Tuesday Open Thread ~ Mimosas al Fresco


~
If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
~


Welcome to my Garden!

foodie - brunch - garden.jpg
~

Good Morning!

Welcome to Tuesday's Open Thread. Today we are featuring Mimosas al fresco along with a little thing we call brunch. A meal where cocktails at breakfast is not only socially acceptable but also gives you an excuse to take a nap afterwards. It's a time to get together with friends and family, splurge a little, and no matter what you're wearing, the experience always feels a little special. From my memories of birthday brunches at home to New York City harbor views from Windows on the World, I’ve always enjoyed the elegant indulgence of an afternoon brunch. So, come as you are, pull up a chair, enjoy the scenery, and have a glass (or two) of Mimosas because it's brunch time!

~


Mimosas al Fresco

image_197.jpg
~

Freshly squeezed orange juice may seem like extra work, but it's also a delicious way to enjoy a truly outstanding Mimosa. Often, when I entertain, I set up a self service bar giving my guests a choice of store bought orange juice, or the option to squeeze their own from the bowl of oranges I leave on the table. Not surprisingly, once I've served them their first Mimosa with freshly squeezed orange juice, they invariably want more of the same for the second round and don't mind squeezing an orange to get it. Freshly squeezed orange juice adds a delicate flavor to your Mimosa that's just a bit tart and sweet, complementing the sparkling wine marvelously. For the bubbly, I suggest something on the dryer side to avoid the headaches you often get when pairing orange juice with proseccos or sweeter sparkling wines. Trader Joe’s Louise d’ Estree works well on its own, or with Mimosas. It’s dry, with a hint of citrus and just enough sweetness, keeps its bubbles, and at $8 a bottle it's a great value.

~

Ingredients:

1 bottle chilled brut sparkling wine
3 cups chilled freshly squeezed orange juice

Instructions:

Fill 8 champagne flutes 1/2 full with chilled sparkling wine. Top with orange juice. Always fill the glass with the sparkling wine first and then add the orange juice. Let the orange juice make its way down to the sparkling wine. You don't need to stir. It'll only flatten the bubbles.

Yield: 8 servings

~


Warm Goat Cheese Salad with Garlic Croutons

~
Foodie - Brunch - Goat Cheese Salad_0.jpg
~

Years ago, when I lived in New York, there was a wonderful little Italian restaurant downstairs from my apartment called Intermezzo that my boyfriend and I would frequent quite regularly. Owned by an American - Italian family with roots in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, they served beautifully made pasta dishes for $6 a plate and salads that were meals in themselves. My favorite was the warm goat cheese salad. A dish I fell immediately in love with and have re-created many times. Adapted from an Alice Waters recipe that I simplified a little and created my own dressing, this salad has become a definite crowd-pleaser whenever I entertain.

~

Ingredients

Warm Goat Cheese Salad
8 oz goat cheese log
¼ cup olive oil
5-6 thyme sprigs
½ cup panko
1 tsp of minced thyme
2 (5oz) bags of TJ's Organic Herb Salad Mix

Roasted Garlic Dressing
1 head of garlic, roasted
2 Tbl. red wine vinegar
2 Tbl. Grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. dijon mustard
½ cup of olive oil
½ tsp. salt
pepper to taste

Garlic Croutons
TJ's Organic Baguette
TJ's Roasted Garlic & Herb Butter

Instructions

  1. Slice goat cheese into 1/2-inch thick rounds
  2. Place goat cheese rounds in shallow glass dish with olive oil and 5 sprigs of thyme; Cover and refrigerate overnight
  3. ~
    Foodie - Brunch - marinating goat cheese.jpg
    ~
  4. Slice the top off 1 head of garlic; drizzle with olive oil, wrap in foil and roast at 400F until tender, about 35 minutes
  5. ~
    Foodie edition - Brunch - roasted garlic.jpg
    ~
  6. Cool roasted garlic and then squeeze garlic out of cloves and set aside
  7. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together Dijon mustard and red wine vinegar until smooth, slowly adding olive oil
  8. Pour mixture into mini food processor, or blender, add roasted garlic, salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese and mix well
  9. Pour dressing into glass bottle, or sealed container, and refrigerate
  10. Pre-heat oven to 350F
  11. Slice baguette into 1/4 inch slices
  12. Melt Garlic Herbed Butter in small saucepan
  13. Brush both sides of bread with melted butter
  14. Place bread slices single layer on baking sheet
  15. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown, turning over halfway through baking
  16. Take slices of bread out of the oven and let cool
  17. Turn oven up to 400F
  18. Finely mince thyme and add to panko mix in shallow bowl (you'll want to pluck the leaves off the stem of thyme sprigs first, don't chop the stems)
  19. Remove goat cheese rounds from oil and coat thoroughly with breadcrumbs (it's okay to re-shape them while you're doing this)
  20. Place them on lightly greased baking sheet and cook until golden brown and bubbly, 10-12 minutes
  21. Toss lettuce with salad dressing in large bowl and transfer to 4 plates
  22. Let goat cheese cool a little and then place on top of lettuce and garnish with sliced croutons

