Olive Oil Omelet with Celery Caesar

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File this under recipes to make Martha Stewart scoff. But on Saturday morning–this was last week–I looked deep into my fridge and deep into my soul and came up with the breakfast you see here. I’m actually pretty proud of it, mostly because it used up lots of ingredients I had lying around: garlic, parsley, anchovies, Parmesan, celery, eggs and olive oil. I wanted the omelet to reflect the flavors in the celery; I also liked the idea of the textural differences between those two things. So here’s how this all went down.

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Vanilla Bean Oatmeal

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If you’ve never purchased a vanilla bean, sliced it open with a paring knife, scraped the seeds out and dropped them, with the pod, into a pot of milk or cream which you then heat for an ice cream base or a custard or a pudding, you’re missing out on a great food moment. The smell is comforting, pure and sweet–the total opposite of what you get when you light one of those synthetic vanilla candles–and there’s a visual spectacle as the black vanilla seeds permeate the white liquid. Having purchased vanilla beans on sale at Penzey’s in Seattle (3 of them for $9), I decided to go for a vanilla bean moment last Sunday morning with a pot of oatmeal.

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Purple Peruvian Potato Hash

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A good argument to be made about the farmer’s market is: if you really believe in it, and go there to support farmers and local, sustainable agriculture, you should patronize it all year, including those rough months of winter.

That is a good argument but, unfortunately, a rather impractical one. I mean when it’s bitter cold out, I can barely get myself out the front door, let alone 14 blocks north and 3 avenues east to the farmer’s market. In my own defense, though, when the weather turns nice? I’m there in a heartbeat.

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Hot Dog Bun French Toast

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On a drowsy Saturday morning, you stumble out of bed and look at what you have in the kitchen. You don’t have much. There are hot dog buns, there’s cream, there are eggs (hopefully untainted by salmonella) and slivered almonds. You scratch your chin, you lift your eyebrow, you hold your monocle closer to your eye. Might you? Might it be possible? Why perhaps it might!

A dish is born: Hot Dog Bun French Toast.

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Raid-The-Fridge Frittata

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I don’t often ask you to get out of your seat while reading my blog, but for the frittata you see in the above picture I demand a standing ovation!

I mean, really. Can you believe that I made that? Not only did I make that, I made that bleary-eyed on a Saturday morning using just the ingredients I had on hand. And Craig, who didn’t know what to expect when I said I was making a frittata, couldn’t stop raving about the results. “This is like professional restaurant quality food,” he declared. “Every bite has something different…you get the sweetness of the tomato, the spiciness of the jalapeno, the…..” You get the idea.

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Brunch at The Breslin

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April Bloomfield–the chef of The Spotted Pig, the late John Dory and now The Breslin–cooks bold food. That’s what everyone loves about her; her food is never, ever boring. It’s the metaphysical opposite of the boiled peas and carrots you remember from your middle school cafeteria. Her peas and carrots, if she ran a middle school cafeteria, would be browned and salted and spiced and acidified. Kids would be so energized by them they’d stop beating each other up, earn straight As and all go on to win Noble Peace Prizes. That’s the power of food cooked by April Bloomfield.

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