Tag Archives: breakfast

Dude Looks Like a Lady

Today is day five of 12 Days of Oscar, and the second film in this year’s series that’s an Oscar winner.  The 1993 film Mrs. Doubtfire won the Academy Award for Best Makeup, the only category in which it was nominated.  Following a divorce, Daniel Hillard (Robin Williams) works to find a way to spend more time with his children and Miranda Hillard (Sally Field) finds that she needs someone to watch the children after school.  Daniel, disguised as English nanny Mrs. Doubtfire, applies for and wins the job and hilarity ensues as he tries to not get caught.

There are so many great food moments in this film.  The run-by fruiting, the cake Mrs. Doubtfire dunks her face into, and the gumbo at dinner are just a few. My favorite though, is when Mrs. Doubtfire tries to make a fancy dinner her first day on the job and it ends disastrously.  “This hollandaise smells like burnt rubber,” she says before realizing her rubber chest is on fire. “First day on the job and I’m already having hot flashes, ” she says using pot lids to put out the flames.  Yes, hollandaise can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be.  Hollandaise sauce is an emulsion of egg yolk and melted butter and traditional methods call for a lot of whisking.  This method uses an immersion blender and is by far the easiest, most fool-proof way to make hollandaise sauce I have ever encountered.  This was fantastic for eggs Benedict. Oh, and while we’re being non-traditional and improving efficiency I also used a muffin pan to poach the eggs.

eggs benedict

Quick and Easy Hollandaise Sauce (and Muffin Tin Poached Eggs for Eggs Benedict)


for the hollandaise sauce:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. water
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 stick (8 Tbsp.) butter

for eggs Benedict:

  • 1 English muffin per serving
  • 2 eggs per serving
  • 2 slices Canadian bacon per serving


To make the hollandaise sauce, combine the egg yolk, water, lemon juice, and pinch of salt in the bottom of a cup that barely fits the head of your immersion blender.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over high heat, swirling the pan constantly, until the foaming stops.

Transfer the butter to a liquid measuring cup.

Place the head of the immersion blender into the bottom of the cup and turn it on.

Slowly pour the hot butter into the cup while the immersion blender running.  The butter should emulsify with the egg yolk forming a sauce.

Continue pouring the butter until all of the butter has been added.  The sauce should be thick and creamy.

Season to taste with salt if needed and add a pinch of cayenne pepper if desired.

**If you are going to make eggs Benedict, I suggest making the sauce last**  If you need to keep the hollandaise sauce warm, put it into a lidded pot and keep it in a warm place (such as an oven on the “warm” setting) until ready to serve.  It will only hold for about an hour and can not be cooled and reheated.

To make eggs Benedict start by poaching the eggs.  To poach them in a muffin pan, heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Put 1 Tbsp. of water in each muffin pan cavity (one cavity per egg, depending on how many eggs you are making).

Crack one egg into each cavity that has water in it.

Bake the eggs for 8-10 minutes.

Gently remove the eggs from the pan with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel lined plate.

Heat the Canadian bacon in a skillet until heated through.

Toast the English muffins.

To assemble, place one slice of Canadian bacon onto each English muffin half and top each half with a poached egg.  Top with hollandaise sauce.

Makes 1 1/2 C. of hollandaise sauce

Source: hollandaise from Serious Eats; muffin pan poached eggs from Life Hacker

eggs benedict hollandaise

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So . . . I realized this year as the Academy Awards were approaching that I haven’t posted here since last year’s Academy Awards.  Time really got away from me while I settled into my new position at work and planned our wedding.  Then once the holidays were here and gone, we started discussing redecorating.  Now we have a list of paint colors, kitchen improvements, and a family room project that has involved more drilling (and swearing) than I’ve heard either of us manage since we met. Since I can’t very well just let my beautiful new gas stove go to waste, I figured there is no time like the present to get this blog back into shape.

Without further ado, let’s start the 2015 installment of 12 Days of Oscar.  The first film this year is Casino.  Released in 1995, Casino stars Robert De Niro as Sam “Ace” Rothstein, who is sent by the Italian mob to oversee operations at the fictional Tangiers casino in Las Vegas.  He doubles the casino’s profits and those profits are skimmed by the mob.  Joe Pesci joins Ace as Nicky Santor0, who initially protects Ace but then becomes a dangerous liability. Sharon Stone plays Ginger McKenna, Ace’s wife.  Things take a turn for the worse when the mob notices they are getting less money and move in to regain control of the situation.  Sharon Stone was nominated for Best Actress for her role in Casino; the award went to Susan Sarandon for her role in Dead Man Walking.

In one scene, Ace looks at his blueberry muffin and that of his breakfast companion and notices they are unequal.  He tells the baker “From now on, I want you to put an equal amount of blueberries in each muffin.”  The baker thinks this is an impossible task, but Ace holds firm.  This is a testament to his attention to detail.  I admit, I didn’t count how many blueberries went into each of these muffins.  There were plenty of blueberries in every bite, and that’s good enough for me.  The lemon glaze is a great addition and really helps to bring out the blueberry flavor without making the muffin too sweet.

lemon blueberry muffins

Lemon Blueberry Muffins with Lemon Glaze


  • 2 C. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 C. sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 C. butter
  • 1 1/4 C. low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp. grated lemon rind
  • 1 C. blueberries
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 C. powdered sugar


Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Spoon flour into a dry measuring cup and level with a knife.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg in a medium bowl.

Cut in butter using a pastry blender or 2 knives, until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Combine buttermilk, egg, and lemon rind and whisk.

Add buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until moist.

Gently fold in the blueberries.

Coat 12 muffin pan cavities with cooking spray (or grease with butter).

Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared muffin pan.

Bake for 20 minutes, until the muffins spring back when lightly touched.

Remove the muffins from the pan immediately and place them on a wire rack to cool.

To glaze the muffins, combine the lemon juice and powdered sugar in a small bowl and then drizzle evenly over the cooled muffins.

Makes 12 muffins.

Source: Cooking Light

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Wazoo Junction

So . . . can we count today as day seven and day eight of the 12 Days of Oscar?  For the first time in 12 Days of Oscar history, I skipped a day.  I swear I had my assignment done, but a few reeeeeaaaaaalllly long work days got the better of me and I needed a night off.  To get back on track, today we have the last of Oscar winners past and then we’ll discuss this year’s Oscar nominees.

The final previous Oscar winner in this year’s series is the 1992 movie My Cousin Vinny.  Marisa Tomei won the Oscar for Best Actress for her role as Mona Lisa Vito, the girlfriend of loudmouth New York lawyer Vinny Gambini (Joe Pesci).  The pair find themselves in rural Alabama when Vinny’s cousin is put on trial for murder on his way back to college.  This is a classic fish-out-of-water story with some of my all-time favorite one-liners.

There are few lines as good as the ones Gambino delivers when he is served grits for the first time in a diner.  That is, unless you count his dialogue about grits while he’s in court.  Grits actually factor into this movie more than you think grits could ever factor into anything.  I didn’t eat grits until I was thirty, true story.  Grits aren’t something that you encounter very often as a lifelong New Englander.  Then, like a lot of things, I learned to make grits well and the rest is history.  My favorite method is this one, which results in creamy, cheesy, delicious grits.  Oh, and grits are totally not just a breakfast thing.  Cheese grits with shrimp is an amazing dinner.

cheese grits

Cheese Grits


  • 4 C. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 C. old-fashioned grits
  • 4 oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • salt and pepper


Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan.

Add the garlic and slowly stir the grits.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring, for 20 minutes, until the grits are tender.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cheese, butter, and cream.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Source:  Food and Wine

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Our Position

Moving along in our 12 Days of Oscar feature, we have the last of the films in this series that were nominated for but did not win an Oscar.  The 1998 film Primary Colors was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, and Kathy Bates was nominated for Best Supporting Actress.  Primary Colors is a (barely) fictional account of Southern Governor Stanton’s (John Travolta) run for the U.S. Presidency.

