Archive | brunch RSS feed for this section

Using Up Overripe Cherries: Toaster Oven Cobbler

7 Jan

Has a cold snap hit your town this weekend? Then it’s a good time to stay in and whip up a sweet, hot dessert (or breakfast)! This is also a great way to use up overripe berries in the summer months. You’ll need 4 ramekins or other small, oven-proof dishes for the cobbler. I used mostly all-purpose flour but replaced a tablespoon’s worth with coconut flour, just for kicks.

Cherry cobbler

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup to 1 cup cherries, pitted
  • 2 ½ Tbsp sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp cornstarch
  • 1 ½ tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract or almond extract
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • dash salt
  • ¼cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat toaster oven (or regular oven) to 350°F  
  2. Toss cherries in 1 ½ Tbsp sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and a dash of vanilla or almond extract.dsc05884
  3. Divide evenly into 4 ramekins.dsc05886
  4. Place ramekins into oven for 10 minutes, while you prep the batter.
  5. For the batter: combine flour, remainder of sugar, baking powder, salt, milk, and butter.
  6. Spoon into ramekins on top of the cherries.
  7. Bake for about 45 minutes.
  8. Broil for 2-3 minutes, to brown the tops.
  9. Enjoy on its own or with ice cream!
Advertisements

Grand Rapids Brewsader Tour

1 Jan

It took me a while to getting around to writing this post – Hubby and I did our own Beer City Brewsader Tour of Grand Rapids, Michigan, over a weekend in the Fall. We mostly walked between breweries (gotta earn our beers!), with a couple of Uber rides thrown in. Since winter is a great time to hang out indoors while tasting craft beers, hopefully this post is still relevant.

Kick off the morning with brunch at Grand Rapids Brewing (1 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503). Have a pint, a beer sampler, or hit the Bloody Mary bar.

img_20160904_123439553_hdr

Hubby had the breakfast platter – it’s a good amount of food with eggs, a sausage, potatoes, and toast.
img_20160904_124106779

For smaller appetites (since you’ll have to pace your eating for the day), there are several brunch appetizers. I had a salad and a Scotch egg – I have a weak spot for Scotch eggs…The sausage was good, but the egg was fully cooked, without the soft-centered yolk I had hoped for.

img_20160904_124101983

Don’t forget to ask your server for a Brewsader passport – collect stamps at 8 or more participating Grand Rapids area breweries, then submit your “passport” to receive a free t-shirt (to advertise your love of alcohol, or you can use it as pajamas since it’s very comfy and soft). All of the breweries I mention here are part of the Brewsader program. And if you use the Untapped beer app on your phone, you’ll also get the Brewsader badge (more incentives to drink).

Just a couple doors down you’ll find HopCat ( 25 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503). Grab a seat at the bar for a drink or two. The beer list is great, the bartenders are fantastic, and so is the decor. 

If you need a break from beer, head to the Grand Rapids Downtown Market for a bite to eat – you’ll find soups, tacos, Thai food, pizza, and fantastic ice cream at Love’s. From there, it’s a 1 mile (20 minute) walk along Wealthy Street to ELK Brewing (700 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503). Though ELK’s brews weren’t really my style – I found the flavors too obvious and overpowering – there were a lot of local regulars who came in to refill their growlers.

Then it’s another 20 minute walk (or short cab ride) to Brewery Vivant (925 Cherry St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506), a brewery in a former historical funeral home. Once inside, under the vaulted ceiling, you’ll feel as if you might be in a small Belgian town. My photos don’t do it justice.
img_20160904_175838337

img_20160904_181749809

I recommend trying the charcuterie plate at Brewery Vivant:

img_20160904_182130215

But save room for dinner, because you’ll want to head to Harmony Brewing Company (1551 Lake Dr SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506) to enjoy some good beer, and some of the best pizza in town (I forgot to take photos because I was too busy devouring that  pizza!)

Finally, finish off the night at Founders Brewing Co. (235 Grandville Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503), with its large beer hall, fantastic patio, and beer shop. 

Founders

Mitten Brewing
If you have room in your belly for one more brewery, kick off Day Two at Mitten Brewing Company (527 Leonard St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504). It’s a bit further afield from the others, but it’s a cool place – in a restored Victorian-era firehouse, decorated with a baseball theme. This place is kid friendly – we saw many families enjoying pizza together. We opted to snack on the trout dip, which is absolutely delicious!!
img_20160905_123319729
Happy new year, and happy brewsading!!

Grand Rapids Brewing Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Brewery Vivant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Delicious and Healthy Breakfast: Walnut Avenue Cafe, Santa Cruz

17 Jul

Kicking off our road trip from San Jose down to San Diego, California, hubby and I were in search of a hearty but healthy start to our day. We found it at the Walnut Avenue Cafe in Santa Cruz.

My veggie scramble was fantastic. I hate it when scrambled eggs are too buttery, this was not it. And it came with a fruit cup and rye toast. The scramble may look simple, but it was so perfectly prepared.

IMG_20160516_140436219_HDR

Hubby ordered a build-your-own omelette, stuffed with chorizo, onions, bell peppers, and avocado. 

IMG_20160516_140431539_HDR

 

Check out all that avocado inside!! And, the side of potatoes were some of the best breakfast potatoes I’ve tried. Again, simple, but perfectly prepared.

We shared a plain, fluffy waffle too. Yum! What a perfect breakfast. I only wish I had ordered a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice. The large glasses looked amazing at the other tables.

IMG_20160516_140445965

The Final Word: A solid breakfast/brunch here, with simple ingredients done well. I would definitely come back!

Info: Walnut Avenue Cafe, 106 Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz, CA 95060 USA

Walnut Avenue Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ma Lai Goh (Steamed “Malay” Cake)

6 Feb

For some reason, this old school Chinese bakery goodie is called “Malay cake”, even though it has nothing to do with Malaysia. The light cake was always my favorite dessert after dim sum (Chinese small plates eaten at lunch time). Unfortunately, traditional style Malay cake is disappearing from menus, and I can’t find them at bakeries either. So I decided to make my own. It turns out that this cake requires only a few basic ingredients.

DSC05249

Malay cake is a steamed cake, not a baked cake. I used a 9″ steamer basket, lined with parchment paper. 

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cups dark brown sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 120 ml corn oil
  • 130 ml milk
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla

 

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until the sugar is well dissolved and the mixture is bubbly.
    Ingredients for Mah Lai Goh
    DSC05226
  2. Whisk in oil and milk until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture. Mix well.DSC05230
  5. Add vanilla. Mix until bubbly.
  6. Cover mixing bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for at least 1 hour, or refrigerate overnight.
  7. Pour mixer into parchment lined steaming tray.
  8. Bring water in steamer to a boil. DSC05235
  9. Place steaming tray in the steamer and steam until cake is done and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 35 minutes.

DSC05239

I added some chopped walnuts on top, just to make it look a little prettier.

DSC05242

Slice and enjoy! This cake is best devoured while fresh and warm!

%d bloggers like this: