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Breakfast: The Most Delicious Meal Of The Day

It will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me or has had to suffer a conversation about food with me that any meal is regarded as a treat in my eyes. Whether its a toasted cheese sandwich at lunch, a gorgeous plate of pasta for dinner or a mid morning snack of fresh mango, good food is always cause for celebration. But after a weekend away in Liverpool, I’ve come to the conclusion that as delicious as other meals are, nothing beats a truly great breakfast. Forget your bowl of cornflakes or sorry looking banana eaten in the weekday morning rush, I’m talking breakfasts that you can really take your time over and savour. Bacon sandwiches, eggs Benedict, kedgeree, hot crumpets, homemade granola, fry ups, pancakes, boiled eggs; they all have sheer deliciousness in common and to me herald the start of the weekend and all the joys that it brings. It may be the simplest breakfast going but its not really a holiday unless I have hot, thick, white toast smothered in butter at the airport before my flight. Breakfast rocks, and after not eating for such a long stretch while we catch up on our beauty sleep we deserve a little decadence to break the fast.

This is where Moose Coffee, Liverpool comes in. Found entirely by chance, the 4 of us knew we’d found an absolute jewel of a cafe on seeing the words ‘American and Canadian breakfasts’. I’m not ashamed to say that my heart fluttered a little on reading this (probably in anticipation of the calories about to be consumed), what with my love for all things American. Walking in you’re faced with large portraits of iconic figures such as Neil Armstrong replaced with moose heads, antlers and plush couches running along the back of the cafe, and the enticing smell of fresh coffee and good food. My kind of place, then. What can I say about breakfast? It was unbelievably good. Three of us had the special that morning, which was the Grande Bouche topped with two poached eggs. I have never understood before the American tendency to pair ludicrously sweet dishes like pancakes with bacon, but after the Grande Bouche experience I am a complete convert. French toast made with brioche soaked in an egg and vanilla batter, topped with bacon, eggs and maple syrup. My head knew it shouldn’t work, my curiosity knew I had to give it a go regardless, and my tongue just knew it was delighted to have been allowed to give it a go. Gorgeous. You may grimace at the idea, but a week ago so would I and look at how wrong I was. All three of us loved it and agreed that sometimes you’ve just got to admit defeat and say the Americans know exactly what they’re doing.

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Basically, breakfast was so good that we had to go back a couple of days later before catching the tran back home. Not feeling the sweet stuff this time I decided to go down a completely different tangent and had the manolito which is the Moose’s take on the Mexican breakfast classic huevos rancheros. My idol Nigella has raved about huevos rancheros on Twitter and I’ve been desperate to try it for ages so seeing this on the menu my mind was made up straight away. Spicy food may not be everyone’s cup of tea first thing in the morning but once again breakfast was stunning and right up my street: two flour tortillas topped with salsa, fried eggs, sour cream, refried beans and cheese. Heaven. The salsa had a really deep flavour with a good spicy kick that totally woke me up and the melted cheese was the perfect strength to stand up to the strong flavours of the salsa. I’m now addicted to it and need to make huevos rancheros for myself very very soon.

None of us had a single complaint about the food and everyone was full and contented by the end of breakfast. The coffee here was also delicious and if you leave Moose without having the Moose macchiato then you have really missed out, as it was delicious. Coffee that dreams are made of. I urge you to check Moose Coffee out if you’re ever in Liverpool, it really was the best breakfast I’ve ever had and has served as a timely reminder of how great the first meal of the day can be, just a few days before our oven finally arrives. Now that’s definitely a cause to celebrate!

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Posted by on May 7, 2013 in American, Breakfast, Cooking, Food

 

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Rainy Day Cooking

Rain, some days I do love it and today has got to be one of those days. After nearly 27 years of living in England, I’ve gotten fond of the stuff, more out of necessity than anything else, otherwise one may go mad. Plus it gives me an excuse to get in the kitchen to cook something warming and satisfying to counteract the drizzle of the weather. It’s been a busy weekend and I’ve not had much time to cook, spending my time instead on downing shots and trying to drunkenly befriend the police force, so some rainy day cooking was called for. Note to readers by the way, the police aren’t impressed when you stroke their high vis jackets and try to sympathise with them by despairing at all the drunken idiots preventing them from doing such a fine job. Irony not being my strong point after a few cocktails. I do not remember this incident but unfortunately my friends do.

What food then could help soothe such humiliation? I took a gamble on Baked Potato Soup from America’s Most Wanted Recipes – Favorite Restaurants. Not exactly a snappy title and let’s not even get started on the misspelling of favourite, but a great cookbook nonetheless. I bought this on holiday in Florida a few years ago after having a dawning realisation that once I was home I wouldn’t be able to eat the food I loved on holiday. It doesn’t matter how much you may love sophisticated French food or the traditions of Italian cooking, American food dishes up meals people really want to eat. After all, a great burger is the stuff of dreams and impossible to turn down. There’s no pretension, just tasty food that may also give you a heart attack or embolism if eaten on a daily basis. If you don’t believe me, then you clearly haven’t been watching Man vs Food. This cookbook takes classic recipes from some of Americas biggest chain restaurants and tells you how to make them. So if you want to know how to make Red Lobsters cheddar biscuits, Subways sweet onion sauce, or even KFC’s original recipe chicken then this is the book for you. Unfortunately there is no guide on McDonald’s cheeseburgers or fries, although this is more likely a blessing in disguise. This soup recipe comes from The Hard Rock Cafe, which I’ve been to but did not have this soup. It’s pretty straightforward to make and I can happily say that baked potato soup, despite sounding pretty boring, is delicious and very comforting on a rainy day. However, with comfort comes a big calorie hit, and this soup is no exception. Bacon, potato, cream and cheddar, this soup certainly isn’t good for your waistline but what it lacks in nutrition it makes up for in taste. It’s creamy, thick from the potatoes and has deep salty crunch from the streaky bacon. If you wanted to make this soup a tiny bit healthier you could leave out the cheese as still tasted gorgeous without it, but really, it would be like getting a Diet Coke instead of full fat alongside your Big Mac meal. The damage has well and truly been done. Don’t get up on your English high horse either, stick to American style streaky bacon as you won’t get the super crispy ribbons that shatter under your fingers with English style bacon. Overcome your patriotism just this once, and leave our bacon for glorious weekend bacon sarnies. If you see this book around and love eating out in America I urge you to give this book a go, everything I’ve cooked from it has been very, very edible. Do check out the website as well where you can find this recipe and many more: http://americasmostwantedrecipes.com/h2.html

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Posted by on September 23, 2012 in Books, Cooking, Food, Lunch

 

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