In Case of Clouds, Add Mimosa

Brunch is one of my favorite meals ever. You can eat to your heart’s content and have plenty of time to burn it off later, plus it’s the perfect excuse to start drinking early on a Sunday. My Mimosa of choice is Louise d’Estree Brut 3/4 full glass with the rest Villa Italia Blood Orange Soda, both from Trader Joe’s.  I like it because it’s not too sweet and the color is beautiful.

I was feeling pretty creative this morning and took my time preparing this yummy brunch.

My good stuff on hand: Dried Shitakes, Organic Jumbo Eggs, Bread from the local bakery Frank’s, Swiss Chard, Dill, Basil and Leeks (all from my garden), Goat Cheese, Hot house tomatoes (i usually don’t buy tomatoes, but they were on sale), Balsamic, Olive Oil and just a splash of Fish Sauce.

First, I frizzled my leeks in olive oil and used them to top a pretty tomato slice and a slice of goat cheese on the plate. I then added fresh ground pepper and topped with a little chopped dill.

Next, I sauteed the Chard quickly with a little garlic and put it to the side. The Shitakes I had soaked so I drained them and dry fried them with the Basil, adding the dash of fish sauce to deglaze the pan. Toasted Bread was then added to the plate and here’s where I got creative. One slice I  dressed with a quick little dressing I made with the Oil/Balsamic/more dill/dried herbs and then topped with the cooked chard. The other slice I left dry and mounded the mushrooms on top. I meant to poach the eggs, but kinda forgot and did the Greek Fried Egg like I mostly do. I topped each bread slice with an egg and sprinkled on a little more chopped dill and basil.

the first flavor layer on the bread base and my pretty tomato stack

The beauty behind the presentation is this: My hubby likes goat cheese, but doesn’t like a lot of it. Having the little stack of tomato and cheese on the plate made it so we each could add as much as we liked as a condiment to the eggs. Plus, it was funner to have it presented in a pretty way. I have to say while both versions were excellent, my favorite was the Swiss Chard one with plenty of the tomato/goat cheese stack added.

Shawns "overhard" version. Def would be prettier with poached, but still yummy!

No, we did not have the ubiquitous pile of potatoes on the side like you get in so many restaurants. No butter was harmed (or used!) in the making of this brunch and it really was not heavy at all, just fresh, elegant and delish.

On to the rest of the Mimosas and a great Sunday!

Buddha Approved!


Pretty Pictures of Things we Ate

Slow down everyone
You’re moving too fast
Frames can’t catch you when
You’re moving like that”-Jack Johnson

Since starting this endeavor, taking pictures of the pretty (and not so pretty!)

Alien!!! no, just a Celery Root from the FMB. gotta wash it real good!

Alien!!! no, just a Celery Root from the FMB. gotta wash it real good!

things we eat has become almost a habit. Taking the time to take a few pictures really does make you slow down, notice the details and live more in the moment with the food. We have put in all the effort and thought to cook amazing food for ourselves and our friends and family, yet have we really appreciated it? The photo gives the food an extension of being long after it has been devoured.

Organic onions and jalapenos for our Grilled Cheese

Organic onions and jalapenos for our Grilled Cheese

Grilled Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese Bread with Comte Cheese/Grilled Onions/Jalapeno

Grilled Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese Bread from this week’s FMB with Comte Cheese/Grilled Onions/Jalapeno

Food is deeply embedded in the fabric of my life. For me, it brings joy, comfort, memories, nutrition, sometimes regret, reflection, the induction of the “food coma” on occasion and a creative outlet.Taking pictures of it and writing about it is coming really easily for me. Video, not so much. Still having technical difficulties. Wah.

Lately, I have noticed a distinct pattern in my food and life focus. I am more and more linking in to “Slow Food”. Previously in my life, everything I did was accomplished at a frantic pace. I tended to have no time for anyone or anything. I was so wrapped up in what I call the “Treadmill” of life. Running and running. Where was I trying to go? It all made sense at the time, but looking back I can now see (of course!) where I could have slowed the pace down.

Without even thinking about it, I have recently accomplished three things that I never thought I was capable of doing:

  • Baked (means I actually had to MEASURE stuff)
  • Made Risotto (god, that stirring!)
  • Blow dried my own ridiculously curly hair straight (took all freakin’ morning)

The common denominator? Patience, my friend. A quality I have been lacking for a long time. My mother always said “Patience is a virtue”. I never even thought about it as I blazed my path of life.

I am grateful that now that I am taking the time to be patient, to enjoy the process of cooking and eating amazing food, being available to friends and family in times of need, gardening, writing, reflecting, and sitting on my porch. My passion for food made with care and thought with amazing ingredients has been a catalyst of some sort for change in my life. Today, I celebrate that change.

Now, what’s for breakfast?

Veggie-Tastic Eggs "Benedict" ala lulu

Veggie-Tastic Eggs "Benedict" ala lulu

I am making my version of an eggs benedict. I’m using my own home-grown Swiss Chard, heirloom tomatoes, the rest of the Jalapeno/Cheddar bread, and Asparagus (all from the FMB), Jumbo Organic Vegetarian Fed Cage Free eggs from Trader Joe’s and some amazingly good dressing that we have been making for years called “Sculpture Garden Cafe Dressing”. We have the recipe from the old restaurant that used be in the Sculpture Garden in Balboa Park. I will be posting that recipe for you!

Oh Yeah. Sunday brunch on the porch!

Oh Yeah. Sunday brunch on the porch!

This dish was very easy to make since I had made the dressing yesterday. I wanted to make a Dilled Hollandaise Sauce because this week’s Farmer’s Market Bag included a beautiful bunch of fresh dill, but we had no butter in the house. We really don’t use much butter and this dish actually worked out really well because it was not nearly as heavy as traditional Eggs Benedict.

I toasted the bread, topped it with the Chard which I sauteed with garlic and olive oil, slid the poached eggs on top and dressed all, including the asparagus, with my dressing. The dish was garnished with the tomatoes and served with a glass of cheap-ass white wine. I love Sundays!

Next time, I promise to keep more to my format and talk about ordering/picking up and planning with my FMB bag. This week got kinda funky because I opted to spend a couple of days with my sisters and I am just winging it with my ingredients. (actually, I wing it a lot!) Oh, well. I hope you enjoy my posts!

Peace, Love and Happy Sunday y’all!