Posts tagged breakfast
Posts tagged breakfast
A special treat: Flapjack’s Pancake Shack
Who knew that Ottawa would fall in love with a small shack serving up pancakes, panwiches (a pancake breakfast sandwich), and other delights like pancake poutine, all over the course of one the coldest and longest winters that we’ve had in quite some time.
I finally got my chance to try one of their most popular menu items, the Jimberrr! Watson panwich - a concoction of two of their buttermilk pancakes (secret recipe!), double-smoked bacon, a fried egg and a slice of gouda cheese, all served with a side of real maple syrup (and cutely named after our mayor, Jim Watson). It was delightful! The pancakes are everything that pancake dreams are made of: they’re light and fluffy with that perfect buttermilk flavour. The rest of the sandwich was just as excellent, and everything came together wonderfully.
This is a fun little spot, and I can’t wait to go back to try more of their menu items! Ottawa has gone pancake crazy, and I love it!
Brunch at the Scone Witch
Does it ever happen to you that a restaurant up and moves and you have no idea about it until you just happen to stumble upon the new location completely unintended? Well that happened to me recently as I stumbled upon the new location of the Scone Witch while taking some out of town guests down to Winterlude a few weeks ago.
Granted it had been some time (well, a very long time) since I’d been to the Scone Witch’s location on Albert Street, but in all of my internet reading about the food scene in Ottawa, I had not heard of it’s move to Elgin Street to a beautiful new (and HUGE) space.
So it was a few Sundays later when I met some friends to give it a try. I had also never been to the Scone Witch for weekend brunch, so it was a double shot of new for me.
Their brunch menu is quite small, but just go with it: you’re there for the delicious scones anyway! It is also kind of pricey, but worth it. I ordered the breakfast plate, which comes with scrambled eggs and your choice of topping (I chose smoked salmon, of course), fruit, salad, a scone of your choice and jam (or clotted cream AND jam for a little extra). I also ordered the largest cappuccino they could make for me to accompany my breakfast, which was fantastic. All in all, a great brunch: light and delicious. I went with one of my favourite of their scones, the oatmeal, with wild blueberry jam. It was heavenly.
I will definitely be back to the Scone Witch’s new location - it is bright, airy and much larger (read: more seating, less chaotic) than their Albert Street location, all which makes for a much more relaxing and enjoyable experience. Plus, there’s no better spot to get a scone in Ottawa!
Weekend project: slow cooker baked beans (round 2)
I loved making baked beans so much the first time (see here) that I have already made my second batch! I tried a different recipe this time around - this batch has no booze and I soaked the dried beans overnight before putting them in the slow cooker. Why eat baked beans from a can when you can make your own?
I was very pleased with this batch of baked beans. They were so tender with a hint of sweet and smoke - perfection to me. This recipe is a keeper! Click on my photo to link to the original recipe or see my adaptation below.
Slow cooker baked beans - serves 8-10 as a side dish
Slightly adapted from chow.com
- 1 pound dried navy beans (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 8 ounces thick-cut bacon slices (about 6 slices), small dice
- 1 medium yellow onion, small dice
- 2 1/2 cups water, plus more for soaking the beans
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup dark molasses, also known as robust (not blackstrap)
- 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (I used grainy Dijon)
- 1 tablespoon salt, plus more as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
Place the beans in a large bowl or stock pot and pick through them, discarding any broken beans or stones. Cover the beans with at least 3 inches of cold water. Allow to soak uncovered at room temperature for at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain in a colander. Place the beans, bacon, and onion in the slow cooker.
Whisk the remaining measured ingredients in a bowl until combined. Pour into the slow cooker and stir with the beans, bacon and onions until thoroughly combined. Cover and cook on low heat until the beans are tender and the liquid thickens slightly (it will thicken more as it cools), about 9 hours (test them at 8 hours to see if they are tender to your liking.
These freeze really well; I like to freeze them in batches for the husband and I to enjoy on the weekends for breakfast.
Breakfast at Gabriel Pizza
When you have company visiting for the weekend, I always find that it is less stressful on everyone to just go out to eat, especially for breakfast. People have such different routines when it comes to breakfast (is it just me or do more and more people these days not eat eggs?) and appetites also differ.
It had been forever since the husband and I had been to Gabriel Pizza for breakfast, but we knew it was good and very reasonable, so off we went with our house guests in tow, promising many choices and low prices (and no dishes! haha).
