2 Recipes: California Breakfast Pudding & Sriracha Broccoli With Honey Butter

I thought I’d give you two recipes this morning, since I was feeling indecisive about which recipe to blog. Enjoy!

California Morning Pudding

Adapted from Food and Wine, specifically by Grace Parisi

Have you had chia seeds yet? They’re sort of the kale chips of the online food world right now;­­­ they seem seem to be everywhere. Given their health properties (hello, fiber, protein and omega 3s), rich history and interesting texture, they were bound to show up in my cooking rotation eventually. The seeds become boba or tapioca-like when soaked in liquid (in fact, some just sip them in water as a refreshing drink), but more importantly, they give me an excuse to eat pudding for breakfast.

I call this California Morning Pudding because its toppings: dates, oranges and almonds, are all from my home state. Their contribution to the dish is a layer of acerbic sweetness, which is the just the right way to be woken up on a cold winter morning. Oh, and I hate to oversell you new ingredients here, but Cara Cara oranges are another thing you should seek out if you ever get the chance. They’re the less bitter cousin of grapefruit, who has still inherited that same gorgeous blush.


2 ½ cups unsweetened soy milk

½ cup chia seeds

2 tablespoons of honey

3 Medjool dates, pitted and torn into pieces

1 Cara Cara orange, peeled and sliced (you can sub grapefruit or any other orange)

6 or 7 almonds


Mix together the first 3 ingredients in a quart container (I used a leftover yogurt container). Shake or stir the mixture, cover and let it sit in your refrigerator overnight.

In the morning, give the mixture a good stir. Spoon about a cup or so of the pudding into a bowl and top with the dates, oranges and almonds. The leftover pudding will last for a week.

Broccoli With Sriracha Honey Butter and Toasted Sesame Seeds

I’ve been working from my pantry a lot lately. And if this is “cooking with what you have”, I’m thinking I should do it more often. Honeyed and spicy with just enough fat to add some flavor, this dish is great on its own as well as stirred into a salad or noodles.


1 cup broccoli, steamed in a steam basket or the microwave

generous squirt of Sriracha hot sauce (or more)

1 teaspoon of honey

½ tablespoon of unsalted butter or olive oil

toasted sesame seeds (optional)


Top hot broccoli with the rest of the ingredients, stir and enjoy.


Good Morning, Accanto

Find my published version of this article in the Vanguard here

Portland breakfast restaurants are a bummer. I’m not talking about the food, or even the

Photo by Saria Dy

service when I say that. What I mean is, if it’s the weekend and you and your friends want any kind of breakfast—from plates of potatoes washed down with Bloody Marys or a special three-course experience with house-made bacon and champagne, you’re out of luck unless you’re ready to sit and wait.

But, don’t give up just yet.

Comune Accanto, also known as Accanto to most of its diners, has a brunch that hasn’t quite been tapped yet. Saturdays are slower than Sundays, though it is possible to come in on either weekend day and fully enjoy your breakfast without a huge side of standing in the rain.

The lack of line is certainly not the only reason to brunch at Accanto. The food served is elegant and uncomplicated, yet it’s completely affordable at the same time. For example, on a recent menu you can find an asparagus frittata with morels, leeks and truffled mascarpone for $9, compared to other spots in Portland where you’ll get a big plate of eggs, potatoes, and toast for the same price. Accanto delivers—without the gut bomb, and once again, without the line.

Perhaps you do want a hangover-fighting brunch on your plate. Not a problem. You can still get rich dishes like panatone French toast or croque madame and wash it down with the Belmont Bloody Mary—which is made with tomato thyme juice.

It’s just that all of these dishes are made with a little more restraint. Your brunch will still be filling, but in that satisfying “I just had some really well-prepared food” kind of way.

Other standout dishes include the bucatini carbonara, which happens to capture the exact definition of al dente with just enough guanciale (that’s Italian for fatty perfect pork). Also try the breakfast strata, stuffed with greens and creamy chevre, served atop a swirl of marinara. And make sure to get your hands on any breads—whether it be sage biscuits or brioche—they’re all house-made and light.

On the lighter side, start with the apricot mimosa, which is made with the apricot purée that many Italians start their day with, then finished with prosecco and amaretto. For your meal, try the creamy polenta with sautéed greens and a poached egg, made special with just a drizzle of chili oil.

So, for a lineless, well thought-out meal, Accanto could be your new brunch spot. Just don’t tell anyone else.

Crepes Pour Ma Mere

Find my original article here

She’s your go-to woman for advice, for style, and for, you know, birthing you. She’s your

Photo by Karl Kuchs

mother and she deserves a lot more than to wait in a crowded brunch line somewhere, wiping the sleep out of her eyes with all the other mamas in town.

Instead, treat your mother the French way: whip her up a batch of crêpes. This recipe has been derived from a trusted French source of mine, someone who knows how to treat her mère right. Your options for fillings are endless—you can even go savory and leave out the sugar (I’m partial to Gruyère and parsley myself).

And if your mother isn’t in the same city as you this weekend, make them for yourself and eat them while you Skype with her or talk on the phone and tell her how great she is. Fair warning though, she’ll probably be a little jealous.


  • 3 1/2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 packet of vanilla sugar (or 2 tablespoons of regular sugar if it’s all you have)
  • 1 tablespoon rum or Cointreau

First, melt the butter in the microwave, or on the stovetop at medium-low heat. Set aside.

Next, take a large bowl and whisk together all the ingredients (except the butter) together until smooth. Then, stir in the butter. Let the mixture rest for about 30 minutes (or as long as it takes you to prepare coffee or tea if you’re in a hurry).

After the mixture has rested, bring a small skillet to medium heat. Grease lightly with butter.

Using a ladle or a measuring cup, spoon the batter (1/4 cup for each crêpe) into the bottom of the skillet. Then lift the pan from the heat and twist it slightly from side to side, covering the surface with the batter. Remedy any holes with more batter as needed.

Let the crêpe cook until brown freckle-like spots appear, one to two minutes. Flip, and cook on the other side for less time, about a minute.

Repeat this process with the rest of the batter, re-buttering the skillet as needed. Stack finished crêpes on a large plate and cover with a clean tea towel to keep warm.

Serve with lemon juice and sugar, Nutella or fresh sliced strawberries.

Sun Over Hills

find my original article here

Brinner—where the two most loved meals of the day, breakfast and dinner meet for one satisfying culinary affair. 2 A.M. at The Hotcake House needn’t be the only time you recognize this fine meal; you can certainly enjoy it at regular dinnertime, too (whether or not you want to include the drunk part is your choice).

photo by Karl Kuchs

This brinner dish is basic, hearty and satisfying. It’s titled “sun over hills” because the orange of the egg layers on top of the green chard and golden polenta, reminiscent of the time of day when the sun dips into the hills.


  • 1 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup of Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup of Gruyere cheese, cut into cubes
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1 bundle of Swiss chard, cut into
  •  ribbons, stems discarded
  • 1 tablespoon sherry (or any other) Vinegar
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


Bring six cups of water to a boil in a large medium saucepan. When the water is bubbling, add the salt, then slowly whisk in the cornmeal and lower heat to a simmer. Whisk every few minutes (careful, polenta may bubble), and when creamy, remove from heat.

Stir in butter and cheese and cover.

Bring a medium skillet to medium low heat. Add one tablespoon of oil. After 30 seconds, add the sliced garlic cloves and red pepper flakes. Place greens in the pan and toss with tongs so the oil coats them. Cook until tender, 8–10 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt, pepper and vinegar. Cover with a lid.

In another medium skillet, heat the other tablespoon of oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, crack both eggs directly in the skillet and cook until the yolks are hard, 3–5 minutes.

For each serving, scoop about one cup of polenta in a bowl, top with half the greens and slide the fried egg on top. Season with salt and pepper. Serves two.

Steel Cut Oatmeal: A Morning’s Best Friend

The Tastespotting 28 Days of Oatmeal National Heart Health Month (whoa, what a

Photo by Chris Tuite

mouthful!) event just ended, and it reminded me of a piece I wrote for the Vanguard awhile back. Enjoy:

When I was a kid, the only way I liked oatmeal was if my mom made it: (rolled) oats swimming in milk, topped with pools of butter and heaps of melting brown sugar. Fast forward 15 years, and I’m still craving oatmeal for breakfast, but usually served in a different way.

The following recipe is easy to prepare on a Sunday (or Monday if you have time)—then put away the rest so you can reheat it all week long. I like to use steel-cut oats, which are smaller than rolled oats, and have a little more chew. Not only is it a healthy choice to start your day with fiber-packed oatmeal, but it’s also quite economical. If you buy oatmeal in bulk, it usually costs about a dollar per pound.

Try the base recipe below, and pick a topping option—if you’ve never tried savory oatmeal, you’re in for a real treat. Or, develop your own favorite with jams or butters or anything else you have in your fridge.


  • 3 cups water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup steel-cut oatmeal



  1. Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan,  add pinch of salt.
  2. Add oatmeal to the pot and stir, lower heat to a simmer.
  3. Cook for 20–30 minutes, until most water has evaporated and the oatmeal is creamy.
  4. Remove from heat, add desired toppings, and enjoy.


Elvis Oatmeal:

While the oatmeal is still hot (or reheated in the microwave for one minute and 30 seconds), add 1 heaping tablespoon of creamy peanut butter and mashed banana. Top with a teaspoon of cinnamon and stir.

Savory Morning:

To the hot oatmeal, add one sliced scallion, one teaspoon of sesame oil, two teaspoons of (low sodium) soy sauce and one teaspoon of Sriracha (or any hot sauce) if you want a little kick.

Buenos Días Oatmeal:

Add one tablespoon of your favorite salsa, and one tablespoon of grated cheddar or Monterey jack cheese.

Mama’s Way:

Add a huge splash of milk—so much you almost can’t see the oatmeal, a knob of butter and a heaping spoonful of brown sugar to a hot bowl.

How do you like your oatmeal?

Biscuits, Bloody Marys and Facon

Ever heard of Breakfast in Bridgetown? It’s a book that’s been circulating around our glorious town since last year that lists and discusses every restaurant spot to start your day. The author, Paul Gerald, also has a radio show on Friday afternoons, and yesterday he invited me to join him.

To hear us chat about my work at The Daily Vanguard, nosh spots in town, and facon click here.

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

I’m a little recipe happy today, so here’s another! Since moving into my own apartment that is literally upstairs from the PSU Farmer’s Market, I have been exploring new ingredients. So last week I picked up a couple fuschia colored stalks of rhubarb, and then realized I had no idea what to do with them. Often, you see compotes, crisps and pies marrying the tartness of rhubarb and sweetness of strawberries. I thought a compote would be a nice way to top my morning pre-Zumba oatmeal, so I gave it a shot. You could also use this compote on top of ice cream, farina, or polenta. Feel free to sub out the brown rice syrup for honey or sugar.

1 cup of strawberries, hulled and chopped in quarters
2 stalks of rhubarb, cut into one inch pieces
1/4 cup of brown rice syrup (or honey, sugar, etc)
the juice from half a lemon

Cook rhubarb and syrup in a small saucepan over medium high heat until tender, around 6-8 minutes. Add strawberries and cook over medium heat, letting the strawberries soften as well.When mixture resembles a jam of sorts, take off heat and add lemon juice.Mint might be a nice addition if you had it.
Serves 2-3 people.