Tag Archives: breakfast

Valentine’s Day gifts for the coffee & breakfast lover

Double Breakfast Sandwich Maker — one of many gift possibilities from Hamilton Beach for Valentine’s Day or any occasion
Photo courtesy of Hamilton Beach

If you’re looking for a special Valentine’s Day gift for someone who takes their home coffee and breakfast making seriously, I got to sample some Hamilton Beach products recently and can tell you about a few. Hamilton Beach products are generally available online at hamiltonbeach.com, Amazon.com and at select retailers.

First, the FlexBrew Coffee Maker, which is a combination of Single Serve and Full Coffee Pot. If you want a full or half pot of coffee, use the traditional glass carafe. If you want a single cup, use the other side of the machine with either K-cups/pods or ground coffee, depending what size cup you’re looking for. It’s very convenient to have all these options; my family has used all three in the few days since we first got the machine. It retails at $89.99 and can be found at the aforementioned places plus Walmart.

Next, the Double Breakfast Sandwich Maker, which allows you to make quick-yet-delicious customizable breakfast to enjoy at home or on the go. You choose your bread and add ingredients like eggs, cheese, precooked meat, avocado, vegetables, etc. If you need sandwich inspiration, there are enticing recipes on the company’s site like Avocado, Egg White & Swiss Cheese Breakfast Sandwich (see below for one more). You can cook two breakfast sandwiches in five minutes or less, and then cleanup is easy because the removable parts are dishwasher-safe. In addition to Hamilton Beach’s site and Amazon, this one’s available at Target. Cost is $39.99.

Last but not least, the Belgian Style Flip Waffle Maker — which as of early February was out of stock on the HB site, but is often available at Walmart or Amazon ($39.99). You can change the browning setting depending how light or dark you like your waffles, and because of the “Flip” style, it’s easier to make thick, fluffy waffles like you find at restaurants. There are easily accessible recipes for traditional buttermilk waffles and unusual spin-offs like Tater Tot waffles (yes, ingredients like 40 thawed tater tots play a part in this concoction!).

No matter what you choose to buy your Valentine—or yourself—for the occasion, I hope it’s a happy one for all you foodies and home chefs out there.

Recipe: Cheddar, Apple, Bacon and Egg Croissant Sandwich

Courtesy of Hamilton Beach / From The Hamilton Beach Test Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 mini croissant, halved
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 to 2 thin slices Granny Smith apple
  • 1 slice precooked bacon, cut in half
  • 1 large egg, lightly scrambled

Directions

  1. Preheat Breakfast Sandwich Maker until green PREHEAT light comes on. Lift cover, top ring and cooking plate.
  2. Place bottom half of croissant, cut-side up in bottom ring of Breakfast Sandwich Maker. Top with cheese, apple slices and bacon.
  3. Lower cooking plate and top ring. Add egg to cooking plate.
  4. Top with remaining croissant half, cut-side down.
  5. Close cover. Cook 4 to 5 minutes.
  6. Slide out cooking plate by rotating handle clockwise. Lift cover and rings; carefully remove sandwich with plastic spatula.

Serves: 1

Test Kitchen Tip: For a lightly browned croissant top, cook the egg in the top ring without the croissant for 3 to 4 minutes or until egg is just about done. Lift the cover, add the croissant and continue cooking until top is lightly toasted and egg is cooked.

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Santa Cruz Farmers’ Markets Pop-Up tickets selling fast

Farm-fresh grilled zucchini, sweet corn, beans and aioli from chef Kendra Baker at a summer 2016 farmers’ market pop-up breakfast. Photo credit: Tara Fatemi Walker

Tickets are on sale for the 2017 season of pop-up breakfasts with guest chefs at the Westside Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley farmers’ markets. The first event (the morning of Saturday, June 3 at the Westside market with chef Erin Lampel of Companion Bakeshop) is sold out, and limited tickets remain for the other three events. Cost is $38 and tickets are available for purchase online and at the markets. See below for more details. I attended a pop-up breakfast with chef Kendra Baker last summer, and it was a very unique, enjoyable experience with delicious food and drinks!

 

In other market news, there is a May promotion that greatly helps low-income Santa Cruz County residents. Traditionally, the Live Oak and Felton markets offer customers with CalFresh (EBT/SNAP) cards a dollar-for-dollar match up to ten dollars. For example, if a CalFresh customer swipes their EBT card for $10 of EBT tokens, they receive an additional $10 in Market Match tokens at no charge. A $7 swipe equals a $7 match. These matching dollars can be used to purchase fresh vegetables and fruits only. During the month of May, in recognition of CalFresh Awareness Month, the Felton and Live Oak markets are offering a DOUBLE MATCH program. Customers receive two Market Match tokens for every EBT token up to $10. So $10 dollars of EBT becomes $30 at the Felton and Live Oak markets. However, funds are going fast and might not last through the end of the month (chances are you can still utilize the promotion May 21 at Live Oak market, and possibly May 23 at Felton market, but not the following week).

2017 Pop-Up Breakfast Dates and Chefs with tickets still available as of May 19

(for full menus, visit the web site):

 

Scotts Valley market

  • July 8 – chef Brad Briske of Home

 

Westside market

  • August 5 – chef Katherine Stern of La Posta
  • Aug 26 – chefs Kendra Baker and Jessica Yarr of Assembly, The Penny Ice Creamery, and The Picnic Basket

Different local chefs are featured at each event. For each dish at these multi-course meals, nearly 100% of the ingredients are sourced from farms at the markets. Event proceeds benefit the markets’ public educational programs including the Foodshed Project. This year for the first time there will be a raffle at each event to raise additional funds for the educational and outreach programs. The prize is a $50 farmers market gift certificate.

 

Attendees choose their seats by placing their own plates and silverware at spaces along u-shaped, family-style tables beginning at 9:30 a.m. Selections made with ingredients sourced from the markets begin rolling out around 10 a.m. As the guests eat and visit, farmers and chefs share their knowledge and perspectives regarding agriculture, community and consumer choice within the food system. There is also live local music.

 

The first summer series occurred in 2013, and the farm-to-table breakfasts continue to draw sell-out crowds. For more information call 831-325-4294 or email education@santacruzfarmersmarket.org.

 

 

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Scotts Valley Beatles-themed Sunday brunch with Food Trucks A Go Go

Acai Cup by Aunt LaLi, a featured item at Sunday’s Beatles Brunch

Acai Cup by Aunt LaLi, a featured item at Sunday’s Beatles Brunch

Food Trucks A Go Go is hosting a Beatles Brunch on Sunday, Jan. 10 at Skypark in Scotts Valley. It’s the latest installment for the fun monthly food truck series that LaLi Kates of Aunt LaLi’s Mobile Cafe launched in September. Save the date for February’s event—it’s going to be Sunday brunch on Feb. 21 at Skypark. Details will be announced soon.

On Sunday, Jan. 10, brunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Food vendors include Aunt LaLi’s Mobile Café, Ate3One, G’s Tacos, and India Gourmet. In case of rain, the event will be canceled and rescheduled.

When asked what her inspiration was for creating this month’s new theme, Aunt LaLi replied, “I wanted to create a twist (and shout) for this month’s Go Go Brunch and pairing Beatles music with delicious brunch items seemed like a good fit!” She says that the food vendors are excited and are creating unique items for Sunday. Want a preview? How about cold poached salmon with champagne dill sauce, cucumber, local mixed greens and a buttermilk biscuit; a Huevos Rancheros sandwich; breakfast burritos; a bacon-eggs-pancake combo; samosa sliders; a large selection of naan (garlic, onion, and more) served with garbanzo beans and chutney; chai tea, and mango lassis.

Aunt LaLi’s will be selling espresso drinks, affogatos, and acai cups (see photo above). Aunt LaLi says these cups contain strawberries and bananas mixed with acai (from delicious Brazilian Amazon fruits packed with powerful antioxidants and healthy omegas), then topped with strawberries, bananas and granola.

There will be lots of seating available at picnic tables throughout Skypark. Attendees can enjoy Beatles music while they dine. LaLi says the playlist with “classics” will include Loaf Me Do, Lucy in the Fries with Diamonds, I Wanna Hold Your Ham, Lettuce Be, and Ate Days A Week.

Location: Skypark, 361 Kings Village Road, Scotts Valley

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New Leaf in Westside Santa Cruz dishes up breakfast cooking class

Examples of breakfast dishes created by Madia Jamgochian (Attendees of the April 24 class may learn variations of some of these selections)

Examples of breakfast dishes created by Madia Jamgochian (Attendees of the April 24 class may learn variations of some of these selections)

Interested in learning techniques for creating a delicious breakfast? Chef Madia Jamgochian is teaching “Intro to Cooking-Breakfast!” at New Leaf Community Markets in Westside Santa Cruz.

