Reindeer, Elf, and Snowman Pancakes

These cute little Holiday Pancake Molds are a giveaway, courtesy of Williams Sonoma.  They are a great way to hype up the big day with the little ones.  Who doesn't like treats shaped into icons of the holiday?  Only communists don't, that's who.

There is a reindeer, a snowman, and an elf.  They are made of non-stick metal, but with dealing with everything batter-based it helps to spray them a little with oil or a Pam-type spray.

We made some pancake batter from Bisquick, adding a touch more water and a tad more canola oil.  We needed the batter to be a little more runny than normal for it to fill in all the nooks and crannies of the molds.

We served our pancakes garnished with some "Holly Berry," pomegranate seeds and mint, and a light dusting of powdered sugar.  They were a big hit with the kids before opening their Christmas presents.


We were contacted by their public relations department and sent a set to show them off, and I will say, they are really cool.  To win, All you need to enter is write a comment, and we will randomly select a winner and mail them out to you.

Holiday Pancake Molds

Authordavid koch

Grown-up French Toast with Strawberries in a Honey Balsamic Reduction

I'm a huge fan of French Toast but while sometimes I like to slather on the butter and drench it in maple syrup, sometimes I want something more refined, something more grown-up.  We sought to incorporate a range of flavors besides just sweet - because French Toast at your local diner can be so cloying.  

While the French Toast aspect of this recipe is pretty standard, maybe a little extra salt than usual, maybe a finer grade of cinnamon, and using a nice, hearty whole wheat from Nature's Pride; it is the toppings that make these golden brown slices pop.

We begin with a balsamic and honey reduction with which we toss over fresh strawberries and allow them to macerate.  This lets the strawberries soften a bit and in return they give off a lot of their juices, thus making our "syrup."

We toasted up some slivered almonds to give some crunch, because in my opinion, texture is a big miss with your average soggy French Toast.  Lastly, we added some uber-thick Greek-style yogurt for some richness, color contrast, and adding another component to customize each bite.

What we came up with takes a little bit more time but the result is something that the adults can enjoy as much as the kids, and they can feel better that the little "nose-miners" are getting something with much nutritional value than usual.

Grown-up French Toast with Strawberries in a Honey Balsamic Reduction (printable recipe)

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 pound strawberries, sliced thin
  • 8 slices of whole wheat bread, we used Nature's Pride 100% Whole Wheat
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of butter.
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1 cup of Greek-style yogurt

Add the vinegar and the honey to a pot over medium heat and reduce by about a half or until you see that the bubbles start to thicken.  Pour the reduction over the strawberries, you should have to use a spatula to get it out because it is so thick.  Toss well over the strawberries and set aside.

Add the eggs, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, and milk to a large flat-bottomed container - one that is wide enough to dip your bread into.  Whip these together so that everything is incorporated well.

Dip the bread in the egg mixture on both sides so that it soaks up the batter.  Using a non-stick pan, bring it to medium heat with a little butter just until the butter foams.  Add the battered bread ad cook on both sides until they are golden brown.

Top 2 slices with a few tablespoons of the strawberries along with some of the juice they gave off, a dollop of the yogurt, and a sprinkle of the toasted slivered almonds.  Serve piping hot. 

Serves 4


This was part of a promotion with the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received a loaf of Nature's Pride bread.

Authordavid koch
2 CommentsPost a comment

The $8.16 Donut - photo by Antoinne Rimes

Is it worth it, and why would anyone pay $8.16 for a single donut?  Ok, I agree with you.   I think it is an outrageous price too, but I was emotionally compromised at the time.  You see, my birthday was on 08/26/10, and I wanted to treat myself to something spectacular.  And since I have an addiction to sugar, and love sugary things like lonely guys love porn. 

I made a pact with myself at the beginning of the year to refrain from eating or buying donuts until my birthday, and then to splurge on the greatest expression in the art of donut making I could find.  So I suffered and suffered, and suffered some more, vacillating between what donut could fulfill the bill as the best donut ever. And since I grew up on Krispe Kreme, I was too use to them.  I thought of tapping Voodoo Donut in Portland, Oregon, and then there was this place in Texas that makes giant size donuts…..


