Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner, Pick One And Just Eat That

Pancakes & Eggs

Image by Ben Ward via Flickr

I Pick: BREAKFAST, HANDS DOWN

BREAKFAST! Pancakes with sweet maple syrup and a pat of melting butter, English Muffins with cream cheese, butter or peanut butter and jelly, scrambled eggs, fried eggs, egg in a hole, bacon extra well done and crunchy, cereal…. Want more?  Scrambled eggs with cheese or an egg and cheese sandwich on a roll, French toast, sometimes with cinnamon, sometimes plain, cinnamon-sugar toast, a fruit cup, ripe red raspberries, plump blueberries, a sliced banana cut into “coins.” Strawberries and nuts and raisins and brown sugar in hot oatmeal. Your beverage order? Freshly squeezed orange juice, hot chocolate, coffee, tea? Toast or bread with butter and honey. I’m drooling here…….Breakfast is comfort food, I like just about everything. It’s warm, it’s a memory of your childhood, it is sweet cinnamon rolls with vanilla icing. Just one thing, please hold the sausage.

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“The Best Thing I Ever Ate” (Food Network-Holiday Edition)

Egg Nog Glazed Cinnamon Rolls

Image by jwannie via Flickr

It’s holiday time and what would the holidays be like without “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” Holiday Edition, on the Food Network. I’ve rounded up some of the holiday favorites that were talked about on the show by various talented chefs.

For one chef, it was spaghetti with seafood and bread crumbs, (clams and mussels, squid, shrimp, sea urchin.)  Another chef”s favorite were butter tarts, starting with a mini pie crust (baked in muffin tins) butter, raisins, and  brown sugar, I think I am drooling.  For another chef it was beet and carrot latkes for Hannukah. As one of the chefs said ” Hannukah has oil,  Cristmas has butter.”  I never knew that there could be non-potato latkes but I would try them if someone made them for me; I can’t promise that my children would. A rack of pork, pork loin roast with ribs, (don’t forget to brine the pork if you know what that means) and add some herbs and honey and serve with a  compote made of apples and pears, mustard and a pinch of cayenne pepper. It looked delicious but everything looks delicious on television.

Another sworn favorite: the seafood cobb salad featured at Nordstrom’s. Yes, the department store. I’m sure its absolutely delicious but the “best thing you ever ate?”  I will have to take a trip to Nordstroms, AFTER the holidays. My opinion only but it’s a salad! Nevertheless, to each, his own. The next favorite first made me groan and then grin. It was a pannini, made in Nashville. I believe  it was called “The Elvis,” but don’t quote me on that. Bacon, peanut butter, banana, parsley and honey, served grilled on sour dough bread. At first it didn’t sound appetizing to me, but it sounds just nutty enough ( pun intended) to be amazing. Apparently the key ingredient is the parsley, who knew?

Duck ragout with home-made pasta, saffron, and a duck egg, is another chef’s favorite and one more: Indian pudding, served warm, using cornmeal instead of flour, molasses, cinnamon and nutmeg and served with vanilla ice cream. I can practically smell the molasses, cinnamon and nutmeg right here at my computer.

My favorite holiday tradition are the foods that bring back happy memories. They are not my favorite foods that I ever ate (look for that in an upcoming blog) but they are steeped in tradition. In our family, Christmas morning begins with scrambled eggs (we fight about how they are made each year, some wanting itsy-bitsy specks of eggs, constantly stirred, others ( like me) prefer the smooth, velvety mounds. Bacon, again, some like it half-cooked and others like it practically burnt. I think the annual arguing, not fighting, is part of the entertainment and a ritual in itself. After the eggs and bacon comes the highlight of every Christmas: Pillsbury’s refrigerated cinnamon rolls, with sweet sugary icing that comes attached in a little plastic cup.

