2016 the Savoury Year of the Monkey

What’s up 2016!

pablo (8)I don’t really do resolutions, I mean I start out the fresh year by saying I’ll change the world and win the lottery but I come back to reality around January 20th. Just the delusion of the lottery though…we can all change the world a little right?

But this year there’s a word, that I want my actions and perspective to reflect which will be beneficial to myself and to others. It’s a word that has floated about over the past few years but really become noticeable as of late.

There are about a million articles and blogs out there that speak about it, but who cares I’m jumpin’ on that train.

Gratitude.

It’s practised in all circles of people from all walks of life, it’s somewhat of a red thread that binds us all together and like love, is something every single human shows in some way or another. It’s something that we express and feel, but is also something that we are when we decide to be.

The benefit it has on us humans is something we all search for: happiness

And happiness comes from your emotions, health, relationships, career, hobbies etc. which can all be affected by how you choose to view your life, other people and way of thinking.

Because what’s gonna make you feel better, thanking the coffee gods for making the world that much better in the morning or grumbling because you have to get up for a 5:00AM meeting (which pays the bills by the way).

If you’re prone to or experience anxiety/depression and see a therapist they may suggest gratitude exercises, like writing down three things you are grateful for each day, even if it’s just that your neighbour isn’t blaring Megadeath at 7:30 AM on Tuesdays (I know because A. That’s my neighbour and B. I come from a family of therapists, therapy is highly encouraged, and I’ll admit I’ve definitely been once or twelve times in my life, it’s great).

But you should actually try it out. 3 things. Little or big. Do it for a solid month everyday and see for yourself how your mood changes and the way you see the world.

I by no means can live a Little Miss Sunshine life, I am a Brit/Canadian after all, but when I’m grateful for other people and the things that are already in my life and right in front of me, I’m not lacking or wishing or wanting, I don’t feel anxious, envious, jealous and all those other emotions that can drag you down.

I feel content and okay, which is all I’ve ever wanted, plus I turn 30 this year and I’m gonna need to find a way to deal with it other than at the bottom of a whisky bottle.


According to Pinterest, 2016 is the year to move away from sugar and towards more savoury toppings…and since breakfast/brunch is like a happy pill let’s go with…

Savory Parmesan French Toast with Hollandaise Sauce

Yield: Serves 4-6

Ingredients

For the French toast:

4 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 large garlic clove, crushed with the side of a knife
dash salt
medium-size loaf of good-quality bread, cut 1-inch thick
butter, for frying
flat-leaf parsley or chives, for garnish
For the hollandaise:
3 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 dash hot sauce
1/2 cup butter

Instructions

For the French Toast:

1. Turn your oven on to the warm setting (170 F). Set a cooling rack over a cookie sheet and place in the oven.
2. Add eggs, milk, cream, Parmesan, mustard powder, hot sauce, black pepper, garlic, and salt to a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour liquid into a pie plate or an 8×8 dish. Rinse out your blender immediately.
3. Slice the bread into 1-inch pieces.
4. Heat a griddle or a large skillet to medium-high heat.
5. Soak the bread in the egg mixture 1-2 minutes each side.
6. Grease the griddle or pan with butter.
7. Fry each piece of bread for about 2-3 minutes, until golden brown. Flip and cook the other side for 1-2 minutes or until browned. Continue with all the bread pieces, replenishing butter as necessary.
Place each finished piece of toast on the cooling rack in the oven.

For the hollandaise:

1. In the rinsed-out blender, add the egg yolks, dijon mustard, lemon juice, and hot sauce. Blend until smooth.
2. In a small bowl in the microwave, melt butter completely so that it’s very hot.
3. Open the top spout of your blender. Turn the blender on low and pour in the hot butter. It should thicken immediately.
4. Immediately pour the sauce into a measuring cup or bowl. Place the bowl into another bowl of very hot water. (You want to keep the sauce hot, but if you microwave it, it will curdle.)
5. Pour the sauce over each serving. Whisk the sauce if it starts to separate.
6. Top each French toast with fresh herbs and extra Parmesan.


I just watched this again last night and it’s one of my most favourite Pixar movies full of chuckles…Toy Story 3


Sticking with the brunch theme…the Flying Pig in Vancouver has a really good Caesar and I can’t give you the exact recipe BUT it is made with: bacon bourbon, Worcestershire sauce, olive brine, Sriracha chili sauce and Clamato juice. Yum.

 

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