 But one night while I was watching the Food Network, I saw a segment on the Donut Plant in New York City.  The donuts I saw on that segment blew my mind. They were big and richly glazed and had intriguing, exciting flavors----crème brulee, chocolate black out, and tres leche.  For god’s sake—tres leche!  A tres leche donut!   I had to have them. But how could I get them?  I live in San Francisco and after a quick Google search I found out that the Donut Plant only has locations in NYC, Tokyo and Seoul.  Tokyo!  Seoul!  Come on, man!  And they don’t deliver from any location!  


I was bummed, but not defeated.  I started pricing flights to New York (yes, Tokyo/Seoul was still a crazy option) and coming back the next day.  That little plan was budgeting out to be around $500.00.  I love donuts, but that was Paris Hilton pricey for a dozen donuts.  I thought, you know, NYC is open 24/7, right?  I could take the red eye, and roam the streets of New York City for eight to ten hours until my return flight that same day.  The phrase “roam the streets of New York City” sounds as  ridiculous now as it did when I first conceived it.  I might as well have said why not see how long it will take me to get mugged, stabbed, and killed while holding a box full of donuts as I waited for my plane back to San Francisco. 


I dropped that plan, and went plan B.  I call it the sane option plan. I have some good friends who live in Brooklyn, and who work in the City.  They are both super nice, but also super busy people and the last thing I want to do is to put them out by asking them to schlep around NYC buying me a box of donuts and overnight mailing them to me in SF.  But I did.  I contacted my friend Leinana, a serious foodie like me, and I broke down my scheme and obsession to her. 


She understood and agreed, but with one condition.  She also had a craving for a sweet, sweet confection that could only be had on my coast.  She wanted some cinnamon rolls made in Berkeley, and like the Donut Plant they also did not ship their product.  Sweet!  It would be a fair exchange, East Coast Donuts for West Coast Cinnamon rolls.  The Day came and Leinana shipped me my box of 6 yeast glazed, 1 Crème brule, 1 Peach, 2 Tres leche, and 2 Blackout donuts. 


One dozen donuts: $30.00.   FedEx overnight shipping: $68.00.  My reaction----Ouch!


So the deal was struck and the donuts came carried by an unsuspecting FedEx driver, who I am sure if he had known what was in the box would have pulled some lost in transport scheme.  I opened the box and inside was sexy glazed bits of brown geometry.  Each donut was wrapped in a delicate paper, like fragile fruit or dynamite.  Where to start first?  Let’s begin at the béguin I told myself. First the Great Baker created the glazed donut, and the other’s followed.  I picked up one of the glazed donuts the way Godzilla picks up little Japanese people…examines them quizzically, and then Chomp!



 The texture (now talking donut) was not the soft pillowy bite of a Krispy Kreme donut.  It was more substantial than that.  It had a little tug and chewy to it, sort of like an ultra soft bagel. The glaze was sweet but not teeth aching sweet.   My fingers were sticky from the glaze but not greasy from the donut, and that told me they used new oil and fried the donut at the correct temperature.  I munched on the donut, savoring the flavor, thinking, “yeah, this is good, but $8.16 good?  


Hummm…chomp…chomp…chomp. Good. How much?! Chomp…chomp…chomp, who cares?”   To an addict like me, I can justify the expense, it being my birthday and all.  But next time I plan to hop a flight to the Big Apple and take a less expensive bite out of some pretty good donuts.

AuthorAntoinne von Rimes
2 CommentsPost a comment
Authordavid koch

Brunch Sausage Casserole
As a working mom with a stay at home dad hubby, I don't get to cook too often...  I know, I know, I have it pretty good BUT I like to cook...
...sometimes, on the weekends.  
So, for father's day, because our daughter is two years old, and because I had no idea what else to get him, I thought I'd make Steve (hubby) some great meals.

