Category Archives: brunch

“Cafe Con Leche, Puerto Rican Cafe Latte Recipe”

“Cafe Con Leche, Puerto Rican Cafe Latte Recipe”

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Café con leche is a Spanish white coffee beverage. It is somewhat more similar to the Italian caffè latte than to the French café au lait for a latte is made with espresso rather than drip coffee. Place of origin: Spain Alternative names: Cafebar

Cafe Con Leche, is a Puerto Rican Cafe Latte. It is a traditional puerto rican style cafe, enjoyed as part of breakfast, in which french or italian bread is dipped in the hot coffee. You can add a bit more sugar or coffee to fit your tastes.


Jose Luis’ Café Con Leche

 Makes one cup of café con leche. 


 2 shots espresso or very strong coffee (adjust for your own taste)

 2 ounces whole milk

 2 ounces half-and-half 


1. Combine the whole milk and half-and-half in a small saucepan. Gently heat over the lowest flame, allowing it to “cook” without ever bubbling or coming to a boil. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, checking it frequently, until the milk has thickened slightly and has become a little sweeter. Remove from the flame.

 2. Pour the espresso or coffee into a cup. Stir in the cooked milk and half-and-half. Serve immediately. 

Note: If the milk boils or develops a skin on the surface, you may be able to remove the skin with a spoon. When pouring into the coffee, use a fine meshed strainer to catch any remaining clots of milk. Or just start over, taking care to cook the milk and half-and-half very slowly. Most important: Be sure to use high quality, flavorful espresso or dark roasted coffee beans. If the brew is merely bitter, even the most perfectly cooked milk won’t save your café con leche from perdition.


Posted by on SatAmerica/Los_Angeles2019-02-09T08:52:54-08:00America/Los_Angeles02bAmerica/Los_AngelesSat, 09 Feb 2019 08:52:54 -0800 31, in brunch, coffee



Jacques Pepin’s Gratin Dauphinois – Scalloped Potatoes: Maui Girl Cooks

Jacques Pepin’s Gratin Dauphinois – Scalloped Potatoes: Maui Girl Cooks

Gratin Dauphinois
{Scalloped Potatoes in Garlic and Cream}

Makes 6 servings


  • 2 lbs boiling potatoes {5-6 cups, sliced}-I usually use Yukon Golds
  • 1 lg clove garlic
  • 2 c milk {If I am buying milk for this dish, I’ll get whole milk, but if I already have 2%, I will use it. They are still delicious!}
  • 1 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 t freshly ground white pepper {You could use black pepper, but you will see black specks in your potatoes. I can live with that, but I usually have a little bag of white peppercorns on hand. I simply empty my pepper grinder into a little bowl, put the white peppercorns in the pepper mill and grind away. Then put the black peppercorns back into the mill.}
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 c grated Swiss cheese {about 2 ounces}-I always use Jarlsberg or Gruyere since we always have one of these in the refrigerator.


  1. Peel the potatoes, wash and dry thoroughly.
  2. Slice the potatoes fairly thin-1/8” thick. I use my Cuisinart 3mm slicing blade. Do not soak the potatoes in water or they will lose the starch needed for the dish to be smooth.
  3. Peel the garlic; crush it with the broad side of a knife and chop it very fine. It should have the consistency of a puree. In a large heavy saucepan, combine the potato slices with the garlic, milk, cream, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon to prevent scorching {and the mixture can scorch very easily}. As the liquid gets hotter, the mixture will thicken slightly; remove from heat.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a shallow glass baking dish {I use 9” x 13”} about 1 1/2” deep, and pour in the potato mixture.
  5. Sprinkle cheese all over the top; place dish on a cookie sheet to catch any spills and to allow more even transfer of heat.
  6. Bake for about 1 hour, until potatoes are golden brown and tender when pierced with the point of a knife. Let rest for 15”-20” before serving.

Bon appetit!

recipe source

Most people are not aware of the difference in preparing gratin and au gratin foods.

