Tag Archives: brunch

French Zucchini Toast

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen that I have a lot of zucchini in the freezer to deal with. We love zucchini bread, and like all quick breads it’s crazy easy to make. So I’ve slowly been going through the frozen zucchini by keeping us in zucchini bread. Oh, the hardship.

This morning, as I was pondering what to do about breakfast, my eyes rested on the zucchini bread. “I wonder,” I said to myself, “whether I could make french toast with zucchini bread.” After all, french toast is just an eggy bread. Would what type of “bread” it is matter?

French Zucchini Toast

And the answer is no! It doesn’t matter in the least. In fact, using zucchini bread gave the french toast a distinctly different flavour that I really liked. And hey – it’s just french toast, so it’s super easy to make!

Recipe: make french toast, using zucchini bread instead of regular bread. If you need more specific instructions, read on.

For two servings, you will need:

  • 4 slices of zucchini bread* (about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 TB sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 TB butter

*Note: this would probably be better if you sliced the bread the night before and left it out to dry overnight. I sliced and cooked right away, though, and it worked great, too.

Whisk the eggs with the milk, sugar, vanilla and salt in a bowl with a flat bottom.

Soak the bread slices in the egg mixture, flipping them around to get both sides. Place them on a plate after dipping them. If you have any leftover egg mixture, pour it over the bread slices. Let them sit for about 10 minutes.

In a frying pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Carefully lay the soaked bread slices in the frying pan. Fry them on one side for about four minutes, and flip. Cook them on the other side for another 3-4 minutes. Be careful not to burn them!

Serve with a pat of butter and a drizzle of some good maple syrup.

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Eye Candy: Pancake Brunch

We are up against a deadline at work. No matter how much planning and preparation you do, your plans can be totally derailed if your work depends on other departments. As a result, I have been working a fair amount of overtime lately, and haven’t had much time for writing.

Last weekend, though, I did make time for a communal brunch with friends. One person hosted, while others provided sausage, bacon, eggs, coffee, bread, and all the other things and go into a pancake feast. We even had gluten-free pancakes for our friend with a gluten-intolerance. It was nice to relax, even just for a few hours, and stuff ourselves silly.

Orange Juice

Syrup

Pancake batter

Bacon

Bread

Bacon!

Eggs

Brunch

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The Tallest Poppy (aka, Where to take your friends for brunch)

When you are driving north up Main Street from downtown, it can be easy to miss. Nestled next to the New Occidental is a restaurant with a cheerful yellow sign hanging over the door and a bear mannequin in the front window. It looks small and unassuming, but it’s one of my candidates for Best Brunch in Winnipeg. It’s a restaurant called The Tallest Poppy.

Brunch.

The Tallest Poppy has a lunch menu that makes me all kinds of happy (variety! surprise! creativity!), but I’m here today to tell you about their brunch. Brunch is a special sort of meal for me, combining some of my favourite breakfast foods with a much later time frame, and it eases me into lunchtime foods at the same time. The Tallest Poppy’s brunch does all this and serves local food whenever possible? Free run eggs? Antibiotic-free, naturally-raised meats? Yes, please!

We’d been to the restaurant for lunch a few times, but one Sunday morning we decided to try their brunch. I was sold on the first visit. Brunch at The Tallest Poppy is a four-course set affair, served family-style. What this means is that if there are four people at your table, you will each get a plate. Then the food arrives on a platter and you can help yourself to however much you want. You know – just like your family did. And just like back home, what you get depends on what the cook decided to make. The staff at The Tallest Poppy check for allergies or other dietary concerns before the food arrives, though, and do their best to help out people with dietary restrictions.

Brunch at the Tallest Poppy

So if you can’t pick what you’re having, what types of food can you expect? Well, we’ve been there for brunch many times now, and it’s different each time. However, there are themes. Fruit and vegetable salads are common at the beginning of the meal, although once we got smoothies and cute little individual oatmeal servings. Scones and latkes often grace the table, followed by omelets, quiches, or frittatas, often served with amazing sausages and bacon. And finally, there is dessert. Breakfast never has dessert – brunch always should. (Another reason why brunch is superior to breakfast.) Pie, lemon squares, cookies and muffins, oh my!

