Have you ever thought about why you like some foods and not others? Or why you like a food in one form and not in another? I ponder these questions a lot, but still can't explain why I love raw carrots and fresh strawberries, but not cooked ones, or why I love oatmeal cookies, but not boiled oatmeal in a bowl. My husband Ted does love oatmeal, especially the coarse steel cut (a.k.a. Irish) oats when they're still a little bit crunchy, so this pumpkin spice oatmeal with raisins and pecans is for him, and for you. Steel cut oats are whole grain groats (the inner portion of the oat kernel) that have been cut into two or three pieces; because they are minimally processed, they take longer to cook than rolled oats, and have a wonderful chewy texture. Store leftover oatmeal in the refrigerator in breakfast-sized containers, and reheat in the microwave at home or at work later in the week.
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Everything about Miami Beach has changed since my dad treated me to my first taste of scrambled eggs with lox and onions at Wolfie's, an old Jewish delicatessen on Lincoln Road. Wolfie's has closed; Lincoln Road is now a chic mall for shopping and bar-hopping, and the part of Miami Beach where my grandparents lived (in the Cardozo Hotel, an Art Deco landmark) no longer abuts the water, thanks to a beach reconstruction project years ago. I haven't eaten eggs with lox and onions for years, since my dad passed away, but recently I've been craving that combination of creamy eggs and salty smoked salmon. I decided to reconstruct the scrambled egg dish just a bit, and turn it into an egg and cheese breakfast casserole, with bits of smoked salmon, leeks from the garden, and mild mozzarella cheese. I added parsley, as a tribute to the sprig of curly parsley that Wolfie's always threw on the plate, whether it needed to be there or not. Enjoy this egg casserole for a holiday breakfast.
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As much as I'm trying to get more kale into my diet this year, I still haven't worked myself up to the oh-so-trendy kale smoothie for breakfast. Call it what you will, but first thing in the morning, even after a cup or two of strong coffee, that smoothie looks like a tall glass of green slime to me. However, I'm not opposed to eating my dark leafy greens before noon; mixing them with eggs and cheese does the trick. This kale and feta quiche, easy to assemble (especially if you sauté the greens the night before, or use leftover greens, and a store-bought pie crust), makes an elegant breakfast, or a satisfying lunch or light supper dish. The crust dresses up the filling, but if crust isn't your thing, spray the pie dish with cooking spray and bake the egg and greens mixture as a crustless quiche. If you're planning a brunch party, remember that quiche tastes best at room temperature, which makes it perfect for the buffet table.
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When our friends Mary and Michael took us to Arthur & Pat's, their favorite beach-side breakfast place, a couple of weeks ago, my husband Ted ordered pumpkin banana pancakes that disappeared before I had a chance to taste them (how's that for a recommendation?). So, when he suggested waffles with the same flavors, we made a batter, and tasted, and added, and tasted, and added, until we got as close as we could to the pancakes Ted remembered. Afterwards, though the waffles were so very good, I realized what was missing: the sea air. Everything tastes better when you're near the water, but I promise that, even inland, you'll fall hard for these waffles. Don't forget to freeze a few to pop in the toaster for afternoon snacks.
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