I have been wanting to make this casserole but did not have an occasion...until now!  We had bought the Jimmy Dean sausage tube a while ago and then threw it in the freezer for a while longer.  In recent weeks, it had been moved to a precarious spot where it would fall out everytime you opened the freezer - the universe was telling me to cook it.
The menu took shape based on what we had in our freezer and fridge as well as flipping through all the magazine pages I've torn out and saved.  For breakfast, a Brunch Sausage Casserole and a Fruit Salad with Candied Ginger.
This recipe can be prepared the night before so that you don't have to spend your morning cooking.  You can enjoy the company of your family.  So Saturday night I made the casserole:
Brunch Sausage Casserole (Serves 4-6)
  • 1 16oz Jimmy Dean Sausage (cooked, crumbled, and drained on a paper towel)
  • 4 cups cubed day old bread
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 10 eggs (slightly beaten)
  • 2 12oz cans evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard (the dry seasoning)
  • 1 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup peeled chopped tomatoes
Place bread in the bottom of a greased cake pan.  Sprinkle the cheese over the bread.  Combine in a bowl the eggs, milk, mustard, salt, pepper, and onion powder and pour the mixture over the cheese.
Sprinkle the sausage, sliced mushrooms and chopped tomatoes on top.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.
The next morning, uncover and bake the casserole for 55-60 minutes at 325 degrees.  Keep the foil cover and place back on the casserole the top starts to brown too quickly.
The next time I make this recipe, I may try to "skinny" it up by using less eggs or sausage. Or to "mex" it up by adding diced chiles and using pepper jack cheese.  You could also spinach or diced zucchini for a bit more of veg.  It is yummy regardless so I may not mess with it...depends on my mood.

I like that you can make this the night before and then just toss it into the oven in the morning. The only catch I have found is when we have company over for a weekend and this type of dish would be ideal, we're always busy the night before either going places or making a big dinner so I never actually end up making anything the night before...I usually just make a big scramble the next morning or hope that someone suggests going out :)

Fruit Salad with Candied Ginger
I threw in what we had: 2 peaches, 2 mangoes, 2 kiwis, the rest of the strawberries and 1.5 bananas. The key is to dice up about a tablespoon of crystalized ginger (ours is from Trader Joe's) and then simmer that in 1/4 water for a few minutes then blend it and toss with the fruit. I also added a squeeze a lime when I cut the bananas to keep them from browning.

AuthorHeather Ward

Banana Oat Bran Muffins

At Papawow, we're bringing sexy back.  We're bringing oat bran back too.  Who remembers the oat bran craze of the 1980's?  We do.  It was everywhere.  It was in cereal, muffins, and pizza dough; it may have been going into our coffee and our salad dressing too.  I think people were stucco-ing their houses with it, but then again maybe not, it was a long time ago.

I clearly remember advertising companies going overboard with it.  The high-fiber bran part of the oat grain was once a by-product of the milling industry.  It turned superstar, and then it all came crashing down in a Lindsey Lohan-esque fall from glory.  We watched in silent schadenfreude and giggled to ourselves.

It all began in 1983 when Quaker Oats started putting oat bran back into some of its cereal products.  No one blinked at first but as medical articles started to come out touting it as a way to lower cholesterol, it began to gain in popularity. 

The tipping point came in 1987 when the U.S. government launched its Know Your Cholesterol campaign and Harper & Row published Robert E. Kowalski's best seller, ''The 8-Week Cholesterol Cure."  Cholesterol was the devil and oat bran was going to save us all.

The 8-Week Cholesterol Cure stayed on the best seller list for two years.  Oat bran was hot, so hot.  Oat bran was in the papers, it was on the news, it was being invited to all of the post-Oscar awards' parties.  "Sales of Quaker Oats Co.'s oat-bran hot cereals jumped from 1 million pounds in 1987 to more than 20 million pounds in 1989" - LA Times.

The downfall; however, began in 1990 after a Harvard study found no significant differences in cholesterol levels between people who ate oat bran and those who ate products made with white flour.  It was like oat bran got caught shoplifting, or worse, like it got chased down the street by its wife wielding a golf club for its cheating and she smashed in the back windshield.

It was soon an oat bran love-fest turned bash-fest.  Sales of books and products with oat bran in them plummeted.  America reverted to its pre-oat-bran-frenzy eating habits.  Unfortunately for this backlash, there are great health benefits to eating it.

We may not be able to live forever eating steak & eggs three meals a day with our trusty oat bran muffin, but it does work its magic in mysterious ways.  More and more studies come out proving its healthfulness - we're here to prove its deliciousness.

It not only adds fiber to whatever you put it in, but it adds good texture to baked goods and some nutty flavor as well.  Don't abandon oat bran, embrace it.  If you still think we're nuts after trying these muffins, drop us a line.  These muffins are fantastic.


