Eggs Benedict New Orleans Style

Eggs Benedict New OrleansSunday morning is our sleep in and cooked breakfast morning. I sometimes struggle to come up with new and interesting ways to serve eggs and am always on the lookout for something a bit different. We usually swim or cycle on Sundays so I don’t get too precious about the calories! This morning I made a New Orleans style Eggs Benedict using a crab cake instead of ham or Scot’s preference of spicy sausage. I used the same hollandaise recipe as I did for Eggs Scot . I cheated and used crab cakes I bought from one of my favorite local grocery stores.  Ok, time to go swim off this delicious bad-boy!

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An Inebriated Epicurean’s Taste of NYC

NYCWe love NYC. Every visit we discover new places to enjoy, some courtesy of our friends, others we stumble upon. This last trip we found some great new bars, restaurants and just places to hang. One of these is The Jeffrey, “a bespoke craft beer, cocktails and espresso bar combining two storefronts in one under the Queensboro Bridge on East 60th St The draft beers were a collection of hard-to-find brews and we enjoyed these as well as some yummy eats. The Red Beet Devilled Eggs were fantastic! Among the brews we enjoyed were the Jolly Pumpkin Fuego, which had a nice hit of heat, and the Virtue Cider, a nice tart little number on a chilly afternoon. This trip we also made a visit to an old favorite, Zabar’s  the best ever gourmet kosher deli located on the Upper West Side. We indulged in bagels and smoked salmon before trekking across Central Park to The Jeffrey. Also on the Upper West Side is Luke’s Lobster a lobster shack you can easily miss if you are not looking for it. There are other locations in NYC and it is well worth seeking this little gem out. Speaking of seafood, we also made the trek to the East Village to partake of a couple of our all-star favorites, Upstate – an oyster and craft brew bar, and Zum Schneider, Scot’s must-do for pork knuckle. The last couple of visits to this establishment we have been treated to brews on the house. Nice! They must like us! On this trip we also discovered that one of our favorite oyster bars, Grand Central Oyster Bar, has an outpost in terminal C at Newark Airport. We usually fly in and out of terminal A which is a rather sad and pitiful part of the airport with no decent food choices. There is a shuttle from terminal C to A every 5 minutes and it leaves just down from the oyster bar. Easy! We had a fabulous clam chowder and a cheeky sav blanc for lunch before heading to our flight on our journey home. All in all another great trip to NYC. Next up: Quebec City for my birthday so I am sure I will have some great food and wine stories from there.

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Eggs Scot (A variation on Eggs Benedict)

Eggs ScotI first made this breakfast for my husband Scot’s birthday. I asked him what he would like for breakfast and he suggested this – Eggs Benedict but with hot patty sausage substituted for the ham. It is fantastic! Don’t be intimidated by the Hollandaise sauce. Make the vinegar liquid mix the night before to streamline things and just breathe. You do need to ensure that the bottom of the pan/bowl does not touch the simmering water while you are adding the butter and do it nice and easy. If you are really celebrating, a Bloody Mary goes nicely with this! Continue reading

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Fennel and Vodka Risotto

Fennel and Vodka RisottoThis is perfect for the Inebriated Epicurean! The vodka is added at the end of the cooking process and provides a nice, boozy, bite to the elegant risotto. The key to making a good risotto is to ensure the liquid is added gradually and each addition is absorbed before you add the next. Once all the liquid has been added and absorbed you should be able to bite one of the rice grains in half and see a pinprick of white in the middle. Your risotto is perfect! Of course, drinking a glass of wine while making risotto is key to a successful outcome! Continue reading

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Prawn Wonton Soup

516Growing up in Australia you develop an appreciation for good Asian cuisine. It is abundant and most Australian families will enjoy Asian meals as part of their everyday food choices.  Do not be intimidated by the wontons in this soup. They are deceptively easy to make and the reward is a silky, delectable morsel. You can make your own chicken stock, but a good quality store-bought stock works fine. Continue reading

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Crab Souffle

The souffle is a classic French dish and it intimidates many home cooks. It should not. To quote from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” (co-authored by Julia Child)…”The glory and lightness of French souffles are largely a matter of how voluminously stiff the egg whites have been beaten and how nicely they have been incorporated into the souffle base.” Folding the stiffly beaten egg whites into the base gently is key. There is a fabulous restaurant in San Francisco where the only menu items are souffles…..if you love souffles you must try Cafe Jacqueline when you are next in SF.  Do not be intimidated by the souffle… is surprisingly easy to make and always a crowd pleaser! Continue reading

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The Rise of Craft Distilleries (out of the bathtub and into polite company!)

I am a gin snob and proud of this! If you had told me a year ago that I would be extolling the virtues of a gin produced deep in Daniel Boone country I would have pronounced you crazy. However, I have become a fan of a Missouri gin produced by Pinckney Bend Distillery, a beautiful blend of 9 botanicals with fresh juniper and complex citrus notes This discovery has opened my eyes to the myriad of craft distillers who have moved far beyond producing moonshine in their bathtubs to being artisans producing small hand-crafted batches of exquisite spirits. I have long been a fan of San Francisco Anchor Steam’s Junipero Gin and I will always enjoy Junipero in a dry martini. While I am not a huge vodka fan I really enjoyed tasting www.mastermindvodCraft, a clean-tasting vodka produced in Southern Illinois, recently. As well as supporting our local vintners and brewers, let’s also support our local craft distillers who are honing their craft and producing fabulous results. Next time you are purchasing your gin/vodka/bourbon, look past your usual drop and branch out and try one of the hand-crafted spirits being produced locally one batch at a time.

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Bourbon BBQ Steak with Peaches

Bourbon, beef and peaches – what is not to like! And, this is such an easy dish to make.  Just marinate a large steak in equal amounts of bbq sauce and bourbon for about 30 minutes. Grill for 5 minutes each side for a medium/medium rare steak. Slice it and serve on a bed of greens and peaches. Drizzle the remaining marinade over the steak and serve. Serves 2.

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Scrambled Eggs with Goat Cheese and Tomato

Our kitchen benches are overflowing with tomatoes from Scot’s garden this weekend. This breakfast pairs a Sunday morning staple, scrambled eggs with creamy goat cheese and fresh tomatoes. Don’t cook the tomato, the fresh taste and texture of the tomato is a nice counterpoint to the creamy eggs



  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons goat cheese (creamy if you can get it)
  • 2 slices tomato or olive bread, toasted
  • 1 large tomato

Scramble the eggs and milk together and cook over low heat until just cooked. Add the goat cheese and fold gentle through the eggs allowing the cheese to melt slightly. Arrange the tomato slices over the toast and serve the eggs on top, or to the side.

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Zucchini Bake

With our garden producing a plethora of summer veges we have lots of zucchinis to find creative and interesting ways of cooking.  I remembered this recipe my Mum used to make and decided to make it last week. (If you have to eat zucchini you may as well have it with cheese and bacon, I say!) It was as good as I remembered it. It is also suitable to freeze and this recipe makes great savory muffins and is pretty much dummy-proof it is so easy. Continue reading

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