by Robin Benzle
Company’s coming! Company’s coming! And you know what that means, don’t you? It means that out-of-town visitors will descend upon your home like crows, and stay for several days. Or, in some cases, several millenniums.
It also means that: a) you can no longer walk around the house in your underwear, b) you can no longer beat the kids, and c) you can no longer have Oreos and coffee for breakfast. You need to serve a half-way decent breakfast at least once before they leave.
There are three kinds of overnight guests:
1. The kind that reminds you a lot of Nurse Rached and makes you think about tying chum around your waist and jumping into the Great Barrier Reef.
2. The kind that tracks tar in the moment they arrive, takes 45 minute showers, wouldn’t know a dishwasher if they were sitting on one, and has the personality of a tumble weed.
3. The kind that are so much fun to have around that, for a fleeting moment, you actually think about asking them to stay one more night (but quickly regain sanity).
Here then, are three appropriate menus:
Bransweiger Pancakes with Chocolate-Okra Syrup
Day Old Danish from the Corner Drug Store
Wake-Up Coffee Oatmeal Muffins (Make ahead)
Freshly Brewed Froo-Froo coffee (like vanilla almond)
Cranberry Orange Juice
Scrambled Egg Cupcakes
Apple Knocker Sausage Balls
Wake-Up Coffee Oatmeal Muffins
Extra moist and studded with dates.
3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick-cooking (not instant) oatmeal
2 tablespoons instant coffee dissolved in 1/2 cup
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup chopped dried dates
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 12-count muffin tin. In one medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and oatmeal. In another medium bowl, combine coffee, butter sugar and egg. Slowly pour coffee mixture into flour mixture, stirring constantly, just until blended. Do not overmix. Fold in dates. Fill muffin cups two-thirds full and bake 15 minutes. Freezes great.
Scrambled Egg Cupcakes with Cheddar Frosting
Toasted bread “baskets” filled with eggs and topped with melted cheese. Eat them with your fingers!
Serves 4 (two each)
Baskets: 8 slices white bread, crusts removed
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
Eggs: 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
7 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons chopped, fresh chives (or 1 1/2
8 squares sharp Cheddar cheese, about 2” x 2”
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Flatten bread slices with a rolling pin. Spread butter on one side of each slice. Press bread, buttered side down, into muffin tins. Bake 12 - 15 minutes, or until lightly toasted.
While baskets are baking, make eggs. Melt butter in a large skillet, add eggs and chives, and cook over medium-low heat until soft-scrambled. Season with salt if you like.
When bread baskets are done, turn oven temperature to 475 degrees. Fill baskets with scrambled eggs, top each with a square of Cheddar and return to oven for about two minutes, or until cheese melts.
Apple Knocker Sausage Balls
Savory, home-mixed pork sausage meatballs glazed in apple juice.
Make 20 (good for 4 - 6 people)
4 slices bacon, frozen (easier to chop that way)
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1/2 teaspoon each ground sage, mace and dry mustard
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound lean ground pork
2 cups apple juice
In a food processor using steel blade, process bacon until finely chopped. Mix in all spices. Add pork and carefully mix without turning it mushy. Form mixture into golf ball-sized balls and place in large skillet. Cover sausage balls with apple juice. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat, uncovered, 25 minutes or until glazed and lightly browned.
Robin Benzle host the food and travel website, www.robinbenzle.com