Friday, December 19, 2014

Benedict Strata

I love Eggs Benedict.  Well what I really love is hollandaise sauce, but I do love the other ingredients as well.  We recently had overnight guests, and I wanted to serve them something a little different than the standard breakfast casserole.  This strata goes together the night before, a bakes in the morning.  It has all the delicious flavors of Eggs Benedict with a lot less effort.  Perfect for company and brunch!
All the flavor of Eggs Benedict
without having to deal
with the hassle in the morning. 
(I'm not a morning person.)
The Benedict Strata Line-Up
Cut English muffins into cubes.
Combine with chopped
Canadian bacon in a
greased baking dish.
Beat eggs, and add milk.
Add lemon juice and lemon zest.
Add mayonnaise. 
(I know that doesn't sound too
tasty for a breakfast dish,
but the mayo helps give the texture
that you would get from the emulsion of
a real hollandaise sauce.)
Season with salt and pepper.
Pour egg mixture over muffin cubes
and bacon.  Cover
and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, bake until golden brown,
about 50 minutes.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Philippe's: The History of the French Dipped Sandwich

A french dip sandwich, also known as a beef dip consists of thinly sliced roast beef (or other meat) on a French baguette style roll.  It is usually served with au jus ("with juice"), that is, the beef juice from the cooking process.  The sandwich in its original form was not served with the cup of dipping juice on the side as we know it today.  Philippe The Original, or Philippe's in Los Angeles is one of the oldest and best known restaurants in Southern California.  Established in 1908 by Philippe Mathieu, this restaurant has the distinction of having created the French Dipped Sandwich.  At Philippe's the roll is dipped into the hot beef juices before the sandwich is assembled, rather than with the au jus on the side.  It is said the sandwich was invented when Mathieu accidentally dropped a French roll into the beef juice, and a customer offered to eat the roll anyway.  Thus the French Dip was born! 
My hubby, outside Philippe's Restaurant
He reports that the French Dipped Sandwich was mighty tasty!

When in Southern California, be sure to visit Philippe's:

Philippe The Original
1001 N. Alameda Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Phone:  (213) 628-3781

Monday, December 1, 2014

Junky Jug Christms Centerpiece

I'm so excited about the Christmas centerpiece I crafted up to decorate my porch.  It's even more exciting when you hear the crazy story behind it.  A long time ago, when Mr. DD and I lived in Nebraska, we would make the long drive home to Oklahoma to visit family.  And when I say long, I mean LLLLLLLOOOOOONNNNNNNNGGGGGGG.  Just across the border into Kansas was an old, abandoned farmhouse that fascinated me.  I always wanted to stop and look inside but according to my straight-laced husband, "That's trespassing" or "You'll fall through the floor."  Last month I made a trip to Omaha to visit my good friend Michaela from An Affair From The Heart.  When I drove by the house, it was still there but in very dilapidated condition.  I decided that I would stop and investigate on my way home, because frankly the condition is so poor I'm afraid the house won't be standing the next time I travel to Nebraska.  So on cold, snowy, blustery Saturday afternoon, I finally mustered up the courage to check out the old house.  The grass was waist-high as I wandered around the yard and out buildings.  I found a few old small glass bottles lying around.  Little Devil collects antique bottles so she was very excited by my finds.  Then I spotted this great big glass gallon jug just lying in the grass.  And I helped myself.  And I went inside the house.  Which was completely empty and had been stripped of all doors, windows, trim and siding.  I wanted to go inside the kitchen because it still had some fixtures, but the floor was completely rotted away and I could hear Mr. DD's warning echoing through my ears.  In true American Pickers fashion, I did find a couple of other things that I'm saving for a future blog.  All the way home, I knew exactly what I was going to do with the filthy jug rolling around my floorboard.  I cleaned it up and it's greeting my guests on the porch with a JUNKY HOLIDAY WELCOME!
Here it is!  Just as Junky and Festive
as can be!
I cleaned up my jug,
filled it with water and fresh cranberries.
(Don't you just love how they float?)
Added some burlap ribbon and a
strip of buffalo-checked fabric
and some greenery snipped from
a friend's yard.
The only thing I paid for was the cranberries!
Here's the house.
Isn't is awesome?
I wish it could talk and tell me
stories about the butter that was churned there.
Merry "Junky" Christmas
(Perhaps it doesn't come from a store...)
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