My latest venture over the last 6 months has been as a freelance food writer for “Patch”, an online local newspaper for the Westchester area. Most recently, I’ve delved into writing restaurant breakfast reviews. If you’re a breakfast lover like me, you can surely appreciate that this is the kind of job you can really sink your teeth into!
I hosted a breakfast at my house for a group of friends over the holidays. I usually serve a frittata, quiche, strata or another vegetable egg dish along with fresh bagels. I was feeling a little more creative, so I decided to mix things up a little by baking a French toast dish. I was inspired by my friend, JoEllen, who made this dish last year and gave me the recipe. Naturally, I made it right away, but felt hers tasted better. Unable to find JoEllen’s recipe under all my holiday gifts and wrapping paper, I turned to the magical Internet to search for French toast recipes. Well, if you have about three hours to scan pages and pages of recipes, this is the way to go……I just don’t have the patience. On the first page of my search was a Paula Deen recipe for overnight French toast. That worked for me; I had all of the ingredients except for corn syrup. I printed the recipe, and then began to do what I love…… improvise with what I already had in my pantry.
And that’s how I came up with the breakfast menu: Oven French toast, home fries, cream cheese crescent rolls, cherries and raspberries. A plate of some homemade cookies added just the right note to this combination of foods.
Crescent rolls are very versatile and can be filled with almost anything and still taste delicious. My kids made bacon, cheddar, and cream cheese crescents on Christmas morning, giving me the bright idea to make them for my breakfast guests.
In preparation for this gathering, I made extra baked potatoes for dinner the night before. The next morning I cubed about five leftover baked potatoes, gathered together 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 small onion, and 1 sweet Italian green pepper. I quickly chopped and then sautéed everything to make home fries. A little paprika, salt, and pepper and the home fries were done. Just before serving, I broiled the top of the potatoes to make them extra brown and crispy.
Lastly, the oven baked French Toast that I prepared in no way resembled the picture from the recipe, but I was determined to serve it anyway. I can’t justify throwing out good food. While it wasn’t exactly a good-looking dish, but it was a darn delicious one! Two of my friends asked to bring a piece home.
So what’s cooking for breakfast at your home?