Brunch Recipes

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Cookie Butter Blondie Bars Recipe

Cookie Butter Blondie Bars

02.24.14 by Jackie

This is my upscale version of a PB&J sandwich. Instead of using good ol' peanut butter, I used speculoos spread (fancy word for gingerbread cookie butter) and I skipped the bread and prepared blondies mixed with honey-roasted peanuts. As for the jelly part, I used a combination of crushed fresh blackberries and fig spread I prepared last Fall from the figs in our garden. 

Every weekend, I try to get the girls involved in the kitchen by preparing a large brunch together. It's a great way for our family to catch up with each other's busy lives. In my opinion, food is a great tool for bonding and sharing memories.

As expected, these cookie butter bars were a (fig and blackberry-flavored) smashing success (no pun intended) for both kids and grownups!

 


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Aebelskivers (Pancake Ball Recipe) Recipe

I think this recipe would be a perfect addition to a Thanksgiving brunch. The children in our family love pancakes, and this version fits the season quite well due to the addition of cranberry jam. It doesn’t hurt that the pancakes have a unique look to them as well.

The recipe starts like any pancake recipe. The one challenge is actually fitting the jam into the pancakes, and to make that possible, I cooked them in an aebelskiver pan. Aebelskivers are round pancake balls that taste similar to crossbred doughnuts and popovers. I usually use this pan for a Vietnamese dish called bánh khọt, which is a savory Vietnamese-style rice flour pancake. You've probably seen it in a flat-version (bánh xèo). Today, it made lovely, fluffy pancakes filled with a dollop of sweet/tart cranberry jam. If you prefer, you could fill them with candied yams, though I think there wouldn’t be as much textural contrast. This is definitely a recipe to learn, as it’s easy to adapt to any season or occasion.


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Poached Quail Eggs on Polenta Recipe

Poached Quail Eggs on Polenta

03.20.13 by Jackie

This is my healthy interpretation of "bacon and eggs". The high-fat nature of this dish made me consider alternatives for brunch fare. To make the dish, I pan-fried rounds of polenta, then stacked layers (and colors) of sautéed beech mushrooms, poached quail eggs, dill pesto and crispy vegetarian bacon.

If the idea of a high calorie meal doesn't bother you, you can replicate the same recipe with real bacon, chicken eggs and increase the amount of cheese in the pesto. And don’t worry, I’m not judging!


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New Beginnings Recipe

New Beginnings

05.25.12 by Jackie

2012 has definitely been a life-changing year for me. Yesterday, I underwent the Naturalization Oath Ceremony at the Heritage Theater in Campbell, California, and along with 403 other people from 63 different countries, I became a citizen of the United States of America. As I recited the Pledge of Allegiance for the first time as an American citizen, I felt very emotional. It's been a long journey. Vice Mayor of the city of Campbell, Evan Low, greeted us and made a wonderful speech. He's such a passionate and energetic citizen. He's a fourth-generation American and he talked about the wonderful opportunities this country has given his family, including the ability to contribute and engage in the community and to do his part to shape the country.

I was particularly moved by his comments on the diversity of cultures and backgrounds that we share with each other, especially here in California. It meant all the more for me, given that my baby daughter was in attendance, as I am of French-Vietnamese descent and my husband is Indian-American.

If you had asked me before, I would always have said that 2000 was the best year of my life. I was a young engineering student who found an internship in Silicon Valley for the summer and I met the love of my life. But I have to admit that this year is rising up the charts. I've watched my little girl grow up into a very entertaining six month old, I've become a U.S. citizen, and I have one more exciting announcement: I've been given the opportunity to publish my first cookbook at the end of the year! It's been a dream of mine to write a book, and it was kind of surreal when I was approached about it earlier this year.

I just finished the manuscript so I'm beyond excited to be able to share the news with you! I'm truly living my American Dream. I'd like to say a heartfelt thank you to every single one of you, my readers, for sending your lovely messages of encouragement and for being such faithful followers of my daily cooking adventures. I've been sharing my everyday life with you for the past three years, and it's given me the opportunity to cross paths with many wonderful people along the way. It's been an amazing journey. So merci!

Now back to my favorite subject, which is food! Being a freshly minted American, it just felt right to make an apple pie, though of course, with my own twist. The tart crust is made with cream cheese. The pie is covered with diced apples and pecan crumbs and to make the dessert more visually appealing, I topped it with sliced apples and brushed them with apricot preserves at the end.

And finally, since Memorial Day weekend is upon us, I'd like to take the opportunity to thank our soldiers who have fought and continue to fight for our freedoms. God Bless America!


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Tofu Scramble Recipe with Green Beans Recipe

Tofu is probably the ingredient I cook the most. Since there are five vegetarians in my home, I've learned to deep-fry, stir-fry, sauté, boil and grill tofu. My husband Lulu isn't a strict vegetarian; he eats eggs only if they're blended in desserts and the egg taste isn't detectable. He wouldn't eat eggs in the form of an omelet or scrambled eggs. I came up with this vegan egg substitute by boiling tofu as a first step, then scrambling the tofu, then finally sautéing it with turmeric to replicate the color of real eggs.

I cooked the mock scrambled eggs with French green beans and served it with steamed jasmine rice. This meal is complete while remaining healthy and still very tasty. Bon appétit!


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