(includes most commonly potatoes, fish and other seafood) Au gratin, by definition, means “covered with breadcrumbs or cheese and then baked until brown,” while more specifically, Gratin aka: scallop potatoes or vegies (French pronunciation [ɡʁatɛ̃]) is a widespread culinary technique in which an ingredient is topped with a browned crust, often using breadcrumbs, grated cheese, egg and/or butter. Gratin originated in French cuisine and is usually prepared in a shallow dish of some kind. A gratin is baked or cooked under an overhead grill or broiler to form a golden crust on top and is traditionally served in its baking dish.

A gratin dish refers to the shallow oven-proof container traditionally used to prepare gratins and similar dishes.

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Posted by on FriAmerica/Los_Angeles2019-02-08T11:13:52-08:00America/Los_Angeles02bAmerica/Los_AngelesFri, 08 Feb 2019 11:13:52 -0800 31, in brunch





Crunchy, crumbly twice-baked cookies studded with almonds are the perfect complement to a cup of coffee or glass of vin santo.

These traditional Italian cookies, brimming with toasted almonds, are twice-baked for extra crispiness. This recipe first appeared in our December 2013 issue along with Mike Colameco’s article All is Calm, All is Bright.


Espresso (/ɛˈsprɛsoʊ/, Italian: [esˈprɛsso]) is coffee brewed by forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans. Espresso is generally thicker than coffee brewed by other methods, has a higher concentration of suspended and dissolved solids, and has crema on top (a foam with a creamy consistency).[1] As a result of the pressurized brewing process, the flavors and chemicals in a typical cup of espresso are very concentrated. Espresso is also the base for other drinks such as a caffè latte, cappuccino, caffè macchiato, caffè mocha, flat white, or caffè Americano. Espresso has more caffeine per unit volume than most coffee beverages, but because the usual serving size is much smaller, the total caffeine content is less than a mug of standard brewed coffee, contrary to a common belief.[2] Although the actual caffeine content of any coffee drink varies by size, bean origin, roast method and other factors, the caffeine content of “typical” servings of espresso vs. drip brew are 120 to 170 mg[3] vs. 150 to 200 mg.[4][5]
There is debate over whether the spelling expresso is incorrect or whether it is an acceptable variant. Oxford Dictionaries online states “The spelling “expresso” is not used in the original Italian and is strictly incorrect, although it is common.”[6] The Oxford Dictionary of American Usage and Style (2000) describes the spelling expresso as “wrong”, and specifies espresso as the only correct form.[7] The third edition of Fowler’s Modern English Usage (1996) states that espresso “has entirely driven out the variant expresso”.[8] The Oxford English Dictionary, Merriam-Webster and the Online Etymology Dictionary call “expresso” a variant spelling.[9][10][11]

Espresso is made by forcing very hot water under high pressure through finely ground, compacted coffee. Tamping down the coffee promotes the water’s even penetration of the grounds.[12] This process produces an almost syrupy beverage by extracting both solid and dissolved components. The crema [13][14] is produced by emulsifying the oils in the ground coffee into a colloid, which does not occur in other brewing methods. There is no universal standard defining the process of extracting espresso,[15] but there are several published definitions which attempt to place constraints on the amount and type of ground coffee used, the temperature and pressure of the water, and the rate of extraction.[16][17] Generally, one uses an espresso machine to make espresso. The act of producing a shot of espresso is often termed “pulling” a shot, originating from lever espresso machines, which require pulling down a handle attached to a spring-loaded piston, forcing hot water through the coffee at high pressure. Today, however, it is more common for the pressure to be generated by an electric pump.


Posted by on MonAmerica/Los_Angeles2019-02-04T08:26:50-08:00America/Los_Angeles02bAmerica/Los_AngelesMon, 04 Feb 2019 08:26:50 -0800 31, in breakfast, brunch, coffee, Italiano (I Tell Ya I Know)


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Your Morning Bagel –  It’s your pick!

Your Morning Bagel –  It’s your pick!

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30 Bagel Toppings: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Snacktime

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Author Jaredsgirl

Do you love bagels? Mmmm, warm, crunchy bread with soft doughy centers. It’s hard to go wrong with these delicious, breakfast and snack-time circles of joy. The only thing better than a bagel is a bagel topped with something tasty. In fact, I never eat a bagel plain, even a flavored one. I always put either cream cheese, peanut butter, or at the very least butter, on mine.

How to Perfectly Toast Your Bagel

  • Be sure to cut the bagel in half at its crease. I have a friend who started a small fire by putting an entire bagel into one slot of the toaster.
  • I have found that bagels hold their toppings best when the bagel is not toasted too dark. Set the toaster’s knob to a lower setting, a little below the middle point. This may mean you’ll have to toast the bagel twice, but the extra time to toast the bagel perfectly will be worth it.
  • The bagel should come out a light golden brown on the inside, and its outside should be slightly crunchy. This will make it easy to spread butter and toppings as they will gently melt into the bagel’s crevices.

Simple Topping Ideas

A smear of flavored yogurt on a wheat bagel makes a healthy snack or way to start the day.

A smear of flavored yogurt on a wheat bagel makes a healthy snack or way to start the day.

Butter or Margarine

One of the simplest and most delicious ways to enjoy a toasted bagel.

Cream Cheese

The classic. For ideas about how to flavor your cream cheese, see below.

Peanut Butter

I spread peanut butter on a wheat bagel every morning for breakfast.

Jam or Jelly

Delicious alone or combined with peanut butter or cream cheese.

Apple Butter

Works on its own because it is so creamy and smooth.

Marshmallow Fluff

Delicious on a not-too-sweet bagel, like plain or whole wheat.

Cinnamon Sugar

Toast and spread with butter or cream cheese first. Then sprinkle with one part cinnamon to two parts sugar.


Spreadable chocolate-hazelnut mixture.


Combine honey, cinnamon, and cream cheese for a delicious topping on a toasted bagel.

Flavor Mix in With Cream Cheese


Finely chopped onion, cucumber, carrot, and herb.


A spoonful of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Northwoods Blue Cheese

A few crumbles of blue cheese.


Pureed or mashed strawberries.

Garlic Herb

Garlic powder or minced garlic and dried herbs.

Honey Orange

A spoonful of honey and a splash of orange juice.


Finely chopped ham.


Pureed or mashed mango, pineapple, and papaya.

Breakfast Bagel Toppings

Scrambled egg with ham or bacon on a toasted bagel.

Scrambled egg with ham or bacon on a toasted bagel.

Simply place a piece of cheese on a bagel and toast in a toaster oven.

Simply place a piece of cheese on a bagel and toast in a toaster oven.


Scrambled, fried, or poached.

Egg and Cheese

Add a slice of cheese and make a bagel sandwich.

Egg, Cheese, and Bacon

Add four pieces of cooked bacon to your breakfast sandwich.

Egg, Cheese, and Sausage

Add one cooked sausage patty.

Egg, Cheese, and Ham

Cook one slice of ham and add to your breakfast bagel.

Lunch and Dinner Bagel Ideas

A bagel toasted with slices of turkey and cheese makes a delicious lunch, or even dinner!A bagel toasted with slices of turkey and cheese makes a delicious lunch, or even dinner!

A pizza bagel with sauce, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni sausage.A pizza bagel with sauce, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni sausage.

Spread a nice layer of cream cheese on each half of a toasted onion or garlic bagel, top with sliced cucumbers, and you've got a tasty sandwich.Spread a nice layer of cream cheese on each half of a toasted onion or garlic bagel, top with sliced cucumbers, and you’ve got a tasty sandwich.


Spread each half bagel with pizza sauce. Layer mozzarella cheese and pepperoni sausage on top. Toast in oven for ten minutes.

Tuna Melt

Mix tuna and mayonnnaise and spread on each bagel half. Layer a tomato slice and cheese on each half. Toast in over for about ten minutes.

Meatball Sandwich

Cook frozen or fresh meatballs and cut into thin slices. Spread each bagel half with spaghetti sauce and layer slices of meatball. Top with mozzarella cheese and toast in oven for ten minutes.

Toasted Turkey Melt

Layer each bagel half with sliced turkey and cheese. Toast in oven for about ten minutes.

Ham & Cheese Melt

Layer each bagel half with sliced ham and cheese

Cream Cheese and Cucumbers

Delicious on an onion bagel! The cucumbe

Different Types of Bagels




Honey wheatHoney wheat

What is your favorite flavor bagel?



Posted by on MonAmerica/Los_Angeles2019-01-28T10:39:20-08:00America/Los_Angeles01bAmerica/Los_AngelesMon, 28 Jan 2019 10:39:20 -0800 31, in breakfast, brunch



Exotic Coffee, In a Far Away Land: East African Coffee – “36 Hours in Zanzibar, Tanzania”

Exotic Coffee,  In a Far Away Land:  East African Coffee – “36 Hours in Zanzibar, Tanzania”

Featured image credit: gisella g. (

Clockwise from top left: walking through a spice market in Stone Town; jumping into the water at sunset in Stone Town is a nightly ritual; a taarab concert; coastal waters; a carved door in Stone Town


The name Zanzibar conjures up visions of sultans’ palaces, paradisiacal beaches and winding alleyways leading to spice-filled bazaars. Indeed, this coral archipelago in the Indian Ocean, 23 miles off the eastern coast of Tanzania, still has many of the features that it did when it was an important trading center and its historic Stone Town served as the capital of an Omani sultanate. Zanzibar’s largest island, Unguja, is home to most of the cultural attractions, many of them found in beguiling Stone Town, which was awarded Unesco World Heritage status in 2000. In recent years, there’s been a concerted effort to restore and give new life to the city’s distinctive structures. Palaces have been turned into museums and cultural centers, and grand Swahili mansions have been reborn as restaurants and boutique hotels. Yet the coast still offers the “delicious view” that the explorer Sir Richard Burton recorded, of a “cocoa-fringed shore of purest white, and the sea blue as a slab of lapis lazuli.” (Note: Prices in Zanzibar are routinely quoted in dollars — alongside, or occasionally instead of, the island’s official currency, the Tanzanian shilling.)


1. Stone Town | 4 p.m.

Wandering down the narrow lanes of Stone Town in the late afternoon, past coral rag houses and dimly lit curio shops, might be this city’s simplest pleasure. Many buildings date to the 19th century, and their most striking feature is their ornate doors. Carved out of mahogany or teak, some Zanzibari doors are adorned with brass spikes, while others have intricate patterns, like vines or lotus flowers, etched onto them. Standout portals include the golden door at the House of Wonders, the entrance to the Old Fort, and a collection of doors on Baghani Street. A map of Stone Town’s finest doors can be bought for $4 at the Gallery Bookshop, while a refreshing mango and coconut smoothie (4,000 shillings, or $2.55, at 1,570 shillings to the dollar) can be ordered to go at Lazuli, a tiny cafe with a turquoise door.

2. Sung Poetry | 6 p.m.

The island’s celebrated music genre, called taarab, fuses Swahili, Arab and Indian influences, reflecting the many cultures that have passed through Zanzibar. This style of mellifluously sung poetry accompanied by a full orchestra became popular here in the 1870s, when it was played in the sultan’s court. Today visitors can enjoy taarab concerts at the Mtoni Palace Ruins, the one-time residence of a 19th-century sultan. Led by the esteemed musician Mohammed Issa Matona, students from the local Dhow Countries Music Academy perform complex and haunting songs in an open-air courtyard lighted by a bonfire. The event ($45) also includes a Zanzibari dinner of coriander-spiced tuna, ginger beef and honeyed dough balls, and, be warned, some goofy historical re-enactments.

3. Waterfront Snacks | 9 p.m.

Take a leisurely stroll through the evening food market at Forodhani Gardens, a popular meeting place on the waterfront. The park received a face-lift several years ago, and now has new walkways, better lighting and plenty of benches. There are dozens of stalls, selling everything from fish skewers to spicy soup to mango slices dusted with chile salt (starting at about 6 to 10 p.m.). Even if you can’t eat another bite, try a cup of hand-cranked sugar cane juice infused with ginger and lime.

4. Nighttime Diversions | 10 p.m.

As in many conservative Muslim cities, the night life here verges on sleepy. Yet there are pockets of liveliness. At the waterfront institution Mercury’s, the live music on weekends does its best to channel the hometown hero Freddie Mercury, who was born in Zanzibar in 1946. For swankier surroundings and less chance of hearing off-key Queen covers, head to the chic rooftop lounge at the Maru Maru hotel for a dawa cocktail, made with the molasses-flavored Tanzanian spirit Konyagi, honey and lime (8,000 shillings); and views overlooking the 17th-century Old Fort.


5. Spice Island | 9:30 a.m.

Yes, it’s touristy. And yes, there will be teenagers twisting coconut leaves into crowns for you in the hope of a tip. But no, you should not skip taking a tour of the famous spice plantations. Guides tell how spices like cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla and cloves are harvested, although what’s most surprising is seeing where they come from — black peppercorns from a climbing plant more than 10 feet high; cinnamon from the inner bark of a slim tree. Many spice tours (from $15) also stop at the nearby ruins of the 1882 Maruhubi Palace, where one sultan housed a large harem, and the Kidichi Persian Baths, which date from 1850.


6.ITALIAN ACCENT |12:30 p.m.

Situated inside a gorgeously restored 18th-century merchant home, the House of Spices restaurant serves Indian Ocean fare with an Italian accent. The dining room, a covered terrace once used for drying spices before they were packed for shipment, is a breezy, relaxing place, painted green and full of plants and antique cabinets. Here, well-executed dishes like black marlin (23,000 shillings) and an exceptional seafood ravioli in saffron sauce (14,500 shillings) are elevated by judicious use of local flavors. Desserts like chile-chocolate mousse are creative and decadent, while a house-brewed cinnamon iced tea hits the spot on a hot day.


7. White Sand |2 p.m.

Choosing which beach to visit is a hard decision here, thanks to the abundance of spectacular options. The most pristine of white sand beaches are found along the island’s east coast, abutting the villages of Matemwe, Pongwe and Jambiani, about an hour’s drive away. An excellent option closer to town, however, is the secluded Mangapwani Beach, on an idyllic stretch of sand 14 miles north of the city. Although many go with just a towel and a swimsuit, there are fancier options too: The nearby Mangapwani Serena Beach Club offers daybeds, changing rooms, and a restaurant to get lunch (free entrance). It’s a good idea to consult a tide predictor app before hitting the beach though, as the ocean recedes for miles at low tide, so swimming can be tricky.

8. Feast at Sunset | 6 p.m.

Since opening a few years ago, the Tea House restaurant at the Emerson Spice hotel, perched on the roof of a historic Swahili mansion, has become the city’s choice spot for sundowner cocktails followed by a multicourse dinner. The sun begins setting over the water at around 6 p.m., by which time you should already have a cold gin and tonic in hand. Dinner, served in one seating at 7 p.m., is an inspired degustation menu where each of the courses uses traditional Zanzibari ingredients, but in playful combinations ($30 per menu). An appetizer of calamari-stuffed tomato with coconut relish and passion fruit ceviche might be followed by lobster in vanilla sauce, or clove-toasted kingfish.

9. Hookah Break | 9:30 p.m.

One of Stone Town’s most appealing architectural relics, the Old Dispensary, has a hookah bar on an ocean-facing balcony on the second floor. The Three Bees offers about 70 types of shisha, including a few, like cinnamon and jasmine, that seem particularly suited to an island shaped by the spice trade (5,000 shillings). The 1894 building is a fascinating jumble of design schools. There are elaborately carved wooden balconies à la India, an elegant Arab-style interior courtyard, and neo-Classical adornments, like columns and stained glass. No alcohol is served here, but fruit-based “mocktails,” like the Royal Forodhani, with mango, avocado, ginger and lime, are a delicious alternative (4,500 shillings).



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Posted by on FriAmerica/Los_Angeles2019-01-25T11:34:48-08:00America/Los_Angeles01bAmerica/Los_AngelesFri, 25 Jan 2019 11:34:48 -0800 31, in breakfast, brunch, coffee


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A Tasty Style of Dumplings – “Perogies”

A Tasty Style of Dumplings – “Perogies”

Or, For This Recipe: Lazy Perogies

Prep: 1 hour
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 1 hour, 30 mins

By Katherine

Yield: 8 servings

This hearty and filling perogy casserole tastes like your favorite cheese and potato perogies but with way less effort!


  • 9 lasagna noodles, any type you want
  • 500 mL cottage cheese (I used low fat)
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp onion salt, divided
  • 2 cups mashed potatoes (about 3 large)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 yellow or white onion, diced
  • Diced green onions and sour cream, for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and spray a lasagna pan* with non-stick spray or lightly grease with butter.
  2. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the potatoes until fork-tender and ready to mash. Drain and mash the potatoes* and mix with cheddar cheese, 1/2 tsp onion salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, cook the lasagna noodles as directed on the package; drain. Place 3 cooked lasagna noodles side by side in the bottom of the lasagna pan.
  4. Prepare the cheese mixture in a
  5. medium-sized bowl by combining the cottage cheese, egg, and remaining 1/2 tsp onion salt. Cover the bottom layer of noodles with all of the cheese mixture. Top with another 3 lasagna noodles.
  6. Spread the potato mixture over the lasagna noodles, then top with the last 3 noodles.
  7. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and sauté the diced onions until clear and soft. Pour the onion and butter over the top of the casserole. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes before serving. Top with sour cream and chopped green onions.
  8. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months. To heat from frozen, place in oven at 325 F, covered, for about an hour.
  9. Prepare ahead: Mash the potatoes, cook the noodles, and combine the cottage cheese and egg together the night before and keep in the fridge. When you’re ready to create the casserole, just layer as indicated in the steps above.


My lasagna pan is 8 x 11, which is perfect but I’ve used a 9 x 13 and it works just fine. The noodles will just not cover the entire surface.

When mashing your potatoes, feel free to add whatever you’re used to adding to mashed potatoes such as milk, cream, butter, etc.


Posted by on FriAmerica/Los_Angeles2019-01-25T09:52:47-08:00America/Los_Angeles01bAmerica/Los_AngelesFri, 25 Jan 2019 09:52:47 -0800 31, in brunch


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A taste of France in Samoa: Le Petit Café 

Located near the well known Mailelani Samoa Skincare and Natural Beauty products factory at Papauta is a recently opened small homey café that promises to give you a taste of France in Samoa.

Le Petit Café offers French style breakfast served with a smile by a small team of beautiful young ladies whose bubbly attitude will leave customers in a good mood for the rest of the day.

The café which was officially opened on Friday is operated by Tailani Salanoa with family and friends being her pillars of support.

Le Petit is unique in a way that they are strict with serving only French style breakfast (not the traditional toast and eggs).

Motivated by her parent’s wishes to have a café along with their factory, Tailani used her interest in cooking and baking to fulfill both her and her parent’s dreams.

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Posted by on FriAmerica/Los_Angeles2019-01-25T09:20:00-08:00America/Los_Angeles01bAmerica/Los_AngelesFri, 25 Jan 2019 09:20:00 -0800 31, in brunch, pacific islands



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