I have to admit, brunch is my kind of meal. Well actually, I like breakfast a lot but early mornings are not really my thing. Now being able to sleep in and still get breakfast foods when I wake up? Whoever came up with this whole brunch concept is a genius in my book. When Stacie and I were in Nashville we researched several places to have Sunday brunch but we ended up at Marché Artisan Foods. Like every other restaurant we ate at during my trip, it only took about 10 minutes to get to but the wait was an hour, and apparently no one in Nashville has heard of reservations. Still, the food was really good and the atmosphere was nice so I’m glad we went.
When Stacie invited me to Nashville, I only had two things I wanted to do: try to find some Consider The Wldflwrs jewelry (which was a success) and get some breakfast at Pancake Pantry. Stacie had written about the restaurant before and it sounded so good that I had to try it for myself. When we arrived there was a line halfway down the building. Stacie was nice enough to wait in line while I went to BookManBookWoman, a book store across the street.
I’m a big breakfast person (at least I’m a fan of sweet, carb-rich breakfast foods and I always have to eat something in the morning). And as much as I like sweets, I really enjoy eating healthy, clean foods. So when a friend suggested I try Blue Lemon, I couldn’t help myself. Blue Lemon is a fast casual restaurant that uses high-quality, fresh, natural ingredients. Their tagline, pure clean food with a twist, perfectly describes the fun, healthy meals they serve. Originally from Utah, Blue Lemon recently opened a location in Gilbert, not too far from where I live. As much as I love salads and fresh sandwiches for lunch, Blue Lemon’s breakfast menu is what really drew me in. G and I went on a late weekday morning- perfect timing because it was too late for the breakfast crowd and too early for the lunch rush.
When Gunnar Karl Gislason opened Restaurant Dill in 2009, he wanted to focus on celebrating Iceland’s traditional cuisine, but doing it in a contemporary way, using artisinal producers and only the very best ingredients from around Iceland. North: The New Nordic Cuisine of Iceland by Gislason and Jody Eddy is more than just a cookbook. In addition to Gislason’s recipes, it also has stories about Iceland and interviews with the suppliers of ingredients for Gislason’s Restaurant Dill. The interviews and recipes are divided into sections based on Gislason’s suppliers: The Bacalao Producer (Salted Cod Chips with Pickled Angelica Cream), The Arctic Char Smoker (Parsnips Three Ways with Arctic Char Roe), The Rugbraud Baker (Buttermilk Espuma, Pickled and Charred Cucumbers, and Hay-Smoked Rye Bread Powder), The Fisherman (Tea-Poached Skate, Braised Kale, Shallot Puree, and Skyr), The Seabird Egg Collector (Cauliflower, Seabird Eggs, and Burned Butter), The Barley Farmer (Skyr, Fennel Sorbet, and Roasted Barley), The Dairy Farmer (Custard with Blueberries and Cinnamon Sugar), The Birch and Mushroom Forager (Whey-Glazed Pork Belly, Caramelized Parsnip Puree, and Herb Emulsion), The Sheep Farmer (Smoked Lamb with Skyr and Nutmeg), The Hardfiskur Producer (Tea-Crusted Catfish, Braised Root Vegetables, Barley, and Lovage Oil), The Salt Maker (Sea Salt), The Goat Farmer (Whey Caramel, Buttermilk, and Horseradish), and The Blue Mussel and Dulse Harvester (Seaweed Butter).
Meatless All Day: Recipes for Inspired Vegetarian Meals by Dina Cheney is full of delicious sounding vegetarian (and some vegan) recipes. It starts with the basics- tips for making the perfect vegetables, cooking eggs, and enhancing “meatiness” in vegetarian ingredients. Cheney lists which recipes are vegan and also lists vegan substitutions on some recipes. This cookbook is broken up into sections: Breakfast and Brunch (Pumpkin Pear Pancakes, Cheddar Pecan Scones with Spiced Apple Butter), Lunch and Light Entrees (Black Bean Burgers with Grilled Mango-Lime Mayonnaise, Warm Goat Cheese Salad with Strawberries and Toasted Almonds), and Dinner (Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard Stew topped with Puff Pastry, Pumpkin Lasagna with Brown Butter and Sage). I was a little disappointed there wasn’t a dessert section, but I guess most desserts are vegetarian to begin with. This isn’t a cookbook for beginners, but the recipes do seem fairly easy to make, although they include a lot of ingredients. The portions each recipe makes are fairly large, and Cheney includes serving suggestions for each recipe (ie what to serve before the entrée, and what dessert would pair well with the meal- again, if you’re going to list dessert suggestions, why not include recipes?). I’m not even a vegetarian but the recipes look delicious.