Category Archives: Breakfast in Bed
Post by Alison Hein.
My husband loves to host a big July 3rd party every summer. The tradition started several years back when Kevin came up with this brainstorm on July 1st – “Hey”, he said, “everyone we know is busy on the Fourth, but I’ll bet no one has any plans on the evening of July 3rd. Plus, they don’t have to get up early for work the next day.” Sure enough, he was right, and the 25 guests we invited all said yes, giving us two days to scramble to prepare.
These days, the party has grown to twice the size, but Kevin still insists that we cook everything ourselves for our “gourmet barbecue.” We have some annual standard fare like the McCafferty Family Secret Potato Salad and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Spicy Ribs. But we also like to try new ideas. This year, we decided to have an interactive Slider Bar as a starter. While Kevin was conducting practice rounds, perfecting his timing, shaping and spicing, I was fiddling with different topping alternatives, and how to display them. I finally settled on 6 toppings – caramelized onions, guacamole, bread & butter pickles, dill slices, blue cheese and bacon – which we then spooned into mason jars and labeled with homey tags.
How nice to get up the next morning (uh, afternoon) and have all these fun choices to dress up our omelets. How nice to have a Day of Independence and breakfast in bed.
2 strips bacon
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons caramelized onions (see preparation below)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons guacamole
2 tablespoons sour cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon sliced green onion
Cook bacon strips slowly over medium heat until browned and crispy, turning once. Remove from pan and drain on paper towel. When cool enough to handle, break into 1-inch pieces and set aside.
Melt butter in small, heavy pan over high heat. Break eggs into small bowl and whisk until mixed. Add caramelized onions to beaten eggs, then pour into heated pan all at once and swirl to evenly cover the pan. Tilt pan slightly, and every few seconds, use a jerking motion to pull the pan towards you so the eggs move away as they begin to cook. When the eggs begin to set but are still very soft in the center, remove the pan from the heat for a few seconds.
Lightly spread the sour cream and avocado over the eggs and sprinkle with bacon. Retain a dollop of sour cream and guacamole for garnish, if you like. Return the pan to the stove, and continue the jerking motion, this time holding the pan at an even higher angle, until the omelet begins to flip over onto itself. Give the eggs a little push with a spoon or spatula if necessary. Turn the omelet out onto a plate, garnish with sour cream, guacamole, and green onion, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.
Makes 1 serving.
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 Vidalia (or other sweet type) onions, sliced thin
1 teaspoon sugar
Heat olive oil in large heavy pan over medium heat. Add sliced onion and sprinkle sugar on top. Stir and mix well to separate and coat with oil. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring often, until onions become a deep golden brown color, about 30 minutes.
Post by Alison Hein.
Here’s a lovely recipe for those hot July days – no cooking required! Simply layer creamy Greek yogurt and crunchy cereal with fresh red strawberries, then top with tart, juicy blueberries. You’re in for an easy fix, and a red, white and blue breakfast that will delight kids and old folks alike this Independence Day.
Making your dish in lovely goblets is key to obtaining that “wow factor.” Stemmed wine glasses are just right, but you may have some equally elegant tall, thin clear glasses that would look amazing.
If you prefer to create an impressive dessert, simply swap out the Greek yogurt for vanilla ice cream (or salted caramel, yum!), replace the crunchy cereal with toasted walnuts or hazelnuts (or macadamias!), and finish with a dollop of whipped cream and a ruby red cherry.
And when it’s not July 4th, flavor (and color) variations are endless – black raspberry yogurt with blackberries and raspberries, lemon yogurt with pineapple and mango –well, you get the idea.
But for now, let’s stick with the red, white and blue, and help America celebrate her birthday with a patriotic breakfast in bed that’s almost as good as fireworks.
