Quick-n-Easy-Sticky-Sweety-Monkey-Bread Breakfast Huzzah!

IMG_1725Do you know monkey bread?

You need to know monkey bread.

Monkey bread is a Southern staple, super easy to make, and stupid delicious.  We used to have it on the regular after church on Sundays, but I rarely make it as an adult.  Perhaps because of this scarcity of monkey bread in my life, I’ve come to think of it as significantly a Christmas thing, an integral part of breakfast, served alongside some kind of spiced juice-tea concoction my mother has served in mugs shaped like Santa and Mrs. Claus’ heads, and after which consuming I will fall asleep on the floor under the tree in a bathrobe or perhaps sweats and a 26-year-old Def Leppard shirt as soft as The Baby Jesus’ fanny.

After making it at home this year for a solo Shannon-&-Jason Christmas, though, I think I’ll be making it on the regular again.  Perhaps Mom always brought it out on Christmas because it’s so damn easy.

And because it’s so sticky sweet gooey yummy blam!

To make monkey bread all you need is Continue reading

Margaret’s Grub Match Pick: Crème Café & Lounge

cremeThe third and final contender in our special Washington D.C. edition of Grub Match is international attorney and chicken and waffles aficionado Margaret Dennis. Her pick is Crème, a brunch favorite in the northwest quadrant of the city that serves up Southern specialties. Here’s more from Margaret on why she loves both comfort food from home and surprises from abroad:

Do you have any food pet peeves?
“Artistic” (i.e., tiny) portions.  I’m all for savoring my food and not wolfing it down like I’m starving, but if I’m paying to eat out I’d like to leave full.

You’re headed to a deserted island to live on grass and coconut milk–what’s your last meal before you go?
A deliciously prepared cassoulet.  You really can’t beat it on a cold winter’s night.

You’ve come into uncountable gobs of money—who do you hire as your personal chef?
Deb Perelman of the Smitten Kitchen food blog.  Not only are all of her recipes outstandingly delicious, she always has amusing commentary, and I feel that would be a useful trait if someone were standing in your kitchen all day making food.

What’s the single most memorable meal you’ve ever eaten?
That’s pretty hard to pick.  I’ll go with one key memorable one.  When I was 15, I spent the summer with a family in a tiny village in Alsace, France.  At one point we went over to the grandmother’s house for homemade tarte flambé cooked in her grandmother’s clay oven.  It was one of the first time’s I’d been abroad and I’d never realized food could taste that different from what I was used to in the U.S….and that fabulous. Continue reading

Grub Match: Brooklyn Brunch Showdown

brunch contendersOne storm was brewing in the west, and another was brewing between the three contenders in the Brooklyn Brunch Showdown. “Please,” one contender whispered to me off the record, “bring on these brunch amateurs.” But despite some brash displays of confidence, it was shaping up as a Grub Match far too close for anyone to call. In this Olympic season of eating, would Peaches, Beast or Café Luluc take home the gold? We were about to find out. Continue reading

Eric’s Grub Match Pick, Beast

Eric's Grub Match Pick

Chicken = Grub Match secret weapon

Our final contender in the Brooklyn Brunch Showdown is smooth operator and chicken whisperer, Eric Lidman. He explained to us the beauty of potato salad and why he (and his dog) consider Beast in Prospect Heights a true neighborhood gem. Here’s more from Eric:

You’re headed to a deserted island to live on grass and coconut milk–what’s your last meal before you go? Full breakfast—eggs, bacon, cheese, fresh bread with butter and preserves, cheese, fruit, yogurt, cheese … breakfast, it’s not just for, um, breakfast anymore.

You’ve come into uncountable gobs of money—who do you hire as your personal chef? Batali, if I had to choose…though I’d resurrect Julia Child, if at all possible…

What’s the single most memorable meal you’ve ever eaten? Dinner, October 2011, Adour at the St. Regis Hotel … lobster bisque, beef cap bordelaise with bone marrow, poached rhubarb with yogurt cream and strawberries, all washed down with a 1964 French cabernet …I almost passed out when I finished.

Have you ever worked at a restaurant? Burger King, for 2 shifts. I was fired for inadvertently closing the burger steamer lid on my supervisor’s hand. Continue reading

Casey’s Grub Match Pick, Café Luluc

Casey's Grub Match Pick

Cute baby = Grub Match secret weapon

This week’s pick for the Brooklyn Brunch Battle comes from sports development exec, supermom and peanut butter aficionado Casey Romany. Café Luluc, in Carroll Gardens, won her heart with its “simple, reliable deliciousness.” Here’s more from Casey on how one brunches in style, even with a baby on board.

Have you ever worked at a restaurant? Three food service experiences.  I worked at my uncle’s fish store on Friday’s when I was 15 selling fish fry. My family did not appreciate the incredible fish stank that lingered after I got home.  When I was in high school I worked at Brueggers Bagels; I will love bagels forever.  And in college I was a waitress at an Irish pub, but I barely made enough tips to cover my parking expenses.

Do you have any food pet peeves? When a restaurant does not have decaf coffee…there are a few Brooklyn Brunch spots out there that have no love for the caffeine free!

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