A lot had changed in this particular location of Gabriel Pizza since the last time the husband and I went: a renovation made for a lovely remodeled space and an even bigger brunch menu. Our guests had no problem choosing something to eat and fuel up before we headed downtown to Winterlude.
I have been on a bit of an omelette kick lately when the husband and I go out for breakfast, so I ordered the Western, which comes stuffed with ham and onion. Served with homefries and toast, this was one satisfying breakfast! Everyone else thoroughly enjoyed their meals, and we all left feeling satisfied and ready to start our day.
The husband and I will no doubt be back at Gabriel Pizza for breakfast very soon!
Oh, how I love Saturday mornings.
Weekend breakfast/brunch: warm cinnamon apples
Why does the weekend always go by way too quickly? I know, I know, we all whine about this each and every Monday, but I never get tired of whining about it.
This past weekend, the husband and I made an extra special brunch on Saturday (that’s a thing, right? Saturday brunch? Sunday can’t have all the fun). I’ve taken to making warm cinnamon apples as a special treat to accompany pancakes or french toast, and we love them! The secret ingredient in my opinion is using Granny Smith apples. Their tartness mixes perfectly with the cinnamon, butter and sugar, and they don’t break down or get mushy.
The husband also made french toast using Richmond Bakery’s cinnamon bread, which went perfectly with the warm cinnamon apples. Oh, how I wish it was Saturday morning right now!
Warm cinnamon apples - serves 2, my own recipe
- 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and chopped into slices or chunks (I wouldn’t recommend using another type of apple, but you can if you really want to, of course!)
- 1 Tbsp butter (salted or unsalted)
- 1 to 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp brown sugar (optional)
Melt the butter in a small non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Once bubbly, add the brown sugar (if using), then the apples. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the mixture and stir well.
Cook for about 15 minutes or slightly softened and the sauce has become syrupy. Serve as a side dish or on top of pancakes, waffles or french toast!
I smartened up this year and took the day of my birth off work to enjoy myself. Since it was my special day, I made this delightful breakfast for myself, consisting of a corn English muffin (gently toasted, of course), sliced avocado, spinach, smoked salmon and two poached eggs. Birthday breakfast perfection!
Weekend baking: pineapple muffins
Well, we made it through January. It is supposed to be the worst month of the year, right? Funny that my birthday also falls within the supposed worst month of the year: I do agree that celebrating your birthday in January in Ottawa isn’t the most fun. Snowstorms, freezing cold temperatures and other weather-related events can easily foil the most well thought out plans.
I needed a little tropical infusion to help brighten my January, so I went on the hunt for a pineapple muffin recipe. I found this delightful recipe on the Yankee Kitchen Ninja blog, which is one of my favourites.
This recipe requires a little bit of extra effort (yup, you have to get out your food processor) but it is worth it! I followed the Ninja’s recipe exactly as described, so click on my photo to link to her site for the recipe. You won’t be disappointed! I love that these muffins are a combination of whole wheat and all-purpose flour: it just adds a nice texture and flavour.
These muffins were just what I needed to brighten up this most frigid and snow-covered January!
Weekend eats: breakfast egg salad
I’ve been wanting to experiment with my weekend breakfast choices lately, so I did some browsing on marthastewart.com for some inspiration and came up with this delightful concoction: breakfast egg salad!
Ok, ok, so it is just egg salad eaten at breakfast, but it’s not your traditional egg salad. The hard-boiled eggs are chopped and mixed with Dijon mustard (I used grainy) and lemon juice for a lighter, more tangy egg salad. I added some chopped green onion because that’s how I like my egg salad. Martha gives you the option of leaving out some of the yolks for a slightly healthier version of this recipe.
I piled my egg salad on whole grain toast topped with sliced avocado and spinach and served it with some fresh chopped fruit and coffee. This was totally delicious! I loved the use of Dijon mustard and lemon juice for a totally different flavoured egg salad. It was ridiculously simple and quick to pull together and I’ll be making this often! Click on my photo to link to the original recipe.
Product review: Village Buns cinnamon buns
Over the Christmas holidays, the husband and I indulged in a few treats, one of them being Village Buns cinnamon buns. Available in the frozen, take-home food section at one of my favourite Ottawa food shops, Thyme and Again, I had seen these cinnamon buns on numerous occasions but had not purchased them. I finally gave in to my addiction to cinnamon and brought them home to try!
The buns come with simple directions on how to thaw, cook and frost the buns. I followed the directions and they turned out perfectly! We were so eager to eat them that I didn’t get the chance to make icing with which to top them, but recipes are available on the Village Buns website here.
