Tuesday Reviews-Day: Breakfast

We’re big fans of breakfast around here, though we seldom eat it at the “traditional” breakfast time. During the week it’s all about the race to get out the door and to the office, and on the weekends I’m more for sleeping in than getting up early to eat.

So super-informal brunch happens a lot, as does brinner (breakfast for dinner). We do that at least once a week, so when I told Todd we’d be having a lot more breakfasts his response was “oh, twist my arm.”

Why the uptick in egg-laden meals? Because I received a copy of Breakfast: the Most Important Book About the Best Meal of the Day for review. And if you’ve read this blog long enough, you know I feel duty-bound to make several recipes from a cookbook before offering up any sort of review.

I opened the book with a pad of sticky-notes in hand, expecting to flip through the book and pick out the promising menu items and move on quickly to creating my grocery list but found myself, quite a while later, barely having scratched the surface.

Some cookbook fans love to read a new cookbook like a novel. Others wonder how that’s even possible. With Breakfast, it’s more like reading a collection of essays. Created by the editors of Extra Crispy, Breakfast is easily half information and half recipes. There are infographics, history lessons, personal anecdotes, and comparison guides galore. And lots of eye-catching, slightly retro-feeling photography, too.

But the recipes, how are they? We sampled six of them, ranging from the more traditional to the how-does-this-classify-as-breakfast, and the overall feeling is they were all tasty, indeed. I did have some issues (like the recipe that serves 4, shows an egg on top of each serving, but only calls for 1-2 eggs… Oooookay) or lacking salt and pepper in other recipes, but the key pieces are there and you can generally infer the rest.

The luxurious Ham & Cheese Dutch Baby…

I was first introduced to the Dutch Baby shortly after graduating high school. Sense then I’ve made them many times, but never–for whatever reason–did it occur to make them savory, topped with black forest ham and cheese. That was unfortunate because the Ham & Cheese Dutch Baby was amazing. Even without the savory topping, the density of the custard (in part because my pan was a bit smaller than called for) was heavenly, and the leftovers reheated beautifully for lunch.

Next up was the Squash and Spam Hash. I had never had Spam before, but figured this was as good a time as any to rectify that issue. While it won’t be making my regular rotation, combining it with yellow squash, zucchini, and corn was not a bad introduction to the spiced ham in a can.

This next one got a bit of a brow-raise from Todd, but I had to try it! Ramen Carbonara–billed as a hangover cure to end all hangover cures–was quite tasty. It does not call for those sodium-packed seasoning packets, so fear not on that score, and I had some gluten-free ramen noodles in the pantry which worked just fine. I’m a big fan of carbonara in general, so adding a little more egg was not a hard sell for me.

The Mojito Pancakes might have been one of the more involved recipes I made from Breakfast, but only because it included making a flavored butter and doctoring the syrup in addition to make this actual pancakes.

But the effort was worth it! These pancakes were so amazing and the lime and rum-spiked syrup was just a thing of beauty in and of itself. This was probably my favorite of what we’ve sampled so far.

Next up was the Texas Red Chili and Eggs. I’m all for a no-bean chili (which is why this recipe appealed to me to begin with) but–and I never thought I’d hear myself say this–I missed the tomatoes. The meat was great, the chili blend on point (though why we soaked the anchos but not the guajillos I’m still fuzzy on), but I think I would have liked this just as much with the meat shredded and on a bun rather than in a bowl topped with an egg.

Finally we have the Instant Pot Burrito. As with many Instant Pot recipes, it’s more the novelty that you can make it in there than the pressure cooking really adds to the recipe in any way. Sure, it was nice that I could leave it to cook while I went and hung up laundry, but it wasn’t necessary, either. They were good burritos, though!

Thus we close the book on Breakfast… for now. I still have several other recipes marked to try at some point in the future. This book makes a great gift for a brunch-loving foodie that won’t be relegated to the shelf. It’ll be perfectly at home on the coffee table, the breakfast table, or the reading nook and could spark quite a few lively discussions around the table or elsewhere.

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of Breakfast in exchange for an honest review. All opinions (and errors) are mine and mine alone. Affiliate links have been used in this post, should you choose to support the book and this blog at the same time.

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