Eggs Benedict-Brunch Style

It’s finally the weekend!!! Let’s celebrate what could possibly be one of the last summer-y Saturdays this year!  Well, I guess today is officially the beginning of Fall, but it still feels like summer.  Also, brunch.  Need I say more?

042918-23
Photography by Allyson Regan

Eggs Benedict is one of my husbands favorite things to eat during the weekends.  It is a bit of a labor of love, but I do love the end product!  Weekends are made for cooking because you have so much more time than during the weekdays.  And nothing pairs better with brunch food than bloody mary’s.  So if your hosting brunch this weekend or just want to enjoy your time away from the office, check out Mimosas: Otherwise It Would Just Be Juice or Bloody Mary Bar DIY to step up your weekend goals.

042918-28
Photography by Allyson Regan

The classic eggs benedict includes several key components.  You’ll need an english muffin, preferably with nooks and crannies, Canadian bacon (or some kind of protein), hollandaise, and a couple of perfectly poached egg.  You might need some practice with a couple of these components before you’ve mastered this breakfast classic.  There are some shortcuts, like using a fried egg instead of the finicky poached egg, using a hollandaise mix instead of homemade, or just going out to breakfast instead of making it yourself.  Now, I’ve eaten quite a bit of eggs benedict in my 24 years and once you make your own hollandaise, you can totally tell when a restaurant uses the pre-made mix.

Eggs Benedict

4 whole eggs

8 slices of ham, or Canadian bacon, or veggie sausage

2 english muffins

4 egg yolks

1 1/2 sticks of butter

1 lemon

Frank’s Hot sauce, or another hot sauce

salt and pepper

white vinegar

paprika (optional)

Begin by melting the butter over low heat taking care not to boil it.  Split your english muffins with a fork (this helps to preserve those nooks and the crannies).  Place your 4 egg yolks in a medium glass bowl.  You are going to place this bowl over a medium pot of simmering water so make sure that it’s a good fit.  Get your water for this on the stove and simmer over medium heat.  Place the ham slices in a skillet to warm and brown a bit.  You’ll also need a medium pot full of boiling water with a splash of white vinegar.  The vinegar helps to coagulate the egg white faster and not to get too technical (even though the science behind this is really cool!) it will help you to produce a perfect egg.

042918-19
Photography by Allyson Regan

You’ll want to start the hollandaise before poaching the egg.  Begin by whisking the egg yolks with a metal spoon.  Whisk until they start to lighten in color.  Place over the simmering water, whisking constantly.  Slowly add in the melted butter while continuing to whisk well.  Remove from heat anytime you feel like the eggs might be getting chunky but continue to whisk.  I normally go back and forth between the heat several times.  You’ll know it’s done when it becomes thick and pale yellow.  Remove from the heat and add in a squeeze of fresh lemon, several shakes of hot sauce, and salt and pepper.  When you taste it, it should be slightly lemony, very buttery, and you shouldn’t necessarily taste the hot sauce, it just helps to round out the flavor.

042918-20
Photography by Allyson Regan

Toast your english muffins and begin to poach your eggs. To poach, crack your eggs one at a time into a small bowl.  Once you drop the egg into the water, swirl the water with a spoon to create a mini whirlpool.  This will help the whites to coagulate together, instead of spreading out in the pot.  You don’t have to poach eggs easy, the longer you simmer them, the longer the yolk will cook.

To assemble, place the toasted english muffins on your plate.  Place the warmed ham slices on them and then top with the poached egg.  Drizzle a healthy portion of hollandaise on top and sprinkle with paprika.  Because this is such a prep-heavy breakfast, I like to make sure the side is easy.  I normally go for oven baked home-fries or even hash-browns.  That way your kitchen won’t be so crowded.  Enjoy with a nice bloody mary!

042918-24
Photography by Allyson Regan

 

 

 

Advertisements

Falling for Autumn

 

IMG_3331.JPG

It’s that time of year again folks.  Newsfeeds are full of first day of school photos, pumpkin spice coffee is on the market, and the markets are losing their summer jewels.  It seems almost too soon.  Gone are the days with our toes in the sand, quick and cold summer rains, and reasons to drink rosé in the middle of the day.

But autumn is my favorite time of year.  Well, until the first snow.  Fall is memories of Friday football games, almost seeing our breath, color guard girls huddled close for warmth in our tank tops, voices turning hoarse as we cheer on our team.  Fall is crockpot meals, long runs with shorts and gloves.  Fall is the crinkling of leaves underfoot as we rake almost everyday.  Fall is pumpkin rolls, homemade apple pie, stockpiling pie filling in the chest freezer for the winter.  Fall is home, when we find ourselves inside with those we love most.

So with fall just around the corner, I grabbed a lonely can of pumpkin puree and made some pumpkin bread.  This loaf is sweet and loaded with spice, cinnamon, cloves, and of course nutmeg.  I coarsely ground up pecans with brown sugar and butter to use as a crumb topping. Enjoy with your favorite strongly brewed coffee.

 

Spiced Pumpkin Bread (adapted from epicurious)

Makes 2 loaves

 

3 cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

3 large eggs

1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking powder

 

 

Throughly combine all ingredients. This does make a fairly sweet bread, so feel free to decrease the sugar by 1 cup if needed.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 60 minutes.

 

Top with crumb if desired.

Skillet Banana Bread

I recently was gifted my very first cast iron skillet set from two of my future sister-in-laws who are also a couple of my best friends.  I’ve literally been wanting some cast iron since I even knew it existed!  I could hardly wait two full days to get it out of its packaging and put it to good use.

Of course I made Pioneer Woman’s skillet chocolate chip cookie because let’s face it, she’s a goddess and who doesn’t like an oversized cookie?

IMG_2631

Trust me, I took bigger bites after I snapped this picture.

It seems like I always have brown bananas around.  I do tend to buy a bunch every week when I got grocery shopping, but I have the best intentions!  Or maybe I just really like banana bread….

I ‘ve made a ton of banana bread in my 22 short years, not to toot my own horn or anything.  Over the years, I haven’t really come across a recipe that has stuck with me until a couple weeks ago. This banana bread is delicious and the inspiration for my version.

 

Skillet Banana Bread

serves 4ish?

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

1/2 cup cane sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup almond milk

1 cup of mashed bananas

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 shakes nutmeg

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

I also like to add in 2 tablespoons each of ground flax seed and whole flaxseed, but this is optional. You can also totally add in about 1/2 cup of whatever nuts or chocolate you want.

Melt the coconut oil in the skillet.  This is double duty because the pan can always use another layer of seasoning, and you need to preheat the skillet a little bit.  Add in the sugar and mix well. Whisk in the eggs, then add in the mashed banana and the almond milk.  Mix in the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg of course! Spread into your skillet and bake at 325 degrees for blank minutes. It bakes faster than loaf banana bread because its in a smaller layer and because the cast iron holds its heat better. On the plus side, you get to enjoy it sooner!

IMG_2645.jpg

Oh I almost forgot, make this recipe your own! This is the best part of baking! Swap the sugar for honey or agave, the flour for whole wheat flour ( if you go this route you might have to play with the hydration of the dough a little bit), or the almond milk for any liquid really.

IMG_2648

Enjoy!