Let's talk about breakfast again

Years ago I wrote a post about breakfast. What I think is funny is my tone that I actually knew anything (calling it a guide, for example) and then not really seeming to like any of the options I could think of except for carbs. What I also think is funny is that I was mentioning the very recipe I just sat down to type out right now because I was telling my mom about it on the phone today. If you are still thinking about a recipe three years later, you were pretty much meant to make it.

I still agree with that first paragraph in that post about not really knowing what to eat for breakfast. But I have also tried a few new approaches lately that I can elaborate on.
  • For a long time I was going with the idea that protein for breakfast would make me feel full longer than carbs would. I got really into cooking hard boiled eggs and tried many different recipes to find the perfect way of doing it. The best way of doing it turned out to be Jacques Pepin's, and here it is: "Put the eggs straight from the refrigerator, in a saucepan large enough to accommodate them without crowding. Add enough warm tap water to cover the eggs by at least a generous inch and set the pan, uncovered, over high heat. Once the water begins to show signs of reaching a rolling boil (212 degrees on a thermometer), keep it as close to this temperature for 8 minutes. Then plunge the eggs into cold water at once to stop the cooking." 8 minutes at 212 made perfect hard boiled eggs every time. You can make a whole bunch on a Sunday, peel them, and store them separately by how many you plan on eating each day. They also go great on salads, and as a breakfast option they are cheap, nutritious and low in calories. The problem is, let's face it, hard boiled eggs are not exciting. If I was a ballerina, sure, and then my lunch would consist of a grapefruit ok. But despite the obvious benefits of this as a breakfast option, and despite having done this for a good 7 months straight, I seem to be just past this phase in my life. I tried to carry on the protein for breakfast option for a while afterwards by eating roasted turkey slices from Trader Joe's, but somehow that got boring too.
  • As with my current enjoyment of Melrose Place (not even the newish one, the one from 1992-1999), I've continued the trend of getting on the bandwagon of 1990s trends many years too late by getting seriously into smoothies. Smoothies are brilliant, I thought to myself over the summer, you get so many nutrients, you can customize them to no end, and you will never get bored. I was going to the Troy Farmer's Market and buying peaches, and going to Trader Joe's and buying super cheap frozen pineapple. I was adding honey, vanilla beans (expensive but such a lovely luxury in the morning - and also pretty reasonably priced if you buy them at the Christmas Tree Shop in Colonie Center), ginger, cinnamon and making them so delicious. I was filling up 5 mason jars at the beginning of the week and I was all set. There is also something really great about yogurt in the morning - it soaks up any acid that might be in your stomach from too much Mexican food or whatever the night before. Why did I stop making them? I don't know, maybe partially because of the reason I've barely eaten any fruit at all for most of my adult life - fruit and fancy Greek yogurt are actually kind of expensive. And just with the seemingly brilliant breakfast ideas that came before it, maybe familiarity breeds contempt. 
  • Sometimes when I drop my husband off at work we go to the McDonald's on Hackett near New Scotland. We used to go to the Panera Bread there, but they were so so slow and would actually forget the egg in the egg sandwich. The egg is the whole point - without the egg it is just toast. So we've been going to the McDonald's there for a while, and it has gotten kind of weird. First of all, the price is different almost every time, and we order the same thing. Second, no matter how busy it is there is only one person on the cash register. The manager will walk in and barely look at the enormous line and ask the cash register person if they filled up the ice cream machine for later and do they know there is a huge order at 11:00? Meanwhile, you are thinking you are going to be late for work if your order isn't ready soon and that you could have driven to the grocery store, bought eggs, and come home and made it in the time it takes for them to put a piece of ham, cheese, and egg between two pieces of English muffin. We may not continue this little breakfast ritual of ours. It seems especially silly because we have a whole bookshelf filled with cookbooks. Which leads me to my last point.

  • I was totally obsessed with this recipe this tomato season. Americans just don't eat many vegetables for breakfast and why don't they? The Silver Spoon cookbook has a lot of recipes that involve vegetables and eggs, including asparagus and eggs as well as this great tomatoes and eggs recipe.  Tomatoes from the farmer's market are seriously one of the best parts of late summer in upstate New York, and you really don't want to waste them by not using them up before they start to go bad. This is a delicious way to use them. Also, this recipe requires so little labor you can be putting together your outfit between steps: "Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Brush an ovenproof dish with olive oil. Cut the tops off the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds and some of the flesh. Sprinkle the insides with a little salt and place upside down on paper towels to drain for 10 minutes. Season the insides of the tomatoes with oregano and pepper and divide 2 teaspoons olive oil among them. Place the tomatoes in the prepared baking dish and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven, break an egg into each tomato, return the dish to the over and bake for a further 5 minutes (in my experience a lot more, but just until your egg appears as much cooked as you want it to be). Garnish with parsley and serve".   
There, I leave you with a fancy, easy option for breakfast, which is a lot less depressing than a Special K protein shake. 


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