Happy Thanksgiving!

I realize my last post was some time ago. Glad to be back! Let’s just say I’m thankful to have been really busy this year! I’m also thankful for Heather’s gluten free cinnamon rolls which we had as an intro to today’s festivities.

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She wanted to bring back the cinnamon rolls of her youth in a gluten free way, so that we could all enjoy them. It’s straight out of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. Well sort of; just substitute Cup4Cup flour and butter for the shortening.

Stay tuned for turkey leftovers coming soon!! Enjoy your time with family and friends!

Summer Sunday breakfast

Seeing as it’s been so long since my last post (most humble apologies!), I wanted to officially say, “happy summer”! I hope yours has been as busy and as fun filled as ours, so far.

I thought I’d share our thyme French toast breakfast with you, as it was delightful. Fresh figs are always a highlight for us, and this was no exception. Especially with the addition of good Italian bread, thyme egg batter, and agave nectar.

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Make your egg batter for the french toast with several egg whites, only one egg yoke, a dash of milk, a little salt and pepper, and thyme.

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Quarter the figs and throw them in a hot pan with some blue agave nectar to slightly caramelize them.

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Top with maple syrup and a little powdered sugar, and your day is off to a good start! Enjoy your Sunday!

Mirbeau = Indulgence

This week marks the anniversary of our first date! Last year, we commemorated the occasion with a quick getaway to Mirbeau Inn and Spa in Skaneateles. With the French countryside and the works of Monet as its inspiration, Mirbeau provides gorgeous accommodations and excellent cuisine in a soothing, romantic environment. When making a reservation, be sure to mention whether you would like to stay in a cottage, allowing you to stroll through the lovely gardens on your way to the main building, or in the main building itself. We prefer the cottages, but have stayed in the main building during the winter to avoid walking outside for the spa and dining options.

The lovely grounds of Mirbeau.

The lovely grounds of Mirbeau.

As we entered our cottage, classical music was playing softly. We felt any lingering tension start to slip away as we took in the French country décor, complete with a fireplace. The bathroom was like a gorgeous mini-spa with its oversized soaking tub, large walk-in shower, and Mirbeau’s “Essentials” body and hair products.

After settling in, we took a short walk to Spa Mirbeau. Rather than booking a spa treatment, we opted to simply change into our swimsuits, wrap ourselves in thick, soft white robes, and visit the Aqua Terrace. This remarkable outdoor space boasts a large, naturally-shaped Jacuzzi (complete with waterfall and landscaping), a huge stone fireplace, and a small bar. We ordered a lunch of finger sandwiches and wine from the barman, then perched beside the fire to eat. It was a fabulous meal with which to begin our twenty-four hours of indulgence! The sandwiches were delectable, the wine delicious. We lingered by the fire a bit more, then spent a lovely afternoon relaxing in the water.

It was then time to get ready for dinner. Formal attire isn’t required, but I just love any excuse to dress for dinner! We freshened up, changed, and strolled to the Wine Bar. Although we love the Dining Room at Mirbeau, we’d never dined at the Wine Bar, and thought this was an excellent opportunity to do so. The cozy space has its own large fireplace and comfortable seating. You can use the automatic wine machines to sample a variety of vinos, or simply order off the menu. We tried a couple of wines and several small-plate-style appetizers. Everything was delicious, and the atmosphere was enhanced by chatting with our fellow diners at the Wine Bar – Sean and Dee from Buffalo, locals Peggy and Jimmy, and Bill the car guy. Add in the excellent bartenders, Ed and Tim, and it was a lively, fun evening!

The comfortable bed provided for a very good night’s sleep, which was followed by the complimentary European Continental Breakfast. This was so much more than the typical freebie breakfast, both in variety and quality. We particularly loved the almond pastries, so much so that our server obligingly wrapped some up for us for the ride home!

We made the short drive into the charming town of Skaneateles, walking through its downtown area and checking out shops and galleries. Our original thought was to have lunch in town, but we just couldn’t resist one last meal at Mirbeau. So off we went, back to the Dining Room, for a famous Mirbeau Hamburger. This decadent burger is served on a brioche roll with Portobello mushrooms, balsamic red onions, gruyere and spinach, with bistro fries, béarnaise sauce, and bordelaise sauce on the side. It is well deserving of its accolades.

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Behold…the Mirbeau Hamburger.

The Dining Room.

The Dining Room.

We’d put it off as long as we could; it was time to leave our little sanctuary. With one last longing look at the lovely garden, we tore ourselves away and headed back to reality!

The Breakfast of Champions!

Ok….so it’s not Wheaties. It’s far better! But given the opening ceremonies this evening,  I thought I should do a post somehow relate to the Olympics. So….it was our breakfast and we felt like champions afterward. Just like Bruce Jenner did after eating his bowl of Wheaties and winning his Olympic medals. It works for me. Thus the brie, asparagus, crab cake, egg white, ciabatta baguette breakfast sandwich!

Toast a chunk of ciabatta baguette and layer it with 2 slices of brie. Let them melt slightly while you are pan searing your crab crakes (made with Wegmans crab meat stuffing!), and making your thin egg white omelette. (I mix in half a yoke for color.) Layer on top of the brie when done, top with a few steamed asparagus tips and sprinkle with fresh thyme.  Three layers of protein and 6 layers of flavorful goodness to help you win the next decathalon! Or at least to sit and watch the Olympic athletes try…..Enjoy!

The brie, asparagus, crab cake, egg white, ciabatta baguette breakfast sandwich!
The name and the sandwich are quite a mouthful!

A morning treat, all the way from Scotland!

I love my job! For many reasons….but one of the little side perks is photo shoot leftovers! I recently had to photograph a side of Scottish salmon, and had a little left to sample. I brought it home and Heather and I had a nice breakfast treat the following day. It was absolutely marvelous! We will most definitely be picking more of this up soon. It’s good for your heart, your brain , and your taste buds!

Scottish smoked salmon, with cream cheese and red onion ....on a bagel. YUM!

Red, white and blue “freedom” toast.

I can’t give credit to the French for our 4th of July breakfast! Maybe for the Statue of Liberty, but I’m sticking to freedom toast for now. We just happened to have a few slices of rosemary olive oil bread left over and we couldn’t  let it go to waste. This is one of our favorite breads when fresh, and it’s a favorite when soaked in egg whites and cooked up as well!  My suggestion for freedom or French toast: skip the egg yolks. I also skip the butter to fry it and use a cooking spray, all in an effort to eat as healthy as possible. There is still tons of flavor!

We topped with fruit and powdered sugar for the red, white and blue effect. Hope you all had a great holiday weekend!

Rosemary olive oil, red, white & blue freedom toast.

Good morning…with French toast!

There isn’t much on the breakfast table that looks as good as maple syrup glistening French toast. Until you add the powdered sugar and raspberries! This tasted every bit as good as it looks. We used our left over Easter bread; a light bread with raisins and golden raisins. Being a day old, the bread soaks up the batter better. (Say that 6 times fast!) I like to cook as light as possible, so I only used egg whites and a touch of skim milk for the batter. Throw it on a hot griddle with a touch of cooking spray (once again trying to keep it light) until golden brown. Top it off with pure maple syrup, raspberries and a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Mmmmmmm.

We decided to have some Tart Cherry Stomp to go with our French toast. This was our first time trying this 100% fruit nectar. Yum…tart and sweet, a great combination. Good morning to you!!

Easter bread french toast for breakfast! (click me and make me bigger)

Tart Cherry Stomp from Red Jacket Orchards, in Geneva.