Sunday, December 19, 2010

Quite Possibly My Favorite Breakfast

I love breakfast. It could quite possibly be my favorite meal of the day. Of course I REALLY enjoy treating myself to brunch (see my earlier post about two of my favorite spots Bongo Room and David Burke Primehouse) but when I'm just cooking for myself at home I try to keep things a little more simple.
Welcome the breakfast rice bowl. You might think this sounds kind of gross when you first hear about it...eggs and rice? Seriously though you can't know it because it is unbelievably good!

I was inspired by Wow Bao. One of my favorite on-the-way-to-work-faster food options. They make a killer bacon cheddar rice bowl. It's a little greasy and ridiculously addictive. It also tops 400 calories so it's not the healthiest way to start the morning so I got a little creative.

Robyn's rice bowl...though my pink
background doesn't do it justice
Welcome Robyn's rice bowl! Below is my easy to make version of this breakfast treat. It's healthy, it's easy to make and it actually keeps decently well for leftovers.

Robyn's Rice Bowl

1 cup of brown rice or quinoa (I love Trader Joe's frozen bags of brown rice. I make the bag and then keep half to use for lunch/dinner the next day)
2 eggs scrambled
1 tbsp milk
2-3 tbsp of light cheddar cheese
salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped spinach
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 oz pancetta cubed (this part is not healthy so feel free to omit if you're a vegetarian or looking for a healthier option)

1 - Microwave or prepare rice or quinoa as directed and set aside

2 - Add milk, cheese, salt and pepper to eggs

3 - Heat non-stick skillet with olive oil and add spinach. Add frozen peas or other veggies once the spinach and cooked some. If you're opting for the oh so tasty pancetta than you won't need the oil at all. Toss the meat in the pan and let it's juices pave the way for some spinach wilting.

4 - Once your veggies have cooked a bit add in your scrambled eggs.

5 - Toss in the rice/grain with the cooking eggs and coat.

6 - Pour mixture into a bowl and enjoy.

This recipe is the perfect meal for 1 person.

As an aside, I recently fell and fractured my radius. Sounds bad right? Well, it's OK and only hurts if I should move it in a way that I shouldn't be moving it, but it sucks. I can't cook and washing dishes by hand is really tough. This little recipe is easy enough that I can make it all with one hand. Sure I have to clean the pan but really? It's just one pan so I'm OK. Thanks to everyone that has sent me soup, chocolate and flowers. I'm very appreciative of all the love I'm getting and will hopefully be back in the kitchen cooking up a storm again in 6-8 weeks.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cooking with Class

Every once in a while a girl needs to take a class. Specifically a cooking class. It's a fun excuse to get together with friends, learn some new techniques, cook something that might be a little outside your comfort zone and of course get to eat the tasty treats you made. I'm a big fan of Chicago's Chopping Block.  The cooking mecca has two locations in the city, both offer hands-on and demonstration classes, but each has their own personality. The Lincoln Square location is more neighborhoody and warm. Classes here always feel intimate. The Merchandise Mart location is beautifully new and has the state of the art cooking equipment. Of course its fabulous and a bit closer to me, but I still prefer its North-side sibling.

I've made a habit now of taking a class there every few months. Demonstrations classes are $40 a person and last about 2.5 hours. You get to relax with a glass of wine and let a professional chef do all the work. You walk away with all the recipes and are encouraged to take notes during the class. The hands-on classes are $75-85 depending on the class. These are also about 2.5 hours in length but it seems longer because you're doing all the cooking. All of the ingredients are ready for you to cook with and you don't have to do any of the cleanup so the classes are always a nicer treat than cooking at home. Plus you get top of the line Viking ranges and Le Creuset baking utensils so it REALLy is better than cooking at home :)

Most recently I took a Thanksgiving prep hands-on class. It was just like the big holiday meal and was great practice for me. We made the turkey with a butter herb rub, gravy, green beans with almonds and cherries, bacon corn souffle, cardamon cranberries, pumpkin pie and garlic mashed potatoes. It was quite the treat the eat everything AND we took home leftovers! It was a treat indeed and I got to catch up with two friends while we cooked. Good times indeed!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Examining Food on a Sunday Morning

I'm a big fan of CBS Sunday Morning. I record it on my DVR every week, so even if I sleep in a wee bit later I can still wake up and enjoy Charles Osgood. A few weeks ago (pre-Thanksgiving) they had a fabulous episode dedicated entirely to food. I usually feel like I've learned something after watching the program, but on this particular show I was overwhelmed. I should have just kept the recording and watched it again, but I thought I'd share links to some of my favorite pieces here.

Pretzels and Beer - going behind the scenes on the makings of two American favorites

Wholesome Breakfast or Decadent Brunch - Mo Rocca examines the difference between the two meals

The Timeless Traditions of Tea - I'm a tea fiend so this was also very enjoyable

Delis: Timeless Temples of "Jewish Soul Food" - just looking at those beautiful corned beef sandwiches is a Hanukkah treat!