Friday, 8 March 2013

Bringing a little Aloha to the Breakfast Table

Well, its been almost a week since we hosted our friends to a tropical brunch and I think I've finally digested all the delicious food we ate that morning!

Derek and I were in Maui in November & we went out for breakfast at the Kihei Cafe one morning.  I have a weakness for always trying the local or house speciality, and so I ordered the "Loco Moco", a uniquely Hawaiian breakfast.  Imagine a mound of white rice, topped with a hamburger patty, a fried egg (I actually got my egg poached to make it healthy - haha!!!) and then smothered in gravy.  Now imagine what my arteries looked like after I ate that!

The rest of the menu featured all sorts of yummy Hawaiian influenced treats - banana macadamia french toast, coconut pancakes, tropical fruit salad and the like.  I was struck the inspiration to host a tropical inspired brunch in the middle of a grey Squamish winter, to help lift us out of the winter dull-drums.
We invited a group of old friends up to Squamish and I got to work perusing my cookbook collection for brunch dishes that made me dream of beaches and sunny weather.  Here's the menu I came up with:

Huevos Rancheros (CBC #5 from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook)
Coconut Pancakes (CBC #6 from Bill's Open Kitchen)
Pineapple and Coconut Muffins with Ginger (CBC #7 from Sunlight Cafe - a great breakfast/brunch cookbook from the Moosewood collection)
Pineapple loaf & Banana Macadamia bread (both brought home from Maui)
Lime & Mango Yoghurt, Coconut Yoghurt
Tropical Fruit Salad
Bacon & Breakfast Sausage (no brunch would be complete without!)

CBC #5: Huevos Rancheros from this great book I got for Christmas.  I particularly loved this recipe as it was easy to make for a big group and didn't require me standing over a hot stove turning out one egg at a time.
And the Huevos were muy deliciosos!

CBC #6: Coconut Pancakes
Bill Granger is an Australian chef and this book is full of warm-weather meals inspired by the land down-under.

The coconut pancakes were light, fluffy and delicious!

CBC #7: Pineapple Coconut Muffins
If you love brunch, you must get this book!

The gang digs in!

Brunch with Aloha Spirit!

The rest of the weekend was relaxing and enjoyable.  Our tropical meal had a positive influence on the weather; we went from grey and rainy on Saturday to bright and sunny on Sunday.

I went for a very lovely walk on the Four Lakes Trail at Alice Lake.  As is my (bad) habit, I went out for too long and my walk turned into a waddle!

In Squamish we have a wonderful Farmer's Market with local produce, baked goods, and crafts.  In the winter they move indoors to the Railway Museum.  I'd never been to the museum or the winter market, so I checked it out on Sunday.  It was really nice!  The venue is very cool with tons of natural light & some old railcars sitting in the middle of the room.  The market itself is always a popular community gathering spot, so its a great place to catch up with people and hang-out.

Squamish Winter Market at the West Coast Railway Museum

Sunday I attended my first prenatal yoga class.  It was harder than I expected, but I enjoyed it.  It was nice to meet a few other expectant moms.

Belly shot of the week: on my way to prenatal yoga at 29 weeks.
Mini Zambo in the foreground.
Finally we ended the weekend with a delicious meal and Cook Book Challenge # 8.  This meal is getting some bad press over at my mom's blog Wipe Your Paws, but I'm here to tell you that its yummy!

After a Sunday of hiking, market-going, yoga and cooking, I literally collapsed!  I'm no longer the energizer bunny I always thought I was.  This weekend I'll make sure to chill out more!

Cookbook Challenge # 8: Fancy Mac & Cheese from "The Pioneer Woman Cooks" by Ree Drummond

I had never heard of the Pioneer Woman until I got this book as a wedding gift.  After the wedding we left most of the gifts at my parent's house in Victoria while we did a little road trip.  Prior to leaving, my mom convinced me to open up this gift, which was given to me by her very good friend Lolo.  After I left, mom wasted no time cracking open the book and giving it a little "test run" (or two... or three!)  Talk about shameless!!

Now I am very familiar with the Pioneer Woman as I read her blog and have 2 of her books.  Her style of writing is funny and familiar & with lots of pictures to look at, her recipes are easy to follow.  She is not afraid to use fatty goodness in her food.  In fact, I think she might be afraid not to.  The fancy mac & cheese is a perfect example.    But how can you go wrong when butter, whole milk, cream, and 4 varieties of cheese meet to make a white sauce?  Fancy it up with a some fried onions, roasted mushies and bacon and as she says: "This is the stuff love handles are made of!"

I say "YUM!"
Derek shows his approval
Derek enjoys some Fancy Mac & Cheese while soaking the nuisance toe
But don't take our word for it:  Thanks to the Pioneer Woman's super fun blog, you can make it for yourself.  Check it out: The Pioneer Woman's Fancy Mac & Cheese

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Meg! Your brunch looks delicious. Good for you. You also look excellent and I'm glad you tried out the pre natal yoga.