Title: Over Easy: Sweet & Savory Recipes for Leisurely Days
Author: Joy Wilson (aka Joy the Baker)
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
Blueberry Sour Cream Waffles
Earl Grey & Ricotta Waffles
Banana bread granola
Spinach & artichoke strata
Onion, Gruyere, and Grits Frittata muffins
Verdict: Interesting, creative, and for the most part delicious, though specialized (breakfast and brunch) and not a staple
I was definitely in the mood for a high-quality breakfast- and brunch-focused cookbook because we’ve been a bit more homebound over the past two years with a little one in tow. Those long, leisurely brunches out on the patio of favorite restaurants feel like a weekend memory than a weekend possibility. To be honest, though, Saturday and Sunday mornings still feel relaxed and luxurious, the coffee and the company are excellent, and it’s a time of the week to which I really look forward.
I like how Joy’s take on her latest (third) cookbook matches my style perfectly: putting together a delicious meal at home is enjoyable, leisurely, and worthwhile. David and I have a few go-to recipes like our Everyday French Toast and strawberry pancakes, but there were a few recipes in Over Easy that are worth including in our rotation. Our favorite was the Blueberry Sour Cream Waffles recipe. I’m extra happy to have this recipe on file because sour cream is one of the ingredients I often have leftover in the fridge after quesadillas or enchiladas and I’m not quite sure what to do with it all. Not everything wowed us, but it all was good and several recipes were excellent. It was also beautiful to flip through and look at, letting ideas and menus come together. The book itself and its recipes made for fun morning material.
Blueberry Sour Cream Waffles: These were excellent, a definite keeper. I liked the tang of the sour cream, the freshness of the blueberries (we made once with fresh, once with frozen because that’s all we had). The fresh blueberries were bigger, so the blueberries weren’t super evenly distributed, but they lent bursts of blueberry flavor in intense pockets. They also made more of a mess. The recipe made about 6 waffles each time, so if you have a big group of people over, it’s worth making a double recipe. I also ran out of sour cream for one batch, but we substituted kefir for about 1/2 cup of the required measure, and it still turned out beautifully. A recipe worth making multiple times in quick succession.
Earl Grey and Ricotta Waffles: Good, not the best waffle recipe in the book. Again, I was glad to have a brunch recipe to use some leftover ricotta cheese I had in the fridge rather than letting it go to waste, but the flavors of the ricotta and Earl Grey tea didn’t really shine through in the final product. The Earl Grey brewing in the hot milk smelled amazing, so perhaps that ratcheted up my expectations.
Banana Bread Granola: A foray into homemade granola was relatively new for me, but I really like it. Joy’s recipe does capture the flavor and feel of banana bread, which I hadn’t had before in granola form. And, importantly, it wasn’t too sweet. I frequently buy and use granola for a mid-morning snack (topped with fruit and milk), so I’m happy to have another recipe in the repertoire. Again, making the recipe made my whole apartment smell delicious for the rest of the afternoon (the kind where you walk in the shared foyer and are glad to recognize it’s your place that smells that great). The dehydrated banana Joy references as her preference was hard for me to find, so I did go with the crisper banana chips. Because I eat granola in milk just like cereal, it was soft and manageable and not a problem at all.
Spinach & Artichoke Strata: Our least favorite recipe by far. I actually made this for dinner one evening instead of as a breakfast main, which worked pretty well. A few pros were that I put it together after Charlotte went to bed the night before (it requires at least a one-hour rest, but I opted to let mine sit overnight as recommended), so the next day getting dinner on the table was a simple as putting it in the oven (yay). However, the flavors felt a bit one-note, and that note was a strong one (hello artichokes). For leftovers, we sautéed some sausage (1 link of sweet Italian, 1 link of spicy), which helped the flavor, but still didn’t turn the strata into a recipe I’d make again.