Category Archives: Brunch

What’s Piroshki? Helen Mirren’s Cabbage Pie

Cabbage piroshki. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Cabbage piroshki. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

 

Pirozhki. Photo credit: Heather Platt

Piroshki. Photo credit: Heather Platt

A few months ago, I had the privilege of interviewing Helen Mirren about her role in the film The Hundred Foot Journey. All lovers of food and France should see this film immediately. I must warn you, however, that it will make you want to get on a plane and fly there immediately. It is a love story that focuses on the way in which food conjures up memories and emotions. So during my four minutes with Dame Mirren, I couldn’t help but wonder what dish brought up memories to her. When Helen answered, “My mother’s piroshki.” I was completely fascinated. I had never heard of this, much less tasted it. She went on to describe the warm cabbage pie that she enjoyed during her childhood.

Pirozhki dough. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Piroshki dough. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

I would never think to make Russian cabbage pie for myself. It sounds labor intensive and strangely daunting. However, I’m not sure if it’s the way Helen Mirren explained  it so deliciously with pure nostalgia in her eyes or the fact that I simply want to eat something that Helen Mirren ate, but I couldn’t help but grow hungry for it too. And seeing as I am part-Russian, my grandfather changed his name from Harold Plotnski to Arnold Platt, (not joking)I felt for the first time that I was connecting with my Russian heritage, surrounded by flour and potatoes while the smell of caraway seeds wafted through my house. Oh, and it tasted really good too!

Enjoy!

Heather

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Appetizer, Bread, Brunch, Dinner, Heather Platt, Lunch

Breakfast of Champions: Easy Bacon Cheddar Egg-in-a-Hole Croque Madame

egg vt

Easy Egg-in-a-Hole Croque Madame. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

A few years ago, I had the privilege of contributing to my friend Rebecca Coleman’s extremely popular mom blog,  Cooking with My Kid. I had been Rebecca’s nanny for a stint and when I moved on to work in the restaurant business, she asked me to come back and help her come up with babysitter-friendly recipes. She named me The Savory Sitter, officially. Because, she reasoned, “NO ONE likes an unsavory sitter.” I agreed and we had a lot of fun making homemade pop tarts, ravioli lasagna and pirate ships made of melon and banana. Okay, that last one was her idea, but she gave me credit for it.

The best kind of eggs: farm fresh.  Photo Credit:  Heather Platt

The best kind of eggs: farm fresh. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

My favorite of the Savory Sitter recipes, though, was the Kid Friendly Egg-in-a-Hole Croque Madame.  I am a huge lover of the classic, French Croque Madame.  But when it came time to make it for Three More Big Bites, I just couldn’t stop thinking about that adorable kid version I’d made for Rebecca. This version is even easier. I forgot putting the ham in the middle and just placed the best kind of bacon, applewood smoked of course, on top of it.  I made it with my favorite bread on earth: the cinnamon raisin loaf from Green Rabbit Naturally Leavened Bread in Waitsfield, Vermont and Cabot Clothbound Cheddar from Jasper Hill Cellars in Greensboro, VT. That being said, any delicious bread and good quality cheddar of your choice will do.

Enjoy!

Heather

Easy Bacon Cheddar Egg-in-Hole Croque Madame. Pottery by Barbara Platt's Pottery. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Easy Bacon Cheddar Egg-in-Hole Croque Madame. Pottery by Barbara Platt’s Pottery. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

Bacon Cheddar Egg-in-a-Hole Croque Madame

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Bread, Breakfast, Brunch, Eggs, Heather Platt, Lunch

The End-of-Summer Blues: Classic Blueberry Muffins

blueberries 8

One of my all-time favorite summer activities is berry picking. And my favorite of berries are blueberries.  In August in Vermont, they are plumb and sweet. They are also the most fun to pick because they fall off of the shrubs into your hands in large clusters. My cousins and I, with the help of several enthusiastic teenagers, managed to pick eight pints of blueberries at Knoll Farm in Waitsfield, Vermont in thirty minutes. Which probably means we picked sixteen if you count the ones we popped in our mouths while picking. They are just so irresistible.

By the time we put the giant box of berries in the car, we realized that we had picked more than we would ever be able to eat. We spent the entire car ride home rattling off appetizing blueberry-centric recipe ideas.  Blueberry cheesecake, blue berry jam, blueberry buckle, blueberry cobbler were all in the running to be made that night. But at the end of the day, the classic, simple blueberry muffin won the contest. Sometimes it’s the easiest, simplest of foods that just sound the best. I baked two dozen muffins in the late afternoon and to my delight, half of them had already disappeared before dinner was ready.   “Heather! These muffins taste like fortune cookies and they’re delicious!” My fifteen-year-old cousin Will yelled from the kitchen. I smiled, entirely self-satisfied as I watched the sunset over the green mountains. I love cooking for teenagers.

Enjoy!

Heather

blueberry muffins

 

Even teenagers like to go blueberry picking!

Even teenagers like to go blueberry picking!

 

Molly with Blueberries

blueberries 3

blueberries 2

Knoll farm

Knoll farm 2

 

Blueberries. Photo Credit:  Heather Platt

Blueberries. Photo Credit: Heather Platt

blueberries

 

VT July 2014 033 Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, Heather Platt, In Season, Summer

Risotto Remake: Pan-Fried Spring Risotto Cakes with Fried Egg


I love cooking (obviously).  But I know a lot of people who don’t. Many of my dearest friends would rather eat a bowl of cereal for dinner than have to pick up a spatula or deal with actually lighting their stove top burners.  And as much joy as I often get out of my culinary endeavors, I can understand where they’re coming from. It’s a lot of work and when you’re tired and hungry sometimes all you want is to come home to something that’s already  made. Well, remember that delicious spring risotto you made yesterday, the one that was loaded with green seasonal vegetables and perfected with diced pancetta? Well, it gets even better. Now you can quickly remake it into these decadent risotto cakes and serve them with a perfect fried egg for an instant fancy meal!

Enjoy!

Heather

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Eggs, Gluten-free, Heather Platt, Lunch, Main Course, Spring

Sweet Treats: Banana Date Milkshake

Don’t be alarmed. This isn’t a milkshake in the traditional sense. I haven’t abandoned a healthy lifestyle and regressed back to those childhood memories of fast-food drive-thru windows and hot pink creamy who-knows-what-is-actually-in-this “milkshakes.” (Ah, those were the days.) This “milkshake” is however,  the perfect creamy sweet treat to get you through that late afternoon energy slump or plain old sugar craving. But considering it has no ice cream or added sugar, you don’t need an excuse to make it anyway. And I suggest you do as soon as possible.

Enjoy!

Heather

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Gluten-free, Heather Platt, Vegetarian

Blended Bliss: Coconut Kale Smoothie

There’s a juice bar, oh excuse me, a “wellness” bar down the street from me here in Silverlake, LA that serves this smoothie. It’s the most creamy, delicious and quite frankly addictive blended drink I’ve ever tasted.  One hot summer afternoon on a post-yoga hydration hang, Anna introduced me to this sweet green mix of coconut and kale (yes, kale!). It was a point of no return. Once I had savored every last drop of the bright green concoction and was rudely and loudly slurping the remains of it through my straw, hoping that more coconut-kale smoothie would suddenly appear in the bottom of my plastic cup, I was hooked. How could something so delicious be so healthy too? And only blocks from my house?! But there’s one catch. My experience at said “wellness” bar goes something like this. When I approach the small store front I see a line of people out the door, any time of day (most people in this neighborhood don’t work nine-to-fives apparently). I decide, because the craving is so strong that I shall wait. Ten minutes later I’ve  made my way inside the building. The smell inside brings me back in time to the old-school food co-ops we would go to when I was kid in Vermont. It’s some combination of sweet, overly ripe apples, wheat-grass and carob chips (if they had a smell.)Everyone seems to know each other. Except me. I’m just there for my fix. The bearded guy  behind the counter is friendly, in fact he seems to be close friends with every single person standing in the line that only moves every ten minutes or so. He’s handing people shots of brightly colored liquids. For a split second I think I’m at tequila bar. Twenty minutes into my juice bar line, the pretty girl with I-just-rolled-out-of bed hipster hair,  ripped t-shirt, and the “I haven’t smiled since 2006” expression, asks me if I’ve been helped yet. At this point, feeling like a pathetic  juice-junky I order my coconut-kale smoothie. It’s $8.00, worth every penny and every second I spent awkwardly waiting in line for it.  But it finally occurred to me recently, I have a blender. I could make this at home!  The hardest part is opening the coconut. Be sure to blend it on high to get it as smooth as possible.

Enjoy!

Heather

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, Gluten-free, Heather Platt, Raw, Vegan, Vegetarian

Better Breakfasts: Banana Bread


I believe the saying is true, that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But to be honest, it’s not my favorite one. Partly because I’ve never been a morning person and I probably never will be. And also because it’s so easy to get stuck in a breakfast rut. When I was in high school I had a bowl of Oatmeal Squares cereal with raisins every morning for four years straight, never stopping before I picked up the spoon to ask, “Could I start my day with anything else? Maybe something more glamorous and savory?”  I had yet to learn that in France it’s okay to eat cheese for breakfast and that the simple combination of a cappuccino and a croissant was a perfectly respectable start to the day. I was probably too tired and hadn’t ingested enough coffee yet to think about it.

That is the one thing I do love about breakfast though, coffee. I’ve been happily dependent on it since I was 14, with no intention of breaking the habit. When I lived in New York with my best friend Brooke, we would frequently go to brunch together on the weekends. One time we walked into our favorite spot on the Lower East Side and the host asked “How many?” and I stood there in my not-yet-caffeinated stupor and just stared at him blankly as if I had no idea what he was talking about.  After a few awkward beats Brooke replied,

“Two.”  with a smile that read “Please excuse my friend, she’s quite slow before she’s had coffee”.  And from then on she always insisted on doing the talking when we arrived at brunch. Those non-coffee drinkers always amaze me.

So to climb out of my recent breakfast rut, I thought about my ideal breakfast. Which involves a latte with perfectly foamed milk paired with a buttery baked good from my neighborhood coffee shop. Unfortunately, due to the overwhelming “hipness” of my neighborhood, the coffee shop, in  addition to being a scene, is the most expensive coffee shop I’ve ever been to and a coffee and muffin will cost you. So why not bring the homemade baked goods home?! I did by making this amazingly moist banana bread, and my mornings are already looking brighter.

Enjoy!

Heather

Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Bread, Breakfast, Brunch, Heather Platt