Tuesday Reviews-Day: Breakfast

Tuesday Revews-Day

We’re big fans of breakfast around here, though we seldom eat it at the “traditional” breakfast time. During the week it’s all about the race to get out the door and to the office, and on the weekends I’m more for sleeping in than getting up early to eat.

So super-informal brunch happens a lot, as does brinner (breakfast for dinner). We do that at least once a week, so when I told Todd we’d be having a lot more breakfasts his response was “oh, twist my arm.”

Why the uptick in egg-laden meals? Because I received a copy of Breakfast: the Most Important Book About the Best Meal of the Day for review. And if you’ve read this blog long enough, you know I feel duty-bound to make several recipes from a cookbook before offering up any sort of review.

I opened the book with a pad of sticky-notes in hand, expecting to flip through the book and pick out the promising menu items and move on quickly to creating my grocery list but found myself, quite a while later, barely having scratched the surface.

Some cookbook fans love to read a new cookbook like a novel. Others wonder how that’s even possible. With Breakfast, it’s more like reading a collection of essays. Created by the editors of Extra Crispy, Breakfast is easily half information and half recipes. There are infographics, history lessons, personal anecdotes, and comparison guides galore. And lots of eye-catching, slightly retro-feeling photography, too.

But the recipes, how are they? We sampled six of them, ranging from the more traditional to the how-does-this-classify-as-breakfast, and the overall feeling is they were all tasty, indeed. I did have some issues (like the recipe that serves 4, shows an egg on top of each serving, but only calls for 1-2 eggs… Oooookay) or lacking salt and pepper in other recipes, but the key pieces are there and you can generally infer the rest.

The luxurious Ham & Cheese Dutch Baby…

I was first introduced to the Dutch Baby shortly after graduating high school. Sense then I’ve made them many times, but never–for whatever reason–did it occur to make them savory, topped with black forest ham and cheese. That was unfortunate because the Ham & Cheese Dutch Baby was amazing. Even without the savory topping, the density of the custard (in part because my pan was a bit smaller than called for) was heavenly, and the leftovers reheated beautifully for lunch.

Next up was the Squash and Spam Hash. I had never had Spam before, but figured this was as good a time as any to rectify that issue. While it won’t be making my regular rotation, combining it with yellow squash, zucchini, and corn was not a bad introduction to the spiced ham in a can.

This next one got a bit of a brow-raise from Todd, but I had to try it! Ramen Carbonara–billed as a hangover cure to end all hangover cures–was quite tasty. It does not call for those sodium-packed seasoning packets, so fear not on that score, and I had some gluten-free ramen noodles in the pantry which worked just fine. I’m a big fan of carbonara in general, so adding a little more egg was not a hard sell for me.

The Mojito Pancakes might have been one of the more involved recipes I made from Breakfast, but only because it included making a flavored butter and doctoring the syrup in addition to make this actual pancakes.

But the effort was worth it! These pancakes were so amazing and the lime and rum-spiked syrup was just a thing of beauty in and of itself. This was probably my favorite of what we’ve sampled so far.

Next up was the Texas Red Chili and Eggs. I’m all for a no-bean chili (which is why this recipe appealed to me to begin with) but–and I never thought I’d hear myself say this–I missed the tomatoes. The meat was great, the chili blend on point (though why we soaked the anchos but not the guajillos I’m still fuzzy on), but I think I would have liked this just as much with the meat shredded and on a bun rather than in a bowl topped with an egg.

Finally we have the Instant Pot Burrito. As with many Instant Pot recipes, it’s more the novelty that you can make it in there than the pressure cooking really adds to the recipe in any way. Sure, it was nice that I could leave it to cook while I went and hung up laundry, but it wasn’t necessary, either. They were good burritos, though!

Thus we close the book on Breakfast… for now. I still have several other recipes marked to try at some point in the future. This book makes a great gift for a brunch-loving foodie that won’t be relegated to the shelf. It’ll be perfectly at home on the coffee table, the breakfast table, or the reading nook and could spark quite a few lively discussions around the table or elsewhere.