The brunch itself is $25 per person, but that includes everything, including the usual breakfast drinks (including Black Pearl coffee), tip, and taxes. (So really, if you figure $2 per drink, brunch itself is only about $17.) One note, though – it’s cash only!

Tallest Poppy's Twitter feed

The Tallest Poppy has an active Twitter account, where you can often find their specials and what’s on for brunch. Watching their Twitter feed for a while will give you an idea of the sort of things they serve for brunch. Bonus – you’ll also get their lunch specials during the week, and a neat little peek into restaurant life.

The Tallest Poppy is located at 631 Main Street. Brunch is served on Sundays only. They open for brunch on Sunday at about 10am, although during the winter they’ve been opening at 9am. If you have a large group, call ahead – their cozy dining room fills up quickly.

If you’re a friend of ours, and you’re in town one Sunday, don’t be surprised if we decide to drag you off for brunch at The Tallest Poppy. I love showing off Winnipeg’s excellent restaurants to visitors, and The Tallest Poppy is definitely on that list.

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Creamy Scrambled Eggs and Spinach

It’s getting to be that difficult time of year here in Winnipeg. The holidays are long past, but winter will just drag on and on for at least another month and a half. I find myself crawling out of bed later and later on weekends, unwilling to face the cold.

What makes it better? Brunch. If I’m going to climb out of bed an hour late on Sundays, I might as well combine breakfast and lunch for efficiency. To that end, this savory twist on scrambled eggs fits the bill.

Creamy Scrambled Eggs and Spinach

We’ve been using Gordon Ramsey’s method for making scrambled eggs for a while, and this variation works splendidly. It produces a creamy, almost smooth scrambled egg dish that is so different from the dry clods you’re used to from the local diner. It takes a lot longer than the “usual” way, but the results are so much better.

For this recipe you’ll need a medium non-stick saucepan and a silicone spoonula. I’ve tried making these scrambled eggs in a non-stick pan… and it wasn’t pretty. Do your dishwasher a favour!

As for ingredients, you’ll need:

  • 2 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cubic inches feta cheese, crumbled (or about 3 tablespoons crumbled)
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • salt (optional)

A note about the cheese: I like goats’ milk feta, but you can use any feta you prefer.

Fill the saucepan about half full of water and bring to a boil. Add the spinach, stir, and let wilt for about three minutes. Drain the spinach and dry the pan. Squeeze as much water as you can out of the spinach. (You can do this easily by putting the wilted spinach in a bowl and using the back of a spoon to press the spinach against the side of the bowl. Tilt the bowl to drain the water, and the damp spinach will stick to the sides of the bowl.)

Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl until they are a uniform yellow.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the drained spinach to the oil and quickly stir to break up the clump. Add the eggs and stir. Stir constantly over medium heat. Keep scraping the bottom of the pan to make sure clumps of cooked egg aren’t forming. If the egg mixture starts to set up too quickly, remove the pan from the heat and keep stirring. Return to the heat once you’ve broken up any clumps that started to form.

This will take a while, so be patient! Stir, stir, stir. At about the halfway mark (probably about six minutes in), add the crumbled feta and pepper. The feta won’t melt significantly, so you might want to add a bit of salt to the eggs as well.

Continue to stir the eggs, placing the pan on the heat and removing to control the heat, until they are almost set but still glossy. This usually takes about 10 to 12 minutes. If the glossiness goes away, they are overcooked. Keep in mind that the eggs will continue to cook just a bit after being removed from the stove. (If you overcook them, don’t worry. They’ll still be as good, but won’t taste as creamy.)

Serve immediately, with fruit and toast or popovers. Serves two!

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