Serves 4

~


French Onion Quiche

foodie - brunch - quiche - after baking.jpg
~

They say one of the best ways to really get to know someone is to travel with them. That seemed true enough during my first trip to Paris where my boyfriend and I had a lot of "discussions" about how we would like to spend our time in a city known for it's culinary prowess. Sure, I enjoy going to the museums and walks along the Champs-Élysées, but I also enjoy sitting at a café and leisurely looking over the menu as I watch Paris walk by. So, while the boyfriend was getting his money’s worth traipsing all around Paris sightseeing, I spent my time at a charming cafe in the Latin Quarter sitting underneath a red umbrella eating an onion quiche that was worth the entire trip alone. A velvety mélange of onions, cream, eggs, and cheese, baked inside a flaky buttery crust, it was a forkful of warm and creamy splendor. The recipe below is an adaption of one I found in the Food Section of the New York Times many years ago which I modified by adding a little more cheese, eggs, and a dash of freshly grated nutmeg. Why nutmeg in a savory dish, you ask? Just as you add a pinch of salt in your favorite cookie recipe, nutmeg serves as an accent to bring out the flavors. In fact, nutmeg is one of my secret ingredients for a chicken cacciatore recipe that friends and family often ask me to make. So, just to be clear, I am talking about fresh nutmeg from whole nutmegs that you grate on a small spice grater.

~

Equipment:

9 to 10 inch quiche or tart pan
Food processor
Rolling pin
Pie weights

Ingredients:

For the Crust:
2 and ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 -¼ teaspoons salt
6 Tbl. unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
¾ cup vegetable shortening, chilled
½ cup ice water

-OR-

1 pkg. TJ’s ready-made frozen pie crust

For the Filling:
3 tbl. unsalted melted butter
1 tbl. diced chilled butter
1 tbl. olive oil
5 large onions
2 tbl. flour
3 large eggs
½ cup heavy cream
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup TJ’s shredded Gruyère & Swiss Cheese
8 slices of TJ’s Apple Smoked Bacon

Instructions:

  1. If you are going to make your tart crust from scratch, here is a link to a pie crust recipe from a wonderful blogger who specializes in all things baking.
  2. If you are not going to make your tart crust from scratch, take out rolled dough from TJ’s frozen pie crust package and defrost in the refrigerator overnight. When you are ready to take the dough out of the refrigerator, let thaw out on the counter for a couple of hours. Before rolling out, make sure the dough is soft enough that it yields to your touch, otherwise, the dough will break into pieces.
  3. If you are making the crust from scratch, begin chopping the onions while the dough is chilling (using a fan in the kitchen helps with the strong smell from the onions)
  4. Melt 3 Tbl. of butter and 1 Tbl. of oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally for about an hour. If onions start to get too dark, reduce heat to low.
  5. When liquid from the onions has cooked off and the onions are pale gold in color, add in flour and cook an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  6. ~
    Foodie - brunch - quiche - onions_0.jpg
    ~
  7. Butter a 9-inch tart pan.
  8. If you are making your own crust, take chilled dough out of plastic wrap and place on a floured surface.
  9. Roll dough into an 11-inch circle, drape over it over tart pan and press into bottom edges and down sides.
  10. If you are using TJ’s pie crust, follow instructions on the side of package.
  11. Use a knife or rolling pin to cut off excess dough, then use your fingers to push dough 1/4-inch up past the edge of pan.
  12. Use a fork to poke evenly spaced holes in the bottom and sides of the dough and chill for 30 minutes.
  13. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  14. Place chilled tart on a baking sheet. Line with foil, fill with pie weights and bake for 15 minutes.
  15. Remove tart from oven and carefully remove foil and pie weights.
  16. Return tart to oven to continue baking, uncovered, until dough is just baked through and barely turning golden on the edges, about 5 minutes.
  17. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.
  18. Heat a medium, dry skillet over medium heat, then add bacon and cook until crispy, and then transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel.
  19. In a large bowl, whisk to combine eggs, cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  20. Fold in onions, then 3/4 cup Gruyère & Swiss Cheese.
  21. Cube remaining 1 tablespoon butter into pea-size pieces.
  22. Scatter cooked bacon over parbaked tart shell.
  23. ~
    foodie - brunch - quiche - bacon.jpg
    ~
  24. Scoop egg and onion mixture into tart shell, smoothing top, and then scatter ½ cup of shredded Gruyère & Swiss cheese on top.
  25. Dot with butter pieces, then bake in a 375-degree oven until puffed and browned, 25 to 30 minutes.
  26. ~
    foodie - brunch - quiche before baking.jpg
    ~
  27. Let cool slightly, then remove tart ring from pan and slide quiche onto a wire rack.
  28. Serve warm or at room temperature.
~
foodie - brunch - quiche - out of the oven.jpg

Serves 8

~


Mango Coconut Cheesecake Parfait

foodie - brunch - mango parfaits.jpg
~

I enjoy entertaining. I also enjoy coming up with creative ways to showcase new dishes. Last summer, I hosted a few cocktail parties where I focused on a particular theme. For a tropically inspired menu, I started with Mai Tai's, followed by shrimp and curry spring rolls, chicken satay, and then a mango dessert. What originally began as a mango coconut pudding eventually turned into parfaits. After a couple of messy mistakes in the kitchen trying to blend the whip cream with the cream cheese, I finally discovered the cream cheese had to be room temperature before mixing it with the whip cream, otherwise you get lumps that are impossible to whip into submission. Parfaits done, guests arrived, and boy were they a hit! Pretty to look at and delightful to eat, this dish is really much easier to put together than it looks. So, why not surprise your friends and family this summer with a mango coconut cheesecake parfait?

Equipment:

Food processor or blender
Electric Mixer
Two plastic pastry bags
2 large round pastry tips – Size #808

Ingredients:

2 large mangoes, or 2 cups TJ’s frozen mango chunks
1 packet gelatin (3 tsp.)
½ cup hot water
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup TJ’s canned pure coconut milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
8 ounces room temperature plain cream cheese
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 package of graham crackers, crushed into crumbs

Instructions:

  1. If you are using fresh mangoes, cut mango into large slices and place in a food processor, or blender.
  2. ~

    pro tip chef hat2.jpg When selecting ripe mangoes, make sure the fruit is a bright orange, or yellow, and fairly soft to the touch. Don't know how to cut a mango? Or you tried it once and it went terribly wrong? No problem. It’s actually very easy once you know how to cut around the pit.

    ~
  3. If you are using frozen mangoes, thaw in a sealed container in the refrigerator for a few hours, or overnight, before putting mangoes in a food processor, or blender.
  4. Puree mangoes and leave in the processor, or blender.
  5. Heat water in a small saucepan until it reaches a rolling boil.
  6. Remove from stove and whisk in gelatin until completely dissolved. Keep whisking to prevent lumps forming.
  7. Add sugar to the hot water and gelatin mixture and whisk to dissolve.
  8. Pour mixture into the food processor, or blender, and mix with mango.
  9. Add coconut milk and mix until ingredients are combined.
  10. Pour mixture into large shallow bowl and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours until mango mixture is pudding like firm.
  11. While you are waiting for the mango mixture to cool and firm, take cream cheese out of the refrigerator and set on counter. It must be room temperature when you mix it with the whipping cream, otherwise you risk getting lumps in your cream mixture.
  12. Crush graham cracker crumbs in plastic bag using the bottom of a glass, and place in sealed container.
  13. When the cream cheese is room temperature, and mango mixture has chilled and firmed you can begin putting everything together.
  14. In a large glass bowl add whipping cream and vanilla extract and beat it with an electric mixer on high speed until you can see soft peaks.
  15. Fold in the powdered sugar and room temperature cream cheese and mix slowly until incorporated.
  16. Spoon graham cracker crumbs into the bottom of four glasses.
  17. Fill pastry bags with cream cheese mixture and the other with mango mixture.
  18. Layer mango mixture and cream cheese mixture into each glass, topping off with graham cracker crumbs and cream cheese mixture.
  19. Refrigerate until chilled
  20. Serve and enjoy!

Serves: 4

~


The Song

~
~
Well, that about wraps things up for this week's edition. Kiss 2
~
foodie - brunch - waterfall cafe.jpg
~
Now it's your turn. Take a seat and join the conversation!
Arrow.png
Share
up
22 users have voted.

Comments

Anja Geitz's picture

Hello Everyone! How are you all doing this morning?

up
16 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

janis b's picture

Until then, I will try the goat cheese salad in my kitchen. It sounds divine. For salad I will use the arugula in the garden.

Can I order a splash of lime with my mimosa? I don’t mind squeezing the two. At the moment lime per kilo is reasonably priced, which only lasts a very short time. For most of the year it is equivalent to the price of gold. Oddly, organically grown limes are the only organic produce that I’ve found here that are less expensive than the conventionally grown, year-round.

Cheers Anja.

up
15 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@janis b

Oooh! I love the idea of a splash of lime. Will definitely try that the next time. Thanks!

up
6 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Dawn's Meta's picture

We don't know how it's done, but in stores here you can get any pastry you need, without preservatives or other junk. I may never make another pastry again.

We do have any size or type of Shallot known to any cook. Makes using Shallots and Leeks so easy.

Some Mimosas I've had, use some kind of red syrup/liquor in them. Is that a Sunrise?

The glass orange juicer my mom used works just fine, and fast. Plus it has the pulp. Keep one at my bar. Use for juicing lemons, limes and oranges.

Lovely brunch. Lovely garden. Thank you.

up
13 users have voted.

A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

Anja Geitz's picture

@Dawn's Meta

Leave it to the French to provide good tasting ready made pastry! Sounds heavenly.

For years and years, I used to juice everything by hand just like my Mom did. But then I got a juicer a few years ago, and I'll never go back. I still keep the hand juicer and use it when I set up an open bar, but it's nice to be able to get a jump on the first batch in a matter of minutes.

