it's okay to play with your food

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Holiday Edition, Part 1

Since returning from my vacation in Hawaii, I have fully steeped myself in the winter holiday season. (Something about 80 degree weather and coconuts kept me from appreciating the wishes of Mele Kalikimaka on the radio.) Like most people, that means cooking and eating as much as possible.

So with the passing of fall and Christmas a recent memory, I am finally sharing some of my favorite holiday recipes from the past few months.

I am a strong believer in extended kin networks. So it was really awesome to host two of my best friends- Daniel and Sarah- for brunch on Christmas Day. My brother celebrated with us too, and it was this lovely convergence of blood relations and friends-as-family. Everyone brought something... Daniel the bacon, Sarah an amazing multi-grain loaf from Metropolitan Bakery... and I made scones and frittata for the main course. Oh yes... and there were mimosas...

Christmas Brunch Menu
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Drop Scones with Orange Cinnamon Butter
Spinach and Red Pepper Frittata
Multigrain Toast

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Drop Scones with Orange Cinnamon Butter
Adapted from the recipe for Oatmeal Date Drop Scones from

3/4 cup milk
1 large egg
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Rind from one orange
2 1/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1/2 cup chocolate chips

In a bowl whisk together the milk, the egg, the brown sugar, vanilla and orange rind until
the mixture is combined well. In another bowl stir together the flour, the oats, the baking powder, the baking soda, and the salt and blend in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Sir in the chocolate chips and the milk mixture until the mixture just forms a sticky dough. Drop the dough by 1/3-cup measures onto an ungreased baking sheet and bake the scones in the middle of a preheated 400°F. for 15 to 18 minutes, or until they are golden.

Orange Cinnamon Butter
Soften butter to room temperature. Add about 1 tsp. of orange rind, 1 tsp. of cinnamon and 1/2 tsp. of powdered sugar and combine well. Serve in a ramekin or other small bowl. I basically approximated all measurements to taste.

Spinach and Red Pepper Frittata
8 eggs
Milk, salt and pepper
1-2 cloves of garlic and olive oil
One red bell pepper, diced
Large handful of baby spinach
Feta CheesePreheat oven to 500 degrees (or use the broiler if you know your dish wear is oven-safe). On low heat, saute the garlic in olive oil. Add red pepper and saute till just tender. Add spinach till lightly wilted. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Combine eggs with vegetables in a stove and oven safe dish. Cook on stove-top at medium-high temperature till eggs are just set in the bottom of the dish.

Sprinkle with feta cheese and pop in the oven for approx. ten minutes. If the top of the frittata isn't completely cooked, but the edges are brown, take it out of the oven and let sit on the stovetop till completely cooked through. The egg will continue cooking from the heat within and you won't burn the rest of the frittata.


Sarah said...

I can testify that all these dishes were damn good. The friatta full of flavor. The scones with an orange kick not too heavy or dry, some of the bestest I've tried. The butter making you look for more and more reasons to layer it on.

YUM!! kk rocks it with an apron on.

kitchenplay said...

Thanks Sarah! I just found a recipe for browned butter that I want to try too...

Sarah Noble said...

Oooh! I'm sad I missed that lovely meal!

kitchenplay said...

i'll have you over for brunch another day Sarah... we can do a couple different breakfasty cocktails too...!