The Dream Dinner and a To-Die For Breakfast to Make Every Overnight Guest Smile.

Breakfast/Brunch / January 8, 2019

This post is about the greatest of all events, overnight guests. Friends or relatives (like my beautiful daughter Katie pictured below!), young or old, favorite or stranger, they have come to dine and recline. And it is up to you to make their visit as spectacular as can be.

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There are certain expectations you usually have as a guest:  You want the BEST pillows, a well-lit path to the bathroom, supreme quiet, and amazing food. Some desire a sunrise falling across their face. But most wish for light-blocking curtains and no alarm. The success of all of this hinges on a host and hostess who we hope find entertaining and hospitality their highest calling. Or, the givers of all stay-cation wishes.

I consider myself a good hostess and an equally good guest. I understand that someone opening their home is the highest honor. And I respect that. I know they have made space for me in their heart and their life. An act worthy of the highest praise. There is something wonderful about sharing a roof with a friend. Knowing they slumber in the room next to you, breathing in and out as their minds dream away their cares gives us purpose. Not to mention a reason to bring out the adorable matching cream and sugar set we’ve been waiting to use.

Framing these events — the arrival and the departure — are of course the meals. And they have to be prepared with love and caring. One is the supper that shows the guests’ presence is a celebration. And then the breakfast that seals the deal. I have two recipes for you that accomplish just that.

The first appears to be impossibly difficult. But it is simply layering flavors inside a very basic meal. And it is crowned with lovely red candied beets that certainly reinforce the memorable factor. With their high sugar content this vegetable is the perfect muse for honey. And they give the entire meal a crimson glow. I use one of my favorite herb rubs to elevate plain baked chicken. And a simple white wine lemon sauce to pull it all together…


Herb Rubbed Chicken with Candied Beets

Over Raisin Scallion Coriander Rice Lemon White Wine Sauce

Serves 4


Ingredients:

Chicken:

4 chicken breasts cut to 6 oz. servings
2 T of your favorite spice rub*
2 T finely chopped Italian leaf parsley
3 – 4 t light olive oil
2 t kosher salt
1 t black pepper


Rice:

Blend 1 ½ C vegetable stock, ¾ C jasmine rice with ¼ C golden raisins and 3 small scallions chopped including greens with the rice to cook. When done add 1 t coriander powder, 1 t salt, and 2 t heavy cream.

Beets:

4 small red beets, peeled, with 1 inch of the tops intact, cleaned and trimmed thoroughly. 2 T oil, 2 t kosher salt. 2 T honey, 1 t rice wine vinegar. Cook beets on a baking sheet at 400 degrees with oil and salt for about 25 minutes, or until soft. Remove and put in a bowl. Let cool for about 5 minutes. Then toss with the honey and vinegar. Serve.


Sauce:

Reduce ½ C dry white wine for about 3 minutes, add 3 t fresh squeezed lemon juice, a dash of salt and pepper and finish with 2 t real maple syrup. Thicken slightly with about 1 T corn starch dissolved in ¼C water. Whisk in slurry well until slightly thickened.


Method:

  • Combine spice mix, parsley, and oil as noted above in ingredients. Spread over the chicken and place in an oiled baking dish. Cook at 375 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes or until medium. Do not overcook. Serve over rice, with the lemon white wine sauce and the candied beets.**
  • 1 t each of paprika, coriander, herbs de Provence, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric. Dash of nutmeg and cardamom.
  • Top with quick pickled cucumbers if desired. I add sliced cukes to a bowl, and cover with about ½ C red wine vinegar and 2 T sugar and let sit for 1 hour.

Quick Shortcut Cinnamon Rolls with Orange Glaze

Makes 12-14 Rolls


Ingredients:

1 package pizza dough rolled to a 12 by 12 square
8 T salted butter
1/3 C raisins
1-2 T granulated sugar
1 T good cinnamon
2 T juice of 1 orange
1 T grated orange zest
1 t vanilla extract
Dash of kosher salt
½ – ¾ C confectioner’s sugar


Method:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Unroll dough and lay onto a floured surfaced. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out to desired size. I did 12” by 12”. Using a spatula, take 4 T soft butter and spread it evenly over the dough. Sprinkle the granulated sugar and then the cinnamon over the dough. Sprinkle with the raisins. Starting at one end, carefully roll away from you until you have a long tube. Cut into 12-14 even pieces. Lay them in a well buttered small baking dish. I used a dish about 7 by 10 inches. Brush the tops with 2 T of melted butter and a smattering of cinnamon sprinkled on top. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown.
  • In a small bowl squeeze the orange juice and zest and add the vanilla and pinch of salt. Slowly add the confectioner’s sugar about ¼ C at a time until you get the desired consistency. Serve rolls with glaze!


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Let's think about food preparation as art, and flavors as adventurous stories. Say ‘goodbye’ to safe sequences, or copycat flavors, and use your senses to curate the perfect meal. My recipes help your kitchen come to life as I share anecdotes about food chemistry, and fun shortcuts that conquer menu-mediocrity. my cooking style is one that combines everyday ingredients into sensuous layers that wake up the bored palate as I reveal easy-to-understand tips, tricks, and hacks so everyone can prepare and serve Bling Cuisine with confidence and joy!

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