If you’re looking for an easy, tasty way to serve cinnamon rolls to family or guests without all the work, these are for you! I would buy these again and would recommend them if you’re feeling too lazy to make your own (like me! haha).
Brunch at Navarra
Well, it was my birthday this past weekend. As I get a little deeper into my early 30s, the more I dislike celebrating my birthday, but I guess that is to be expected. I am getting old!
The good thing about my birthday though is the delicious eats! Friends know my penchant for good food, so I get to indulge a lot during my birthday time frame.
A Byward Market restaurant that I had been dying to try was Navarra, and I finally made it there for brunch with some friends one recent weekend. I still have to make it there for dinner sometime, but that will have to be for another birthday or celebration.
I started off my brunch with a perfect cappuccino, which was totally adorable with its delightful foam cap. Next, we were treated to some in-house made chocolate chip scones (on the house), which were deliciously flaky and sweet.
I knew long before I set foot in Navarra for brunch that I would order their “huevos rancheros” (quotations marks are Navarra’s own). Described as “poached eggs, chicharron, black bean tostada, serrano, spicy tomato sauce and goat cheese”, this was indeed an adventure for the tastebuds! The tomato sauce had a definite spicy kick to it, and the eggs were soft and fluffy. I loved all of the different textures in the dish: the crunchy chicharron (pork rinds), the silky serrano ham, the velvety black bean sauce. My co-diners had the Mexican bricklayer scrambled eggs and the french toast, both of which also looked to die for!
I would love to return to Navarra for brunch sometime: the atmosphere was relaxed and the service was attentive without being overbearing. Most importantly, the food was incredible!
It had been forever since we had been to Suzy Q, so we went for a doughnut run one recent weekend. Finally got to try the London Fog (Earl Grey tea leaves with vanilla) and the hazelnut praline. So delicious as always!
Brunch at Lonestar Texas Grill
I have been to Lonestar a million times, but never for brunch! I became aware of their brunch menu a while back and thought it would make for an interesting adventure, so the husband and I headed out one recent Saturday morning to check it out.
The brunch menu is available in addition to their entire regular menu, so if one arrives at 11 a.m. and wishes to eat regular fajitas (Lonestar’s most popular item), one can go right ahead and do so. However, we were there to try the brunch menu and that we did!
I just had to try the breakfast fajitas, which the menu describes as “…onions and peppers topped with scrambled eggs and your choice of bacon, sausage or bbq pork carnitas. Served with pico de gallo, cheddar cheese, sour cream, roasted tomatillo salsa and fresh-baked tortillas.” Basically, if you are familiar with the regular fajitas, the breakfast fajitas are exactly the same except they come with scrambled eggs and your choice of breakfast meat, of which I chose the pork carnitas. The husband went for the Texas skillet, which is described as “…crispy Texas taters topped with onions, peppers, bacon and two over-easy eggs. Served with toast.” However, for some reason, the husband was also offered the choice of pork carnitas on his Texas skillet, so he opted for that.
We both enjoyed every bite! The portion sizes are ample and everything was fresh and tasty. Every item on the brunch menu comes served with baked beans, which is a nice touch. I would like to go back to try their version of huevos rancheros, which looks pretty good! Overall, it was a good brunch - not too expensive and tasty. We’ll be back!
Breakfast isn’t complete without fruit salad!
Weekend breakfast: quick and easy banana pancakes
The poor husband has been sick for going on two weeks now. I feel so helpless as there isn’t much I can do for him except to offer him warm beverages and comforting words. He’ll be ok; it is just a bad bacterial infection and seemingly a cough that will not go away. But aren’t these everlasting colds the worst?
He was craving pancakes one recent weekend morning, and we had some overripe bananas laying around, so I found a recipe and got to work. The recipe comes from allrecipes.com (click here or on my photo above to link to the recipe) and I was quite pleased with how the pancakes turned out. The ingredients are pantry staples in my house, so I had no problem making these without any preparation. The result are light and fluffy pancakes but with the excellent flavour of banana! These are definitely a new favourite of ours.
Banana pancakes, slightly adapted from allrecipes.com
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- cinnamon to taste (I used half a teaspoon - I am addicted to cinnamon!)
- Combine flour, white sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, mix together egg, milk, vegetable oil and bananas.
- Stir flour mixture into banana mixture; batter will be slightly lumpy.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan or griddle over medium high heat (no oils are necessary if you’re using a non-stick pan). Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Cook until pancakes are golden brown on both sides; serve hot with maple syrup!.