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of Breakfast in exchange for an honest review. All opinions (and errors) are mine and mine alone. Affiliate links have been used in this post, should you choose to support the book and this blog at the same time.

A Little Apres-Theatre Meal


We were uncommonly social this week between Todd’s company Christmas dinner, TOSAC’s production of It’s a Wonderful Life, the 1940s Radio Play version, and a birthday lunch for a friend. A very busy week.


That means, of course, that our menu was a little scrambled, just like the eggs after the play.

I knew from previous experience that trying to squeeze in dinner before the show could screw up in several ways, but Thomasville doesn’t generally have anything but drive-throughs open when the play ends, so something quick to prepare afterwards is key. Breakfast for dinner is always nice and simple, and these Creamy Eggs Florentine really hit the spot.

There’s not really a recipe, just a general procedure:

Whisk together 6 eggs, a generous splash of milk, salt, pepper, dry mustard, and smoked paprika (all to taste) and pour into a hot pan and cook without stirring until the eggs are nearly set. Add in a heaping handful of baby spinach that’s been torn or chopped and a couple ounces of cream cheese that’s been cut or pinched into cubes. Stir until cheese starts to melt and spinach starts to melt.

With a couple pieces of buttered toast and some sliced sausage it was a very tasty, very filling, and very fast supper.

What did the rest of our week look like?


Monday was a batch of Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew served over rice. Now, I’d made this before, and I recall enjoying it. But Monday evening I was just so blah and uninterested I only picked at mine. Fortunately, I found my appetite for the leftovers, but I think it needs less tomato and more something else, should I make this again.


Tuesday’s plans went to hell after a last-minute meeting ran late and I didn’t get home until an hour later than usual, just before Todd, and by the time we’d compared notes from our respective days it ended up being a Jimmy John’s night. So Wednesday night I made what I’d been planning to for the previous night, roasted Brats and Vegetables (from Grab a Plate).

Friday was the play and the aforementioned breakfast for dinner, and on Saturday was the birthday lunch at Coosh’s. That night for supper we just set out meats and cheeses to graze upon–it’s the second weekend we’ve done that and it’s rather convenient not having to worry about stopping whatever project we we’re in the midst of to make dinner. Grazing for the win, am I right?


Sunday I made a favorite stand-by recipe: Chicken and Dumplings. Normally this would have been a perfect meal for a winter weekend, but we had an unseasonably warm and muggy weekend, so this was a bit overkill. Tasty overkill, but not exactly in line with the weather.

And that’s another week done in the kitchen. Todd’s on deck for this week leading up to Christmas and I have no idea what we’re doing for the holiday. My family is out of town and we’re taking a very low-key approach this year since we’re both more or less exhausted by life in general at the moment. Anyone else skipping the holiday hustle and bustle this year?

S’Waffled Toast and More!


Gooooooood morning! What’s so good about it? Um…. it’s here and we’re here to see it! (And that’s far better than the alternative!)

Direct link for the feed readers: View From the Counter Top, Episode 3)

I have no specific reason for being so chipper today, but I am, so I’m just going to roll with it. Join me?

Meals at home for 4/4-4/10

Meals at home for 4/4-4/10

Looking back on the past week’s menu, I think it was one of my more enjoyable weeks, food-wise. There’s always room for improvement, but I feel like it was well-balanced (both in time spent preparing the food as well as the variety of dishes). Here’s how it broke down:

Monday: Chicken & Chickpea Chopped Salad
This recipe from Ambitious Kitchen was a good start to the week. Quick and easy to prepare and it tasted so good! The winning flavor combo was the goat cheese + barbecue sauce. It pretty much made the salad. I can see us making this again.

Tuesday: Night out with friends!
First Tuesday’s mean a meet-up and we were once again at Northside Pies. I was in the mood for appetizers but messed up my order and was “that girl” who orders one gluten-free item and one gluten-full one. D’oh! I meant to order the Caprese Salad to go with my cheese bread on a gluten-free base, but there was some sort of short circuit between my brain and my mouth and I ordered the Feta Bruschetta instead. Oh, well! The good thing about the whole Low-FODMAP thing is that the effects are cumulative, and by reducing the amount of wheat (and therefore fructans) by having the one gluten-free item I could indulge in the accidental order and enjoy it as long as I didn’t eat the whole thing myself. (I shared some, ate some, and took the rest home for later.) I neglected to get a picture, though–oops!

Wednesday: Braised Tilapia with Artichoke Hearts + Steamed Kale
This recipe came from an old Menu Mailer subscription (but is available in this post on Saving Dinner). It’s a good, simple, but not boring fish dinner recipe and the only real change I made was to sub green onions for yellow and my arrowroot slurry for the wheat flour she suggests to thicken the pan drippings into a sauce. Forgo the lumps and use a slurry, it’ll make meal prep so much simpler.

Thursday: Chicken & Sweet Potato Stew + Brown Rice
Ah, freezer meals, they make our lives so much easier. This one needs something, but I’m not 100% sure what just yet. The recipe is from Stock Piling Moms, though mine looks a lot more tomatoey than hers does. I think a can of coconut milk might have been a good addition instead of the cup of broth added just before crocking. Or maybe just a bit more seasonings overall as once it was combined with the rice it lost some of it oomph. Not bad, just needs a little tweaking.

Friday: S’Waffled Toast + Sausage
Todd was a little late getting home so I had time to ponder what I was going to do with the French toast for dinner. Not that French toast on its own is anything but delicious, but I felt like playing a bit. Waffled French toast is nothing new around the ‘net, and a quick search turns up stuffed versions, too, so this isn’t exactly an earth-shattering invention on my part. But I do like my name for it (stuffed and waffled French toast is a bit of a mouthfull, you know? pun intended). My version of this recipe is at the bottom of this post.

Saturday: Sushi Bowls + Spring Rolls
I could eat sushi almost any or every night of the week and be blissfully happy. My wallet might not agree, nor do I always have time to make it at home. But sushi bowls are another thing entirely. Sometimes I’ll use it as a side dish but often it can stand on its own with no problem–it just depends on what you add to it! This version had the usual sweet potato, green onions, avocado, and nori plus little green peas, carrots, and sliced fried egg. And if you want to make your own Yummy sauce (aka Yum Yum Sauce, aka Japanese Steakhouse White Sauce, etc.) here’s a recipe from AllRecipes.

Sunday: (Crock) Pot Roast + Carrots + Mashed Potatoes
Sometimes you just want a good, old-fashioned Sunday dinner and this was one of those times. My best pot roast is always one done in the slow-cooker, and this one was simply seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic olive oil, and Worcestershire sauce. I propped it up on a bed of whole carrots (peeled but otherwise intact) and only added the barest amount of water to the crock pot so I wouldn’t come home to stew. There was still plently of pan juices to turn into gravy, and because the carrots were cooking in it more than the roast it was almost like a carrot jus and made for a slightly sweet gravy.

S'Waffled Toast

S’Waffled Toast

S’Waffled Toast

For the Filling:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, mashed
2 Tbsp sugar

For the Toast:
3 eggs
2 cups milk
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp vanilla (or more, to taste)
10 slices bread

Preheat your waffle iron to the crispy settling and spray it with non-stick spray. (Most irons advise against this but I always ignore that–this is a messy recipe and this will make it much easier to clean up later.)

Combine the filling ingredients and adjust the sweetness to taste. If you don’t have fresh or frozen berries, I’d bet that you could stir preserves into the cream cheese and omit the sugar and be just fine.

Mix together in a medium-sized bowl the eggs, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla.

Spread the filling mixture generously on one side of a piece of bread and place a second slice on top. Depending on the size and configuration of your waffle iron and the shape of your bread, you may want to cut the sandwiches in half.

Dunk the sandwiched bread into the liquid, covering on all sides.

Place onto the waffle iron and close the lid securely. My waffle iron always needs two rounds of cooking to get anything done, these s’waffled toasts were no exception. Your mileage may vary depending on your waffle iron, use your best judgement.

Carefully remove the finished toasts from the waffle iron, serve with powdered sugar or syrup, as is the custom, and enjoy!

Have a tasty week!