A passion for food + fashion

Posts Tagged ‘breakfast’


In Food, Recipes on January 4, 2014 at 8:38 am


It’s a New Year, and we’re trying to eat clean during the week (tonight’s pork rib roast followed by steamed persimmon pudding and hard sauce will be another story). Last night I made a favorite Tunisian breakfast dish, shakshuka, for dinner. The flavors are so rich and indulgent with just a bit of heat, you’ll forget that this dish is totally guilt-free. The recipe comes from my current cookbook obsession, Jerusalem, by Yotam Ottolenghi. I modified only slightly (using canned tomatoes instead of fresh). This would serve four for breakfast, or two very hungry adults for dinner.

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons harissa

2 teaspoons tomato paste

2 large red peppers, diced

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained

4 eggs

A couple dollops of Greek yogurt

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet and  add the harissa, tomato paste, red peppers, garlic, cumin, and  1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté for 8 minutes, until the peppers soften. Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.

Make four indentations in the sauce and then crack an egg into each. Use a fork to swirl around the whites a little bit with the sauce, taking care not to break the yolks.



Simmer until the whites are gently set and the yolks are still runny, about 10 minutes (you can cover pan with a lid if you want to speed things up a little, but check frequently). Spoon eggs in the sauce onto plates, and serve with a dollop of yogurt on the side.

Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes

In Food, Recipes on December 27, 2012 at 9:43 am

mashed potato pancake


It’s a toss up between Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for my favorite family meal of the year. For Christmas we start off with caviar and smoked trout and then move into a prime rib with Yorkshire pudding and mashed potatoes, followed by trifle. Go big, or go home. For the mashed potatoes I’m giddy when we’ve made enough to use for leftover mashed potato pancakes. My dad puts chives in his mashed potatoes, but if yours are without, do add some fresh chives to the pancake batter. Or, for a cheesy option, sprinkle some grated pecorino into the mix. These savory pancakes can be sweetened up for kiddie appetites with a spoonful of applesauce, though I prefer them with a dollop of crème fraîche.

Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes

Makes 8 pancakes

2 cups leftover mashed potatoes

2 eggs

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons butter

crème fraîche or applesauce, optional, to garnish


In a bowl, mix together mashed potatoes, eggs, flour and salt and pepper until smooth. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and using a 1/4 cup measure drop batter into 8 rounds into the pan and flatten slightly with spatula. (Depending on size of skillet, you may need to do this in two batches.)



Fry pancakes about 4 minutes until bottoms are golden and crispy, and then flip with spatula. Fry an additional 4-5 minutes until crispy and golden. Drain on paper towels and serve with either crème fraîche or applesauce.

potato pancakes

A Pan and a Pancake

In Food on October 21, 2012 at 9:04 am

There are certain luxuries in life that are worth the splurge. Natural linen bath towels, Maldon sea salt, face cream, and a 1920s Griswold 12-inch cast iron skillet. Because I do not have that perfectly well-seasoned skillet handed down through generations, I cheated and bought one on eBay.

Instantly, it became part of the family. Saturday mornings now look a little like this.

6 am (if I’m lucky): wake-up call from two hungry boys. “Mommy, are you going to make The Pancake?” the four-year-old asks. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, make coffee. In a medium bowl, I mix together 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup whole milk, two lightly beaten eggs, and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg.

6:35 am: Melt 4 tablespoons butter in skillet while giving baby a bottle.

6:40am: When butter is very hot, pour in batter and bake in oven until golden and puffy, about 15 to 20 minutes.

7am: Sprinkle with powdered sugar, squeeze with lemon and serve to a hungry four-year-old and his daddy.

I discovered this recipe for David Eyre’s Pancake in The Essential New York Times Cookbook, and it originally appeared in the paper in 1966. Some of you might know this pancake by another name, a Dutch Baby, which I’d describe as a cross between a crepe and a popover. A well-seasoned skillet with sides high enough for the pancake to puff up against is essential—as is starting the weekend with a happy family.

