Tag Archives: brunch

Family – Friends – Food Weekend

You ever have a weekend that feels like all you do is run around and then eat all weekend long. That’s how this past weekend felt for me. I didn’t work out nearly enough, I ate everything in sight (translation: BREAD) and met some new friends! The weekend had a bit of a down side, but it ended on a positive note. Here’s the recap!

Saturday

My day started early with heading to Detroit for an Instagram foodie meetup and photo shoot! One of my favorite foodies on Instagram is becoming quite the famous chica in the Motor City. Her name is MyThy (pronounced My-Tee) and we’ve been trying to find a day to meet up to eat food, take photos of food, and generally hang out and talk about food. I was in luck because she does bread pop-ups selling this Hokkaido Japanese milk bread she bakes herself, and she sells them at the pie place REB and I went to on Valentine’s Day. My coworker and friend Dane decided to meet in Detroit at Sister Pie, meet MyThy (he’s met her before though), buy some bread, eat some pastries and then the three of us were going to brunch!

I got there before Dane, gave MyThy a huge hug and bought some of her bread ….and a few other things to enjoy in the morning.

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Pie for breakfast! #yestopie

Once we finished our coffees, MyThy, Dane and I headed to Rose’s Fine Food for brunch. I was so glad we decided to go here. This place is tiny but it’s like a trendy hipster diner but with incredibly delicious farm-to-table breakfast and lunch items on their menu.

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MyThy being adorable and taking photos of Crybaby donuts – YUM

We all got a “hot milk” to start and we split two donuts called crybaby donuts. They’re just these fluffy, delectable dough treats that I’m still dreaming about today. I opted for the hazelnut hot milk, MyThy got the turmeric (very interesting!) and Dane got the smoked maple and vanilla. We split a blood orange donut and a chocolate and date one. They were so rich we couldn’t finish them, but they are definitely worth a try if anyone ever goes here!

Now onto brunch. Oh em gee. It was incredibly hard to decide what to get! Everything sounded so delicious, but when my eyes zeroed in and saw something with “hash” and “poached eggs”, I was sold. I opted for the #Chickpeahash (how it’s written on the menu too – haha), and it was so, so good. I couldn’t finish it all but it was like a chickpea stew with tomatoes, chickpeas and greens, with two poached eggs on top, a basil creme fresh and came with a slice of their homemade toast.

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Look at this beautiful table of food!!

I was so impressed with this place that I need to remember to leave a nice review for them on Yelp later today. I highly recommend this place, though. After a quick hug goodbye and making sure we would meet up again soon, we had to part ways so MyThy could make more bread for her pop-up on Sunday too!

IMG_1006After brunch, Dane and I headed to the DIA [Detroit Institute of Arts] because I hired him to take new head shots for me for my photography web site! This was probably the most fun I’ve had with another photographer. Dane is such an incredible photographer and I respect his work so much. He mostly does fashion photography and has this edge to all his photos that I absolutely love. The last photos I had taken of myself I love, don’t get me wrong, but I just wanted a change and really loved his idea of shooting at the museum! I’m so excited to see them.

Sunday

So Sunday started out on a bit of a sad note (I’ll explain more on that in a separate post), but ended on a good note. I will say that I have some nice friends and family who helped cheer us up!

I met my friend Andrea for breakfast in Ann Arbor at a new restaurant I had never heard of called Juicy Kitchen. It’s a really small place with incredibly fresh farmers markets ingredients and an extensive menu with a lot of vegetarian and vegan options. We each got some tea (I got a Chai teabag and she got Green Ginger) and our breakfast dishes were phenomenal. I once again was on a poached egg fix so I got the JK Benedict.

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How beautiful is this dish?? Two poached eggs on top of corn cakes. topped with a goat cheese sauce and served with greens and fruit. It was delicious, light and perfect to start the day. I will definitely have to come back here with REB. It might be across town from us, but it’s definitely worth it!

After breakfast, I met up with my friend Amber and we got some coffee at Mighty Good Coffee and talked for a while. She was having a rough weekend as well and then I had a rough morning on Sunday, so, it was good to just sit and talk it out over everything!

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My friend Amber got a Cortado and I opted for a vanilla latte with almond milk. Both were delicious and I just love latte art. After coffee, we went to see the movie How To Be Single. It’s not typically the kind of movie we’d like, but it was cute, lighthearted and the thing we needed.

Once I got home, REB and I headed to Lansing to see some family. I finally met my brother- and sister-in-law’s new corgi puppy, Annie, who is just adorable.

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FYI: If you’re ever having a hard day or something…find a puppy. Instant happiness and mood elevator! Annie is so cute and a barrel of softness. She’s so characteristically corgi and awkward and wiggles like a little worm. It made me miss how Gryff would have his little awkward puppy tendencies when we first got him. He still has some, don’t get me wrong, and he’ll always be a puppy at heart, but being around a puppy is always fun!

