Posts Tagged ‘brunch’

Individual Baked Eggs for New Years Day

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Once kids enter the picture, New Year’s Eve bashes tend to shift earlier, or vanish altogether, often replaced by cozy evenings at home. Truthfully, I don’t mind too much. When I was growing up, we would get together with close family friends, play games, eat junk food (potato chips and dip) and wait for the Times Square ball to drop. At 5-years and 18-months, the foodie tots haven’t reached the staying-up-till-midnight phase yet, so we’re planning to celebrate with them on London time before sending them off to bed so mama and daddy can enjoy some quiet (and maybe a little bubbly) while waiting for the ball to drop.

the breakfast trinity

New Year’s Day has become the bigger holiday for now, with a family-friendly brunch with friends. Here’s a shirred egg dish that elevates your every-day eggs into a celebration-worthy dish, perfect for starting off the year right. (I always thought that “shirred” referred to baking under cream, but apparently it’s just the baking technique. Nevertheless, the cream helps keep the eggs from drying on top, which is especially useful if your kids prefer their yolks well done.)

Serve these with coffee cake or leftover Christmas panettone (why yes, I did pick up another on sale…). Swap out the bacon for lox and you’ve got a classy, kid-friendly holiday brunch. Don’t forget the blood orange mimosas.

shirred eggs with lox

Recipe: Individual Baked (Shirred) Eggs

Ingredients:

  • 4 cage-free eggs
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter and divide among 4 small ramekins.
  2. Crack one egg into each ramekin. Pour one tablespoon cream over each, and season each with a pinch of salt and pepper (I omit the pepper for the kids).
  3. Place ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 9-10 minutes, until white looks opaque and mostly cooked through. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over tops and return to oven for another 1-2 minutes. Yolks will still be soft at this point — cook 2 more minutes or so for firm yolks if desired.

Serves 4.

Happy New Year to you & your family!

FoodieTots Review: The Whole Family Cookbook (and giveaway)

Monday, April 18th, 2011

If there’s such a thing as a family food superhero, my friend Michelle Stern surely is one. Founder of a certified-green cooking school in the San Francisco Bay area and author of the What’s Cooking with Kids blog, Michelle was invited to the White House for the launch of Chefs Move to the Schools and is leading the charge for school lunch changes in her own school district. Somehow she also found time to write The Whole Family Cookbook — a hands-on guide to getting kids into the kitchen. Her no-fuss recipes have a color-coded guide to which steps are appropriate for different age groups, and special green boxes geared to kids provide interesting facts and explanations about ingredients and sustainable eating. (And answer the question, how do those seedless watermelons reproduce, anyway?) A seasonal recipe index is a nice starting point if you’re looking for ideas for what to do with this week’s CSA or market haul. My favorite part about this book is that its recipes are simple, real food — not overly cutesy or filled with sugar. Michelle shares my philosophy that kids can get excited about healthy food, too — really!

We made the A-B-C Frittata (recipe reprinted below). He’s been very excited about learning his letters at preschool, so it was a natural choice. (For extra fun, ask your kids to think of other A-B-C combinations … like avocado, banana and coconut!) It was the boy’s first time using the box grater — grating cheese is my least favorite cooking task, so I think I may need to invest in one of the circular graters Michelle mentions in the book so he can more easily do it on his own. He also peeled the apples and cracked eggs. I made a few adjustments to the recipe, noted below, but it is definitely one we’ll be making again. The boy loves quiche, and frittatas are a little faster to put together (no crust) — also Passover-friendly for those of you observing this week, though of course you’ll want to omit the bacon if you keep kosher.

foodie tot cooks frittata

Read on for the recipe. If you’d like to win your own free copy of The Whole Family Cookbook, comment below with your kids’ favorite way to eat eggs. For an extra entry, “like” FoodieTots on Facebook and leave an additional comment here letting me know you have (or already do). Entries will be accepted until midnight (Eastern time) Thursday, April 21. Update: Congratulations to Miriam, the lucky commenter as per the random number generator. Thanks all for your comments and for joining us on Facebook!

(Can’t wait? Buy The Whole Family Cookbook on Amazon or at your local bookstore.)

Recipe: A-B-C (Apple Bacon Cheddar) Frittata
from The Whole Family Cookbook, reprinted with permission

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites**
  • 8 whole eggs**
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3 slices bacon
  • Ground Pepper, to taste
  • 2 apples, Fuji or Gala
  • 1 Tablespoon butter**

Instructions:

Put the rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat oven to 450°F.

Crack the eggs, one at a time, over a small bowl. After checking for stray shells, pour each egg into a medium bowl. To separate the egg whites, crack the egg over an egg separator or someone’s clean hands. Carefully let the egg white slip through the fingers into the bowl, with the yolk remaining. Discard the yolk or save for another recipe. Using a whisk, beat the eggs until the yolks and whites are thoroughly combined.

Grate the cheese. Younger children can help you use a rotary cheese grater (which protects their skin). Older children can use a box grater. Add half of the grated cheese to the egg mixture and stir to combine. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, to your liking.

Cook the strips of bacon. You can fry them in a skillet (watch out! They can splatter.) Or, you can bake them in the oven on a cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet. We like this method because we don’t have to turn the bacon over and the kids stay safe.

Once the bacon cools, crumble the strips with clean hands. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the apple. If you have an apple corer, you may use it. Or, simply cut up the apple, leaving the core behind. Slice the apple pieces very thinly. As you are cutting, be sure to put the flat side of the apple pieces down, so the chunks don’t wobble on your cutting board.

