Category Archives: Breakfast

And, it’s Summer.

So, the last couple of months were a blur.  Grab a beverage of your choice and let’s catch up.

So, as promised lo’ those many months ago, the photo from the TV Trivia Night school fundraiser. Our table’s theme was Saturday Night Live and I think we can all agree, we brought it!


Including the wine labels made just for the occasion.

SNL bottles

Made this dish about four Sundays ago. It’s Smitten Kitchen’s Sheet Pan Chicken Tikka and it couldn’t be easier. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a dish with minimal oversight and mess.


The only thing I did differently is subbed carrots for cauliflower. Because cauliflower is one of the few vegetables I just can’t stand. Yeah, that’s right all you “but you haven’t tried cauliflower pizza crust yet – then you’ll love it” people.  No, I won’t love it because I’ll pass out from the smell of grinding it into a “dough”.  So just leave it alone. We’re done here.

I’m in a big tumeric phase.  It’s a great, natural anti-inflammatory and since I had pneumonia a couple of weeks ago (yep, why catch any old cold when you fly.  Go big, I always say!!!) I’ve also been making this tumeric “tea”. Very soothing.

Tumeric Tea

Combine 1/8 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp tumeric, 1 TBSP honey, juice of 1/2 a large lemon (or to taste) and 6 oz. boiling water.  Stir to dissolve everything.  And when you are home by yourself, no one argues with you about who got the Yoda mug “last”.


We had another successful School of Rock show – Aerosmith.  With a special appearance by a Duxbury Cousin.


Drummer Boy’s tattoos still haven’t worn off.  Should I be concerned about what those are made of?!

So within two months it went from cold and rainy, one day of 60 degrees (aka, Spring) and now it is summer.  And not just any summer, last day of elementary school for Guitar Boy.  Off to junior high next year *this computer got something in my eyes again*


But the last day of school was followed quickly with the hallowed tradition of Pet Parade!  We’ve been making Drummer Boy and Singer Girl take the same picture every year since they were babies.



They have been getting only marginally more tolerant of it in the last 9 years.


So what was on deck tonight?

Making the Greek Flank Steak and Hummus Platter from How Sweet It Is.  Made it a couple weeks back and liked it so much we’re doing it again.


The only thing I did different is no olives (see also, cauliflower) and I made some homemade Skordalia.  It’s delicious thinned out as a dip for naan, as I did, or leave it a thicker mash as a side dish.



2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
1 tsp kosher salt
6 cloves garlic (I used Trader Joes crushed and frozen)
3/4 cups slivered almonds
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 TBSP Champagne vinegar (you could probably substitute white wine vinegar)
2 TBSP fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup water or reserved potato water
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.


Place peeled potatoes in a pot and cover with water.  Add the teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer about 20-30 minutes or until the potatoes are completely tender.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the potato water if you can.  Let potatoes cool.

Put almonds, garlic and olive oil in a food processor and process to a paste.

Mix, mash or put potatoes through a ricer (that’s what I did).   Add the oil mixture, lemon juice, vinegar and mash.  Add water or reserved potato water a little at a time until you get the consistency you like.  Mix in salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with grilled naan or pita chips as a dip, or just like mashed potatoes as a side.

And you see that cup in the lead picture.  I may have accidentally gone to Tuesday Morning where they had these Napa Style cups.  So I then accidentally made a Strawberry Basil Mule.

Strawberry Basil Mule

WHAT YOU NEED (for 2 drinks)

1 cup frozen strawberries
3 oz vodka (I used Tito’s)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 TBSP Agave nectar or simple syrup
6 sliced fresh strawberries
10 oz chilled ginger beer or ginger ale
2 springs basil


Tear off a leaf of basil and tear the leaf. Run it around the rim of the glasses to release the oil.

In a cocktail shaker, combine the frozen strawberries, a handful of ice cubes, the lemon juice, the agave and vodka.  Shake until cold and combined then strain into two glasses.  Add fresh strawberries and top with ginger beer.  Add the remaining basil sprigs.

And summer vacation begins. As Phineas and Ferb say, the annual problem for our generation, is finding a good way to spend it. Find your best way.

Have a great week everyone.

Welcome 2016. I Need a Nap.

Happy New Year everyone. I hope yours was festive. I hope your kids slept past 7 after staying up until 1:00 am. I hope you didn’t decide to stay up to watch the last episode of Downton Abbey after you came home at 1:00 am when you were hosting a brunch the next day. Because that would be making poor choices now, wouldn’t it?

So I dragged myself awake to begin the brunch, but the good news is that this Bacon, Potato and Cheese Egg Casserole from Two Peas and Their Pod can be assembled the night before. I was worried it would get mushy, but Maria was right, it did not. Forgot a picture. Imagine eggs.

Made Guitar Boy a cake that Homer Simpson would be proud of. Mmmmmmmh, donuts.


Since every third person, including yours truly, has the Winter Cough of Doom, I made this Sunshine Sangria for a healthy take on morning drinking. Lots of vitamin C and turmeric which is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Plus it makes it a bright orange color. I think that makes it a tincture!


Sunshine Sangria

For Pineapple Syrup
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar

Heat these ingredients in a small pot stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool.

For the Sangria
3/4 cup pineapple syrup
2 1/2 cups orange juice (fresh if you can find it in the store)
3/4 cups pineapple juice
2 limes, sliced and quartered
2 oranges or blood oranges, sliced and quartered
1 cup pineapple chunks
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
1 cup white rum
1 bottle Sauvignon Blanc
Combine all liquid ingredients in a pitcher and stir in the turmeric until it dissolves.  Add the fruit. Let sit overnight (trust me, it needs this time).

For the kids (and an astounding number of grown-ups), I made this very creamy slow cooker hot chocolate adapted from One Good Thing.

Crockpot Hot Chocolate

2 cups Hershey kisses (or any other chocolate – chocolate chips, bar chocolate, etc.)
6 cups milk
1 14 oz can sweetened, condensed milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
3 TBSP Ovaltine Malted Milk mix

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker on high. Stir frequently to get the melted chocolate off the bottom until combined. Let cook on high for another hour, then turn to low. Stir right before serving.

Can’t stop, won’t stop making things with Avery label’s design website. Made these Hershey kisses for NYE.


Made these goodie bags for Guitar Boy’s 12th birthday party. Nothing like candy, a Halo guy and a Gravity Falls inspired sticker.


We had 13 12-year olds over for pizza, Nerf battles, loudness and video games for his birthday.


Someone got a selfie stick. Gotta breed the hipsters young.

All the best to everyone for a happy and healthy new year.


This Weekend Was Meant for Firepits

And Ant-Man. But what weekend wasn’t meant for Ant-Man, really? Made s’mores (yes, I know, again). Hey, at least it gets them outside. You know, because otherwise they would all just be inside talking up a storm or playing a game, with a group of friends…


or, each playing on their own individual technological device while standing or sitting in each other’s general proximity.  This is hanging in the 20-teens.

But we didn’t just have dessert all weekend. Coulda. Didn’t.  First we had a dinner of Sticky Garlic Chicken from Pinch of Yum.  Wow, was this good and fast as the recipe advertised.


Pinch of Yum is also responsible for teaching me how to host this site and has great classes through Food Blogger Pro. If you have any interest in such things, I suggest checking it out.

Then, Sunday breakfast!

There were pancakes.

final1437911822023Those were for the kids. For the grownups, I made Gashouse Eggs.   Yes, that’s an…   But years ago the supermodel B. Smith had a cooking show.  This was back before the United States began assigning a cooking show to every 17th person born. It was a great show, she seemed like a really nice person. Well, she had dancer/actor Gregory Hines on, and he was telling the story of being little when his parents were showbiz people and how he’d be backstage with his Mom with the likes of Milton Berle.  And that Milton Berle’s favorite meal to cook after a show was what he called Gashouse Eggs.

Now you would think there would be an explanation, on either B. Smith’s show or here within this blog, as to the origins of the name.  But nope, that’s where the story ends.  But luckily, it’s also where the recipe begins.

Gashouse Eggs

4 TBSP butter
3 TBSP Worcestershire sause
4 eggs
4 pieces Texas toast
Salt and pepper

Cut a small hole in middle of each slice of toast.   Melt butter and Worcestershire sauce in a skillet or griddle and stir to combine. Dredge toast through the butter mixture until both sides are covered.  Crack one egg into each of the pieces of toast.  Let cook until toast/egg are done on the bottom side and then flip to cook the other side.


Salt to taste and eat to full.


Bought Guitar Boy a new bike (he was looking a little Shriner in a tiny car-ish on the old one).  Played some tetherball and tennis. Then we enjoyed a pre-dinner cocktail.


Fill a glass half full with a dry Rose, add a little bit of La Croix Cran-Raspberry sparkling water and drop in two raspberries.  Re-Fresh-Ing.

Lingering around on Pinch of Yum’s site around dinner time, I made this Skinny Garlic Fried Rice.


This was seriously good and easy. If you have leftover rice, this would be a great dish, so versatile you could add anything.  I cooked some shrimp with it and used various rainbow carrots from our garden in addition to cabbage (red and green). The only thing I changed was I added about 1 tablespoon of low sodium soy sauce at the end and stirred it for about another 2 minutes.

Ended with Cherry Pie Crumble Bars from Shutterbean.


I think I added too much filling, hence the artsy close up of the Crumble Bars, and no picture of, you know, an actual BAR.  Still, scooped into a bowl and topped with ice cream, there were no complaints.

And then we went back across the street, for some more, s’mores.  Because, why not?


Hey, at least they were outside *watching an iPhone – Scott Sterling!!!!!!!!*


Have a great week everyone.

Happy First Day Without Negative Windchill

I hope everyone remembered to set their clocks forward an hour (after the kids woke up, of course).    

We took the opportunity of a moderately mild night yesterday to grill some steaks.

Simply salt and pepper the steaks, throw them on the grill.  While they grill, melt half a stick of butter.  Stir 1/8 tsp garlic powder, 1 TBSP chopped fresh parsley and a dash or two of dried oregano into the butter.  Right when the steaks come off the grill, baste with the butter mixture and then let the steaks rest while you grill asparagus, because SPRING BABY!!! Continue reading

Happy New Year 2015!

I took a few days off between Christmas and New Year’s Day and now I’m more tired than I was on 12/24.  Between pizza nights, delayed family flights, the boys first Bulls game:

And then New Years Eve and Guitar Boy’s New Year’s Day birthday brunch, you’d think I’d be too tired for new recipes or tablescapes. But no, the party Must. Go. On.

First, NYE

Made Salmon Pizza as an appetizer for the first event


and Smoked Salmon Dip for the second event:


Thanks to the Borkowskis and Harrisons for a great New Years Eve!

While our absolute favorite breakfast/brunch place is Blueberry Hill in LaGrange (Hi Mr. Chris!), occasionally Kevin and I find ourselves without the boys and the capability of going to brunch at a place that isn’t entirely waffle-based. When that happens, we will go to Prasino in LaGrange

And Kevin always gets the same thing – lox and bagel. Always. Because that way, he knows he will like it. He’s very exciting like that. But, ah ha! they changed it, and now they create it into almost a salad and stands out from your standard lox and bagel. So, inspired by this recipe at SpoonForkBacon, I set out to re-create what Prasino did. It worked as both a pizza and appetizer.


Salmon Pizza (or Prasino bagel breakfast in pizza form, inspired by Spoonforkbacon)

1  can refrigerated pizza dough (or make your own if you are not yeast-adverse as I)
6-8 oz smoked salmon/lox
½ cup crème fraiche
2 TBSP chopped fresh chives or 1 TBSP dried
1/3 cup very thinly sliced red onion
Zest of a medium lemon
2 TBSP chopped fresh dill
1 ½ – 2 cups arugula (depending on how much you like arugula)
1 hard boiled egg, chopped
Cracked pepper
Sea Salt

Cook pizza crust per instructions completely as if the toppings were on it (it’s not going back in the oven), trying to get it as thin as you can. Cool completely.

Spread crème fraiche over top of the cooled crust. Scatter chives over the crème fraiche. Scatter sliced onions evenly over the crust. Top with salmon sliced on the diagonal.Take the little pieces and fill in anywhere there isn’t salmon. Sprinkle dill all over followed by lemon zest. Top with the arugula, chopped egg and cracked pepper to your liking and a sprinkle of sea salt.

Eat for dinner with a nice Prosecco or cut into squares for an appetizer.

Keeping the appetizers thematic (yes, it’s a word), I made this Smoked Salmon Dip from thekitchn.


Now, on to NYD

Did my standard egg casserole from Epicurious, natch. Did a Donut Croquembouche in lieu of a cake for Guitar Boy’s 11th.

Here is his fiery tower of donuts before:


And after:


Made the Gingerbread Granola from prior post but used gluten free oats and worked just as well.  Served over vanilla yogurt.

Also – Epiphany!  We were at Blueberry Hill before Christmas and a woman came in and picked up 5 pounds of cooked bacon for a party she was having.  Five pounds!  At 12 slices a time in the oven and 5 in the microwave that would take about 2 hours at home and a ton of grease to cook that much bacon. And you only have to order it from them 15 MINUTES IN ADVANCE. Done and done forever. Because bacon.

And of course, we’ll need a Breakfast Sangria!


Definitely use either a grapefruit or lemon sparkling water otherwise I don’t think the citrusy kick would be strong enough. But those were some boozy grapefruits!

Bought some 2015 party horns at Target and used them to contain individual silverware sets on the table. By the way, did you know that Target sells both upstairs party horns AND basement party horns? So glad I bought the latter *wink*.


As party favors, I bought inexpensive, little plastic bottles and made Happy New Year labels (filled with either Nerds or mini M&Ms). You can now make labels right here on the Avery label site – just enter the item number of whatever labels you have and they’ll give you a lot of options. It’s really easy.


Here’s everything we made as set forth on my favorite Christmas gift – a menu board!


Here’s to a happy and healthy 2015 for everyone.  May 2015 find you:





And surrounded by friends and family.


Remember, resolutions start only on Mondays!

Getting Ready for the Holidays? Better Call Skunk

Our cat Skunk has offered to help you get ready for the holidays any way he can.   He will help with:

Setting the table


#nothelpful (and Ewww!)

Ordering presents online image


Wrapping the presentsimage


 Changing the sheets:



Perhaps some baking?



Setting the other table


#nothelpful  (and Get down!)

Getting the kids to stop playing video games and help pick-up



Well, at least when all is said and done, you can relax and read a good book: image

Non-Cat Stuff 

Here are some recent recipes that we’ve made for the various parties or just because:

Rainbow cookies from How Sweet It Is


I’ll be honest, these were way too sweet for me but Guitar Boy gave them thumbs up.  Mine needed more cooking time than the recipe states as the first batch wasn’t quite done.  I made the small ones (yes, those are the “small” ones).

Soft Gingersnaps from Two Peas and Their Pod


These were delicious.  I definitely preferred them flattened with the bottom of a glass rather than puffy. To keep the coating both sparkly and crunchy, I used a mix of white sugar and Demerara sugar (also known as Turbinado sugar.  Also known as cheap at Trader Joe’s.)

Gingerbread Granola from Minimalist Baker


Well, since I opened a jar of molasses, might as well find other things to do with it.   This is granolatastic.   Every time either Kevin or I walked by it, we would grab a handful.    And the house smells great while it is cooking.   I used one extra tablespoon of sugar and you could probably use another tablespoon of maple syrup if you want it more maple than ginger.   Either I didn’t use a big enough pan or my oven runs cool, but I cooked it about 25 minutes before it started to brown.  So check it at 18 but if it still feels really wet, leave it in for 3 minute intervals.  It was great over vanilla Greek yogurt for breakfast.  What is not great?  Pieces of granola in my work keyboard.

Oh and one other thing:



Merry 3 days to go!