Confession: I've been totally spoiled for the past year or so with togetherness. Since Julia and I both started new jobs last spring, we have had all of our evenings together and the better part of the daytime on the weekends too. Arguably, we were spending *too* much time together, and we could have used a little more apart.
But then, Julia added a regular show to her schedule, putting her at work Wednesday-Friday evenings and most of the daytime plus evenings on Saturdays and Sundays. I've continued my Monday-Friday regular(ish) work hours. Which has left us with precious little time together in the past couple of months. For a while, she'd get home after I was in bed and I'd leave before she woke up and the only time we'd really see each other was on Sunday nights (and maybe Monday or Tuesday night if she wasn't working on costume design for yet another show...). Finally, the kids' show ended, and so the past few weekends we've been able to have breakfast together and hang out for a bit before she has to head out to work.
Maybe I haven't mentioned this before, but I love to make breakfast. The list of things I am good at cooking goes like this:
Cake (& other desserts)
And since we are trying to eat better, I am not making many cakes these days. (But if you have a birthday coming up, you should really tell me your favorite flavor because I barely need an excuse.)
So... with our new schedule, which will thankfully be done at the beginning of June, I've been making nicer breakfasts on our weekend mornings than usual. Yesterday, we had buckwheat pancakes (from a mix I picked up in the organic/hippie/gluten-free section of the big box grocery store) and they were pretty good. The first few bites were very whole-grainy, and inexplicably I was not expecting that. (What? I'd never had buckwheat before.) But once I accepted that, they were rather tasty.
And this morning I made some French toast from a loaf of crusty bread, bacon, and really good scramble eggs. I didn't take any pictures but I'm gonna share a couple recipes with you, in case you like these foods. (And if you are a bacon lover, you should get yourself over to Bacon du Jour immediately.)
Challah French Toast
challah - 1/2 loaf will totally stuff 2-3 people; a whole loaf will make 4-6 people pretty happy
eggs - 3-4 for half a loaf, another 2-3 for the whole loaf; depends on how egg-y you like it
a tablespoon of creme fraiche or Greek yogurt or heavy cream
a teaspoon or so of honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
dash of cinnamon (optional)
1. Preheat griddle to 350 degrees or grill pan to about halfway between medium and medium-high.
2. Cut challah into 1" thick slices.
3. In a large bowl, beat eggs, creme fraiche/yogurt/cream, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon. It's helpful to use a wider, shallower bowl if you have it.
4. Dip the challah into the egg mixture, turning it over so that it's completely coated. (If you like your French toast really egg-y, let it sit in the bowl for a second or two on each side.)
5. Put the challah on the griddle. Flip it over when the bottom side is lightly browned (1-2 minutes): cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until the other side is golden too.
6. Serve with butter and pure maple syrup or with freshly whipped cream and berries. [Or whatever else you like.] Be warned that it's already fairly sweet from the honey, so you'll want to avoid a heavy hand with any sweet toppings.
Really Good Scrambled Eggs
1 tablespoon butter
spoonful of creme fraiche or Greek yogurt
salt & pepper, to taste
fresh herbs (optional)
So here is a different way to make scrambled eggs, which results in moist, fluffy, creamy egg deliciousness. I learned it on the internet from a YouTube video, so please don't give me credit. In fact, you should just go watch it here.
1. Use a medium sauce pot (yeah, NOT a skillet) over medium-high heat. Crack the eggs in and add the butter.
2. Stirring constantly, you're going to move it on and off the heat every 30 seconds or so for 2-3 minutes. At this point the eggs will be starting to form scrambled clumps, but still a bit runny.
3. With the pot off the heat, add the creme fraiche or yogurt and keep stirring. The eggs will continue to cook. Add in the salt and pepper, plus fresh herbs if you like. (I often use parsley because it's almost always on hand; chives, basil, and/or oregano are also lovely.)
Now that we've eaten, I'm off to work on some house cleaning and sewing. (Yes, I am SO domestic.)