Category: breakfast

For years, I was extremely intimidated by the kitchen.
I would take a look at a recipe, see the list of ingredients, read through all the steps and become too overwhelmed to even try it.
I was convinced I would screw it up somehow.

Over the past few years, however, I began to crave the ability to cook.  And not just a quesadilla on the stove, but really cook.  My husband also began feeling the same way and slowly but surely, we took to the kitchen, sometimes working alone, sometimes working together, to create things that really, I never thought we would be able to make.

Whether the hubby was frying fish tacos for dinner, or I was making baked croissant French Toast for breakfast, we began to notice how much we both enjoyed being in the kitchen.  What I thought was going to feel stressful and overwhelming actually brought extreme calm and enjoyment.  For how crazy our life can get, cooking seems to always slow down life for a moment.  Now when we have people over, we will sit and talk menu, creating the perfect combination of flavors for our friends and family.  Whether it is as simple as an All American menu to a more complex French menu, we have so much fun cooking, baking and setting the scene with friends.

This holiday break has given us the gift of time and it has been the perfect excuse to try some new things.  I made my first French Onion Soup on Christmas, the hubby has been putting his new deep fryer to work on beignets and frites, and I finally attempted risotto, something the hubby has always made incredibly well but I have never attempted.  The hubby also made this Eggs Benedict for the first time and it was a dream come true.

I just finished reading Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life around the Table, a book of essays by the author followed by some of her favorite recipes.  Throughout the book she focuses on the importance of gathering around the table with friends and family and the memories that are created.  I just loved the entire book and it has motivated me to take my cooking one step further.

My resolution for 2014 is to create more time to cook for friends and family.  Every year our calendar gets booked with parties, galas, events, meetings, sports and dinners.  What is lacking is the more casual moments; the dinners at our home with the people we adore.  No matter how fun a party or event can be, it does not compare to the intimacy of a group of people around a dining room table, eating and drinking for hours.  So, that is my plan.  A little less over booking, a little more personal entertaining.

And on that note, can you believe this is the last day of 2013?  It really was such an incredible year and I feel so very blessed.  I can only image what amazing things are to come.  This life is pretty incredible isn’t it?  Have a wonderful celebration this evening and I look forward to sharing more with you in 2014.

Happy New Year.   

One of my favorites foods in France were crepes.  I cannot tell you how many ham and cheese crepes I ate while I was there but I just could not get enough.  Every time I find them on a menu, they will be ordered.  Every time I find a cafe that serves crepes, it becomes an instant favorite.  I do not know why it took so long for me to finally purchase a crepe pan and try them out for myself.

I picked up the Cuisinart Classic Crepe pan and figured there was no better way to try out my crepe making abilities than by making nutella crepes for the kids after school yesterday.  They are obsessed with nutella crepes and something a little different.  I used this recipe for crepes and got to work.

The treat was incredibly delicious and so easy to make.  The pan made it entirely too easy to spread the batter around and make a perfectly round shape (which I thought was going to be the hardest part).  The recipe was a no brainer and in just a few minutes, crepes were being served!  Next up?  My favorite ham and cheese of course!

I would also like to give a big shout out to the best father, husband and friend a girl could know.  
Happy Birthday Hubby.  
The kids and I adore you!  

Brunch takes the cake as my favorite meal.  Nothing compares to it.  Any chance I have the opportunity to host something, brunch is always the first thing I think of.  And I would have brunch every single day if the life of a mother would allow it.  

Over the years I have accumulated a number of Brunch recipes and am always on the look out for new items to add to the list.  I recently came across this recipe for Baked Croissant French Toast and immediately picked up the ingredients needed for a little Saturday morning taste test.  It fit perfectly with a cup of coffee and the new issue of Vanity Fair.  The perfect way to start the weekend.

On Tuesday Baby Girl and I spent the morning at the Sambazon Acai Cafe in Newport Beach, learning about the company, their commitment to sustainability, their products and of course, their incredible Acai Bowls.  I have had Acai Bowls in the past but it has not been anything I have ever tried to make at home.  They actually walked us through, step by step, how to make the perfect Acai Bowl and I could not believe how easy it is.  It was too good not to share and so I am.

The Perfect Acai Bowl

1/2 banana (1/4 if it is ripe)
3 oz. milk, coconut milk, almond milk, or juice (I used almond milk)
Toppings (strawberries, chia seeds, bananas, coconut, almonds….really, anything you want!) 

1. Pour the liquid in your blender.
2. Add the banana
3. Add the two packets of frozen smoothie
4. Blend just enough to create a thick, smooth texture (around 30 seconds, depending on your blender)
5. Scoop into a bowl or cup and sprinkle with granola
6. Add your toppings!

Baby Girl loved the Acai Bowl we made at the cafe enough to not share much with me but I made my own to make up for it.  I topped mine with strawberries, bananas, coconut, and almonds.  Also, feel free to add protein powder, superfood greens or anything else to the blender.  It really is the perfect breakfast or snack!  

You can pick up the Sambazon smoothie packets at your local Costco, grocery store or health food store, depending on your location.  You can search here    

I recently developed an addiction to granola and yogurt.  It is such an easy breakfast or snack.  I have heard about making your own but never really attempted it until yesterday.  I found this recipe and loved the abundance of nuts and coconut in it so decided to give it a try.  It was not only easy to make but SO GOOD too.  I cannot believe I wait this long but I can promise you, I will no longer be buying granola.  That would just be silly now.

As mentioned before, breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.  I am always looking for new recipes to indulge in because, I am not sure if you knew this, but the calories you consume for breakfast do not count.  I have made this recipe a number of times and continue to go back to it.  You cannot beat the homemade honey syrup and the warm cheese and blueberry pancakes.  So simple, so light and yet so indulgent.  Makes a Sunday morning just a little more special.

Favorite meal of the day?  Breakfast/Brunch.  I cannot get enough of it.  I am definitely the mom who throws the “breakfast for dinner” out at least once a week.  I am also the person who loves to throw parties at 11am so that brunch is served (baby showers, wedding showers, Baby Girl’s birthday party, and on and on).  One of my favorite parts of this meal (besides mimosas of course) are the baked goods.  This past Sunday I threw together this Blueberry Crumb Cake, not for breakfast on Sunday…but so we had something yummy for breakfast each morning this week!

And because I have to ask….
I know, I know, this pink circle is getting annoying to you.  I promise it is only for one more day!  Voting ends tomorrow at 5pm pacific!