Banana Oat Bran Muffins (printable recipe)


  • 1 1/4 cup AP flour
  • 1 cup oat bran
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 2 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl combine flour, oat bran, baking powder, salt and whisk together to remove any lumps.  Set aside.

Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until smooth.  Add in egg and vanilla and mix on low to combine.  Add in remaining wet ingredients just until combined: milk, applesauce and bananas.

Remove from the mixer and manually fold dry ingredients into the wet using a folding a spatula.  Once combined, fold in walnuts. Do not over mix.

Scoop batter into a greased muffin pan and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Remove muffins from pan and place on a cooling rack until ready to eat.

Makes 12-16 muffins

Banana Oat Bran Muffins Cooling

AuthorDave and Amy Koch
4 CommentsPost a comment

Spiced Rum Banana Bread

Everywhere I look it's Banana Bread, Banana Bread, Banana Bread.  I did a check on Google Blog Search for "banana bread recipe" for the past 30 days and it turned up 34,982 results.  During the same 30 day time period, for comparison, "apple pie recipe" turned up only 15,920 and "lasagne recipe" just 11,730.

Like I said, Banana Bread is so hot right now.

I started looking more closely at these Banana Bread recipes and most left me blasé.  One idea that just my juices flowing was to add whisky.  Amy thought rum would be better.  Spiced Rum.  I agreed wholeheartedly.  Armed with a couple of spotted-ripe bananas, Chef Amy set out to develop a recipe that will get you up early on a weekend just to make some.

Without further adieu, let me ask you, "Got a little Captain in you?"

Spiced Rum Banana Bread


  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup bananas, smashed
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup spiced rum (We used Captain Morgans)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped

Rum Glaze

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons spiced rum
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons pecans or walnuts to garnish, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter and flour a bundt pan and set aside.

In a large bowl sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a mixer, cream together butter and both sugars until smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time until incorporated. Take bowl off mixer and stir in the bananas, applesauce, rum, and vanilla. Fold in the dry ingredients into the wet being careful not too over mix.

Fold in chopped nuts. Scrape batter into a prepared bundt pan and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a large plate. Make glaze.

Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum Glaze

In a small saucepan, combine butter, sugars, rum and water. Bring to a boil, lower heat and let simmer for 3-5 minutes or until it thickens slightly. Let cool for a few minutes then pour glaze over the top and sprinkle with chopped nuts. Slice and serve.

Serve Spiced Rum Banana Bread with Fruit and Mimosas

AuthorDave and Amy Koch
CategoriesBaking, Recipes
7 CommentsPost a comment

Chocolate Dipped Cardamom Biscotti

This is a fabulous twist on the more common anise biscotti.  The cardamom gives the cookie an exotic taste and matches perfectly with the chocolate.  It goes great with coffee, tea, or even ice cream.  You can eat it for breakfast, as a dessert, or even a mid-afternoon snack. 

I adapted this recipe from Martha Stewart's but increased the cardamom and added the chocolate to give it more of a kick.  Some may be intimidated to make biscotti but I think you will find that they are actually very easy to do.  You don't even need an electric mixer.  Give these a try for your next dinner party and watch your friends be impressed!


  • 1 1/4 cup AP flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup blanched almonds, chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 oz chocolate (I used Ghiradelli 60% cocoa bittersweet chocolate chips)

Instructions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, cardamom, and sugar. Using a whisk, mix ingredients together so there are no lumps in the flour and everything is incorporated. Add the almonds to the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs and vanilla. Using a spatula, fold egg mixture into the dry ingredients until it forms a dough.  On a parchment lined sheet pan form dough into a long flat log, about 2 inch X 10 inch.

The Biscotti's first bake

Place in the top third of the oven and bake for about 35 minutes, or until crispy on top but still soft in the center. Let cool for 10 minutes. Using a long serrated knife cut into 1 inch slices on a slight diagonal. Lay slices back onto the sheet pan and bake 7-8 minutes. Turn biscotti and bake for an additional 7-8 minutes. Let biscotti cool for 10 minutes before dipping in chocolate.

Slice and bake again

Melt chocolate in a glass bowl using either a microwave or a double boiler. In a microwave, heat for 1 minute, then stir with a heatproof spatula and heat for an additional 30 seconds. Dip cooled biscotti cookies into the chocolate halfway down and place on parchment/wax paper to dry.  Once chocolate has hardened serve or store in airtight container.

Dip Biscotti in Chocolate

Makes 20-30 cookies.

AuthorAmy Koch

  • Bagels - check
  • Cream Cheese - check
  • Toaster or Toaster Oven - check
  • Capers - check
  • Onion - check
  • Heaps of Black Pepper - check

What do we need to make this go completely over the top?  Hmm,

  • Leftover Salmon? - check


Bagels and cream cheese are pretty much staples in our house, as are onions; and well, capers never go bad - do they?  These are things that we literally always have on hand.  On occasion, there is some salmon from the night before and with very little coaxing this can become more delicious than it ever was in a dimly lit restaurant du jour.

Seriously, do capers go bad?

Everyone should have onions on hand.  Amy: "Why are you buying onions? We have onions."  Me: "What is this?  Sour Cream?  No, it's an onion.  If we keep it long enough, it'll grow another one."  I stockpile onions like it were

Authordavid koch

Wow!  I don't think Rachael Ray herself could have thought of a lame-er name for a recipe, I'm gloating.  With such a poor choice of words constructing a name for this pumpkin bread, it does taste quite delicious.  The recipe filled up a small baking pan and a muffin tin.  Dan and Heather were stoked that we had extra.

I got the starter recipe from the Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread recipe at allrecipies.comI can't bake to save my life so there will always be a starter recipe when it comes to flour, egg, sugar, etc...

The instructions were followed more-or-less with the following minor changes:

1) I didn't have a full cup of vegetable oil so

Authordavid koch
4 CommentsPost a comment

"Jack and Jill went up the hill, each with a buck and a quarter.  Jill came down with Frittata..."

Oh... the magical vanishing act of the Frittata, making all those vegetables in the refrigerator disappear.  With only four eggs, I was able to vanquish nearly a whole Bell Pepper, two handfuls of Spinach, a quarter of an Onion, a small army of chives, four ounces of Jack Cheese, and a handful of Flat-Leaf Parsley.

A Frittata gives you the opportunity to use those, let's say less-than-perfect remnants of your vegetable drawer.  You stick to a theme and bind everything together literally with eggs.  The only prerequisites are the eggs, really - although I would never consider making one without...

Authordavid koch
2 CommentsPost a comment


It may be obvious to my regular readers (my mom, my girlfriend) that I’m a bit of a salad guy.  I love salad.  And one of my favorite ways to start my day is with a breakfast salad.  Here’s how it goes:


·         Wash a few handfuls of fresh mixed greens.  I like having some bitter greens in there, such as radicchio or frisee.

·         Make a sharp, acidic vinaigrette:  Mix two parts olive oil to one part vinegar.  Equal parts of champagne and red wine vinegar add pleasant aromatics to the vinegar component of the dressing.  Drop in a few dashes of Old Bay or Tabasco if you like – not too much, just enough to taste the spice.  Whisk or shake...

AuthorLoren Tama
5 CommentsPost a comment

Ah, the Loco Moco.  Take white rice, plop a fried hamburger patty on top (usually well-done), pour brown gravy over everything, and then top it all with a fried egg.  What hungry beast designed this dish? 

According to the Wiki, "James Kelly, a University of Hawaii-Hilo professor writes that the loco moco dish was created in 1949 by the Inouye family, who owned the Lincoln Grill in Hilo, Hawaii in 1949. A group of boys from the Lincoln Wreckers...

Authordavid koch
2 CommentsPost a comment

photo by Dave Koch

Bacon or Sausage?

Scrambled or fried?

Hash browns or home fries?

As I sit waiting for my guest at a local diner, I have an epiphany on the what makes us so attracted to the meal in which we break our nightly fast.  Let's talk about breakfast.  Why do we crave it?  Why is it often, "Served All Day"?  What is the root of it's universal appeal?

I suddenly realized that it's beauty is in it's simplicity; but what makes it so special is it's ability to be customized.  At it's foundation you often have eggs, a meat, a leavened bread, a pan-fried bread, some sort of a sweet topping (syrup, jam, etc.), ketchup, and the ubiquitous Tabasco sauce.

What makes it amazing is that the sheer number of unique combination's allow for everyone to eat the same thing, yet completely different from the next person, and also precisely how they like it.  This amalgam makes up most fare served up in the finest morning eating establishments.