I'm very envious you live in the land of quiches.

up
7 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Dawn's Meta's picture

@Anja Geitz In Malta for dental work, we eat at a different ethnic restaurant, and go to bars for good cocktails. French food is so good, especially when someone is putting together some new ideas.

But the local foods are very well done, every day. We study David Liebowitz for substitutions.

When we went to the UK recently, we ate New Mexican/Mexican every day. We miss it so. I have my own bar, as only a few places in Paris (some distance away) have good cocktails.

Researching Lyon, as it is known as a food capital and we can go by train, rather than Autoroutes, pay stations, parking, and city hassle with a car. The train is super. We have horizons to explore there.

Finding ethnic stores, one by one, so we can cook at home.

Fresh food markets in at least three nearby towns, different days each week. Seasonal, fresh, local. So good.

Other countries are close, and we can use Senior cards to travel inexpensively. So we get our food fixes as we can.

Thanks again for your lovely and enticing column.

up
6 users have voted.

A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

Anja Geitz's picture

@Dawn's Meta

I love your stories and find them endlessly fascinating. Have you ever thought of keeping a journal with the details of where you went and what you made, or what you ordered?

I never thought of the UK for Mexican food before. Living in Southern California and being so close to the border, we have our pick of Mexican food. I wonder who is doing the Mexican cooking in the UK?

Thanks again for your lovely comments and appreciation. It takes a lot of work putting these together and I am enjoying every minute I do it. Smile

up
3 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Dawn's Meta's picture

@Anja Geitz a box of ticket stubs and concert programs; photo records of wine and other spirit labels of drinks we like, etc. Photos with GPS and date information helps a lot.

In Prague, the Spanish restaurant was run by people whose mom was Spanish and the chef had lived in Mexico. In GB wow, we are racking our brains...but neither chef had been from Mexico. We always ask where people get their training. There were black, refried beans in stores both in England and Scotland. We make our own here with lard (really good actually), but hard to find small black beans. Took a sleeper back home. So fun.

We judge our croisants by whether the baker is on site; whether they use butter instead of Colza oil; whether it's light and flaky. For the cost of +/- 1 € who could make them? Plus, they are not fresh after a day. We have at least fifteen bakeries within ten miles.

The compagne bread usually is a small round loaf which can be sliced as you order, has whole wheat, rye; is crusty outside, so tender inside. Lovely toasted with butter and jam.

Lots more, but maybe as you roll out your wonderful and tempting essays, the scheduling of a French day may come up. A bientôt.

up
3 users have voted.

A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

Anja Geitz's picture

@Dawn's Meta

I'm smacking my lips as I'm reading this. I can't imagine getting freshly baked bread to go by the slice. And thanks for the tips about the croissants. At Trader Joe's they have frozen croissants that are not baked yet and need to be proofed overnight. A French customer buys them and told me they were better than what he could get in a bakery here in the states. I had to try them, and he was right. Freshly baked out of the oven, they were flaky buttery goodness.

Whoever looked at milled wheat and decided to make the first bread loaf from this grain is a person I deeply, deeply appreciate. Along with the person who looked at a cow and thought of cheese.

So glad to hear you are in fact writing down your foodie adventures. Such a collection of stories and recipes should be recorded. I think it would make a lovely little book, and if I was an editor, I would be encouraging you to write it. Kiss 2

Salut and Bon Appetit!

up
2 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Don Ho sings "Tiny Bubbles" - Hollywood Palace 1/21/67

make me warm all over

PEACE
Cloverdale used to grow a lot of oranges, so we have a Citrus Fair every year in February, with a parade and carnival rides and all that. As if. Before that, in January the Citrus Fair hosts some world class wine competition, so I guess there is champagne there too. separate but

Hey moi stomach is growling really loud after reading, and my mouth is watering too, yum. goat cheese right on
Thanks Anja. cheers

up
13 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@eyo

I am imagining all the things I would taste at a Citrus Fair. Sounds like fun. Although not half as fun as a Wine Competition could be! Working at Trader Joes I've learned a lot about wine. I'm thinking of doing a post about wine in the future, but not sure how much of an interest there would be for something like that.

Don Ho's tiny bubbles....How perfect Eyo! Smile

up
8 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Raggedy Ann's picture

A lovely garden along with a lovely brunch!

With the semester ending, I've been too busy to cook much these last two weeks. Good thing I cook ahead and can pull things out of the freezer. I've just been scraping by with that. I'm looking forward to the long weekend to get caught up with my life. Cooking is a big part of that.

Have a beautiful Tuesday, everyone! Pleasantry

up
11 users have voted.

Women are human beings, not prey.
(I forgot where I read it although it might have been in The Intercept)

Anja Geitz's picture

@Raggedy Ann

Thank you! Having a garden is one of the many perks of living in Southern California.

Do you get the summer off when the semester ends?

Meal prep is a wonderful thing when you're in a hurry. Good thing you had a supply to draw from. How clever are you?

Enjoy your Tuesday!

up
6 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Raggedy Ann's picture

@Anja Geitz
I'm staff, so work the full year. However, our university gives us plenty of time off, so I will be utilizing many weeks of leave over the summer. I already have three trips coming up, unless, of course, we are at war with Venezuela or Iran. I can't imagine the world will be stable enough to travel, then again, we are Americans and can do as we please (/s). We'll see how it all pans out.

