Breakfast Potatoes

Photo of Breakfast Potatoes in a cast iron skillet No Power Potatoes
Like many in the Bay Area, I have been without power since Tuesday at noon. It could be worse. At least no trees came crashing down on my house. We lost a section of fencing but that’s no biggie. We’ll fix it. It’s all about perspective. All my people are safe, so all is well. If there is one silver lining for me to all of the mayhem and destruction it is this, no electricity means I got to test drive my camping kitchen.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I bought a used teardrop trailer with the intent of filling our empty nester weekends with new activities and adventures once the kids are all out of the house. I love camping. But, both of us agree that the days of our 50-year-old selves sleeping on the ground in a tent are over. So, we essentially bought a tent on wheels that sleeps 2—with a mattress.

What we got was pretty bare-bones and in need of customization. Naturally, I have taken the ball and run with the cooking equipment. But, I haven’t had the opportunity to test everything out—until dinner last night.

In an attempt to not lose the refrigerator full of food that I purchased over the weekend (the timing is impeccable), I scrambled up some $20 eggs and cooked some sausage along with some home fries. Divine intervention definitely occurred because normally I don’t have extra already-cooked potatoes in the fridge. But, due to an over-calculation of how many potatoes I needed for the previous night’s curry, I had potatoes.

You can never go wrong with fried potatoes at breakfast. I will take Breakfast Potatoes over hash browns any day. And, last night they fried up beautifully on my new camp stove.

There is no right or wrong way to do breakfast potatoes. The options are endless. Sometimes I use spices and sometimes just salt and pepper. Sometimes I sauté them along with some peppers and onions, and sometimes not. This is very much a case of you do you…just, preferably, not in the dark!

Breakfast Potatoes Recipe
Adapted from Anne Burrell and The Food Network
Yields four servings Read more…

Japanese Soufflé Pancakes

Japanese Soufflé Pancakes with raspberries and powdered sugarSunday Soufflé
If you have been anywhere near Instagram or TikTok lately, you have no doubt come across the latest fad in breakfast, Japanese Soufflé Pancakes. I never thought pancakes were trend worthy, frankly. I mean, it’s pancakes. I figured IHOP had exhausted all the Rooty Tutti pancake possibilities years ago. Apparently, I was wrong.

This latest craze comes direct to us from our friends in Japan. And, I have to say this is a trend I can roll with. Soufflé Pancakes are the lighter fluffier cousin of your favorite flap jacks—and even use the same ingredients. The difference is in the eggs, man. When making soufflé pancakes, you separate the eggs and make a meringue that is then gently folded into the batter before spooning it on a hot griddle. (It sounds more complicated than it is but novice cooks might need to try the recipe a few times to get it right.)

The addition of steam to the cooking process is what makes these pancake rise. The result is mile-high pillowy goodness that you can top with any of your favorites. I like them with a little powdered sugar and sliced fruit or berries. But, you can never go wrong with tried and true syrup.

Give these a try this weekend if only to put a smile on your face that the torrential rain can’t wash away.

Japanese Soufflé Pancakes Recipe
Adapted from Just One Cookbook
Yields 1 serving (3 pancakes)

These Japanese Soufflé Pancakes are like fluffy clouds. This recipe makes one serving and can be multiplied by the number of servings you need.

You will need a 12-inch nonstick frying pan with a lid to steam the pancakes. And for the fluffiest pancakes, be certain to sift your cake flour–even if the package says pre-sifted. Read more…

Baked Western Omelet

Photo of a Baked Western Omelet on a wooden tableViva Los Huevos
I spent the President’s Day weekend in Las Vegas. Was I there for the shows, food, and a rollicking good time? Yes and no. I was there for a volleyball tournament which fulfills the good time part because I love watching my daughter play. The food experience wasn’t all bad. I mean we did eat at a Wolfgang Puck establishment…at 9:30 PM…because tournament play had just ended and that was the quickest and easiest option. (The food was excellent by the way, even though we were exhausted). I admit to thinking we would have free time to go and do some fun stuff in between matches. And, I was looking forward to maybe seeing a show or a concert and eating some fabulous food.

Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

My dreams of finding a great breakfast somewhere to fuel up (Mon Ami Gabi, anyone?) were replaced by the complimentary breakfast provided by our hotel. Don’t get me wrong, I am always down for a free waffle. The smell of cooking waffles at any Hampton Inn will forever remind me of baseball tournaments gone by. And, occasionally, you find a hotel whose breakfast offering is actually quite good. This was one of those times.

I admit I was pretty grumpy that first morning. I had all the plans for the three of us in my head. They were now dashed. And, I was pouting and just going through the motions. This is probably why, instead of my aforementioned free waffle, I chose the omelet. I tend to avoid eggs at hotel buffets because nine times out of ten, they are rubbery and flavorless. Imagine my surprise when I took a bite of omelet and it was really good. Even more surprising because the omelets had been made ahead which can be problematic. My made-ahead-of-time Denver omelet had great flavor and wasn’t dried out or rubbery.

The thought of that omelet stuck with me. Not because it was worthy of a Michelin star, but because it was a fairly simple dish that could have been awful. It really wasn’t. At any rate, it knocked me out of my pity party and got me ready for a long day of cheering. It also led me to look for a similar Baked Western Omelet to make at home when we want an easy breakfast for a volleyball-free weekend…(Does that even exist???)

Baked Western Omelet Recipe
Yields 4 to 6 servings Read more…

Amy’s Buttercream

Amy’s Buttercream Frosting in various colors on cupcakesIt’s Like Buttah
It is not uncommon for me to come home from a day of work to find my daughter in the kitchen whipping something up to take to school for a friend who is having a birthday the next day. Or, sometimes it’s because there was a conversation in class about baked goods and she has a bit of a reputation as a baker. Either way, more often than not I am out of the ingredients I thought I had.

Cupcakes are her go-to for occasions like these Though, it depends on who she is baking for. (One of her good friends is addicted to her macarons and lemon bars). Cupcakes are relatively easy to make. And, if you prefer to use cake mix from a box, there are ways to make it better. The one place you absolutely must not cheat is the buttercream frosting.

To me, cupcakes are basically just a vessel to deliver good frosting into my mouth. Would I prefer a very tasty devil’s food or Red Velvet? Sure. But frosting is key. I want it full-fat and full-flavor. And, for me that means good old-fashioned butter cream.

Full disclosure, I like more salt than most in my frosting because I like that rich butter flavor that salt can bring to the table. Therefore, I use salted butter in my frosting. And I am not afraid to add a pinch or two more if needed. You just need to taste it along the way to get it how you like it.

This is not the frosting to use if you are bringing cupcakes to a picnic. There is a lot of butter. Butter will melt. If you need something to hold up to decoration and weather, try one of these options. But, if you need a quick hit of cake and frosting, try my Amy’s Buttercream recipe below. It’s perfect for a late afternoon or evening craving…assuming someone didn’t use up all of your ingredients.

Amy’s Buttercream Recipe
Yields about 2-1/2 cups Read more…