Patron:  "Pancake sandwich with bacon, eggs over medium, no runny, sourdough toast."

Server:  "It doesn't come with toast, honey"

Patron:  "OK, no toast then.  Or, could I have some on the side?"

Server:  "What kind of toast?"

And so it continues...

If you turn off your filter at a busy diner, these conversations pop into your head in a continuous stream.  People narcistically order their personal nuances into every distinct piece of the meal, far more than any other.  "Extra this"  "Light that"  "Easy on the..."  "Could I have a side of the ... instead?"  They've had more practice fine tuning breakfast than lunch, or dinner.  Just look at the menu; there may be less than 10 things, all assembled in different ways; like Legos, but for food.

As I sneak glances upon my fellow patrons I see two middle aged women eating pancakes with a light touch on the syrup.  They have only used about a third of their respective tiny pitchers of the dark stuff.  One hasn't even touched her little ball of butter, the other has devoured hers; both are sharing a side of bacon and each are sipping coffee.

The man to my right and a little behind me, as I rubber neck in my stealthily way, is devouring scrambled eggs, hash browns, a biscuit (he hasn't touched his butter either), and washing it all down with a glass of milk. He dines alone, slowing as he eats, the last few bites are deliberate and well planned.  A small bite of egg, then a stab of the biscuit, a small swipe of marmalade from his knife, and then into the mouth.

A foursome of two couples was just seated near me and I have a great vantage point.  They begin with three coffees, a tea, and a round of waters with one woman sipping her water from a straw.  The woman with the tea has a side of fruit immediately.  When they are served, it looks as if something's wrong with the ladies' order, very wrong.  They send it back.

What emerges a minute or so later looks like Benedict, split with her female friend across the table from her.  One of the male counterparts gets eggs that look over easy, white toast, sausage patties, and hash browns.  He likes to break everything up at first rather then before each bite (I know the type), and spends a minute or so preparing the plate.  The other man does nearly the same, only with links instead.

On another note: I just watched a woman pour an unholy amount of sugar into her coffee from the glass jar of sugar.  I think there should be a safety valve on those things.  She could have put a Shetland pony into hypoglycemia with a dose that size.

For me?

I'm going to get one egg over-hard (I've not been digging runny yolks lately...), bacon (I had sausage links yesterday), hash browns, a biscuit (I'm going to smother it with my own little round ball of butter and...), and maybe some marmalade.  I will add a tablespoon or so of ketchup to the side and likely skip the Tabasco.  Coffee with one tub of half & half, no sugar.

My cohort, I'm guessing, will order one egg over easy, bacon (or maybe the sausage patty??), hash browns, and white toast.  He will get two sides of brown gravy and pour it on top of everything.  He will spend 90 seconds or so shaking black pepper on top once the roofing of gravy is down - I've never seen someone put more pepper on their food than him.  He'll order a side of milk for his coffee in lieu of the half & half tubs, no sugar.

[Update: I got the same but I was offered a side of gravy as well and I went for it.  It was mushroom gravy - and it was quite tasty, thanks for the tip.  My cohort got one egg but scrambled, with links instead and an English muffin.  He only got one side of brown gravy, though still with heaps of black pepper, and he put strawberry jam on the English muffin... I was so close.]

So, how do you assemble your ideal "diner breakfast"?

Bacon, ham, links, patty, pork chop, or steak?

Pancakes, French toast, waffle, or silver dollars?

Over easy, over medium, scrambled, poached, or omelet?

Hash browns, home fries (triple cheese for $1 more), French fries, or fruit?

Sourdough, white, wheat, rye, English muffin, crumpet, or biscuit?

Coffee, tea, orange juice, grapefruit, tomato, or milk?

Cereal, oatmeal, granola, yogurt, muesli?

Authordavid koch
CategoriesHistory, Humor
13 CommentsPost a comment

photo by Dave Koch

My friend Terence, god bless him, makes oatmeal like clockwork every morning. He not only does it the old fashioned way (with steel-cut oats) but he does it with such panache, that he makes oatmeal something worth writing about.

Here is a short interview with him about his morning ritual.

Me: So what's the recipe?
Terence: Four to one: water to organic steel cut oats. Boil, then lower heat and simmer for 5-15 mins, depending on how watery you like your oatmeal. I do 5 mins, then leave covered for another 10 mins (I use water that is filtered 3 times with reverse osmosis then stored in a glass dispenser, I don't like the taste of plastic in my food).