Many years ago, when my sister and I were young, our parents frosted the cinnamon buns. I remember when our parents allowed us to take over. A few years ago (oh dear, it’s probably ten years by now) we passed the tradition down to our kids, “the cousins.” Whether its pork belly or barbeque, waffles or Peking duck,  food and tradition bring families together. For us, the cinnamon rolls and icing are key, not because they are our favorite food but it’s what we remember, together, with great love and fondness, as a family.

Man Vs Food #2 (An Extreme Foodie Blog Again)

I admit it, I came back for a second helping of Man vs Food. Adam is back again and so am I. Get ready America, he is about to eat something called a “Garbage Burger.”  Sounds yummy, don’t you think?  Do I even want to know what that is made of? Unfortunately, yes I do, I’m disgustingly curious.  A “Garbage Burger” is mostly eaten in the parking lot “Cuz they can’t wait to go home” and the food drips right down your arm.  Located near  Duke University,  this small shop serves comfort food, like chili and burgers and a whole lot more. The “Garbage Burger” consists of:  double, bacon cheese burgers with the works, lettuce tomato, pickles, coleslaw AND chili; it weighs one and a quarter lbs. of pure meat. He ate it so fast I may have missed a few ingredients, forgive me. As disgusting and gross this show can be it has me obsessively entertained and revolted at the same time. I’m still going to complain about the amount of food eaten and the wrong message given to people but, I do admit I haven’t turned the show off yet.

Not only am I watching it, I am watching it with my friend Suzie who is watching it on her television another state away. We are sending each other IM’s that mostly consist of sayings like “that’s gross” or “I’m hungry.”When Adam eats the infamous “Suicidal Challenge of Six Spicy Wings”  we can honestly see his nose run, and hear him he burp. We are so proud.

On another  episode of Man vs. Food, I didn’t want any food near me. There’s enough grease on the show that I can practically get it by osmosis. Tonight’s episode: Kansas City, BBQ,  6.5 lb platter. Imagine this, Adam is the first one to take the challenge. Missouri, we learn is the  BBQ capital of the world , YEE-HAW!  I see the fat oozing out of the meat…it’s becoming a little too greasy in my house. They cook everything, brisket, ribs, burnt ends, and more. The raw brisket looks like the size of a not so small deer. I never knew about burnt ends until this show. I was at a party recently and I thought the burned ends on a plate was a mistake. Oops,  next time I will run to try them, I promise. We learn that there’s even a gas station that has a BBQ restaurant attached to it, really convenient!

Now we are back to home cooking: fountains of water, fried chicken, gravy soaked mashed potatoes and gooey cinnamon rolls. (I wanted to bite into that while watching the show.)  Crispy, juicy pan-fried chicken. It’s fried in soy bean oil, that sounds healthy, right? Crusty bits, “cracklins’ for the gravy…cracklins? Apparently it’s “whole body lickin good” if I heard that correctly.

The ultimate BBQ show down: Ultimate Destroyer:  6 lbs (SIX POUNDS) of Papa John’s, sliced pork, pulled pork, turkey breast hamburger, sausage, all together:  first a hoagie bun, then: 7 beef patties,  pulled pork, sliced pork, bbq sauce, white bread for structural support, ham, turkey breast, white bread for more support, 3 hamburger patties, more sauce, another layer of bread, half a pound of brisket, and half a pound of  sausage, more sauce and it is capped off with the top of the hoagie/sub AND One AND a half pound of french fries. I’m about to gag.   Seriously gross….but let’s see if he can do it. “Let the pig out begin”shouts the ringmaster at this circus and so it does.  I really feel nauseous. “Go Adam go! ” the people scream. Oh no, it seems like he’s hit the “burger blockade!!!” GASP! Even Adam seems unsure of himself….he shoves it in his mouth and food spit comes flying out. Please let this show be over soon.  I’m sorry to report: DEFEAT, he was sunk by the Ultimate Destroyer.  He only had half the sandwich, and he is down, down , down, beaten and depressed. I have no doubt however that sometime in the future he will revisit this challenge. I can hardly wait.

Usually I snack at 10:30 but tonight after watching the Man vs. Food show I went downstairs and I could only face a pure, natural,  plum and it was good.