Breakfast in Bed:Frank’s Frittata Italiana-Mexicana

Post by by Alison Hein.

It’s one thing to have wonderful neighbors you enjoy spending time with. It’s quite another thing when your wonderful neighbors invite you to spend a few days with them in luxurious Water Mill, NY. Nothing says summer like the glorious beaches, amazing mansions, and tempting shops of The Hamptons. We enjoyed several days in Ann and Frank’s company – sailing, sunning, shopping – peppered with plenty of good wine and food, and topped off with great conversation.

I was so pleased with myself when I came up with this great idea to repay them for their generosity – I would ask Frank to create a recipe and prepare breakfast for my blog post! 😉

Frank, an accomplished and inventive cook, decided to blend two cultures in one substantial frittata, artfully mixing the flavors of Italian fried potatoes and Pecorino Romano with Mexican guacamole and salsa. The result? A savory, spicy masterpiece that thrilled with each bite. A gorgeous presentation, just right for honored guests.

Bravo and Olé! Recipes courtesy of Frank Falconieri.

We skipped the breakfast in bed this time, and enjoyed our luxurious Frittata Italiana-Mexicana poolside, Hamptons style.

Guacamole
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro or equivalent tubed cilantro paste
1 lime, peeled with pith removed
1 jar sliced jalapeño peppers (1 tablespoon juice + 3 pepper slices)
4 avocados
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
2 tablespoons hot or medium hot salsa, drained
1 teaspoon kosher or large-grained sea salt

Preparation
Coarsely chop cilantro and place 1 tablespoon in blender, set second tablespoon aside. Peel lime, slice, remove excess pith, and coarsely chop. Add lime pieces to blender. Add jalapeño pepper juice, pepper slices and salt to blender. Pulse briefly 2 to 3 times and set blender bowl aside.

Peel, pit, and coarsely chop avocados and place in medium bowl. Add onions, drained salsa, remaining tablespoon of cilantro and salt. Mash with a potato masher for a textured consistency. Stir in blended cilantro-lime mixture. Adjust taste according to preference.

Frittata
1 tablespoon high-heat olive oil
1 – 1 ½ cups sliced, pan-fried or roasted potatoes (enough to cover the bottom of pan)
½ cup grilled or boiled corn kernels
7 eggs (extra large or jumbo)
1 tablespoon good quality virgin olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese
2 10-inch tortillas (in dairy section of most supermarkets)
Cooking spray
1 cup sour cream
½ cup salsa
A few sprigs cilantro

Preparation
Pour high heat olive oil into a 10-inch ovenproof heavy frying pan, and place on stove over medium-high heat. Preheat broiler. Add potatoes to pan and spread to cover, pressing down slightly. Add corn, distributing evenly on top of the potatoes. Allow to cook until set, about 5 minutes.

While potatoes and corn are heating, break eggs into a large bowl, add virgin olive oil, and whisk until smooth and thickened. Pour eggs gently over potato-corn mixture (do not stir), cover, and continue to cook until eggs are set around the edges, about 5 minutes. Generously sprinkle top of frittata with Pecorino Romano. Place frying pan under broiler, about 5 inches from direct heat and broil frittata until eggs are firm and do not jiggle, about 3 minutes.

As the frittata is broiling, place a separate, large frying pan over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray, and brown tortillas lightly on both sides. Place one tortilla on a large platter. Spoon enough guacamole over the bottom tortilla to cover, spreading pizza sauce style from center to rim. Gently free and carefully slide the frittata onto the guacamole-covered tortilla, then top with the remaining tortilla. Recommended garnishes include sour cream, salsa, and cilantro. Serve immediately with guacamole on the side.

Makes 6 servings.

Tip: Use the best serrated knife to cut, since warm tortillas tend to shred.

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Bedroom Design: Shades of Gray

Post by Erin Sears.

Glorious Gray

Living in Portland, Oregon, I’m accustomed to gray.  We’re old friends.  I’ve accepted that soon the blue skies of summer will be replaced by the cozy gray dome that we live under for most of the year.  You’d think I’d be sick of gray, but gray happens to be one of the hottest colors in home décor right now and I love it!  Painting a bedroom gray is a great way to provide your room with a grounding neutral color to which you can add luscious pops of color.  Yellows, purples, turquoise and hot pink all look stunning against a gray base.  Conversely, adding gray accessories in a room adds an element of sophistication.  It shows that you know what you’re doing.  In the September 2012 issue of House Beautiful readers listed gray as one of their favorite color choices.  Let’s take a closer look:

Source: House Beautiful

Gray tufted bed with hot pink accent pillow and monogrammed shams.  So elegant!

Source: http://www.atelierabigailahern.com/

The red bed and yellow pillow really stand out against the washed gray wall.  It’s rustic and cozy.

Source: www.houzz.com Jessica Lagrange Interiors

Source: http://www.charlesprogers.com/european-linen-duvet-shams-p-162.html?cPath=3_15

If you aren’t able to commit to painting your room or you are still saving up for that special bed purchase, how about choosing gray bed linens?  Try the European linen duvet and shams from Charles P. Rogers.  Nothing brings a room together faster than good bedding.  Enjoy!