Then I add raw almond butter (it tastes much better than roasted), dried tart Morello cherries (they help reduce inflammation especially for people with arthritis - take a handful a day for 2 weeks and you'll notice a difference, they sell them at Trader Joe's), banana, (I also use papaya, strawberry, boysenberry, peaches, or nectarines), and a little Grade B maple syrup (again, Trader Joe's, buy the one in the glass container its easier to pour the correct amount, and doesn't taste like plastic), and always... cinnamon.

Me: Why steel cut oats? Why not the oatmeal with the guy with the funny hat we all know and grew up with ?
Terence: Steel cut oatmeal leaves the oat closer to its original form. By leaving the grain intact it makes it a more complex carbohydrate so it passes through your body slower and doesnt turn to sugar as quickly as the flat 5 min stuff (garbage).

Me: Why organic, does it really matter with grains?
Terence: Since only hippies buy steel cut, most that are sold are already organic. The organic oats sold in the bins at most health food store are not that expensive, so its worth it to not eat pesticides.

Me: Do steel cut oats have oat bran? Remember oat bran from the 1980's? They were putting that stuff in everything! I think I even had some cotton candy with it at the county fair!
Terence: The more intact the grain is the more fiber it will have, and in general the less processed the grain is the more complex the carbohydrate.

Me: Oatmeal takes so long to make. What's the deal? Any tips to make it faster?
Terence: The grain takes longer to absorb water because it hasn't been mashed to pieces. There is nothing wrong with boiling it at night and leave it on the stove top, covered. Just reheat it in the morning.

Me: Remember when we were at the farmer's market and you got that huge box of bruised peaches for like $5? What other fruits are prone to having "blems" that the farmers are willing to part with, on the cheap?
Terence: Ask for the ripe bin at any farmer's market stand who sells fruit that bruises, you get the best, ripest tasting fruit for a quarter the price.

Me: What is the oddest thing you've put in there? Flax seed endosperm? Bee pollen? Fried grasshoppers? (Do insects count as vegetables?)
Terence: I also have put organic plain soy yogurt (I don't like the sugar infused one).

Terence's Oatmeal
(serves 2)

Bring 4 cups of water a boil, add 1 cup of organic steel cut oats. Cover, and simmer for 5-15 minutes (to your desired consistancy).

Meanwhile, slice a banana, a papaya, and an apple. You can use any fruit you have on hand but these three in particular go increadibly well together.

When the oatmeal is done, scoop it into a bowl and add the fruit. Next add 2 tablespoons of raw almond butter and sprinkle a teaspoon of cinnamon on top. Lastly, drizzle a tablespoon of Grabe B maple syrup.


Authordavid koch
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Celebrichef Joanne Weir served this up to my wife for breakfast the other day and she whipped up some for me.  It is delicious and light, and at the same time satiating.  It only takes minutes to prepare and can keep you energized for hours.

Apples and Yogurt

  • 1 apple per person
  • 1 cup of plain yogurt (Greek-style is tasty)
  • 1/4 cup of slivered almonds
  • dusting of cinnamon to taste

Cut apples into bite sized pieces - preferably Pink Lady Apples which I describe as firm but not hard, and tart but not sour.  Add the yogurt and slivered almonds on top.  Dust with cinnamon.  Enjoy.


Interestingly enough the term "Pink Lady" is a registered Trademark of Apple and Pear Australia Limited.  The cultivar is the result of hybridizing the Golden Delicious and the Lady Williams and is experiencing a boom of sorts.   It was developed by John Cripps in the 1970's and read below how complicated the fruit industry has become... (from Wikipedia)

"The Cripps Pink variety is owned and licensed by the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA), which has Plant Breeders' Rights in multiple countries.

The peak industry body for Australian apple and pear growers - Apple and Pear Australia Limted [sic] (APAL) - owns and manages globally the intellectual property in the trade mark PINK LADYTM, which is registered in more than 70 countries.

Only the highest quality grade of apple can be sold under the trademark of PINK LADYTM."

When they mention how only the highest quality grade can be sold as "Pink Lady" - according to Orange Pippin, 65% of annual production does not meet the standards and are then sold under the name Cripps Pink.  They are the same variety.

Authordavid koch