Tag Archives: Breakfast

Brioche Toad in the Hole

6 Feb

My friend and fellow food blogger Sara of Stalk my Kitchen baked my husband a loaf of brioche this weekend. We brought it home after drinks on Saturday night and literally, my husband could not wait to cut into it Sunday morning. He recently discovered the wonder of brioche when we brought a loaf home from La Buvette a few months ago; now he’s addicted.

Sara’s loaf is beautiful: perfectly formed and golden brown. It’s also buttery and delicious. (Read her blog post about brioche baking here.)

Sara and her fiancée Scott told us they used the bread to make toad in the hole eggs, and that seemed a good enough idea to us.

I am enough of a baking novice that I have a very slim selection of cookie cutters, and none shaped like a circle.  On the first piece, Matthew carved out a hole with the bread knife. On the second one, I used a shot glass to cut the hole and that worked great.

My process photos didn’t turn out so well, and it took some concentration for me to decide just when to flip the bread without breaking the egg, so I didn’t take any photos. Matthew’s piece turned out perfect, and mine broke. But it tasted good anyway.

An appreciation: Caffé Italia

13 Dec

Caffé Italia, hidden in a tiny strip mall in one of Lincoln’s off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods, is one of those places that people who love eating dream of finding.

I first went to Caffé Italia with my now husband when we had just begun dating. One of our old college professors that Matthew kept in touch with hung out at the restaurant every Friday night. He invited us to join his eclectic group of friends — artists, scholars, writers, photographers — for Caffé Italia’s Friday night dinner.

The menu only had one item each night, and everyone got it. Over the years, I remember eating some delicious lasagna and lots of homemade, light pasta tossed with perfect sauces. When the restaurant ran out of the menu item that night, that was it.

The restaurant’s half-dozen glass-topped tables were filled with an eclectic crowd. Noise levels in the small space could become deafening as the night went on. It wasn’t music, though, or kitchen noise that filled the space. It was good conversation.

During that first dinner — and the many that followed — I talked to people about books they were writing. Photography projects they were working on. International travel. Politics. Cooking. Documentaries they were filming. The future of journalism.

I also learned to love drinking from a tiny, frosty glass filled with tart Limoncello.

Caffé Italia doesn’t serve its dinners any more. After closing temporarily, the restaurant re-opened for breakfast. A barista makes all sorts of drinks with Italian Lavazzara coffee and there’s a selection of scones and biscotti. The restaurant served both coffee and sweets before it closed. Now, it just draws a crowd in the morning rather than the evening.

I had a latte and a buttery, flaky scone dotted with figs and pistachios. Matthew ate his scone with an inky-black, rich Americano. Caffé Italia is still as good as ever.

That morning, we missed our college professor by just a few minutes.

Caffé Italia | 2110 Winthrop Rd | Lincoln, NE | 402-489-4949

Sunday Night Pot Luck: Breakfast

7 Nov

Our November pot luck was last night, and this month’s theme, as set by friends Ben and Annie, was breakfast for dinner. It was over the top. Ben made plum clafoutis and scrambled eggs studded with scallions from his garden, and the rest of the pot luckers did not disappoint, either: homemade pumpkin butter, savory and sweet casseroles, baked oatmeal, quiche, banana bread with chocolate chips and homemade scones.

As for my dish, I made a recipe from a new cookbook that I’m really excited about: Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas. Though the pot luck crowd doesn’t include any vegans, it does include a fair amount of vegetarians and one gluten-free friend. I’m always on the lookout for food I can bring that meets everyone’s needs, and the Baked Tofu Tortilla Extravaganza was a prime example. It’s vegetarian, gluten-free and could be easily prepared vegan if you used vegan cheese and sour cream. It turned out better than I could have hoped for. I foresee using this book a lot during the holidays this year.

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