Dear weekend eggs Benedicts,

Sometimes, I don’t have the energy to change out of my sweatpants. There’s just no reason for it. But that gets in the way of venturing out for my favorite weekend meal: eggs Benedict (see here, here, here, here, here and… well, you get the picture).

The only solution is to make them at home. Luckily I anticipated this lack of energy (I mean, it’s Saturday), this inability to get out of sweatpants, and picked up a few essentials at the store earlier in the week.

The process was surprisingly easy and there was absolutely nothing lacking in this weekend homestyle brunch. The breakfast potatoes just needed to sit in the oven for about 30 minutes before they were  crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and salty to perfection. I’m no expert, but a quick Google search taught me some tips and tricks to the perfect poached eggs, which fit lovingly onto the English muffin (which I put in the toaster) and Canadian bacon (which I warmed in a pan). And three cheers for me for making homemade Hollandaise sauce for the first time ever (blend egg yolks with lemon juice, cayenne and butter)! With my trusty girl Cholula on hand, the clouds parted and the sun shone brightly onto the glorious breakfast table.

Even though the steps are individually simple, it still takes a little bit of time. Then again, it’s probably the same amount of time it takes to get up, get ready, go to a restaurant, sit and order. And in the homemade situation: Hello! Sweatpants!

While I wish I had enough time to make this for breakfast every morning, I’m glad I don’t. I can preserve the specialness of this meal (and of course, still go out for brunch).

Love,
A

Poached egg, Cholula, Canadian bacon and breakfast potatoes... but all made at home!

Poached egg, Cholula, Canadian bacon and breakfast potatoes… but all made at home!

Dear hot sauces,

Let’s discuss what makes hot sauce the best thing in the world: It’s spicy, it’s flavorful and that’s all you really need to know.

But if you wanted to know more, I’ll tell you what I think makes it so awesome. They’re the same but different. They’re the same as in, they’re all sauces, made from chiles that provide those burning tingles on your tongue (in a good way). Yet, each flavor is different: They can be sweet or savory and each is unique to the meal it belongs on. I would imagine you could put Sriracha on tacos or Cholula in Chinese food (yeah, I did that once). I’m sure you’d get the same burning sensation, but the flavor wouldn’t be quite right. It would be a tiny bit off, wouldn’t it?

There’s so much science behind it, I’d wager that each hot sauce was specified to match the dish it goes with (maybe not, but I think it makes food that much more magical). So thanks hot sauce, for being you.

Love,
A

Hot sauce is an integral part of food and life.

Hot sauce is an integral part of food and life.

Dear honey mustard salmon,

I’m still new to cooking fish but this was a fun first step. It was so easy to get that yummy, flaky yet meaty flavor of the fish, but add an even easier, sweet, tangy honey mustard sauce on top? Well, I just look like I know what I’m doing.

And of course, pop some asparagus in the oven with salt, pepper, olive oil and parmesan. Hey, I could seem like a chef!

Love,
A

Honey mustard salmon with asparagus

Honey mustard salmon with asparagus

Dear Sunday breakfast

This is Sunday breakfast.

This is Sunday breakfast.

When it’s Sunday and you have bacon leftover, what else can you make? Eggs with some spinach and tomatoes (plus Sriracha!) to go with fatty, uncured, delicious bacon. It’s easy, uncomplicated and flavorful. Less time cooking, more time eating.

Love,
A

Dear Food Logo

We’ve gone social!

Dear Food Logo

We have too many thoughts on food for one blog to hold. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We’ll share top-notch recipes, photos and reviews. As we prepare for the second year of Dear Food, we’ll be bringing you exclusive content and interviews with up-and-coming chefs, as well as making you privy to the best restaurants you’ve never heard of. Have a place we should check out? Food issues you’d like us to cover? A chef who deserves some attention? Drop us a line. We’re always looking for the next delicious thing.

Cheers,
A & N

Dear stuffed French toast,

Maple syrup French toast stuffed with bacon.

Maple syrup French toast stuffed with bacon.

In culinary jungle known as breakfast, French toast is one of the kings. And the only way to make something delicious like that better is to stuff it with more delicious things. On New Year’s Day, I grabbed a couple slices of bread, this recipe and made incredible French toast drenched in maple syrup, filled with apples and covered in bacon.

Pair it with a cozy cup of coffee and you have yourself a wintery morning breakfast.

Love,
A

Dear pan-seared sausages,

A little twist on Bon Appetit's recipe: pan-seared sausage with lady apples and spinach

A little twist on Bon Appetit’s recipe: pan-seared sausage with lady apples and spinach

I had sausages. I had apples. Bon Appetit has a recipe that puts them both together. This recipe called for watercress but I couldn’t find any at the store. Luckily, any hearty green could fill in, so I used spinach. What a pretty green color.

In addition to a fairly simple and fancy-looking meal, recipes like this make me think of how underrated apples can be. Also, how you can swap out potatoes for these delicious treats in a dish like this.

Apples and meat.

Love,
A

Dear pumpkin spoon bread,

Pumpkin spoon bread from Bon Appetit

Pumpkin spoon bread from Bon Appetit

It’s November aka pumpkin season. I went out on a limb and tried my hand at this pumpkin spoon bread. It was weirdly good. I guess I anticipated more sweetness – for some weird reason – but the spices are a really nice complement to mulled wine or hot apple cider.

Thanks pumpkin spoon bread! Next time, I’m taking you to a Thanksgiving feast.

Love,
A

Dear cornbread with apples and onions,

Cornbread with caramelized apples and onions from Bon Appetit

Cornbread with caramelized apples and onions from Bon Appetit

I like cornbread. Who doesn’t? I decided to make some. On the same day as Brussels sprout pizza? Preposterous! But no, it can be done.

I’m new to cooking so I was happily surprised that cornbread is really easy. And I felt extra fancy dropping in a couple extras like apples and onions, both of which I enjoy heartily.

Thank you, Bon Appetit for presenting this joyous opportunity to make a warm and flavorful side dish.

Love,
Alma

Dear Brussels sprout pizza,

Brussels sprout pizza from Bon Appetit

Brussels sprout pizza recipe from Bon Appetit

An ode to Natalie - Brussels sprouts on a pizza

An ode to Natalie – Brussels sprouts on a pizza

I must admit, I subscribe to Bon Appetit mostly for the amazing photography – and sometimes, reading about preparing a delicious roast makes me feel this much closer to having actually done it. Mostly, I don’t feel apt to prepare such lovely dishes, but once in a while, I come across something too fun to pass up.

Pizza. With Brussels sprouts. And the extra bonus: Natalie is a Brussels sprout aficionado. What better way to honor her than making something with this severely underrated cabbage-like delight? True, it hardly compares to something she would have whipped up, but I must say, I quite enjoyed my foray into pizza-dom.

And really, how can you mess up something with bacon on it?

Love,
A