Tag Archives: Recipes

Breakfast in Bed Does Brunch – White Asparagus Cream Soup

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Post by Alison Hein.

Even though we like to stay in our PJs and lounge about in the bedroom all day, we recognize there are times when you need to stretch your legs and visit other parts of the house. That’s why we thought it might be fun to get you up and out once in awhile with a brunch recipe. J

If you are familiar with white asparagus, you will know it is exactly the same as green asparagus with one major exception – it is grown under mounded earth dams which prevents chlorophyll from developing and keeps the stalks white.

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White asparagus also has a deep, mellow flavor and can be served in many forms. It’s delightful simply steamed and drizzled with butter or hollandaise. Delicious served cold in a niçoise-style salad, tucked neatly into a cheesy omelet, or puréed into a fragrant cream soup.

There is, however, one cardinal rule about this mysterious vegetable – you absolutely MUST peel the woody skins from the stalks for every preparation. This sounds tedious, I know, but once you get the hang of it the work goes fast. It takes a little patience, and a firm but delicate touch.

This soup is a favorite of ours and a surprise for guests. I always retain a few asparagus tips for garnish, and mix up a tangy Horseradish Cream Sauce for a little added kick.

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Ingredients

3 pounds white asparagus
4 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, chopped
⅓ cup flour
1 package (32 oz.) vegetable broth
½ cup white wine
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
Dash nutmeg (optional)
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon creamy horseradish
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Preparation

Cut off bottom inch of asparagus stems and discard. To peel skins, lay each spear on a flat surface. Peel one at a time using vegetable peeler. Gently hold asparagus tip, start about one inch below tip, peel off skin and discard. Coarsely chop asparagus spears and set aside. If desired, retain about 12 to 18 spear tips to be cooked separately and used as garnish.

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Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and sauté until soft, about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in flour. Gradually add broth, stirring into flour mixture until smooth. Add wine, asparagus, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 25 to 30 minutes.

In separate small saucepan, simmer reserved asparagus tips in lightly salted water until tender, or about 10 minutes. Set aside.

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Stir in heavy cream. Lightly puree in blender or food processor.

To make Horseradish Cream, mix sour cream and creamy horseradish together in a small bowl.

Serve soup warm, garnished with Horseradish Cream, reserved asparagus tips and chopped parsley.

Makes approximately 6 1-cup servings.

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Breakfast in Bed – Baby Buckwheat Cakes

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Post by: Alison Hein

Wonderful earthy undertones with hints of walnut make buckwheat an ideal substance for creating delicious little brown discs – Baby Buckwheat Cakes. Buckwheat was first cultivated in America sometime during the 1700s, and quickly became a popular ingredient for making pancakes. Sometimes these cakes were made with yeasted batter or sourdough starter. Oftentimes cornmeal was incorporated into the mix. Later, the cooking process became easier with the addition of saleratus, the predecessor of baking soda and baking powder. Buckwheat Cakes were a common choice on frontier menus, and back in the mid-1800s at the What Cheer Restaurant in San Francisco, you could get a whole plate of them, piled high and doused in sweet honey, for a mere nickel.

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I’ve been thinking about babies a lot (as a result of welcoming my first-ever grandchild, Phoebe Rose, into the world on December 16th!). I’ve also been thinking about buckwheat a lot (we have caviar on Buckwheat Blinis every New Year’s Eve and I still have half a bag of flour left sitting on my counter.) Add to all of this that I have been helping my son and daughter-in-law with their grocery shopping during this busy time. My son’s list includes “those little frozen pancakes from Trader Joe’s”. So, I combined my jumbled thoughts into one cohesive baby pancake concept.

Since buckwheat is more closely related to sorrel and rhubarb than wheat, it is gluten free. Dough without gluten can be a little fussy – keeping the pancakes small helps. And, since there is absolutely no butter in the batter, its nice to serve your babies with a generous clump, with real maple syrup or honey for the topping.