Afterwards we met up with REB’s uncles to have dinner before making the late drive back to Ann Arbor.

So while it was a weekend of ups and down, and lots of food, I’m so thankful to my friends and family for being there. I’m incredibly grateful for people’s talents bringing me to meeting new people and working with people in a new light. Here’s to more fun like this!

Hope you all have a good week!

What’s one fun thing you did this past weekend?

Quick Quiche

When people ask me what my favorite meal of the day is (and yes, I do get asked that – ha), it’s always a pretty easy answer for me: brunch.

I could eat brunch any and all the time. I love it. I love the idea of having a nice big cup of chai, and then eating an assortment of pastries, breads, having quiche, crepes, French toast or some kind of Eggs Benedict that is Aparna-friendly. Throw in a bloody Mary and I’ll be the happiest person you know.

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To go along with that, one of my absolute favorite things to do is eat brunch al fresco. I love when it’s so nice outside and REB and I eat outdoors either at our house or downtown.

If you haven’t taken a look at the weather map lately, you should be happy. Unless you live in the Midwest. It’s the second week of April and we’re getting our yearly dose of you-thought-it-was-spring-but-we’ll-throw-snow-back-into-the-mix-because-obviously. Damn weather. It’s making my dreams of eating brunch outdoors a nonexistent one.

So to give Mother Nature a metaphorical F-U, I made quiche (I don’t know how that’s a metaphorical F-U, but just roll with it). I also made it without a crust because I didn’t have any and didn’t feel like going to the store to find a ready-to-use one that doesn’t list lard as an ingredient, and I certainly didn’t feel like making a crust. So maybe it was a Frittata, except I didn’t cook the eggs in the pan before I baked it. OK so maybe it was just an egg pie, but I’m calling it a crustless quiche, kthx.

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Regardless of what I call it, I can call it delicious. Because it was. I ended up using things in the fridge and pantry because 1). They were about to expire and 2). I didn’t feel like venturing out into the cold mess that was outside my patio doors in order to try and make this creative. We were also starving so phone pictures will have to do. The idea was quick, people. I definitely made sure it was and was in my belly in record time.

I hope this weather lets up and the snow really doesn’t show its face. I’m kind of over it and more than ready to start wearing all the skirts and dresses I put in perfect view when I open my closet, and took great pleasure in shoving the sweaters and other crap into the back corner.

Maybe Michigan will play nice and give us one great, warm weather day.

That’s probably asking too much though.

Crustless Quiche
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A quick and easy crustless quiche full of veggies
Author:
Recipe type: quiche, eggs, vegetarian
Cuisine: Brunch, Breakfast
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • ½ cup sun dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed/warmed and squeezed dry of liquid
  • ½ cup feta cheese crumbles
  • ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 5 large eggs
  • ½ cup Light soy milk (or regular milk is fine)
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Nonstick spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a medium or large sauce pan or skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook 2-3 minutes until they just start to soften. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Next add the sun dried tomatoes and cook 3-5 minutes.
  3. While the veggies are cooking, thaw or warm frozen spinach. You may need to microwave it. When it’s warmed through (and mostly unfrozen), place in paper towels and squeeze to let out as much water as possible.
  4. Spray a 9-inch pie dish with Nonstick spray liberally. Spread spinach evenly on bottom of pie dish.
  5. When vegetables are done cooking, pour mixture over the spinach and spread out evenly.
  6. Next add feta cheese in even layer over the vegetables
  7. Beat the eggs in a bowl and add soy milk. Whisk to combine. Next add the black pepper.
  8. Pour the egg and milk mixture over the vegetables and make sure it covers all of them.
  9. Sprinkle the top with mozzarella cheese.
  10. Bake the quiche for 35 minutes until cooked through. Then heat under the broiler for 2-3 minutes just to brown and melt the cheese more.
  11. Serve immediately.

 

 

Not A Leaf Meets The Veggie Next Door

 

Hello friends!!

I had mentioned in the previous post how I spent St. Patty’s weekend in Chicago. While Saturday was fun drinking in the city – literally (oy lol), Sunday was fun too! I got to have a mini blogger meet up with Diana from Veggie Next Door!

I remember I had originally started reading her blog when I randomly saw that someone had been writing about Ann Arbor, the art fair here, Seva (my favorite vegetarian restaurant here in town) and Zingermans. It turned out to be Diana and I was instantly excited about her blog because she too is a vegetarian and has some great recipes to share. We already had a lot in common and I didn’t even know her that well at the time! We kept in touch over the past 9 months, commenting on each others blogs, tweeting, sharing restaurant reviews, recipes and emailing one another. Then finally we had an opportunity to hang out this past weekend!

As it turns out, this gorgeous girl lives in the same neighborhood as my sister! Talk about small world. It’s things like this that make me realize that Chicago isn’t so big – it only seems that way. When we found out we would be in the same neck of the woods, we decided to meet up for brunch and hang out for the afternoon. It was so much fun. Plus the weather was so nice that it just made for a really great Sunday.

My sister and I met Diana at Cafe Selmaríe, which is in Lincoln Square. It’s a little French-type bistro and I’ve been wanting to eat there since my sister and brother-in-law bought their house in the area. The problem is on Sundays there’s almost always a wait since a lot of peeps dig the whole brunch scene. Luckily this time, the wait was only about 30 minutes so it worked out great because we were able to be total chatterboxes while waiting to be seated.

Gorgeous Diana!

Cafe Selmaríe had some great options for brunch, a lot of which were vegetarian – a plus! Diana had mentioned they have a really good vegetarian chili, but sadly they weren’t serving it on this particular Sunday. Next time! They had a lot of other yummy things for us to choose, though.

The first thing we needed was something to drink. It was already getting to 80-degree weather that afternoon and three of us were parched. So we started with an Iced green tea.

It was the perfect thing on such a hot day. Oh yeah, did I mention it was March 18th? I don’t think it’s normally that hot in the city in March! As far as good goes, we all got some tasty treats. My sister got their breakfast croissant: scrambled eggs and gruyere on a croissant (she got it without ham), mixed greens salad and diced potatoes – looked so delicious! Diana ordered the wild mushroom omelet with the mixed greens salad – also looked uber delicious. I saw one thing on the menu and knew instantly I had to get it.

No…it wasn’t the corned beef hash (nast).

Egg florentine had my name all over it. I find it weird that I hate getting my eggs over easy or over medium, but poached? Love ‘em. I know it doesn’t make sense, but what did make sense is that this dish was delicious and totally hit the spot.

Diana was also the biggest sweetheart and surprised me with a little gift from her Asian adventures this past fall. She gave this little bag (that had two little bags in it!) and it was made from recycled materials.

I already plan on using them as lens bags for my camera. Thanks Diana! <3

After brunch, we walked to the Chicago Public Library branch in the area, which excited my sister since she needed to renew her card. While she was in line for that, Diana took me up to the cooking/cookbook section (WE ARE NERDS) and showed me all these great cookbooks she’s checked out before. One stood out that I plan on ordering - Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I looked through the book a the library and there were so many yummy looking recipes in there, some of which Diana had made before and recommended. She had a great idea though: let’s try our luck and see if a used book store might have the book. So that was our next stop.

Unfortunately my sister needed to head back to her place, so Diana and I continued our Lincoln Square adventure! I took her to the Ravenswood Used Books store right on N. Lincoln.


I had been there before with my sister and she reminded us about checking it out. And since Diana hadn’t been there before, it was a great idea to check it out that day. It’s a quirky little store. Literally…little!

This place is floor-to-ceiling with books. It’s so tiny and you have to maneuver your way around all the little aisles, but it’s full of so many different kinds of books – some are even super old.

Love love LOVED this sign. There were a lot of them every where in the store!

We scoped out the cookbook section (duh)…after taking a while to find it (we kept passing it lol). We ended up buying one book each. I bought 15-Minute Vegetarian Gourmet by Paulette Mitchell. There area  lot of great recipes in there I can’t wait to try and at $6, you can’t beat it! I didn’t find Vegan Brunch, but Amazon is a beautiful thing ;)

Diana resisting the urge to buy 5+ cookbooks!

Once we had bought our books and had our fill of the bookstore, we walked down to the Delicatessen Meyer/Gene’s Deli on N. Lincoln. It’s a German market, which I thought was just a butcher place since they hang meats and stuff in the front window (No joke. It’s gross!), but I was surprised to see that it was a full market with produce, world items, tea, all kinds of wine and more!

View from the second floor

 

I'm such a sucker for neon signs!

After that we walked across the street to this cute little toy store, then we walked next door to the Chopping Block. This store is really great but really expensive. The entire store is basically a store for Le Creuset (drool but spendy!) and little kitchen knick knacks. But they’re best known for offering cooking classes and knife/cutting technique classes.

Once we were done buying some kitchen goodies we had to part ways, but I am so so glad I got to finally meet her! It was such a fun day and we realized we have so much in common and our significant others have a ton in common too. I can’t wait to hang out with her again maybe later on this summer when I’m back in the city or if she comes back to A2 :)

I look crazed :P

Do you like exploring your neighborhood for new stores?
What’s the best one you’ve found?