Quick Breakfast Tacos

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After I made those excellent carnitas tacos, I had lots of Mexican ingredients leftover. Jalapeños. Corn tortillas. Sour cream. Well that’s not a Mexican ingredient, but it would be if I called it Mexican crema. So let’s call it crema so my first paragraph makes sense.

This often happens after I make a big dinner: the next day, I find myself with all kinds of leftover ingredients and I want to turn those ingredients into breakfast. On this particular morning, the decision couldn’t have been easier: breakfast tacos.

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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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Chipotle Strata Brei

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It was a Saturday morning and the stale bread sitting on top of my refrigerator was calling to me. It wasn’t saying, “French toast.” It wasn’t saying, “Toad-in-the-hole.” It was whispering, like the voice in “Field of Dreams,” “Something savory…something different…something new.”

I grabbed a can of chipotles in Adobo. I grabbed six eggs out of the refrigerator. I cracked the eggs into a bowl, chopped 3 or 4 chipotles really fine and whisked them into the eggs…

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Buttermilk Cornmeal Pancakes

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It’s Friday which means it’s time for a weekend breakfast recipe!

I’d like you to meet my breakfast from last weekend, Buttermilk Cornmeal Pancakes. These pancakes, which come from Cheryl and Griffith Day’s “Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook” intrigued me because of the cornmeal in the title. I’m not normally a pancake person because of a texture issue–I find them too spongy, too mushy when you add the syrup–but cornmeal seemed to suggest these might be crisper than normal pancakes. And guess what? They totally were. Craig called them the best pancakes he’d ever had for that very reason.

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Sweet Potato Chipotle Hash

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Get your pans hot, ladies and gentleman… we’re making hash!

To be honest, I’d never made hash before I made it a few weekends ago. But the idea of it really appealed to me: dump out the contents of your fridge, put a pan on high heat, cook everything together and serve some eggs on top. For this particular hash, I dug up a sweet potato (well, not literally, but it was leftover from this) as was a can of chipotles in Adobo. Plus, I had bacon.

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Granola, Yogurt, and Peach Parfaits in Mason Jars

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You are looking at the most popular picture I’ve ever posted on Instagram. 123 people liked it (so far). Amanda Hesser liked it, The Pioneer Woman liked it. It’s the same yogurt parfait I’ve been making for a while–granola, yogurt, fruit–only one thing was different: I served it in Mason jars. Suddenly something that’s not too exciting became exciting, if also a bit “hipstertastic” (to quote The Wannabe Chef who wrote that on Twitter). But if serving a granola, yogurt, and peach parfait in a Mason jar makes me a hipster, then crank up the Vampire Weekend and ship me to Williamsburg. Preferably in a Mason jar.

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Yes, I Fried Leftover Cornbread in Bacon Fat

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Ok, so you read the last post, you read to yourself “vegetarian chili, sweet corn bread” and thought “eh, I’m not that impressed, I’m moving on with my day, I’m going to read about Anderson Cooper’s gayness and Katie Holmes protecting her kids from Tom Cruise’s Scientology.” That’s your prerogative. I won’t judge.

But you won’t be clicking away so fast when I tell you what I did with that leftover cornbread the next morning. It’s almost pornographic, what happened, so parents, please shield your children’s eyes.

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The Build-A-Better-Bagel Workshop

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Our friends Patty and Lauren, who visited us recently from New York, did us the huge service–a mitzvah, as the Jews might say–of bringing along bagels from Murray’s Bagels. We’ve been experiencing something of a bagel blight here on the west coast (remember those Bagel Bombs I made?) and these bagels came as a great relief. We put them in our freezer and decided to break them open only in the case of severe bagel emergencies; one such emergency arose last weekend.

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