Soft Scrambled Eggs with Ricotta

In Food on June 4, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Last week we had a big magazine photo shoot at our house and my former Bon Appétit colleague Jeanne Kelley styled the food. She brought along some eggs from her chickens and after the shoot was over, she left a bowlful for me…

…including one of her chicken’s palest blue eggs, which are the subject of Jeanne’s award-winnning cookbook, Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes.

Jonathan Gold has said “Jeanne Kelley is not like you and me … the eggs laid by her chickens could blind you if you looked directly into the yolk.” He’s not kidding.

With eggs this fresh, it’s best to do as little as possible. I heated up a tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat. I whisked the eggs with a little salt and some chives snipped from our garden, and then when the butter was bubbly poured the eggs into the pan, tilting the pan occasionally to let the runny parts slowly cook.

After a couple minutes, when the eggs were just barely cooked, I removed from heat and folded in some fresh ricotta and sprinkled with fleur de sel. There is nothing quite like a perfectly scrambled egg, particularly if it was laid by one of Jeanne’s chickens.

Hostess Gifts: Caviar Powder

In Food on December 5, 2011 at 9:27 am

File this under “Top Gift I’d Like to Receive.” I’ve always said that the best hostess gifts are those you can eat for breakfast the next morning, but this Petrossian Caviar Powder takes the concept to a whole new level. My friend Trisha brought me a mill of this precious stuff as a hostess gift this weekend—”for your eggs tomorrow morning,” she said. The next morning my husband scrambled some eggs and we liberally ground the powder over them (it works like a pepper mill).

Needless to say, there weren’t many words exchanged over breakfast that morning. Just savoring the pure decadence and generosity of the ultimate hostess gift.

Cornbread Jam Muffins

In Food, Recipes on January 5, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Silly girl. It might have been helpful if when I posted yesterday about my toddler’s favorite Cornmeal Jam Muffins I had included a recipe. The original recipe comes from the excellent Macrina Bakery & Café Cookbook (the book’s recipe for Brown Sugar Almond Coffee Cake is worth the price of admission alone). An aside: I have seen a LOT of cookbooks in my day; as in writing what seems like hundreds of cookbook reviews for the Culinary Institute of America a decade or so ago, and going on seven years with Bon Appétit magazine, so please believe me when I say this little paperback cookbook is a gem. The recipe calls for raspberry preserves, but I think you could use whatever you like. In fact just this morning as I was enjoying some toast with loquat jam my friend HJ made from her garden, I was thinking how tangy loquat preserves would be the BOMB on these savory-sweet muffins.

So have fun. And I’ll share the recipe if you promise to buy the book. Deal?

Macrina Bakery Cornbread Jam Muffins

[FOODINISTA NOTE: One note about cornmeal. What I have on hand is a toothier, coarse-ground cornmeal, which I like. But I think a fine-ground cornmeal would be even better and more kid-friendly. Also, I used crushed unsweetened pineapple in place of the diced. Finally, I put mine in cupcake liners to make them seem more cupcake-like for the kiddies. Hey, whatever works!]

Topped with your favorite raspberry-preserves, these golden muffins are a beautiful addition to any breakfast table. We like to use fresh pineapple in this recipe when it’s available, but unsweetened, canned fruit is a fine alternative.

Makes 6-8 muffins

2 cups pastry flour (or 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup cake flour sifted together)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups cornmeal

4 eggs

1 cup diced pineapple

1 cup pineapple juice

1/2 cup whole milk

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

1/2 cup raspberry preserves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Brush insides of muffin tin with canola oil.

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cornmeal into a medium bowl and mix with a wooden spoon. Set aside.

Crack eggs into a medium bowl and mix with a whisk, then stir in diced pineapple, pineapple juice and milk. Add egg mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon just until batter starts to come together, about halfway mixed. Slowly add melted butter and continue mixing until batter is smooth and there are no visible streaks of butter, about 1 minute.