With a new baby around, I’m pretty sure my son and daughter-in-law won’t be enjoying a leisurely breakfast in bed anytime soon. But with their freezer stocked with these buckwheat babies, at least they will be enjoying breakfast. 🙂

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Ingredients

1¼ cups buckwheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon butter or vegetable oil, for cooking

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Preparation

Combine buckwheat flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Set aside. In a separate large bowl (or stand mixer), add the milk, eggs and honey. Beat milk mixture on low for about two minutes, until thick and smooth. While beating (or with mixture on low), add buckwheat flour mixture to batter. Mix for another minute or so, until batter is well-mixed and somewhat heavy.

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Place pan or griddle on burner over medium heat. Melt a small amount of butter (or heat vegetable oil) in the pan for the first pancake. Use a tablespoon to spoon batter into pan and cook until small bubbles appear throughout pancakes. Flip once with thin spatula and continue cooking less than one minute until golden brown. Serve hot with butter and real maple syrup.

Makes about 40 2-inch diameter pancakes.

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Breakfast in Bed – Apples en Croute

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Post by Alison Hein.

Congratulations to Kathy Cassel Marino and Bonny Shampang Zalewski, the two winners of our Charles P. Rogers cookbook giveaway! We hope you both enjoy the book, and would love to hear your impressions after you receive your copies!

Now, back to our regularly scheduled blogging…

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Our good friends Nick and Vicky came to our home for dinner last weekend. We hadn’t seen them for a while, so I wanted to do something simple (so we would have more time to visit) but special (because we love them and it’s a festive time of year). We put together a cheerful cheeseboard and Nick’s favorite artichoke dip for appetizers.

Our first course was creamy vegetable soup, followed by a crisp, palate-cleansing tri-color salad. Kevin then prepared an elegant entrée of steamed lobster (growing up in New Hampshire has its benefits J) which we served with drawn butter and lots of cracking implements.

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After much eating, drinking and gabbing, we settled in to enjoy our dessert of Apples en Croute. The French term “en croute” refers to a food that has been wrapped in pastry dough and baked in the oven. When you do this with apples, you get a homey, seasonal dessert – fresh-baked and warm and fragrant. Your friends and family will enjoy eating their own individual, pie-like creation.

Use pre-made pie dough to simplify the process even further. Fiddle around with the types of apples. Experiment with a variety of fillings. Make Apples en Croute after dinner as a homey, seasonal dessert; or first thing in the morning, for a simple, special breakfast in bed.

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Ingredients

Pie crust (recipe below)

3 small, tart apples (about 4 ounces each)
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ cup chopped pecans
¼ cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon butter
1 egg

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Preparation

Preheat oven to 325°.

Roll out pie crust and cut into 6 6-inch circles. Place on ungreased baking tray.

Peel and core apples. Cut each apple in half horizontally, so circled core remains intact. Mix sugar and cinnamon together. Roll each apple half in sugar mixture, and place on prepared pie crust circles.

Mix together pecans and golden raisins, and stuff into apple cores. Dot each apple with butter. Bring dough up around apples and pinch together. (You may also tie with baking twine, just be sure to remove before serving.)

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Beat egg with 1 tablespoon of water and brush egg mixture all over the dough-wrapped apple. Sprinkle each apple with any remaining cinnamon sugar. Place apples in oven and bake for 40 to 50 minutes until crust is golden brown. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream on the side, if you like.

Pie Crust

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter
1/3 cup water

Preparation

Crust – sift together flour and salt. Remove 1/3 cup flour mixture and add 1/3 cup water to make paste. Cut better into small cubes and cut into remaining flour mixture. Mix all ingredients together. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate about 30 minutes. Cut dough in half. Roll out each half. Makes enough for one covered 9” pie.

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Breakfast in Bed – Holiday Cookbook Giveaway

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by Alison Hein.

Today I have some important instructions for you – click on this link to the Charles P. Rogers FB page and “like” today’s post for a chance to win a Breakfast in Bed Holiday Cookbook! Go do it right now, then come back and read the story: 🙂

Several weeks ago, I received a call from Linda Klein, the President of Charles P. Rogers. Linda wanted to create a special holiday gift and had the idea to compose a cookbook from my Breakfast in Bed posts. She wanted to know what I thought.

