Sunday, March 28, 2010


So I hear brunch is a pretty popular pastime these days. In Milwaukee, there's at least one blog devoted to full-time brunching and bloody mary-ing: Milwaukee Brunch Reviews.

I'm pretty agnostic when it comes to restaurant brunches, but I do like brunching at home. Brunch is often part of my routine on Tuesday mornings, the day when I work afternoons and evenings. It's also a good time to catch up on blogs, Twitter, e-mail and so on.

My favorite brunch food is pretty simple: spinach sautéed with some bacon and mushrooms, and topped with a poached egg and maybe a bit of cheese. Sometimes I'll toss in leftovers like roasted potatoes. Poaching eggs seems to cause such anxiety for cooks (think Julie Powell's near-breakdown in the movie Julie & Julia), but I've never had much trouble. Maybe I'm doing something wrong?

I bring a few cups of water to a boil in a saucepan, add a splash of vinegar (to prevent the egg white from separating) and then turn the heat to the lowest setting. I break an egg or two into a saucer and slide them into the water. I like my eggs runny, so I fish them out after three minutes.

For the beverage, I go for my recession latte--coffee made in a French press with a splash of hot milk.

Tuesday Morning Brunch for one:

Heat up a teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet. Add a slice or two of bacon, chopped up, and sauté for a minute. Add a handful of chopped mushrooms, and cook until the mushrooms are done, 4-6 minutes. Toss in two big handfuls of spinach (or half a package of frozen spinach, defrosted), and cook until wilted, 3-5 minutes. Add salt and black pepper to taste, and top with some cheese if you like. In the meantime, poach eggs as described above and make coffee.

My favorite side these days is a warmed up tortilla with cream cheese, but if you have more time, homemade yogurt scones are a close runner-up.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Chocolate-Covered Sirki

I'm taking a little blogging break while I deal with grad school stuff (to be completed in late March, yay!), but in the meantime please enjoy this updated post about chocolate-covered sirki. Sirki (сырки) are mini-cheesecake bars that are sold in every corner grocery in Russia. They're hard to find in the U.S., but I'm providing a tweaked recipe from Anya von Bremzen's Please to the Table cookbook. I know, I shouldn't have.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Russian Candy Review: Part Two

In Russia, you eat the bear. Oh, okay, you actually eat Mishka Kosolapyi (мишка косолапый), which translates as "clumsy bear," more or less. This is basically a chocolate-covered wafer candy with a picture of a mama bear and cubs on the wrapper. Cute, crunchy and tasty; I give it an A.

This is the second installment of my long-ago promised series on Russian candy (part one is here). You can buy mishkas at most Russian and Eastern-European grocery stores in Milwaukee; go here for locations. Yulinka Cooks endorses Spartak in Whitefish Bay, Wis.
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