A Great Start

Last night, I watched PBS’s “A Breakfast Special” and it got me thinking about the most memorable breakfasts I’ve had. I LOVE breakfast, but I don’t really have a proper, full breakfast very often. My breakfasts typically involve a small bowl of almond milk and cereal with a side of jammy toast. Usually, full breakfasts are tied to special occasions in my home—birthdays and holidays, but especially my mom’s special Christmas breakfast with the works. Sometimes I’ll bake something up for breakfast and serve it with coffee. For the most part, I stick to the same tried and true breakfast/brunch places. These include South Miami’s Sunset Tavern & Deli Lane, where they have some of the best grits I’ve ever had and the ever delectable “Challah Egg Melt”. It’s a understated, relaxing place to have a fresh-air brunch on a Sunday. John Martin’s is another favorite, lots of fond birthday and lazy Sunday memories there. They make a great full Irish breakfast, and a mean Eggs Benedict and French toast croissant.

Then there’s the Indigo at the Riverside Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale, where the brunch menu always changes and they bring your latte with a swizzle stick.

I also have some great memories of croissants at the Vie de France Bakery on Main Street in Miami Lakes, short stacks at the IHOP by the airport, and pancakes at the now dearly departed Joffrey’s. Most of these memories are associated with good company as much as great food… I think a great breakfast companion can make an Egg McMuffin seem like the most memorable breakfast. The last “best” breakfast I had was a short stack and eggs at the Original Pancake House in Doral on a lazy Saturday after an unsuccessful antiquing trip to the flea market. Delicious.

Recipes: Orange Brunch Muffins

My mom and grandma love orange-flavored baked goods, so I wanted to make something orangey for Mother’s Day breakfast 🙂 . I found several interesting recipes, but finally chose this one: Orange Brunch Muffins from the Very Best Baking site. This is a Nestle recipe that calls for white morsels, but my mom absolutely hates white chocolate, so I replaced them with dried cranberries to add some tartness to the mix. It also calls for baking mix as part of the dough… I’ve never used baking mix in a recipe before, so I was a bit ambivalent, but I didn’t want to try any complicated replacements. I just went with the rest of the recipe as is.

I burned my hand with some hot soup last night, so mixing was a bit of a problem and I just hoped that I wasn’t under-mixing, but despite a rough start, the muffins turned out very well. When I took them out of the oven, they looked a bit like biscuits, which I assumed was the result of using baking mix in the recipe (since biscuits are generally made with this mix). The texture is similar to that of a biscuit, slightly crusty outer layer and very soft doughy middle. The taste nice and orangey, and the cranberries and macadamias provided a nice balance of tart and crunchy. They are not overly sweet, but just right for a breakfast muffin.


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