Breakfast

Potato Bake

This potato bake recipe is now my family’s favorite. It’s great for brunch on Sundays.

Ingredients

1 bag frozen fried potatoes ( store bought)

1 cup of milk

Deli Ham or deli turkey or pre cooked sausage or deli sausage

Mozzarella cheese

Parmesan cheese

Onion ( white or yellow onion, diced)

Sweet peppers

1 Tablespoon butter

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Set oven to 400F degrees. Place the potato fries on a baking dish. Set aside.

Add 1 TBSP butter to a pan at medium heat. When butter has melted add the deli Ham ( or turkey or sausage.) Let it cook until it starts to brown on the edges. Add onions and sweet peppers ( optional ) and continue to saute until all ingredients are mixed in and well cooked. Add the warm cup of milk and mix well. Let the mix continue to cook until the milk starts to simmer. Pour the mix over the potatoes on the baking dish. Top with mozzarella cheese ( lots !!)

Let it bake for 40 minutes. Check the cheese and if it has completely melted you may add some more or parmesan cheese.

Enjoy! 🙂

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My Sunday Brunch Buffet

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A glimpse of my Sunday Brunch!

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Croissants are ready.

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day! I take that really seriously on my Sunday brunch! I cook a delicious and hearty mix of baked and non-baked goodies for my family every Sunday. It’s just wonderful! The smell of the baked bread or croissants out of the oven, the noise of the sizzling sausages on the pan draws each member of my family to the kitchen. Fresh fruits are also at the center of this bounty!  Here are some pics of our brunch from today. Watch at your own risk! You may end up with a drooling mouth and screaming taste buds. (Just kidding.) Enjoy!  🙂

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Croissants in the oven!

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Ham Fritata. Yum!

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Fresh Baked French Bread

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Sweet Strawberries and Blueberries. My favorite!

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Mangoes.

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Pancakes!

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Everything else plus sausages and some gouda miniature cheese! 🙂

Bignets – French Doughnuts – Bon Appétit!

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Beautiful bignet getting covered with confectioners sugar.

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Breakfast with Bignets

I made the bignets! Granted, I made them from the box mix, but still… It’s time for celebration. They worked out great. My kids helped and they were extremely happy. Instructions in the box were super easy to follow. However, the texture of the dough was very different from what I had expected. I decided to faithfully follow the amount of water indicated in the box, and the mixture came out perfect although a bit tricky to handle. Here are some pictures.

Prepare the mix after the instructions on the box, literally. I loved remembering my little French (un = one, deux = two, trois = three, quatre = four) and teaching my kids the pronunciation… Fun! Fun! Fun!

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Instructions on the box are super easy to follow.

Once mix is ready drop a spoonful on a counter with a ‘lot’ of flour.

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Mix is ready to go to a bed of flour..

IMG_5377Get the mixture covered with a lot of flour and drop it in preheated oil (make sure it’s VERY hot.)

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Dough consistency almost feels like a drop of water.

Once they are golden brown on both sides, take them out.

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Brown on both sides before taking bignets out.

Have a bowl ready with powdered confectioners sugar. Cover the bignets completely with sugar and serve.

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Dress the bignet in confectioners sugar before serving.

YUM!

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Tortilla, a Spanish Word with Two Meanings

 

My Mexican friends and those from Spain may both speak Spanish, but they don’t mean the same when they say “Tortilla.” 🙂 In Spain ‘tortilla’ is a mix of beaten eggs and anyone of the following: Veggies, cold cuts, beef, chicken or even fish. You may think ‘omelet’ but Spain is very particular about Tortillas and they would rather have you not mistake them for omelets. They are delicious, by the way! On the other hand, corn and flour tortillas are at the heart of Mexican cuisine.

Here is my take on two recipes which may help explain (or so I hope.)

Spanish Tortilla (from Spain)

  • Ingredients:

1 egg per person, cooked potatoes cut in cubes, diced white onion (about 1/4), 1 diced tomato, 2 slices of ham, cubed. Salt to taste.

  • Directions

Start by adding 1 tsp of butter to a pan. Add the onions. When the onions are starting to turn clear, add the diced tomato. Cook for a minute and then add the potatoes, and the ham. Mix well and let it saute for about 3 minutes. Add the eggs. I like to experiment, so I add 1 whole egg and then I beat the other eggs before mixing them all in. 🙂

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In the end of this step, it should look like this:

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Turn when you see the eggs starting to cook completely

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Turn once again and serve! 🙂

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Spanish Tortilla or Tortilla de Patatas

My Mexican corn tortilla recipe is extremely easy to make and it is wonderful for breakfast, snack, light lunch or even dinner, accompanying a main dish. It can even be a dessert if you sprinkle the ending folded tortilla with brown sugar and cinnamon.

  • Ingredients

3 corn tortillas per person (they’ll want more…), cheese (you may use mozzarella, queso fresco, queso cotija or queso panela.) 2-4 TBSP canola oil. Salt.

  • Directions

Start by heating up the oil in a pan. Add the corn tortillas and let them stand against each other as shown in this image below. You will see them softening and at that point, you may add the cheese in the center.

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Fold them and let them continue frying.

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Turn them to make sure they’re golden brown on each side. Serve and enjoy! 🙂

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Mexican Quesadillas Fritas (made with corn tortillas)

Bread – The Oldest Food and my Favorite Dining Companion

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Bread Variety

Bread is most likely humanity’s oldest prepared food item. Versatile, adaptable, resourceful, multifaceted, and multicultural too. The earliest recorded time reporting the presence of flour in Europe was 30,000 years ago.

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Sliced French Bread

Bread was part of the table service in medieval Europe. It was used as a trencher or plate charger, while it absorbed all the saucy components of the meal. At the end, it either ended up being consumed by the guest, by the poor, or given to the dogs. Wooden plates only surfaced around the 15th century. I think something from the trencher days remains today: Soup on a bread bowl. Delicious!

Often I wonder what would I do without bread. I have bread for breakfast almost every day. Sandwiches are my favorite light lunch option, regardless of  season or place in the planet. Finally, there is nothing better than a warm piece of fine bread to go with any beef cut or pasta. When I go shopping I find myself picking up at least 3 or 4 kinds of breads.

Here is my favorite: Pita bread with  black olives! 🙂 My Dad had his own version where he mashed all the black olives with a fork, ending up with a paste. He taught us to eat it by simply spreading over pita bread ‘for breakfast!’ We learned to love it. Why wouldn’t we? I am teaching my kids to eat it too.. So far, 2 thumbs up from them as well.

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Pita Bread and Black Olives