Friday, August 27, 2010

DIY brunch

I love brunch.  I'm very excited about the prospect of checking out some of the fantastic late-brekkie/early-lunch places in the 'Peg.  Of course, J'ADORE Chez Cora, but it's much the same from Canadian city to city (thanks again, Michelle, for introducing me!!)  Hubs and I tried Stella's when he was here visiting a couple of months ago, and I'm slated to try The Tallest Poppy tomorrow with the friends/coworkers.  On that note, I need to come up with a good term for them.  The "froworkends", maybe.  Thoughts, ladies?  ...I know, I hate it too.  Scratch that.  Moving on.

Seriously.  How can this little sun NOT brighten your day?!  Image from Cora's website.  I can't help but endorse it.  If you go, order the asparagus and swiss Eggs Ben et Dictine (I love their Francophone puns, too... fantastique!)

As much as I love brunching out, being up to my ears in student loans means this is frowned upon by my creditors (and by Hubs, though the man loves a good eggs benedict as much as I do...)  So, I often take it upon myself to make a "do-it-yourself" brunch, with things that I don't eat on a daily basis (read: not Mini-Wheats, Kashi GoLean, or oatmeal.  Fibre is my friend).  A couple of weekend brunch-y items of note, from the past couple of weekends: puffy apple omelette, and bagels with fresh fruit.

Alright, I'm not going to lie.  I worked my iPhoto magic on the colour of these cherries.  But can you blame me?!  They now look as scrumptious as they tasted.
Mmm.  Cheddar cheese bagel.  Since frequenting Safeway more often, I find myself buying more bagels.  They have a truly tempting selection, and this one caught my eye.  Perfect addition to brunch... I try to steer clear of them normally since I've heard that they're equivalent to eating four slices of bread.  Eep.
The whole shebang... rounded out with some coffee and orange juice.  A good start to a productive Saturday.

I really want to share this ever-so-slightly modded recipe for baked apple omelette.  I know what you're thinking.  Apples.  Omelette.  Not a common pairing.  Let me ask you this, though: have you ever wanted to eat apple pie for breakfast?  And have it be a legitimate breakfast food??  If so, give this a whirl.  The original recipe is from the G.I. diet book... again, though, modified because I detest liquid egg.  I find it quite dry and displeasing.  Instead, I used Omega-3 eggs (in a shell, from a chicken), which by the book's reckoning are the next best thing.  Not sure what my modifications did to the G.I.-ishness... but the end result was fantastic.  I can definitely see myself making this for a brunch involving more than just me and a brace of nosy felines...

Baked Apple Omelette
Adapted from "Living the G.I. Diet" by Rick Gallop and Emily Richards

Serves 4, generously
  • 4 "cooking" apples (I used Royal Gala)
  • 2 tsp non-hydrogenated margarine
  • 1/3 cup orange juice (or apple; all I had was O.J.)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp Splenda
  • 6 Omega-3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup large flake oats (Not instant oats or rolled oats.  Go to Bulk Barn and read carefully)
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Quarter each apple and remove the core.  Slice each quarter into approximately six slices (you'll have 24 slices per apple; hope that makes sense).  Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, melt margarine.
  2. Add apple slices, juice, and cinnamon to the skillet.  Cook for about 15 minutes or until apples are tender-crisp.  Place slices in an 8-inch glass square baking dish or glass pie dish; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, Splenda, vanilla, milk, oats, flour, and salt.  Pour over apples and bake in a 350ºF oven for about 20 minutes or until puffed and golden brown (I ended up baking it for about 30 minutes total, until the middle set properly).  A knife or toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clean.
  4. Let cool, then cut into pieces and serve.
Hot out of the oven.  Mmm.
Gratuitous texture shot!!  Just look at that lovely apple and oatmeal action...
All you need is a cup of coffee and you're set to go.

Et voilà.  A breakfast apple pie.  So very, very tasty.  I love feeling like I'm eating dessert for breakfast.  Emphasis on the "feeling like".  Some days, I actually do just grab a handful of freshly-baked cookies and chow down in the car on the way to work.  This is why it's a bad idea for me to keep butter in the house.  Butter is the gateway ingredient to sinful baked goods... especially after I discovered just how poorly margarine performs in my favourite cookie recipes.  Since my last batch of cookies (and also the inspiration for my next post) used up the last of that straight-to-my-thighs dairy product, I'm safe.  For now.

Trying to ignore the moos of protest from the dairy farmers' associations,

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