Category Archives: Breakfast

Poached Eggs with Smoked Provolone and Pistou


As I’ve mentioned before, my mother will be moving back to Shanghai this year — September 14th to be exact.  I’m picking her up from Houston this weekend where she will come to stay with me and Collin in Dallas before she goes home.

A bittersweet feeling for sure, the child in me screams “DON’T LEAVE! WHAT WILL I DO WITHOUT YOU?” but I know it’s for the best.  For years my mother has sacrificed her own personal happiness for mine, I could tell she always missed China.  Her food always evoked her longing — I remember as a child I’d always complain “AW MAN MA, CHINESE AGAIN??” But now I realize it was one of the few connections she had to home.

Week after week it was always something different — braised pork belly, sauteed peat shoots, tea smoked duck, herbal chicken soup — I lived like a king when it came to food, I knew I had it good.  Now that she’s leaving, I wanted to keep my mother behind with me, through her recipes.

I really look forward to learning traditional Chinese cuisine and at the same time exposing my mother to the different types of cuisines I make at home.  A month’s worth of cooking adventures with my mother in my new kitchen, can life be any better?  I can’t wait for everyone to meet her, she is truly the sweetest, cutest and the most talented lady I know.  You’ll see 🙂

I made this healthy breakfast over the weekend — I love poaching eggs because it’s a great alternative to frying and you still get the same delicate texture and of course the best part, the runny yolk.  I got my recipe from Epicurious and made a few minor changes — I used less oil and used Smoked Provolone.  I really enjoyed the addition of the Pistou, very bold in flavors but light in textures — a great breakfast for the summer.

Ingredients for Poached Eggs with Pistou: (serves 2)

  • 1/3 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 small garlic clove
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 1/2-inch-thick slices french bread, toasted
  • Smoked Provolone cheese shavings

Puree basil, garlic, and oil in mini processor until very smooth. Season pistou to taste with salt and pepper.

Add enough water to medium skillet to measure 1 1/4 inches. Sprinkle salt generously into water. Bring water to simmer over medium heat. Crack eggs 1 at a time and gently slip into water. Cook until egg whites are just set and egg yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes.

Place hot toasts on plates. Top each with Parmesan. Using slotted spoon, transfer 2 eggs, well drained, to each piece of brioche. Sprinkle eggs with salt and pepper. Drizzle with some of pistou and serve.

Blueberry Muffins with Streusel Topping


I’ve fallen in love with Nashville, Tennessee.  I never imagined the south to be so beautiful but Nashville has everything I have ever dreamed of — huge front and back yards adorned with beautiful hydrangeas,  soft rolling hills filled with Dogwoods, Maple and Magnolia trees, and SWEET TEA oh man do I love a tall glass of sweet tea on a warm Summer evening… I was there for one of my dear friend’s wedding, Tammy Cheng Anderson, as her wedding photographer and I had a blast.  I want to move there, seriously.

I love the South, and as a tribute I wanted to make some muffins.  I’ve realized I don’t post much breakfast food on here — probably because I usually skip breakfast.  I KNOW I KNOW, it’s the most important meal of the day which is why I’ve made a conscious effort this year to eat every morning.  I admit I have certain bad eating habits, I always go for the late night snack and it’s usually ice cream or cookies (I am so glad my mother doesn’t read this or she would flip out).  I realize as a result, I don’t wake up very hungry in the mornings and skip breakfast.  Now I’ve cut out my late night snacks (mostly) and lone behold, I wake up hungry.

Since Summer is the best season for berries, I opted to make these moist blueberry muffins from the Le Cordon Bleu textbook.  These are perfect for a weekend breakfast or brunch and they are not only easy to make but the results are phenomenal.  I also like to cut any leftover muffins up and put them in the freezer, they are awesome on top of some vanilla ice cream!

Muffins are known as “quick breads” where only slight gluten development is desirable.  Tenderness is a desirable quality opposed to the chewy quality of many yeast breads.  Over mixing muffin batter produces not only chewiness but irregular shapes and large, elongated holes inside the muffins known as tunneling.

The muffin method is used largely for muffins, pancakes and waffles.  Muffin batter should be mixed only until the dry ingredients are just moistened.  Do not attempt to achieve a smooth batter, remember low gluten development is necessary to develop a delicate and moist texture for your muffins.

Ingredients for Blueberry Muffins:

  • 2 1/2 cups pastry flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup eggs, beaten
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup butter or shortening, softened
  • 1 cup blueberries, rinsed

Preheat oven to 400F.

Combine the butter, vanilla, milk  and sugar and cream the ingredients together in a large bowl until light.  Add the eggs in two or three stages.  Cream well after each addition before adding more eggs.  Sift together the flour, baking powder and other dry ingredients in a separate bowl.  Stir together the liquid ingredients until well combined.  Add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the liquids, adding 1/4 of the dry ingredients with 1/3 of the liquid, mix until just blended in.  Carefully fold in blueberries and remember to not over mix the batter!

Ingredients for Streusel Topping:
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. soft butter
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp flour

Mix all together, using a fork or spoon to combine ingredients. Sprinkle over the top of the muffins before baking.

Grease and flour muffin tins.  Fill tins 1/2 to 2/3 of the way full.  Place in the oven and bake for about 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the muffins.  Place muffins on cooling rack and serve with milk, tea, or coffee.  Muffins can keep in airtight box in the fridge for up to a week and for up to a month in the freezer.