 

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Bedtime Stories: Jumanji

Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg.

You’ve probably never heard of this book before. Chris Van Allsburg is an obscure 18th Dutch children’s author from the town of Blokzijl. The word “Jumanji” is an archaic term from an obscure dialect meaning “to harness one’s sorrows and transform them into hopes”.
—Hang on, I’m getting a message:

What’s that? Oh, it turns out that Chris Van Allsburg is from Michigan and his books have sold millions and Jumanji was made into a best-selling movie starring Robbie Williams—sorry—Robin Williams.

Well, I can’t introduce you to something new every week, now can I???

Well, my kid got the 30th anniversary edition of Jumanji for his birthday. I can’t believe it’s over thirty years old now! Anyways, this particular edition came with an audio version of the book read by Robbie Robin Williams. Honestly, he does a pretty good job reading the story. He is an actor, after all. There’s some weird saxophone thing going on during the intro and at the end, but otherwise it’s perfectly fine. I was thinking about all this tonight as my son cried and cried to please listen to Jumanji. Again. After all, like I said, it’s pretty good.

But not that good.

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Bedroom Design: Best Bedroom Colors


Post by Kyle St. Romain.

Choosing the best bedroom colors can be a difficult task, especially if it’s the first time you get to choose the color of your bedroom. Most apartments and rental homes leave the bedroom walls white, and for very good reason: white goes with everything. However, white can be boring, especially the drab white landlords use. If you’re ready to add some color to your bedroom, I’ve compiled a list of the three best bedroom colors and why.

1. Neutrals
Many people hear neutral colors and think, “boring,” but this doesn’t have to be the case. Neutral colors create an ideal backdrop to frame the rest of your bedroom design against, and are more forgiving for novice designers. They also work well with different designs, which allows you to easily update the décor of your bedroom without having to repaint. Included in the broad category of neutrals is everything from white to gray, which is actually a lot. Take a trip to your local home improvement or paint store and see for yourself: you’ll be surprised how many different shades of white you can choose from.

2. Earth Tones
Earth tones include the more muted shades of brown and green. Remember, you want to feel relaxed when you enter your bedroom and lime green probably isn’t the best way to conjure that feeling. Earth tones make it easy to envision what colors to incorporate in your overall design too; simply think of what colors you’d find in a forest. Bright red is an excellent color to use for your statement piece with an earthy palette, just doesn’t overdo it.

3. Blues
The number of shades of blue you can choose from can be overwhelming. To help narrow your choices, first decide between light and dark blue. Dark blue will create a deep, mature feeling in the bedroom, while light blues are generally considered more light and airy. Use white to accent your blue walls. White floorboards, headboards, and furniture contrast nicely with any shade of blue.

What do you think is the best bedroom color? Let us know in the comments below.

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Breakfast in Bed: Homemade Ricotta Cheese on Grilled Bread

Post by Alison Hein.

One recent morning, groping around in my fridge for the usual breakfast fare, I came up empty-handed. No eggs. No cheese. No juice. Well, wait a minute. I did have one quart of whole milk and a couple of lemons. Add to that a few slices of French bread from last night’s dinner, and an image begins to form in my mind… Rich, homemade ricotta cheese, still warm from the stove, slathered on buttery golden bread, generously sprinkled with tangy lemon zest.

Ricotta cheese is astonishingly easy to make. You’ll need whole milk, and some lemon juice or vinegar. And, although it can be made without, a little cheesecloth and a candy thermometer make the process even easier. Some people like to add cream or buttermilk for a richer flavor. Add salt or not, and let the cheese rest longer for a heavier feel. I encourage you to try it a few times, then hone the recipe to your taste. So nice to cook with – add some to an omelet, or your favorite Italian dish.

Turns out necessity is not only the mother of invention, but sometimes the genesis of a simple, rich and tangy breakfast in bed.

Equipment
Cheesecloth
Candy thermometer
Ingredients
1 lemon (2 tablespoons juice)
1 quart whole milk
½ teaspoon salt (optional)
1 tablespoon butter
4 slices French or Italian bread
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation
Using a lemon zester or grater, remove one to two teaspoons of lemon zest. Slice lemon in half. Juice lemon and set lemon juice and zest aside. Line a colander with a double layer of cheesecloth and place in sink.

Pour milk into heavy saucepan, and stir in salt. Place over medium heat, until milk reaches a temperature of 180° to 185°. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Let milk mixture sit for one to two minutes, until curds and whey separate. Carefully remove curds with slotted spoon, and place in cheesecloth-lined colander to drain. Discard whey. Allow curds to drain for at least 10 minutes, up to one hour. (The consistency of the cheese will become firmer with longer draining time.) Place in bowl and refrigerate if not using right away. Fresh ricotta will last several days in the refrigerator.

To grill bread, melt butter in heavy frying pan over medium heat. Add bread slices and cook until golden brown, turning once, about 2 minutes. Spoon equal portions of ricotta onto bread, season with salt and pepper, and garnish with lemon zest.

This recipe can be easily increased to make more cheese – use the same proportions, up to one gallon of milk.

Makes about ⅔ cup ricotta cheese, and 2 servings of grilled bread.


 

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