I can't wait to get back to cooking on a regular basis over the summer! Enjoy! Pleasantry

up
9 users have voted.

Women are human beings, not prey.
(I forgot where I read it although it might have been in The Intercept)

Anja Geitz's picture

@Raggedy Ann

Let's hope you will be able to take your trips as planned. Going anywhere fun?

up
4 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Raggedy Ann's picture

@Anja Geitz
Going to a wedding in Ohio. Going to visit my son in Boston. Going to Mexico for two weeks with my husband and another couple. Can't wait!!!

up
7 users have voted.

Women are human beings, not prey.
(I forgot where I read it although it might have been in The Intercept)

Anja Geitz's picture

@Raggedy Ann

I used to do a lot traveling but I've been a bit of a homebody since I moved to California. Made some trips up north but haven't done a lot of traveling outside the state. Money being one reason, lack of desire another. In one sense, I already feel like I live in a place I'd go to see if I was on vacation. Lol.

That said, Boston is a lot of fun. I've been there several times. On my last visit I missed a chance to go to see the Yankees play the Red Sox in Fenway Park. I was on my way back from a bicycle trip up in Maine when I heard the news of Princess Diana's death. Instead of going to the baseball game, my boyfriend and I ordered room service and watched the news reports on TV. Which might sound strange to some people, but I remember watching her being introduced to the public at her engagement announcement. I was the same age as she was and like everyone else was caught up in the romance we all thought was real. I watched the wedding like so many others, and was also quite entrqnced by the entire spectacle. Sigh. So, it was a shock when she died.

Never been to Mexico but I hear it's quite lovely. I'll bet they make a good Margherita there, eh?

up
8 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Raggedy Ann's picture

@Anja Geitz @Anja Geitz
you've traveled extensively, Anja. I haven't been out of the US other than Mexico, but I think it's my karma. I didn't travel from 2011-2016 due to finances. Now, we are in better shape and it's getting better, which is why I don't trust the US in any way, shape, or form, lol.

We enjoy Mexico. We had friends there so went quite often. We go to the Baja - Todos Santos, a sleepy village so we can be with the locals.
Pleasantry

edited because I forgot to say stuff

up
6 users have voted.

Women are human beings, not prey.
(I forgot where I read it although it might have been in The Intercept)

Anja Geitz's picture

@Raggedy Ann

Really enhances the experience, I'd imagine. And it probably doesn't hurt in getting some good food experiences. What do you like to eat while you're there?

up
5 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Raggedy Ann's picture

@Anja Geitz
Mostly the fresh seafood for a fraction of what you pay in the states. We'll cook a lot, too. The husband in our couple friends is a great cook. Where we're going, there is a fellow who goes door to door selling his fresh catch, so we're in luck!

up
5 users have voted.

Women are human beings, not prey.
(I forgot where I read it although it might have been in The Intercept)

Anja Geitz's picture

@Raggedy Ann

Where we're going, there is a fellow who goes door to door selling his fresh catch, so we're in luck!

I'll say!

up
4 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Thank you for the recipes.

The meal that I enjoy most is my first meal of the day, whatever it may be.

My favorite brunches have been brunch buffets that I have enjoyed at hotels in larger U.S. cities. (They are also my favorite buffets.)

My favorite brunch buffet so far has been the Christmas brunch buffet at the Hotel Langham in Boston. The building dates to 1922, when it was built as a federal reserve bank. Except for the gorgeous bar and dining room used only for dinner, the interior of the building was completely remodeled into a hotel in the 1970s. Unfortunately, a number of exterior features were destroyed, too.

Back to the Christmas buffet. The holiday buffets are the Langham's Sunday buffets, but expanded. Imagining the "wretched excess" is difficult, even though I've been there.

Table after table after table. One table was piled high just with different kinds of breads. Three banquet tabled were pushed together into one just for desserts. Another table was just for kid favorites, like mac and cheese. A smaller replica of an old school rowboat sat on the seafood table, offering shrimp, lobster, crab and a raw bar. Another table of muffins, Danish, croissant, etc. And that was only the beginning.

Breakfast foods from omelettes and waffles made to order, to eggs benedict to bacon, ham steaks and sausages to assorted cereals and everything in between. Lunch/dinner foods, too, including soups, a carving table, fish, meat and poultry entress and many kinds of potatoes and vegetables.

A massive ice sculpture at the entry to the food area. Huge foil helium balloons with Christmas graphics floating aimlessly at and near the ceiling. Santa and his wife, with their gilt and red velvet "thrones" that somehow don't look gaudy on Christmas morning.

The children of customers, --red velvet and black velvet Christmas finery predominating--scurrying around, not quite freely. "Elves" painting the serious faces of children and the laughing faces of those enjoying re-visiting childhood. A balloon artist, captivating the kiddoes with his skills. Carolers in Victorian dress, going from one table, singing to people, some of whom can't stop chowing down while being serenaded.