In one scene, Jack Stanton is seen chatting with a clerk at a Krispy Kreme shop in Manchester, New Hampshire.  In real life, Manchester, New Hampshire does not have a Krispy Kreme.  In real life for me the closest Krispy Kreme is an hour away and inside a casino.  This is great news for my waistline, but not so great news when a craving hits.  Luckily I don’t crave them often because this recipe is as close a replica as I could ever make at home.

krispy kreme

Krispy Kreme Glazed Doughnuts


for the doughnuts:

  • 4 1/2 tsp. yeast
  • 1/3 C. warm water (105-115 degrees)
  • 1 1/2 C. milk
  • 1/2 C. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 C. butter or shortening
  • 5 C. all-purpose flour
  • canola oil for frying

for the glaze:

  • 1/2 C. butter, melted
  • 2 C. powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 5-7 Tbsp. evaporated milk


Combine the water and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Let it sit for 5 minutes, until yeast dissolves.

In a medium-sized microwave safe bowl, heat the milk for 2 minutes, then remove and set aside to cool for a few minutes.

Add the milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening or butter, and 2 C. of the flour to the yeast mixture.

Mix for 2 minutes at medium speed.

Add the remaining 3 C. of flour and continue to mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until a sticky dough forms.

Place the dough into a large greased bowl, cover loosely with a clean dish towel, and let rise for 1-2 hours until doubled.

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness.

Cut into doughnuts either using a doughnut cutter or a round cookie cutter (3-4″ in diameter) and a smaller round cookie cutter (about 1″ in diameter) for the center.

Let rest for 10 minutes.

Pour oil into a large deep skillet until it is about 3 inches high and heat over medium heat until the oil is 375 degrees.

Carefully drop the doughnuts, 3-4 at a time depending on the size of your skillet, into the oil.

Fry for 3 minutes, flipping once, until golden brown.

Remove to drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

Repeat the process of rolling out the dough, cutting out the doughnuts, and frying and draining them until all dough has been used.

To prepare the glaze, melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl.

Stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla until combined.

Add evaporated milk until you have reached the desired consistency.

Drop the doughnuts one at at time into the glaze, flip, and place on a wire rack (put waxed paper underneath for easier cleanup as the glaze will drip).

Source: adapted from Instructables

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Fire in Your Heart

In Olympics news yesterday, Steven Holcomb and Steven Langston won the U.S. its first two-man bobsleigh medal since 1952, a bronze.  Figure skaters Meryl Davis and Charlie White won the first-ever U.S. gold medal in Olympic ice dancing.  The U.S. women’s ice hockey team beat Sweden 6-1 and will face Canada for the gold medal.

Day twelve of the Sochi Olympics brings us to the thirteenth installment of our Winter Olympics feature.  Today we look at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics.  These Winter Games were the first to not be held in the same year as the Summer Olympics, and the first to be held just two years after the previous Winter Olympics.  U.S. figure skater Nancy Kerrigan won a silver medal in the ladies single skate, just seven weeks after an incident in which she was clubbed in the knee by an associate of her rival Tonya Harding (who finished eighth in the event).

Today, to celebrate Norway, we have skoleboller.  Skoleboller are a bun, filled with vanilla custard, then frosted and sprinkled with coconut.  Apparently, you can find skoleboller (or “school buns”) at school cafeterias, coffee hours, grocery stores, and birthday parties all over Norway.  You can also find them at Disney’s Epcot park and they’re a popular treat there.  After making them, it’s not hard to see why.  These are as fun to eat as it is to say “school-ah-bowl-air.”




for the buns:

  • 2 C. milk (preferably whole), lukewarm
  • 2 Tbsp. active dry yeast.
  • 1/2 C. butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 C. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cardamom
  • 6-7 C. all-purpose flour

for the custard:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 C. sugar
  • 1 3/4 C. whole milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch

to finish:

  • 1 C. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. water
  • 1 C. shredded coconut for topping


In a large bowl, or the bowl of  a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm milk.

Add the melted cooled butter, sugar, cardamom, and 5 C. of the flour to the milk and mix well.

Slowly add more of the flour until a smooth, slightly sticky dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for 1-2 minutes until a smooth soft dough is formed.

Place the dough into a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 1 hour until doubled in size.

While you’re waiting for the dough to rise, make the custard.

To make the custard, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a small bowl.

Bring the milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan.

Slowly pour the egg mixture into the milk, whisking constantly.

