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Archive for the ‘Brunch’ Category

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What is it about human nature that makes us willfully engage in activities that we are certain will have disastrous outcomes? That extra martini? Probably not going to make getting home (or remembering your bag) any easier. That cute guy reeking of Axe Body Spray? Probably not going to call you back. That inky black Prada bag with butter-soft leather that you simply couldn’t leave, because it felt like a baby being snatched from a mother’s arms? Probably going to feel like a bulldozer landed on your head when you see your credit card bill.

 

For whatever reason, the complicated and mysterious workings of our minds make it such that we do things we know are wrong with willful ardor. Such was my situation baking a long-forgotten favorite treat, Sticky Cinnamon Twists, over the weekend.

 

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Budget Brunching

 

Doing this at home is wonderfully simple and costs about $50 less.

Doing this at home is wonderfully simple and costs about $50 less.

 

I am an unapologetic brunch fan, even though it is a near-disaster of a meal to go out for in Boston – in the winter time, you have to leave the luscious cocoon of goose-down warmth to brave the elements, wait 45 minutes to be seated nose-to-elbow with the table next to you, and pay an enormous mark-up for what is essentially fancy eggs or bread.

 

It should be the most reviled of all meals for its expense and aggravation, but it does have its positive attributes, namely that it has made public dining before bathing and pre-noon cocktails not only socially acceptable, but essentially requisite. Not only that, but only at brunch would battered and pan-fried toast slathered with Nutella and dotted with candied pecans be considered a meal and not dessert. It’s brilliant.

 

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Don't be offput by the blandness of the photo - this dish is delightful.

Don't be offput by the blandness of the photo - this dish is delightful.

 

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a big proponent of what I like to call “upping the veg” – which, loosely translated, means adding fruits and vegetables into my daily diet whenever I can.

 

For those of you about to label me a self-righteous culinary ascetic, rest assured that I consume my fair share of dairy, meat, and sweets – far more than the FDA deems appropriate, but, then again, I am rather skeptical of a government agency that gives its approval to diet supplements that cause one to soil oneself, but that’s neither here nor there. For health and weight-sake, I do try to squeeze the errant fruit or veggie into my non-stop noshing, and any recipe that can make that task more enjoyable, becomes an instant favorite.

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A perfect alternative to a bacon & eggs brunch.

A perfect alternative to a bacon & eggs brunch.

 

 

Brunch is undoubtedly my favorite meal, and while I have a pretty exclusive relationship with Bacon & Eggs, I do stray from time to time, but only for a really spectacular alternative, and I have it here with these Apple & Crème Fraîche Pancakes.

 

This pancake recipe evolved out of a recipe by the inimitable Ina Garten, Banana Sour Cream Pancakes, in her Barefoot Contessa Family Style cookbook. However, a little tweaking, a missing ingredient or two (which, I’m convinced, is the impetus of most recipe evolution), and a desire to rid myself of a few soon-to-be-dated items yielded this fantastic recipe.

 

It is a composition of stunning contrasts, which tend to make the most interesting dishes. The lemon and crème fraiche add a tang to what is generally a very mild, peaceful dish. The heavy dairy component gives a velvety weight to what is still a very fluffy pancake (the pictures don’t do justice to the pancakes but do illustrate how high they rise).

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Bacon, Eggs & Toast

 

Valentine’s Day is almost here, love is in the air, and what better way to suss out the relationship potential with your latest paramour, than by employing the time-tested and proven Bacon & Egg Relationship Barometer.

There is nothing more soothing than a hearty weekend brunch to cure what ails you. Whether it’s stress, the common cold, or an overzealous hangover, a big pile of bacon, steaming and oozing eggs, thick toast, and strong coffee are the quintessential cure-all. That is, unless your morning meal is fraught with relationship-status-speculation, or RSS.

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