Lavish Sunday brunch buffets seem to be disappearing from hotels. As pricey as they are, they must not be making enough money for the house. As for the Langham, it is closed for a year for renovations. Someone advised a friend that the Sunday brunch buffet will return, but "reimagined." I can't even imagine anything more lavish, so I'm guessing the re-imagined buffet will be one of the considerably more modest ones.

up
10 users have voted.
mhagle's picture

@HenryAWallace

You have a way with words. Yesterday I felt like I was at Notre Dame and today I am at a Christmas brunch.

Cool.

up
6 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

mhagle's picture

@HenryAWallace @HenryAWallace

You have a way with words. Yesterday I felt like I was at Notre Dame and today I am at a Christmas brunch.

Cool.

up
1 user has voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

Anja Geitz's picture

@HenryAWallace

Your description, along with your memory of the Hotel Langham's brunch buffet is impressive. It's a shame to see it change. Sounds like something I would've enjoyed eating and taking pictures of.

When I used to go to a Thanksgiving Day buffet with my boyfriend's family, I always made sure to hit the dessert table first. There was just too many good things at that table to pass by because I was stuffed with Turkey. The idea of this scandalized my boyfriend's five year old niece. You should've seen the look on her face when I told her that once she's an adult, she can have cookies for breakfast if she wants to. It then became a catch phrase between said boyfriend and I whenever we wanted to do something extravagant, we'd say "cookies for breakfast!"

Thanks for stopping by, glad you shared your edible memories Smile

up
7 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

lotlizard's picture

@Anja Geitz

up
5 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@lotlizard

In terms of food, yes, they can. Smile

Although whether that is solely the result of inherited tastes and environmental conditioning is still debatable. Children raised in households with a wide variety of different foods can often be more open to trying new things. Pregnant Mothers whose diets are also richly varied can even pass that preference on to their unborn children. All in all, our connections and history with food can be very fascinating!

up
6 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

QMS's picture

(I mean Anja) Thanks for brunch ideas. Wanted to share a ginger tonic recipe, but will have to wait till later. The faster I run, the more behinder I get.

Cheers!

up
8 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

Anja Geitz's picture

@QMS

As always, glad to see you here. Look forward to your ginger tonic recipe when you have the time.

Don't run too fast or you might get ahead of yourself Smile

up
5 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

enhydra lutris's picture

leek frittata recipe recipe we got from Rachel Ray. It has a polenta crust that incorporates small pieces of crispy cooked bacon and then is basically softened sliced leeks, eggs and cheese for filling.

I'm not a big salad guy, but the salad looks intriguing and the pic looks like it has chunks of beets, which would be an added blessing, imho.

Thanks for the OT and the recipes.

up
8 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

mhagle's picture

@enhydra lutris

Beets were a vegetable we were forced to eat as children and hated. My husband tells a horrible yet humorous story regarding beets in childhood Catholic school lunches.

After viewing an inspirational episode of "Fork to Fork" on root crops and wanting to be open minded, I have now grown them in the garden. Last year I finally roasted and put them in a salad with feta cheese and balsamic vinegarette dressing. OMG Changed my mind about beets. I agree. They would be great in this salad.

up
10 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

Anja Geitz's picture

@mhagle

Are wonderful in salads! My first taste of parsnips were roasted and in a salad. While I'm not a particular fan of beets unless they are in a borscht with lots of sour cream, I do enjoy them roasted.

up
5 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Eagles92's picture

@mhagle I grew up across the street from the sweetest Lebanese woman who often offered to "take me" when my mother and grandmother were both tied up. She had a granddaughter slightly older than I, so these times usually doubled as play dates.

I loved it all (especially when she served fresh pita bread, aaaaahhhh) - except for one thing: she somehow liked feeding us, or trying to feed us, sliced beets right of the can. I HATED beets for that reason. Until I moved to Vermont, started going to the farmers' markets, and realized that there was a whole new world of beets. Smile

Anja, late to this thread but thanks for it!

up
7 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@Eagles92

Nice memory Smile

Glad you could stop by!

up
5 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Anja Geitz's picture

@enhydra lutris

Frittata recipe sounds very interesting...

The picture of the goat cheese salad is a little misleading. The salad mix from trader joes incorporates various lettuces, so what you are seeing is actually a red lettuce leaf. But, hey, if beets are your thing, I say, go ahead and add them to the recipe!

Btw, how was the food in Spain?

up
4 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

enhydra lutris's picture

@Anja Geitz
have a classic paella: rice, 4 types of beans, chicken and rabbit. Manchego cheese was everywhere, as well as great ham and "Spanish Omelettes" or "Spanish Tortillas", a thick pancake affair of potatoes and eggs. We also had some great albondigas, but did a ton of sandwiches of various types (bocadillos, small sandwiches on small versions of bolillo rolls, Lots of good crusty breads, baguettes and batards and the like.

up
7 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Anja Geitz's picture

@enhydra lutris

with potatoes and eggs certainly sounds yummy and sparked my curiosity. Hmmm, you didn't happen to take any pictures of said edible, did you?