Whisk in the vanilla.

While the custard mixture is at a simmer, add the cornstarch a little at a time, whisking briskly as you add it.

Allow the cornstarch to dissolve and for the custard to thicken, stirring constantly.

Let the mixture simmer and thicken for 3-5 minutes.

Pour the custard mixture into a bowl, then place the bowl in an ice water bath to cool completely.

Once the dough has risen, punch it down and divide into 12-14 evenly sized balls of dough.

Form each dough ball into an evenly round and flat bun.

Place the buns on a parchment-lined baking sheet with at least 1 inch of space between them.

Cover the buns with a clean dish towel and allow them to rise again for 20 minutes.

While the buns are rising, heat the oven to 400 degrees.

After the final rise, use the back of a spoon to make an indentation in the center of each bun.  A soup spoon is a good size, and press down almost all the way to the bottom of the bun but do not press all the way through.

Place a generous spoonful of the custard into the center of each indentation.

Bake the buns for 10-12 minutes until they are slightly brown on the top and the egg custard is just starting to set.

Allow the buns to cool on a wire rack.  The custard will set as the buns cool.

Once the buns are cool, prepare the glaze by whisking the powdered sugar and water together.  The glaze should be white and should drizzle on but not be runny.  Add more sugar or water as needed to reach the correct consistency.

Spoon glaze around the bun, avoiding the custard center.

Sprinkle on or dip the bun into the coconut, being careful not to ruin the custard center.

Source:  The Transplanted Baker

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Dancing on Snowflakes

At the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics yesterday, the U.S. gained a third gold medal for snowboarding when Kaitlin Farrington won the women’s halfpipe competition.  She beat Australia’s Torah Bright who took home silver this year, and U.S. teammate Kelly Clark who won bronze in the event.  In pairs figure skating, Russian pair Tatyana Volosozhar and Maksim Trankov finished the short program on Tuesday night by setting a new world scoring record.  On Wednesday, they remained in first place and brought the pairs figure skating gold medal back to Russia.

Today in the Winter Olympics feature, we’re going back to Innsbruck, Austria.  As I mentioned before, Innsbruck hosted the Winter Games in 1964.  Twelve years later, the Winter Olympics were held in Innsbruck again.  For the first time, ice dancing was an Olympic competition.  This was also the first Olympics where a figure skater performed a back flip as part of his routine.

If we didn’t already know it from the Sachertorte, grostl proves that Austria has some outstanding cuisine to accompany its Olympic history.  Grostl is a favorite in the Tyrol area and it’s easy to see why.  This simple combination of bacon, onion, and potato is possibly my new favorite breakfast food.  Grostl does require potatoes that are cooked in advance and cooled.  To make this without prepping ahead of time, I recommend steaming the potatoes for 20 minutes, then putting them into the refrigerator while you cook the bacon.  My potatoes were a little colder than room temperature after doing it this way, and the finished product was great.  The traditional method of serving grostl is to top a portion with a fried egg, so that the yolk runs into the grostl.  Lane had no complaints about this method; I kept my eggs on the side.  The kiddos devoured this, and I’m putting it on the breakfast plan again soon.


Grostl (Potato, Bacon, and Onion Hash)


  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. canola or sunflower oil
  • 1 lb. thick cut smoked bacon, cut into 1/4″-1/2″ wide lardons
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. (a little over is fine) cooked potatoes, cooled and cut into small cubes
  • 1 tsp. caraway seed
  • 1 1/2 tsp. hot sweet paprika (or use sweet paprika mixed with a pinch of chili powder)
  • handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped


Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the bacon and onion to the skillet and fry together for 10 minutes until the bacon is cooked and the onion is golden.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon mixture from the skillet onto a plate.

If there is more than 4 Tbsp. of grease in the skillet, I suggest pouring some of it out before proceeding.  This isn’t necessary, just recommended.

Add the potatoes to the skillet and cook for 10 minutes, until the potatoes are golden.

Add the caraway and paprika, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the bacon and onion back into the skillet and stir to combine the mixture.

Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring, until the mixture is heated through.

Top with the fresh parsley and serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: slightly adapted from BBC Good Food

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