In a medium cast-iron or nonstick ovenproof skillet, heat the butter over medium heat.** Add egg mixture to the skillet. Sprinkle the bacon crumbles evenly over the eggs. Gently arrange the apples on top of the egg mixture, in a circular pattern. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Move the skillet from the stovetop to the upper rack of your oven. Bake until frittata is firm in the center and cheese is browned, about 20 minutes. Use a flexible spatula to loosen the frittata from the pan. Carefully slide it onto a cutting board. Allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing into wedges.

Serves 4.

apple bacon cheddar frittata

** FoodieTots notes: I cooked the bacon in my cast iron skillet, and reserved about a tablespoon of bacon drippings in the pan instead of using butter. I didn’t want to have two extra egg yolks leftover, so I used 9 whole eggs. And of course I used cage-free eggs from the farmers market.

Almond French Toast with Cherry Apricot Compote

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

As promised, July is cherry month here at FoodieTots. I know it’s the tail end of the season around DC, but elsewhere they’re just coming into season. While I bought all the Bing and sour pie cherries I could during our too-short season, I never spotted Queen Anne cherries this year — the yellow-red cherries that resemble my favorite West Coast Rainier cherries. But the Bing cherries were nice and sweet this year, and in an effort to use them in as many meals as possible I made this warm cherry apricot compote for Sunday brunch.

Recipe: Cherry Apricot Compote

Ingredients:
1 cup sweet cherries, pitted and halved
4 apricots, diced
1 tablespoon raw honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions: Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook apricots until lightly browned on one side. Add remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat until fruit is warmed through and apricots are soft, about 8-10 minutes. Serve warm over Almond French Toast (below) or your favorite pancakes or waffles. Makes 4 servings.

Recipe: Almond French Toast

Ingredients:
8 thick slices of day-old bread
1 tablespoon butter
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of ground nutmeg

Instructions: Whisk eggs in a shallow baking dish (big enough for your bread slices) until light and fluffy. Add milk, extracts and nutmeg and whisk until combined. Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Dunk slices of bread, one at a time, in the egg mixture, letting soak for a minute or so. Cook for several minutes on each side, until golden. Serve with maple syrup and or/Cherry Apricot Compote. Serves 4. Enjoy!

Farms of Origin: cherries and apricots from Black Rock Orchard (PA) @ Falls Church Farmers Market, milk from South Mountain Creamery (MD), bread from Atwater’s Bakery.

Whole Wheat Cherry Crumb Cake

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Have you ever wondered why blueberries get all the coffee cake glory? Yeah, they’re good … but cherries are bigger, brighter and perfectly sweet. I’ve been eating too many soulless Starbucks coffee cakes lately and had a craving for a real, homemade crumb cake this past weekend. I remembered reading about Smitten Kitchen’s “Big Crumb Coffee Cake” and decided to start there. I added some whole wheat pastry flour to up the whole grains, and paired nutmeg with my cherries instead of her rhubarb and ginger (not that those wouldn’t be good, but alas rhubarb has already come and gone here). The cherries came from Black Rock Orchard (PA) at the Falls Church Farmers Market.

Recipe: Whole Wheat Cherry Crumb Cake
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Big Crumb Coffee Cake

For the filling:
1 1/2 cups sweet cherries, pitted
1 tablespoon tapioca starch (or corn starch)

For the crumbs:
2/3 cup organic light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

For the cake:
1/3 cup whole milk yogurt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup demerara sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, softened

Instructions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish.

Toss cherries with tapioca starch and set aside.

To make crumb topping, melt butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and stir until combined. Fold in flour and set aside.

For the cake batter, whisk together yogurt, egg, egg yolk and vanilla. In the bowl of a mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add butter and mix on medium speed until flour is moistened. Gradually add yogurt/egg mixture and mix until smooth.

Pour the batter into the baking dish. Spread cherries over the batter, then spread crumb mixture evenly over the top. Bake 45-55 minutes, until crumb topping is lightly browned and cake is cooked through. Cool before cutting, and serve with a dusting of powdered sugar. Makes 9 servings. Enjoy!

5 for Friday: Spring Celebrations Edition

Friday, March 19th, 2010

I’m not sure I’ve ever been happier to reach Friday. And, tomorrow is the first day of Spring! In the spirit of the season, here are 5 upcoming family-friendly food events in the DC/No.VA area:

1. Sou’Wester in the Mandarin Oriental is hosting an Easter Brunch, featuring ingredients from local farms and pastry chef Amanda Cook’s homemade marshmallow “peeps” (pictured). There will also be an appearance by the Easter Bunny and Easter egg hunt on the hotel lawn. April 4, $55 for adults, including one cocktail, and $30 for children under 12 (DC).

2Jackson 20 in the renovated Hotel Monaco in Old Town Alexandria will be serving a Grand Buffet Brunch on Easter Sunday, April 4, $50 for adults, $25 for children under 12, and kids under 5 eat free (VA).

3. Dino serves a 4-course Passover menu, seder plate available by request, March 29-April 4, $55 for adults and $25 for kids (DC).

4. Pick up Josh Short’s cherry blossom cupcakes from Buzz in Alexandria — last year they had homemade “peeps” as well, it’s worth a call to see if they’re taking orders for Easter. (VA)

5. If you missed out on tickets to the White House Egg Roll, the Falls Church community Easter Egg Hunt takes place Saturday, April 3, 10:00am in Cherry Hill Park. (VA)

And a bonus #6, a recipe for homemade peeps, courtesy of Restaurant 3 in Clarendon (VA), via Metrocurean.