-dried tomatoes, and half a shallot in a pat of butter while I whisked one egg with a dash of milk and s/p. I poured that into the vegetables and as it firmed up, I snipped fresh rosemary into it. One flip (I have never, and never will, master the art of rolling omelets, à la Julia Child) and voilà!  There’s protein to keep the hunger pangs away until noon and a solid serving of fresh vegetables.

And why am I posting this at 9:30 on a weekday morning?

11° F right now!

11° F right now!


"Winter Storm Hercules dumped 9 inches of snow on New York City last night," according to  New York Post live coverage.

“Winter Storm Hercules dumped 9 inches of snow on New York City last night,” according to New York Post live coverage.



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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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TGIF Treat–Savory Pancakes

Yesterday’s post was superceded by these homemade pretzels. While easy enough, they’re time-consuming and I was due at the Metropolitan Museum of Art at 10 a.m. to begin a day out with “the girls:” Martha and Susan, two delightful friends from out-of-town. And what a day! A celebrity sighting (Jefferson Mayes of “I Am My Own Wife” and the current “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder”), tea at Lady Mendl’s Salon, and a visit to B&B Rare Books to hold a two-century-old copy of “Pride and Prejudice” in my own hands. Oh, and the occasion for the pretzels? Sparkly, jolly Christmas party. Magical!

A 30-second bath in boiling water and baking soda gave them a crisp crust and soft interior.

A 30-second bath in boiling water and baking soda gave them a crisp crust and soft interior.

This morning’s breakfast was leisurely, in comparison: Mark Bittman’s tiny savory pancakes from last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine.

Beat one egg with two teaspoons of (in this case) buttermilk and two tablespoons of flour. Add in finely chopped ingredients (this morning I used crumbled sausage, fresh red pepper, and black olives). Season with s/p and drop into hot olive oil for a couple minutes per side.

DSC01926Like a dry omelet with each ingredient shouting out its essence. Yummy! And I love a meal that can be made in one skillet with just a measuring cup, fork, measuring spoons, and a spatula.


So I’m fortified to meet my fate on Friday the Thirteenth. Are you superstitious? I am not (though I once said “Macbeth” backstage and learned exactly why it can only, ever, ever be referred to as “the Scottish play”–yikes!).

Doesn’t hurt to be careful. Don’t let one of these cross your path!

black cat

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TGIF Treat–Banana-Honey-Cinnamon Smoothie

After too much indulgence in sausage stuffing, cheddar-sage biscuits, buttermilk pancakes, and apple crumb crostada, Wallis Simpson’s quote comes to mind.

"You can never be too rich or too thin."

“You can never be too rich or too thin.”

 Not! Today’s the day to eschew the rich in order to allow the dream of being healthy again to re-awaken–before the dance of the sugar plum fairies begins.

DSC01895Simple, fresh, delicious! About half-a-cup of orange juice, a couple of tablespoons of vanilla yogurt, a sliced banana, a squeeze of honey, a good shake of cinnamon and you’ve got the rich taste without the leaden feeling.

Let me leave you with this quote, my personal philosophy (often repeated, often ignored): “Everything in moderation!”


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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 Karma

This post is the very definition of “what goes around comes around.”

The cupboard was a little bare this morning. I thought, “What can I do with…hmm…peanut butter, grape jelly, milk, butter…oh, no, no eggs?!” When in doubt, Google.

I discovered This Homemade Life, a charming blog from Alison Bickel, a photographer from the Midwest. She shared Peanut Butter Pancakes from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s book, Color Me Vegan .  I’m unlikely to become a vegan, but if I were on the fence,  this refreshing, enticing book jacket and her pancakes might just push me over.

color me veganThe recipe couldn’t be simpler; the pancakes couldn’t be fluffier or tastier (obviously eggs don’t improve pancakes!):

1 1/4 cup flour

2 Tablespoons granulated sugar

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cup milk, dairy or non-dairy

1/4 cup peanut butter

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir together the milk and peanut butter until smooth. Add to the dry ingredients and beat just until a batter is formed. Do not overbeat.

Lightly oil a nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Spoon the batter by 1/4 cupfuls into the pan. Cook until golden brown on both sides. Serve immediately.

I halved the recipe which made 4 pancakes. I have eighth-cup and 1/2 Tablespoon measures, so it was a snap to pull together.

I'm probably never using another pancake recipe again...look at how high they rise!

I’m probably never using another pancake recipe again…look at how high they rise!

Now, to bring this post back ’round to the beginning, I should be using this gift of a successful recipe in a fundraiser for something worthwhile. Will work on that, as soon as I’ve finished my next serving!

pancake breakfast poster

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