Scoop batter into oiled muffin tins, slightly overfilling them. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until muffins are peaked and golden brown. Test the center of 1 muffin with a skewer. The skewer will come out clean if the muffins are done. Let cool for 10 minutes, then gently dent each muffin top with a spoon. Crown with a generous dollop of raspberry preserves. Slide a fork down the side of each muffin and gently lift from pan.

Fried Egg Sandwich with Sriracha Aioli

In Food, Media, Recipes on October 23, 2010 at 9:19 am

I unabashedly consider myself something of an expert in the field of Fried Egg Sandwiches. The morning after my sister and I ran the 2007 Los Angeles Marathon, we hobbled over to BLD for their exemplary version with Neuske’s thick cut bacon and Gruyère on sourdough. Claire and I are also regulars at Huckleberry Café in Santa Monica. After a Saturday morning run out at the beach, we hit Huckleberry for a version that includes Niman Ranch bacon and arugula on country bread (and the blueberry corn cake is out of this world). It’s a little heavy handed with the arugula but delicious all the same. Check it out:

Not to be outdone by The Oaks Gourmet in Hollywood with their ooey gooey Breakfast Sandwich loaded with fried egg, fresh mozzarella, pancetta, basil and garlic oil on Tuscan sourdough.

But—I humbly submit—the best version is served up at home, thanks to my “secret” weapon: Sriracha aioli. Sriracha is a staple in southern California—a Thai-style chile and garlic sauce that finds its way into all manner of goodness. Yesterday, I shared the recipe for my fried egg sandwich over on Herman Miller’s LIFEWORK blog in an ongoing series called “Good Taste.” It’s a carefully built sandwich that balances nutty, spicy flavors with the warm comfort of a fried egg. I actually prefer a chewy, nutty multigrain bread to sourdough in the mix. (Rudi’s Organic 7 Grain with Flax avail at Whole Foods makes a surprisingly good one.) One thing I forgot to add in that recipe is to sprinkle a teeny bit of pimentòn over the egg for a subtle smokey note. In the meantime, here’s a peek at mixing my not-so-secret Sriracha sauce, a dollop of mayo and a squirt of Sriracha. Voilà! And is epic on a cheeseburger, too:

For The Foodinista’s Fried Egg Sandwich recipe, click HERE.

Sugar-Free Granola

In Baby Love, Food, Recipes on September 2, 2010 at 5:47 pm

I’m not one of those meanie moms who never lets her kid eat ice cream or popsicles, but I do make every best effort not to give those treats to Tiny G myself. Which makes me only a little bit mean. At school and other people’s homes what are you going to do? (And seriously, what’s childhood without sugary fun?) But at home, we try to limit his sugar intake and at breakfast that can be something of a challenge. I discovered this sugar-free granola recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks, Breakfast, Lunch, Tea: The Many Little Meals of Rose Bakery. It’s a compendium of recipes from the rustic Rose Bakery in Paris. I’m not going to lie, Rose Bakery’s honey granola is extra delicious, but for sugar-free I don’t think you can beat this one. Tiny G likes it sprinkled over plain yogurt. So does his mama.

Rose Bakery’s Sugar Free Granola

Adapted from Breakfast Lunch Tea, by Rose Carraarini

4 cups rolled oats

1 cup whole almonds (I chop them in a mini Cuisinart so they’re easier to manage for Tiny G)

3/4 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup sesame seeds (I substitute golden flax seeds)

1 tablespoon wheat germ

1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice

4 tablespoons sunflower oil

pinch of cinnamon

dried or fresh fruits such a figs, apricots or blueberries

plain yogurt, to serve

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix oats, seeds, wheatgerm, apple juice, sunflower oil and cinnamon in a bowl, then spread out evenly on a baking tray.

Bake, turning often, for between 45 minutes and 1 hour.

Remove from oven and leave until cool. Add dried or fresh fruits and serve with yogurt.

The Morning After A Torrid Spanish Affair

In Food on July 18, 2010 at 7:07 pm

And what is bound to follow a passionate affair—in this case, one fueled by Lopez Heredia rosado—is The Morning After. Which is why in the pantheon of hostess gifts, my favorites involve something to eat the next morning after a dinner party when the last thing you want to think about is making breakfast. Our friend Katie once brought individual sweet potato bundt cakes with brown sugar icing as a hostess gift to be enjoyed with our coffee the next morning; my friend Carolynn a box of unbaked homemade chocolate chip cookies to pop in the oven the following afternoon. You see where I’m going with this…

Enter HJ & Bill. They have chickens!!! In the garden of a gorgeous house that backs up onto the golf course. Chickens that lay beautiful eggs with bright orange yolks. And so when they walked in the door on Friday night with half dozen of these oeufs I almost forgot about the Lopez Heredia.

And so the following morning, we lightly toasted thick slices from a rosemary boule from La Boulangerie, and then cut out a hole in the middle. (The top of a champagne flute works well.) In a skillet over  medium-high heat, melt a pat of good butter, being careful not to let butter burn. Place your toast in skillet and crack an egg into the hole.

I cook only for a minute or so a side because I am all about the yolk, particularly when the eggs taste this good. And I like to slice up some tomato and sprinkle with salt. We grew up calling this Eggs in a Basket, but I’ve also heard it referred to as Toad in a Hole (which, when I was a kid in England, meant a sausage/Yorkshire pudding situation). Whatever you want to call it, it’s genius. And probably the most exciting hostess gift a girl with a hangover could dream of. Thank you, HJ & Bill! ¡Salud!

Cooking Club with Lulu Powers

In Drink, Food on April 30, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Earlier this week, my friend Carrie invited me to her ultra-chic cooking club hosted by Sally Horchow (above, right). The group was honoring another member, Lulu Powers (above, left), and her fabby new book, Lulu Powers Food to Flowers. Lulu is a local celebrity, having catered for everyone from Madonna to Bill Clinton. Needless to say, the woman can cook. For Wednesday night’s cooking club, the theme was “breakfast for dinner” (a well-documented favorite around our house) and we all picked a recipe out of Lulu’s book. Check out the table Sally set with newspapers for a tablecloth (a decorating tip from Lulu), oranges for place card holders and mini boxed cereals as a centerpiece. Lulu says she likes to “buy newspapers from several cities, as well as a few tabloids for fun (otherwise known as my “periodicals”)! Whenever I throw a brunch like this, I find that everyone really starts talking about world events and reading from the papers and starting friendly debates, which makes it like a morning roundtable.”

Okay, now for the food. Let’s start with Sally, who made a killer vegetable herb frittata that was the hit of the evening. A word about the photo below. Sally is standing next to a photo of her grandmother, Fay Pfeifer, who was a finalist in the Flour Division of the 1970 Pillsbury Bake Off for her Toffee Treasure Cake, which Sally describes as “more coffee cake than dessert, though made with Heath Bars – and progressive for that year because of her use of the bundt pan! She was from Little Rock, Arkansas, and every cook in my family has a book of her recipes called ‘Our FAYvorites.’ ”

Here’s a close-up of the frittata, and reason alone to buy the book.

Carrie made Lulu’s Granola for party favors plus a bowl for nibbling, and Stacy made awesome Chocolate Banana Bread with ice cream for dessert (sadly I don’t have a photo) as well Lulu’s Body Scrub made with coffee and lavender, which she put in these little canisters from Cost Plus. I’m keeping mine by our kitchen sink as it’s great for softening hands and smells divine.

As for the rest of the lineup, Sally also did Spicy English Breakfast Sausage Rolls; Alix made Green Salad with Orange Cilantro Dressing; Jess made Mini Turkey Breakfast Patties; Megan did Sugar-Crusted Raspberry Muffins; Nicky brought Cheddar and Ham Biscuits; I brought a Fruit Salad with Rosemary Syrup; and Lulu arrived with a tray of Bloody Mary fixings. Here’s a taste:

A seriously fun evening where the company was every bit as delicious as the food!