Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Breakfast with a Lover

You wake up after a wild night at the clubs. There's a man in bed next to you. How do you get past that awkward here's-your-pants-thanks-for-coming moment? Let's face it, until you've known a man for years, mornings are a bitch. Plan ahead. Have a few simple ingredients always on hand and you can enjoy the morning after just as much as you enjoyed the night before.

First and foremost you must invest in sexy robes. Yes, we know that you prefer to schlep around in the beat up terry-cloth thing you've had for years, but face it. . . that's not helping you look your best. Beauty doesn't have to be uncomfortable. I like a thigh-length Chinese silk wrap (I have several and can testify to the comfort of these!), or a cotton Japanese yukata (I have a fav in black with dragons; unbelted it sweeps the floor and trails behind as I walk--nicely showing a lot of leg).

Set up the coffee the night before (assuming you are capable of rational thought after clubbing or whatever). If you are smart and wake up first, do a bit of primping, throw on the robe, and start coffee before waking him with kisses. If he wakes first, send him to turn on coffee while you go primp.

Now you fix breakfast together:

Gevalia Coffee with Biscotti
Fresh Fruit and
Executive Home Fries

Executive Home Fries are a specialty of a little restaurant I love in Kent, Ohio. All you need are white potatoes, a variety of other ingredients, and at least three cheeses.

Depending on your preferences, either grate or finely dice 2-3 medium size potatoes with one small onion. In a large saute pan fry these on med-high heat in a couple tablespoons of virgin olive oil, flipping often.

While you fry the potatoes set him to chop the other ingredients. I usually add whatever I have in the fridge that seems suitable. Any cooked meats: leftover beef or pork bits, precooked sausage, ready to eat bacon (a good thing to keep on hand for adding to your cooking), deli ham. Any vegetables: broccoli, asparagus tips, celery, grated carrot, fresh tomatoes (little grape tomatoes are best), mushrooms, capers. With vegetables fresh is always better, but if all you have is frozen run them under warm and pat dry before throwing them in. Add ingredients as you go, adding things like tomatoes that need less cooking at the end. You want the potatoes fork-done and browned, all vegetables still a bit crisp. Some fresh herbs to add at the end could include (pick only one or two, don't overpower your flavors): parsley, savory, chives, tarragon, lovage (leaves), and, of course, fresh ground pepper and sea salt.

You also want to grate about a 3rd cup each of 3 different cheeses. My favorite combination is Jarlsburg swiss, asiago, and a tiny bit of crumbled feta. At this point turn off the heat, sprinkle the cheeses on top the potato mix, and cover it while you set the table with nice china and linen napkins.

Your fresh fruit can be whatever is in season, but think about presentation. Fill half of a stoned peach with tiny raspberries or blueberries. Toss pineapple and melon cubes with fresh mint leaves. Add a dollop of vanilla yogurt to a bowl of mixed berries.

If he offers to help with the washing up, he is a keeper. And after a luscious night and a delicious morning you can be pretty certain he'll back. If you want to insure that, drag him back to the bedroom for another round of morning calisthenics before he heads off to the gym or work or wherever!

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