1½ cups fresh strawberries, cleaned and trimmed
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
½ cup granola (or other crunchy cereal)
½ cup blueberries
2 8-ounce clear glass goblets
Chop the cleaned strawberries. Place a layer of strawberries in each goblet. Top with a layer of yogurt, and then a thin layer of granola. Repeat a few times ending with a layer of yogurt on top. Artfully arrange blueberries on top of yogurt. Sprinkle on a bit of granola for garnish, if you like. Serve chilled.
Makes 2 parfaits.
Post by Alison Hein.
Wild red strawberries used to grow rampantly throughout our region. The native Leni Lenape crushed these tiny sweet jewels and mixed them with cornmeal to form a sweet cake. Odes were written to them, such as this excerpt from a poem written by Robert Graves:
Strawberries that in gardens grow
Are plump and juicy fine,
But sweeter far as wise men know
Spring from the woodland vine.
No need for bowl or silver spoon,
Sugar or spice or cream,
Has the wild berry plucked in June
Beside the trickling stream
Even though these tiny wild gems have largely disappeared from our area due to commerce and development, plenty of their “plump and juicy fine” garden cousins are still available. Locally grown berries can be found until the end of June, and hothouse grown can be purchased throughout the year. While they are still in season, try some in this easy scone recipe. Puréed berries give the dough a tender texture and lovely rose-hued tinge – a poetic breakfast in bed.
16 ounces fresh strawberries, cleaned and trimmed
3 cups flour
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup (one half stick) cold butter
¾ cup milk
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Extra flour for shaping scones
Chop half of the cleaned strawberries, and purée the other half in a blender or food processor. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 425°. In large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut butter into small pieces and cut into dry ingredients.
In a small bowl, combine milk, vinegar and one egg. Mix well, then add all at once to dry ingredients, stirring until just mixed in. Stir in pureed strawberries. Add chopped strawberries. Mix in gently. Do not overmix or dough will become tough.
Turn batter out onto floured board. Divide into 8 equal pieces and shape into balls. Press each ball gently into a flat round. Cut a cross in the top of each scone, but do not cut all the way through.
Place scones on lightly greased cookie sheet. Lightly beat remaining egg, and brush on top of scones. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Place in oven and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm with butter.
Makes 8 scones.
Post by Alison Hein.
Tea Eggs, a traditional Chinese specialty, make a fun family project or a delightful surprise for guests. Hard-boiled eggs are rolled and cracked, then steeped in rich, black tea. When peeled, a lovely, thin-lined mosaic pattern is revealed where the dark tea has seeped in.
In this simplified version, only eggs and tea are called for in the recipe. The end result is a hard-cooked egg with a distant, fragrant flavor that lingers lightly on the tongue – curious and interesting, yet mild enough for young palates. More traditional preparations call for adding soy sauce and / or a chef’s choice of spices. Chinese five-spice powder or Szechuan peppercorns add real zip. Or, you can take the eggs in a more dessert-like direction, adding spices such as cinnamon and cloves.
Make sure to peel the prepared eggs very carefully, or you may lose some of the lovely dark marbling. Also, be advised that dark, brewed tea can stain cutting boards and fingers alike, so choose your tools wisely.
This is one of those methods that’s imminently perfect for experimentation, with low risk or overhead. You are sure to delight family and friends with these fun and fragrant eggs – each one an individual piece of art, each one a lovely surprise, each one a delightful breakfast in bed!
4 cups water
2 tea bags (or loose tea) of strong black tea
Pour water into a small heavy saucepan and heat almost to a boil. Add tea bags to hot water to steep. Remove from heat.
Place eggs in a small heavy saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil on high heat and continue to cook eggs for 10 minutes, until hard-boiled. Cool slightly, then crack and roll on a hard surface so that thin lines appear all over the shell. Place cracked eggs into brewed tea, ensuring there is enough liquid to completely immerse eggs.
Allow tea to cool to room temperature, then transfer tea and eggs to a small glass dish and refrigerate. Keep eggs in tea for at least 4 hours, or as long as overnight. When ready, remove eggs and carefully peel off the shells to reveal the cracked tea pattern underneath. Serve cold.
Makes 2 tea eggs.