Mother’s Day Breakfast Brunch

Recipes in this PostMother's Day 2013

Well, the good folks at Ascencia have asked me to make Mother’s Day breakfast – for 40. Of those 40, there are several mothers, and I’m going to make this breakfast special for them. Of course, I have to have the breakfast ready at 6:00am, and that is going to be eye-opening, to say the least.

Update – Thanks to my friend, Shem of Kobelin by Shem for taking great photos of the food. She even made me look good!

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Homemade Charcoal Chimney Starter, Burgers Topped with Cheddar and Coleslaw

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Raleigh Burger - Coleslaw Cheddar on a Kaiser Roll

Raleigh Burger – Coleslaw Cheddar on a Kaiser Roll

There used to be a wonderful coffee-shop in Santa Monica called Nick’s. One day, I went in there and ordered something called a Nick Burger. It had coleslaw and swiss cheese on it. It was so juicy you had to eat it over the plate. It became my favorite burger, and tonight, I decided to recreate it, with a little zip.

I’ve been becoming very brave of late with my Weber. First I started out with Match Light coals because they were pre-soaked, and easy to get started. Then, I graduated to using charcoal fluid and regular coals. Then today, I realized I had run out of fluid, and the corner store was closed. I knew that there are specially made charcoal chimney starters, and I thought I could make one from scratch. It wasn’t difficult at all making a homemade charcoal chimney starter. No more relying on charcoal fluid for me!

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Barbecued Potato Chip Tuna Casserole

Spane at the kitchen table

Well, it’s not the prettiest casserole in the world, but it tastes very good. My mother would make this if we had left over potato chips. My mother wasn’t much into snack food, so this was not something we had a lot, but it is one of those comfort foods that I remember fondly.

When I was four years old, my father got stationed in Kaiserslautern, Germany. My mother bought most of the food at the local farmer’s market and the local grocery store. We didn’t get a lot of American goods, I remember going to the PX only twice. The first time I had French fries, it was in France, and they were more like potato chips. I remember really liking them.

When we returned to the United States when I was six, I was surprised to find out that French fries were long rectangular potatoes fried in oil. I didn’t like them very much. The elusive, thin chip we had in France was actually a potato chip, and the brand my mother bought, that I really loved was Granny Goose.

When we moved to Los Angeles when I was eight, there were no Granny Goose potato chips. I really didn’t like the regular brands, except for the barbecue flavor chips. This leads me to my recipe. Granny Goose is out of business, and the only chips Spane and I really like are barbecue flavor. Of course, my mother used the Granny Goose salted chip for her casserole. That’s probably why the only time she made it was when we were living in Northern California.

But, I found out last night that barbecue chips make a really good casserole, and I’m going to share it with you here. When you make this, make sure you get a good barbecued chip, the Lays Tangy Carolina chips are particularly well suited for this.

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Ham and Spinach Quiche with Goose Fat Crust

ham and spinach quiche

Ham, spinach and cheese Quiche with a goose fat crust

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When I made the Roast Goose for Christmas dinner, I had a lot of goose fat. I didn’t want to waste it, so I rendered it, and have used it here and there. It’s wonderful stuff. I thought I could make a pie crust out of for the Quiche I was making for the picnic today.

Most of the time, I buy a ready-made crust in the refrigerated cookie dough section. The reason I do this is because my crusts don’t usually turn out that well. Today, whist visiting The Smitten Kitchen’s Pie Crust 102, I found out why – I have been using the wrong tool for the job – I’ve been using a food processor. So, if you’re using a food processor and your crust isn’t turning out flaky, that’s why.

Making a crust by hand is not that difficult. You just need a pastry dough blender, and a little elbow grease. My pastry dough blender died a couple of years ago, so I used a heavy fork. It worked just fine.

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Hoppin’ John, Kale and Corn Bread with Gold Nuggets – New Years Day Lucky Food

Hoppin John on top of Jasmine Rice with Scallion Garnish

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Almost every year, I bake a ham for Christmas so that I can have the bone for New Year’s Day. Of course, this year I roasted a goose, so I had no ham bone. Luckily, my good friend Stevie Lewis, saved me the bone from his family’s Christmas ham. From this bone, I make Hoppin John, and old Southern dish of black-eyed peas, ham, and rice. With it I serve steamed Kale and cornbread.

There is quite the long tradition with this meal. The black-eyed peas are said to represent coins, the kale is green like money, and the cornbread is golden to represent gold. Eating this for New Year’s Day is supposed to bring good fortune for the New Year.

Well, it might not bring any more money into your purse, but it is very economical. It’s a break for all the heavy holiday foods. It’s also very good for you. Black-eyed peas are high in protein, iron, zinc and potassium. Kale has anti-cancer properties. Corn bread, if you don’t put tons on butter on it, is also good for you.

I have been making this meal for years, but alas, the only photo is the one at the top. But, I’ll take pictures when I make it, so if you’re here after January, 2012, there are probably more pictures.

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