“Are you kidding?”, I responded.  “I’m honored and delighted!”

So we gathered a small team and began work on the production process. Jeannine had the great idea to create a menu format, Olga worked with the photos and constructed the layout, and Jess went through it all with a fine-toothed comb. I just did whatever they told me to.

The finished product is a lustrous 8-inch square hardcover book, with vibrant, colorful photographs and menu options for holiday breakfast, brunch, or sweets and treats – the perfect holiday gift!

During our work on this project, we had lots of lively discussions regarding which recipes belonged in the book. Many made an appearance, then were dropped to make way for something the team liked better. But there was one that always remained everyone’s favorite – Million Dollar Pound Cake. And so we reprint that recipe here, and wish you much luck in the Charles P. Rogers Breakfast in Bed for the Holidays cookbook!

NOTE: Two cookbooks will be given away. You will have until midnight on Sunday, December 20, 2015 to respond. Winners will be announced on the Charles P. Rogers FB page shortly thereafter.

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Million Dollar Pound Cake

Mix together an obscene amount of butter, sugar, and flour; add a hefty slug of hazelnut extract. Bake for a little more than an hour and you’ll have a breakfast in bed that looks and tastes like a million dollars!

Ingredients

½ pound (2 sticks) butter, softened
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
3 cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons hazelnut extract
Powdered sugar, to sprinkle on top of cake

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Preparation

Preheat oven to 325°. Generously grease a large tube pan and set aside.

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Add butter and sugar to a large bowl, and cream together until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, until batter is light and smooth. Pour milk into small bowl and stir in vinegar. Mix flour and baking soda together. Alternately add milk mixture and flour mixture into batter, stirring thoroughly after each addition. Stir in vanilla and hazelnut extract.

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Spoon batter into tube pan, smoothing surface with spatula. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until cake is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool on rack for 30 minutes. Remove cake from pan and invert onto serving plate. Sprinkle top with powdered sugar.

Makes 1 large cake, about 20 slices.

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Breakfast in Bed – Aunt Frannie’s Irish Coffee

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Post by Alison Hein.

Do you have someone special in your family who, through masterful cooking, can elevate a simple recipe to the height of perfection? Or someone who, through artful mixing, can swirl a few splashes in a glass to create a bountiful ocean of flavor?

In my husband’s family, it’s Aunt Frannie. With just a handful of ingredients, she will mix you up one mean Irish Coffee. One sip of her concoction, and you will never want another mixed by anyone else.

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Her secret? You must use brown sugar, and you must enthusiastically muddle it with a hefty pour of fine Irish whiskey before adding coffee. Aunt Frannie likes to use Jameson whiskey (ironically established by a Scot in 1780) for its smooth, woody depth. You must also use strong, hot fresh-brewed coffee. Aunt Frannie recommends switching to decaf if you plan on having more than one – trust me, they go down just a little too easy.

The story goes that the original Irish Coffee was created in the 1940s by Joe Sheridan, a chef who worked in the Shannon port. A group of traveling Americans was looking for something warming after arriving in Ireland on a cold winter night. When one of the passengers inquired if Chef Sheridan was serving them Brazilian coffee, he replied, tongue-in-cheek like a perfect Irishman, “No, it’s Irish Coffee.”

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Even with this recipe it’s not possible to precisely recreate Aunt Frannie’s amazing Irish Coffee. (I think she secretly pours a lot of love and tradition in there!) It is possible, however, to begin your own family tradition and create an amazing Irish breakfast in bed.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon light brown sugar
¼ cup Irish whiskey
¾ cup hot, fresh-brewed coffee
Whipped cream, for garnish

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Preparation

Add sugar to a small heat-proof glass, such as an Irish coffee mug. Pour in Irish whiskey and muddle until sugar and whiskey are well-mixed. Pour in coffee and stir. Top with whipped cream and serve immediately.

Makes one Irish Coffee.

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