Paella! I am a fervent paella enthusiast! Apart from what the Italians do with risotto, I can't think of a better use of rice in a dish than paella. I can remember with longing a paella dish I ate in Madrid that was both a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. The flamenco dancing that accompanied it didn't hurt the entire eating experience either. When I was in Marbella, I ate a lot of seafood and a suckling pig that was so delicious I almost forgave the Spanish tradition of roasting them on a spit in full view. Yes, I'm that person who prefers eating my meat in complete ignorance.

up
6 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Eagles92's picture

@Anja Geitz They're divine. I have a recipe somewhere that I'll try to dig up. The most traditional ones (at least in Basque country) include salt cod (though I prefer them without!)

up
4 users have voted.
Eagles92's picture

@Eagles92 I think the one I've used is actually from a book, but this is close:

Tortilla Espanol

up
4 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@Eagles92

Who knew? Bookmarked and will definitely be making! Muchas Gracias!

up
3 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Anja Geitz's picture

@Eagles92

How fascinating. Yes, please do dig up that tortilla recipe. Now there is something I would love to learn to make!

up
3 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Eagles92's picture

@Anja Geitz My partner and I will randomly yell this at each other, ever since having been in a bar in San Sebastian (Donostia) where this crusty old gentleman kept demanding his salt cod tortilla, which was currently being made. Every few minutes from his seat at the bar, he'd yell "Bacalao!"

There's a great Bourdain episode in San Sebastian (I can't remember from which series?) where he talks about salt cod and all of the other amazing Basque pinxtos (tapas). Since you like bubbly, they have a yummy local sparkling white called txakoli (sounds like "chocoli") that they pour from about two feet above the glass.

Am I hijacking this thread? I think I am. Lo siento!

up
6 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@Eagles92

I love that story! So do you and your partner yell "Bacaloa" when you want something to eat?

Thanks for the tip about sparkling wine! Nice. So why do they pour it from so high up? Spanish custom?

Speaking of which, I was thinking of getting a temperature reading from tne community to see if there'd be an interest an OT about wine. We have regular tastings at TJ's for crew members, and I'm learning a lot on top of what I already know. Not that I'm an expert, but if enough people here like wine, it might be an interesting conversation, no?

up
4 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

travelerxxx's picture

@Anja Geitz

Anja, I for one would be quite interested in learning some wine basics. About all I know now is when my wife instructs me to "Bring home some Dago Red," I grab a bottle of whatever Italian-sourced Chianti — usually the one in that bogus wicker-wrapped bottle. (BTW, it's legal for my wife to use the derogatory term dago, as she's a first generation American of Sicilian parents.)

Would love to know more...

up
4 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@travelerxxx

And thanks for the input. I'm thinking of putting together a "Wine Tasting" and pairing certain wines with cheeses, and whatever else would go well with that wine.

Actually, speaking of chianti, we just had a wine tasting at Trader Joe's last week with a flight of Chianti. I was surprised at the subtle flavors of each wine and how much I liked them. Given the choice, I'd probably select a good Chianti over a Merlot. While I enjoy the full body of each, Merlot's tend to finish with a heavy tannin taste I don't particular like.

But to each their own. Which is why wine preferences are so varied.

up
3 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Eagles92's picture

@Anja Geitz When we want something in general, lol.

I'd love an OT on wine, especially ones you can buy at TJ's due to the amazing pricing.

Does your store carry Moon X pinot noir? I love that one.

up
3 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@Eagles92

Reminds me of the "cookies for breakfast" a boyfriend of mine used to say when we wanted to do something extravagant. Backstory involved with that inside joke as well, lol.

Thanks for your input about the wine. Think I'll post that question in an essay tomorrow morning and see what kind of response I get.

Moon X we definitely carry, I'll check to see if we carry the Pinot Noir and PM you tomorrow.

up
3 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

mhagle's picture

Beautiful beautiful garden setting. And the recipes look divine. Hmmmm . . . yum yum yum . ..

I was savoring every second as I read.

I have never made any dishes such as these and look forward to trying. Made my first pie crust ever the past couple months. Similar to yours but only flour, butter, and salt. Allrecipe comments said "chill everything like crazy and don't overmix." Three times so far. 2 chicken pot pies and a cherry pie. All turned out great. I look forward to doing it as a quiche!

I plan to try them all!

up
9 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

Anja Geitz's picture

@mhagle

I remember the first time I made a pie crust. What a disaster! It was as heavy as a rock. Too much mixing. Zero flakiness. I'm better at it these days. And there is nothing more satisfying that creating a good pie crust. Congrats to you! You must be very please with your progress! You will have to take a picture of your creations and share them here. Cherry pie is my favorite Wink

up
3 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Lookout's picture

...just came in from down by the garden. I finally completed my concrete pour for the new well house. Came out nice but 20 plus bags mixed and poured by hand wears a person (especially an old person) out!

I've been on a keto diet for the last couple of years and now make a crustless quiche...basically an egg, bacon (or sausage), spinach, and cheese casserole. We eat lots of salads, and as we hit 90's this week we can plan on the last of the lettuce (it gets bitter and bolts). The good news is tomatoes are setting fruit and harvests are around the corner.