The class is from 5 -7:30 p.m. Friday, April 24, and the cost is $40 per person or $70 for 2. Preregistration is required and space is limited; contact New Leaf at 426-1306 or visit newleaf.com/events.

The hands-on class is beginner-friendly and gluten-free. Attendees will receive recipes and learn breakfast basics like how to make an omelet. The course description also mentions learning how to cook sweet potato hash, and participants can enjoy a full meal at the end of class if they “don’t mind eating breakfast for dinner.”

Instructor Jamgochian, a certified nutrition consultant who advises clients through her business “My Healing Habits,” also serves as Community Education Coordinator at New Leaf’s Westside location. Jamgochian is excited to teach on this topic. “I learned to cook when I was about 10, and it is something that has proved both valuable, and fun over the years. Cooking for yourself and others creates an important connection to the food we eat.”

Jamgochian has taught many cooking classes at New Leaf but this is her first intro-level class. She talks about her food philosophy on her blog myhealinghabits.com: “The name My Healing Habits was chosen to emphasize the fact that it is not always the foods we eat, but the habits we form around eating: where we choose to shop, how we prepare a meal, the ingredients we use, our state of mind, the location, and the time we take. These are all important factors in the grand scheme of reaching Optimal Health.”

Learn about all of New Leaf’s upcoming classes and activities, including “Go Foods for Fitness” on Earth Day, April 22 (taught by Sandi Rechenmacher), at newleaf.com/events.

Contact information: New Leaf Westside branch, 1101 Fair Ave, Santa Cruz, (831) 426-1306

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Family-friendly pancake breakfast/auction with restaurant certificates benefits Santa Cruz TCC

Gnocchi with roasted tomato-wild mushroom sauce from Ristorante Avanti, a gift certificate donor for Saturday's fundraiser

You’re invited to a family-friendly pancake breakfast and silent auction on Saturday May 12 to benefit Santa Cruz Toddler Care Center; auction items include restaurant gift certificates.

Santa Cruz Toddler Care Center (TCC), for babies and toddlers aged 1-3, was just named best Santa Cruz child care center in the 2012 Good Times Santa Cruz readers’ poll. Administrative Director Sandy Davie has been a TCC employee since 1990. “My life as a parent was greatly enriched by quality child care,” Davie says. “My goal at the Toddler Center is to provide the same kind of community connection and support to other parents of young children.”

The event is at TCC (1738 16th Avenue near Capitola Road) from 9:30 a.m. – noon. Admission is $8 per adult, $4 for kids 4-12, and free for kids 3 and under. Breakfast includes pancakes, eggs, local fresh berries (donated by Watsonville’s Driscoll’s Strawberries), coffee from Peet’s, and organic tea from Far Out Flying Saucer Teas. There will be African drumming lead by Ibou Ngom, face painting, gift baskets to bid on, and a silent auction. Items up include restaurant gift certificates from Café Cruz, Ristorante Avanti, Linda’s Seabreeze Café, Dharma’s, Café Sparrow, Engfer Pizza Works, Gayle’s, Shadowbrook, Walnut Avenue Café, and The Picnic Basket. Other prizes include items from local businesses and a Private Barrel Tasting & Vineyard Tour for 6 at Windy Oaks Estate Winery and Vineyard (includes artisanal cheese to complement the wines).

All proceeds benefit the Toddler Care Center (TCC). In 1976, two women who were concerned about the lack of quality care for very young children established TCC as a non-profit. TCC is for children ages 1-3, and bases its vision and methods on the model of the RIE program (Resources for Infant Educarers) founded by infant specialist/educator Magda Gerber and pediatric neurologist Tom Forrest, MD. RIE’s philosophy focuses on respect for, and trust in, the baby to be an initiator, explorer, and self-learner.

TCC states that educators and administrators from as far away as New Zealand and Japan have visited the center; professionals in the field describe TCC as a model childcare program.

Here is TCC’s mission statement; for more information, check out the organization’s web site.
The primary mission of the Santa Cruz Toddler Care Center is to address this community’s critical need for quality, affordable child care for children 12-36 months old whose parents must work, attend school or training programs. The Santa Cruz Toddler Care Center’s secondary purpose is acting as a model to other childcare centers throughout the community, the state, and the nation.

The Details

Annual Spring Pancake Breakfast at Santa Cruz TCC
Saturday, May 12 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
1738 16th Avenue near Capitola Road, Santa Cruz
$8 Adults, $4 kids 4-12, kids 3 & under free

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie