Category Archives: Breakfast
The Mighty Almond
Meet my new best friend, the roasted almond. This has replaced my old best friend, Mr. Chocolate Croissant, as well as his often-present bestie, Mr. Eggs Benedict, at the breakfast table, and while I cannot say I don’t miss the dynamic duo, I am at least getting by with the replacement.
Having recently sent the bathroom scale into hyperdrive, I am, as you may recall, walking a straighter path dietically speaking. It’s either that or replace an entire, carefully-curated summer wardrobe with items from the tactfully-named “Women’s” department at Bloomingdales, a prospect so horrifying that giving cinnamon toast a pass pales in comparison.
To my way of thinking there’s not much that compares to the smell and taste of homemade biscuits hot from the oven. A simpler bread there never was, nor a more adaptable one. You can fill them or roll them up with sugar and cinnamon. You can serve them at any meal of the day, accompanied by butter, jam, honey or just bear naked; they never fail to please.
If you’ve got a big Kitchen Aid mixer or the like, it does the work for you, and if you’ve followed my advice and bought yourself a pastry mat, clean up is a breeze. So this is why it surprises me that those nasty baking mixes continue to line the supermarket shelves and can readily be found in homes across America. No one would make ’em if they didn’t sell.
And don’t even get me started on this abomination. He has creeped me out ever since I learned to spin the dial on the big Motorola floor model in Grammie Sue’s living room. That giggle, the fetal dough face, the neck scarf with no pants. Gives me a shudder just thinking about it. Always has. And if you’ve never taken a squint at the nutritional content (and I’m slinging the term nutritional around here with what can only be called reckless abandon) of Bisquick or the dough boy’s demon offspring, you really should. Nasty fats and sodium levels at least double what you find in scratch made biscuits.
Occupy Breakfast: No more thick cut bacon!
When did thin crispy bacon go out of style and, more importantly, WHY ferchrissakes? I really would like an answer.
Let me tell you a little story.
Say yes to cherries!
I love cherries, but let’s be honest, the pits are a real issue. Now, I’m willing to commit to some lingual gymnastics when eating fresh ones, and actually that’s a skill set that can come in handy. Hypothetically speaking, say you’re having a pleasant evening in a bar but realize you’re a bit short on cash and suspect your cards will go all code red if swiped even one more time. Quite often, I have heard, the ability to tie that maraschino cherry stem from your Manhattan into a knot using only the tongue can be parlayed into a side bet that yields adequate funding for another round. In my younger days, I might have seen or heard of such behavior, but these days, well, anyway, let’s move on.
So, recently I was visiting Costco with a friend (and mooching off her card to buy industrial size boxes of fabric softener and Cheerios, I’ll admit) and I stumbled upon these huge bags of dried cherries. I had been buying them at the gourmet grocery for upwards of $20 a pound, but here they were at Costco (and at various sites on the web) for less than $10 a pound. And they taste as good as the high end ones. Happy day!
Let me tell you, dried cherries are the greatest things to have on hand. Tart, sweet, chewy and delicious. You can put them in your oatmeal, add them to brownies or chocolate chip cookies or apple pie, toss them in salads, or just pop a handful in your mouth when you need a little something sweet.
Eggs: The perfect food unit
I love eggs as much as I hate green peppers, which is to say quite a lot. Really, can you think of any other food that is perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner, stays fresh indefinitely and costs so little? Not even the mighty brownie, though a perfect meal at an time of the day or night, can last more than a week, even in the fridge. On the other hand, if I’m being frank, and I do try to be, brownies never last more than about an hour in my house anyway, so freshness is really not an issue. The egg, however, lends itself to infinite uses and when properly prepared is both tasty and nutritious, so let’s talk eggs.
First, quality. I’m willing to pay for free range, hormone free, vegetarian feed eggs, but I draw the line at organic. Seems unnecessary to me, but you may feel differently, and if so, go ahead and pay for them. The conditions at big chicken farms are notoriously dreadful and even though I’m not over fond of birds in general, it’s just not right to treat any of God’s creatures inhumanely, so I support the little guys who do right, or as right as can be expected, by their livestock, which is also karmically sound in my opinion. And when it comes to karma, I really can’t be too careful though, of course, I can’t speak for you.