We have a goat cheese maker up near Chattanooga...fresh feta is hard to beat. I'm going to try your marinade idea with the next block. There were some beautiful golden mangoes at trade day this morning - a box for $10 - but I didn't get any.

Here's one we often play for dances...the Champagne polka. Might be nice for your brunch.

All the best!

up
9 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Anja Geitz's picture

@Lookout

Congrats on completing the well house. Sounds like a lot of work for anyone at any age!

Feta cheese in salads is lovely, I'd be interested to hear how the marinade goes.

Thanks for the music!

up
5 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

earthling1's picture

Gonna try the parfait.Just purchased my first Meyer lemon tree and your mimosa gives me ideas.
Thanks for the pictures of your dishes. Mmmmmmm

up
8 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@earthling1

I have a lemon tree right outside my door. Last year we had such a good crop, I made a bunch of lemon curd and gave them out as Xmas presents.

So, glad you enjoyed the ideas and the pictures! I had fun doing it Smile

up
7 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

It's been slightly bastardized over the years:

Cicero was trying to meet with Varro in person, rather than on paper. Both had various estates around Italy, and both were wealthy enough to put on a good meal, bath and rub-down. But to no avail. The weeks went by and still no friendly conversation, no lunch, no walk by the orchards. Should Varro come to Cicero, or vice versa? It didn't matter, wrote the statesman.

'If you have a garden in your library,' wrote Cicero to his new friend, 'we will want for nothing.'

This might read strangely to modern eyes, used to sterile, air-conditioned libraries, with strict humidity controls and rules about whispering. But in Republican Rome, libraries were ordinary buildings, rarely specialised or purpose-built. A bibliotheca may simply have been plain stone and wood rooms, in one wing of a building, stacked with papyrus rolls or even wax tablets.

And in the middle of these buildings, surrounded by their collonades: a roofless square, often with Greek sculptures and temples. This was where the hortus, the garden, was planted and enjoyed. Common Romans, the plebeians, might only have had a small courtyard, or paved square with pots. Many grew basic foods, as a thin bulwark against starvation. The rich enjoyed much larger, more fertile and refined gardens, often closer to parks than yards. They were stacked with bees, fish, game birds and statuary. Cicero's correspondent, Varro, was not only well-off, but also a scholar of gardening and farming - one of his few extant works is De Re Rustica - On Farming. In light of this, it's likely that Varro did offer Cicero a well-stocked library, and in it a luxurious garden.

up
9 users have voted.

Peace Sells

Anja Geitz's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

Thank you so much for bringing the quote to life in such an eye popping way! Gosh, I don't know where to begin. A garden in the middle of a "library"? What could be better? Want for nothing indeed! The wealthy sure do know how to live well, eh? I'm curious, where did your interest in Cicero and Rome come from?

up
7 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@Anja Geitz

I was a Greek in a Roman world.

up
6 users have voted.

Peace Sells

Anja Geitz's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

So as a Greek in a Roman world, what did you do to sustain yourself?

up
3 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@Anja Geitz

who tried to civilize the offspring of their elite parents.

Sometimes I had success, but not always.

up
3 users have voted.

Peace Sells

Anja Geitz's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

Smile

up
3 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

lotlizard's picture

Very big fan of the TJ’s at 2121 Market Street.

up
5 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@lotlizard

Tell'em store #171 says hello!

up
2 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

lotlizard's picture

@Anja Geitz

up
3 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

But I gotta go to work. Enjoyed the conversation so far and I'll check in when I can!

Thanks to everyone!

up
3 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

mimi's picture

eating myself through the servings of your brunch. I bet it will take me til next Tuesday and I would still have lots of leftovers. What a wonderful garden you have. Consider yourself a very lucky lady.

Tutti a mangare, that's all I have to say. Smile

Thank you.

up
4 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@mimi

That is very sweet of you to say. So glad you enjoyed the recipes. Smile

And yes, I do consider myself very lucky to be living in such beautiful surroundings.

up
2 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Pluto's Republic's picture

Brunch was over, the guest were gone, so i could take my time and eavesdrop on all the conversations and poke around for leftovers.

I'm amazed at how vibrant and colorful everyone appears in here when they are away from the political chatter. They are completely transformed and very intriguing.

I started daydreaming when I got to the chopped onions that cooked for an hour! Well, of course they do. I had forgotten that wonderful technique.

Thanks, Anja

up
3 users have voted.

The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
Anja Geitz's picture

@Pluto's Republic

Getting lost in the garden is definitely one of life's simple pleasures. I am so glad you stopped by. You are certainly observant. One hour for the onions is a long time, but oh the payoff is spectacular. The house smells great and the pale golden color of the onions once they are done are a beautiful sight to behold. This is one of my favorite quiches to make. I've made the classic Quiche Lorraine as well, and while tasty too, I am first and foremost an onion lover.

Conversations about food have always fascinated me and it's a joy to hear people's cooking and foodie stories. I see you enjoyed them as well. As it should be.

Be well, my friend, and thanks again for sharing your particular charm.

Kiss 2

up
3 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke