Monday, October 31, 2011


We go to help our granddaughter conduct a yard sale recently and stop at a supermarket for a few groceries. While there my BW spots a sale on pita bread and we buy some.

So yesterday she wants her breakfast and requests the oft asked for cheese eggs. I said “OK” and then she says “with mushrooms”. I’m almost out of the room but said “OK”. Approaching the kitchen I faintly hear her say “and tomatoes”. I holler back” OK”. I’m getting out the equipment and in a few moments she glides into the kitchen adroitly and asks for bacon with it. I said “OK”, and as she leaves the kitchen she deftly pivots and asks for a little chopped raw red onion on it and to have it in pita bread. I said “OK” as I got some more groceries from the icebox. I double checked the order with her and proceeded to prepare it.

She loves the delightfully pleasant aromatic sandwich and raves about the superb taste. I want to share this with you because if the Education Tipster likes it (with her discriminating taste), you probably will too.

Pita Breakfast Sandwich                     serves one


1 loaf of pita bread
2 eggs, beaten
2 slices bacon cooked crisply
½ cup sliced mushrooms
½ tomato diced
1 slice red onion, diced
½ cup shredded Asiago cheese
Salt and pepper to taste


Cook the bacon, put a screen over the skillet and lay the pitas on it to gently warm them
While the bacon is crisping, shred the cheese and dice the tomato and onion. Put them in a bowl

Slice the mushrooms, add to the bowl and divide the pita bread into two halves
Open the pita halves like a taco shell

 In a warm skillet over medium heat, containing a little bacon fat, or butter, or light olive oil, put in the beaten eggs
Evenly distribute the cheese, tomato, mushrooms and crumbled bacon atop the eggs

Add salt and pepper

After a few moments you’ll see the eggs setting a little at the edges lift up some edges and let egg run underneath. Start scrambling the entire mixture until it is fully cooked.

Put half of the eggs into each pita half and top with the red onion.

It’s not an egg  Mac’muffin, it’s much better.

Friday, October 21, 2011


After a nice meal, formal or casual, how about a wonderful light dessert that not only looks chic but tastes divine?  A traditional Italian dessert that is just as elegant as it is easy to make and vice versa. You probably already have the groceries in your cupboard to prepare this dessert.

Egg yolks and sugar, a little wine and you possess the makings for zabaglione (Za Ba Yoan).

 Right off the stove, you can put zabaglione on fresh fruit or over cake, ice cream or flaky pastry.  You could even serve it by itself in an attractive glass.

Zabaglione has a long history, dating back to 16th century Florence, Italy during the time of the Medici’s. The original proto-zabaglione was a beverage such as ale or wine thickened with egg yolks. . Since the 1960's, restaurants in North American who serve large Italian populations usually serve Zabaglione  with strawberries, blueberries or peaches in a champagne saucer glass.

A modern zabaglione consists of egg yolks, sugar, a sweet wine like Marsala, and perhaps orange zest (or lemon zest) all whisked over low heat until beginning to thicken and then served up. This tasty treat is easy, elegant and a versatile finale to any meal.

Zabaglione dessert is popular in France where it is known as Sabayon and in Venezuela and Colombia (sabajon or sambayon). Argentina has a popular zabaglione flavoured ice cream in shops everywhere.

The finished Zabaglione can be served hot or cold. It can be used as is, as a sauce, or as the basis for other dishes such as a mousse. It is, however, most often served warm.

Zabaglione                             serves 4

5 large egg yolks

¼ cup (60ml) sugar
½ cup (125ml) Marsala wine
¼ cup (60ml) dry white wine

I like to add a drop of vanilla extract

If you want to you can add these.
  • 1 teaspoon of grated orange zest
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon


Use a pan with a heavy bottom or use a double broiler

  • Put the egg yolks in top of a double boiler (bain marie).  Beat this either with a hand-held electric or a manual rotary beater until it is a pale yellow colour and creamy.

  • Install the double boiler top over but not touching simmering water on low heat.

  • Slowly, beat in half of the Marsala wine into the egg yolks, and beat for one minute.

  • Gradually beat in the rest of the Marsala and then the white wine and vanilla extract.

  • Make sure that the flame is low, especially if not using double boiler.

  • Continue cooking the custard over the simmering water, beating continually.

  • Scrape down the sides of the pan often, until the blend is fluffy and thick enough to form soft mounds when dropped from the beaters. This takes about seven or eight minutes.

  • Keep an eye on this so that you do not overcook.

  • When you get those fluffy mounds, take the double boiler top off the bottom part.

  • Whisk this custard for a short time.

  • Transfer to individual serving bowls or glasses and serve immediately, perhaps with fruit. You can decorate it with whipped cream if you like, or shaved chocolate.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


 What could be more exciting on an autumn Saturday afternoon than crisp clean weather, colourful foliage, college football, the conviviality between good friends, and special zesty tailgate party foods?  Maybe re-cataloguing your Rick Springfield record collection? Forget about it.When you pull into a stadium parking lot for a tailgate party, you can feel the excitement in the air, smell those lovely aromas and view the painted faces as fans all congregate, setting up their grills and getting their vittles ready.

About one- third of tailgaters don’t even watch the game, they just love the food and the camaraderie. Game day tailgating is like a picnic with intense excitement.

If you’re in charge of the food, remember that you want to enjoy yourself too and not be
chained to the tailgate.Therefore a simple plan is best. Bring some already prepared
favourites with the grillables. Keep it straightforward but don’t sacrifice taste. Do as
much prep work the day before as possible and on game day you can have a blast with
the other tailgaters.

 Food safety is imperative. Remember to keep cold foods cold and hot stuff hot. Make sure you transport your grill and your fuel safely. Set it up away from vehicles and your seating area and make sure the surface is level. Keep water or a fire extinguisher handy in case of emergencies. Don’t walk away from the grill, and remember to dispose of your charcoal safely.

In addition to the food, don’t forget the fixin’s; assorted condiments, disposable tableware, implements as well as paper towels and a couple of garbage bags. Don’t forget ice and beverages.

Here are a couple suggestions for your tailgating excursion:


 Mac ‘n Cheese

Hot spicy meatballs and sauce for sandwiches or with toothpicks

A favourite of mine for tailgating (or anytime) is: Jambalaya. This complex flavoured, delicious meal in a bowl will make your taste buds glad to be alive.Tailgate with this delectable dish and you might need security to help keep the hoardes of people, intoxicated from the aroma, from devouring the whole thing.

Jambalaya             serves 8-10


3 tablespoons lard, bacon fat or vegetable oil
5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces
1 lb smoked sausage (such as Kielbasa) diced
1 lb ham, sliced and diced
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning; your choice or one I use:

3 cups chopped onions
2 cups chopped green bell pepper (capsicum)
1 cup chopped celery
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup chopped tomatoes (canned is fine)

2 cups chicken stock or broth
1 15ounce can tomato puree
2 bay leaves
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
2 cups of raw rice


  • Fry the meats in the fat for about 5 minutes. Stir in half of the seasoning.
  • Add the vegetables and cook till soft.
  • Add the remaining ingredients except seasoning and bring to the boil.
  • Simmer for 20 minutes and taste for seasoning, adding remainder if desired.
  • Taste rice, if not quite tender, cook a few more minutes, adding water if needed

Refrigerate until you get ready to go. Re-heat in oven or microwave and bring to the stadium already hot.  If you use a cast iron dutch oven, put it on the grill to keep hot.

This is a dish everyone loves and a great meaty side dish for grilled meat. You can adjust the seasoning and of course add hot sauce on each individual serving. I personally like dried crushed red pepper on a bowl of this great concoction.

You could add one pound of peeled and deveined shrimp after 10 minutes of simmering if you want to; just use a little more water or stock in this case.

No matter what foods you choose to use when tailgating, this exciting time of year makes them especially mouth-watering. Try this Jambalaya; even if you don’t like football you can still have a good time.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...