There are ladies who lunch and then there are those who breakfast – we definitely fall into the latter category. School pick ups, lunchtime sleeps (the littles, not us sadly) and the general chaos of juggling tiny tots with all the million other things that all of us mamas deal with on a daily basis don’t allow for long lazy lunches (plus there’s always that mama guilt hanging around every time we do anything for ourselves). BUT breakfast is a different ball game. If the kids are young enough they can come too without much interruption to their routine – and if they’re at school then we’re allowed to be doing something without them – right?!
Breakfast is an ideal time to get together with other mamas who – let’s face it, have probably spent all morning pouring cheerios into bowls, buttering toast, making school lunches but haven’t stopped for a cup of tea and a bite themselves. The Sassy Mama team enjoyed brekkie at our very wonderful foodie contributor Fiona’s house, a couple of perfect hours of mama gossip, delicious food and a whole lot of caffeine to combat the lack of sleep and to take us through the day. So come on mamas, get the girls together and try out these very yummy (but very easy) recipes, or even save them for a family feast at the weekend. You know what they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
Open Smoked Trout, Avocado & Alfalfa on brown (makes 6 open sandwiches)
2 ripe and ready to use avocadoes, peeled and quartered
4 spring onions very finely sliced
1 handful of dill or parsley washed, destalked and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 dessertspoon lemon juice
1 dessertspoon olive oil
1 dessertspoon crème fraiche (optional)
sea salt and pepper to taste
For the sandwiches
6 thin slices wholegrain, pumpernickel or thin rye bread
6 generous slices smoked trout, smoked salmon or gravadlax
alfalfa sprouts to finish
lemon wedges to serve
METHOD FOR THE AVOCADO SMASH:
- Place the avocado quarters into a large shallow bowl, mash roughly with a fork.
- Add in the spring onions, dill or parsley, mustard, lemon juice, olive oil crème fraiche and seasoning. Combine ingredients ensuring not to over mix as the texture adds interest to the final sandwich.
- Taste test for seasoning adding more sea salt, pepper or lemon juice as necessary.
- Spread each slice of bread very generously (to the edges!) with Avocado Smash.
- Drape a slice of smoked trout or salmon elegantly over the smash leaving some of the smash exposed for a pretty colour contrast.
- Serve on a large platter with lemon wedges with a tangle of afalfa sprouts to finish each sandwich.
- Avocado smash is best made fresh however prevent oxidation and discolouration if preparing in advance by:
- burying the avocado stones in the prepared smash to keep the colour bright and green.
- placing a piece of baking parchment directly on the smash before covering and storing in the fridge until use.
Zesty Lemon Shortbread Hearts (makes 25 – 30 approximately)
A simple traditional shortcake biscuit reaches dizzy heights with the simple of addition of freshly grated lemon zest – see Sassytips for optional flavourings. The inclusion of semolina or rice flour refines the recipe and adds the crunch vital to the finished biscuit.
100g caster sugar
freshly grated zest of 1 lemon which has been previously washed and dried
250g plain flour
50g semolina or rice flour
- Pre-heat oven to 160 C fan.
- Place the softened butter, caster sugar and lemon zest into the bowl of a standalone mixer.
- Beat on medium speed until white and fluffy, this should take 3-5 minutes. Halfway through the mixing process stop the mixer to scrape down the sides to ensure that all butter and sugar is evenly incorporated.
- Add in the sieved plain flour and the semolina or rice flour.
- Mix on a slow speed until all flour is combined and a loose dough is achieved.
- Place the dough between 2 sheets of baking parchment and roll out to 5mm thickness.
- Cut into heart shapes using cookie cutters. Re-roll leftover dough and continue the cookie cutting process.
- Use a palette knife to carefully transfer cookies to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake in pre-heated oven for 10-13 minutes. It should be noted that cookies should turn ever so slightly golden but most definitely not brown in colour!
- Allow cookies to cool slightly on the baking tray.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
SASSYMAMA FIONA TIPS
- Vary the flavourings substituting orange or lime zest for lemon
- Replace 25g plain flour with 25g cocoa powder (not hot chocolate) for chocolate shortbread to serve with ice-cream.
- Sandwich hearts together filled with cream and raspberries for zesty lemon raspberry shortcakes.
Passionate Sassy Fruit Platter (serves 6 generously)
Combine expensive berries with affordable exotics, arrange on a wide platter for maximum visual impact. Serve fruit at room temperature for maximum flavour and fragrance. We all love ‘interactive food’ with last minute serving touches performed at the table for a visual and olfactory impact ……..
1 juicy perfect pineapple cut into elegant bite sized pieces
500g fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered (if large) halved if small
250g blueberries, washed and dried on kitchen paper
100g pomegranate seeds or 1 pomegranate deseeded (all white pith removed)
3 passion fruit halved
250g fresh raspberries, washed and dried on kitchen paper
Fresh juice of 1 orange
1 tablespoon raw yemeni honey
- Place a base layer of pineapple onto a large 30 cm diameter flat platter
- Strew over a layer of strawberries leaving 2 cm of pineapple visible.
- Strew over a layer of blueberries leaving 2 cm of strawberry and pineapple visible.
- Shake over a layer of pomegranate seeds ensuring that pineapple, strawberries and blueberries are visible and peep out.
- (Note: Berries can be covered with cling film and refrigerated until needed at this point. For maximum flavour do remember to remove from the fridge at least 15 minutes before serving).
- Create a bit of drama and pzazz at the table.
- Freshly squeeze the passion fruit halves over the berry plate, then casually toss the delicate raspberries on top.
- Squeeze the orange juice directly from the orange using a hand held wooden juicer.
- For a grand finale dramatically drizzle the honey over with a flourish!
Serve with natural yoghurt and granola with extra honey on the side – Wow Guaranteed!
Fiona is a Chef, creative, food stylist, inveterate foodologist and fabulous mama to 2 gorgeous kids. Her expertise and experience are phenomenal; from catering and cooking for the Ferrari Formula 1 team at the height of its glory, to cooking as a private Chef to VIPs and media celebrities, teaching Masterclass food styling seminars and workshops, and writing regular columns and features in Dubai’s Good Housekeeping and Spinneys Food Magazine.