How to Brunch in Downtown Chicago

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“Bros who brunch” has yet to take off among my friends, likely because we call ourselves by name instead of bro. At its best, brunch is breakfast with booze. At its worst, brunch is long wait times, rushed service, overpriced eggs and shouting over the din at your friends. When Grand Lux Cafe invited me back to try out their brunch offerings, I dusted off my seersucker and ventured to downtown Chicago with Leann to sample how they do brunch on the Mag Mile. (I ate my way through their dinner menu a few weeks back. You can read up on that here.)

Looking around the massive restaurant in the daylight, most brunchers appeared to be tourists. Grand Lux Cafe has a prime location for shoppers stocking up at stores on Michigan Ave. The restaurant is huge, which nearly guarantees you won’t have to wait for a table to get brunch. That tackles one of the main brunch irritants. Since it is a larger restaurant, they have more servers who can give better service. The menu is far from the diner offerings in My Cousin Vinny.

My Cousin Vinny menu

Continue reading How to Brunch in Downtown Chicago

National Cereal Day Recipe Ideas

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National Cereal Day has arrived. Growing up (and probably still) I had a favorite bowl. It is green, shaped like a turtle and it’s amazing. Remarkably, the paint hasn’t faded away in 15 plus years of use. That was my go-to cereal bowl.

In anticipation of National Cereal Day, I started thinking of different ways to eat cereal. I have always been a traditional cereal consumer, filling a bowl first thing in the morning for immediate consumption. I’m pretty sure the only reason I wake is hunger.

The folks at General Mills sent me a few boxes to get my creative juices flowing. Fortunately for me, they included one of my all-time favorites: CTC. (They have more ideas on their site from Food Network chef Justin Warner.) Continue reading National Cereal Day Recipe Ideas

Bacon and Veggie Frittata

Bacon and Veggie Frittata

Bachelor Basic: Don’t cook topless, especially if you’re meal includes frying bacon. If you’re not careful you’ll burn your frittatas off.

I have yet to buy meat other than cold cuts since moving. Having my own place may turn me into a vegetarian. As there becomes less I have to do each night after work, I hope I’ll resume cooking more. I have been walking to and from the train each day this month creating both a fatigue and insatiable hunger when I get in the door. Continue reading Bacon and Veggie Frittata

Avoid Being a Monday Zombie

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Mornings are hard.

Coffee can make them less difficult, according to the long lines at various coffee shops each morning. I avoid getting coffee out both for the waste of time in line and the drain of funds for a latte.

Community coffee sent me a few samples earlier this year. I’m still working my way through the morning roast, but it is delicious. Community Coffee is a family-run company based out of Baton Rogue. Anything NOLA makes me want a beignet. Aiming to replicate the full caffeine experience, my girlfriend and I ground the beans, then brew that toffee-colored go go juice. Continue reading Avoid Being a Monday Zombie

Quick Omellete Lunch

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Leavin all my lunch foods at the office is convenient Monday through Friday. Not so much on weekends.

Eggs have become my catch all ingredient when I don’t have other food to eat. Today’s lunch creation was a hybrid frittata/omelette. 

Microwave a potato for 3-4 minutes. Heat butter in a small skillet. Crack and beat two eggs in a bowl or cup with salt and pepper. Smash the almost cooked potato and add it to the now sizzling butter in the skillet. Add salt and pepper. I dusted mine with some spice rub mix I use for marinating meat. 

Add your beaten eggs. Jiggle the pan. Add cheese after a minute of cooking. With a spatula, fold the Omelle-ata onto itself. Once the eggs are set (3-5 minutes total), plate and eat.

 

Piggy Banana Pancakes Recipe

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Some days you just want to act like a kid and devour a whole stack of pancakes.

But, you know what makes pancakes even better? Pancakes shaped like a pig.

My sister gave my girlfriend a pig pan at Christmas and we tabled our normal cereal routine or eggs to test it out. Modifying this recipe for banana pancakes from My Baking Addiction, we embarked on our breakfast adventure.

The main changes were to add more cinnamon and swap almond milk for regular milk. I love cinnamon and find most recipes never have enough. When using shaped pans, it’s a good idea to make sure you use some butter or cooking spray to prevent sticking. After the pan heats up, add a small sliver of butter and swirl it around the pan to cover all the corners.

You’ll need to setup a second pan for the dramatic pig flip. It’s best if you have a griddle or a shallow pan. The closer you can get the pig pan to the griddle, the less your pig’s brain will escape. We dodged any pig massacres.

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If you aren’t experienced in making pancakes, when the batter starts to bubble or you see the edges curl up/in, those are good indicators that it’s time to flip.

We served ours with warmed maple syrup and just enough Reddi-Whip to guarantee my insulin levels were nearing the danger zone.

These may just make you oink like a swine for another serving.

banana pancake

 

banana pancakes
Piggy Banana Pancakes Recipe
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Print Recipe
First attempt at pig-shaped banana pancakes.
Servings Prep Time
2-3 people 10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Servings Prep Time
2-3 people 10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
banana pancakes
Piggy Banana Pancakes Recipe
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Print Recipe
First attempt at pig-shaped banana pancakes.
Servings Prep Time
2-3 people 10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Servings Prep Time
2-3 people 10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients.
  2. Mash the banana and mix all the wet ingredients with the banana.
  3. Combine dry and wet.
  4. Heat your pig-shaped pan or griddle, adding butter after the pan is hot (2-3 minutes).
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