It's been a hard day's night—you should be eatin' like a king!
By Laura Marrich
We’d chase balloons all day for a basket like this.
Watching balloons float through the cold, autumnal predawn does a lot more than inspire awe in those who witness it—it also stirs up a brisk and compelling appetite for things that comfort us. For the enthusiasts who come out to Balloon Fiesta Park each year, there are plenty of autumnal mornings to be had; and for each of them there's an egg and cheese breakfast burrito, a four-pack of cinnamon rolls, a steamy cup of hot cocoa. Bliss.
St. Clair’s Mimosa Sparkling Wine ($8.95 per bottle) stays cool no matter where you wander when it’s in this must-have accessory, the BYOBag ($15.95). A compact corkscrew ($4.95) helps get you there a little faster.
For the first few days, anyway. And then the pilot gets burned out on breakfast burritos.
What then? We raided the wine shop at the new St. Clair Winery and Bistro in hopes of finding an answer. Sure enough, we found a few ingenious items that seemed perfectly suited for balloon enthusiasts with loftier aspirations for breakfast. We looked for compact, durable and lightweight luxuries that could travel as well as the people who would use them. And they had to be affordable. The "mimosa" that we found, for example, is a local sparkling wine with the orange juice already mixed right in the bottle. And at $9 a bottle, everyone can afford to celebrate.
Brunch toast: it’s all the things you love about breakfast in one tasty, portable sandwich.
We pulled the brunch toast recipe out from somewhere in our collective breakfast unconscious. It combines all the elements of a full American breakfast—eggs, bacon, cheese, French toast and jam, even the O.J. and maple syrup is here. It's a fresh take on some great old classics, and it just keeps getting better every time we make it. We promise you and your crew will gobble them up.
Not your mama’s crystal: Shatter-proof acrylic champagne flutes ($13.95 for a set of four) are durable enough to take on the road, elegant enough to make your time there special.
Grab it and go chase some balloons.
Apricot-Cheddar Brunch Toast with Bacon
To pick up the flavor of the fruit even more, choose a preserve that lists orange zest as an ingredient.
Makes 4 sandwiches
8 thick slices of white, crusty bread
1/4 cup apricot preserves
12 slices cooked bacon
1 cup medium cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons butter
parchment paper or paper towels (optional)
1) Spread four slices of bread with the preserves. Top each one with 3 slices of cooked bacon and 1/4 cup of the grated cheese. Top with the remaining slices of bread, pressing down gently.
2) Combine the eggs, orange juice and maple syrup in a shallow, flat-bottomed dish. Quickly and carefully dip each side of the sandwiches in the egg mixture, using both hands to keep cheese from spilling out.
3) Melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet or griddle over medium heat. Cook the sandwiches for 2-1/2 minutes on each side, monitoring the heat carefully. The cheese should be melted, and the bread should be golden and flecked with brown whirls, like French toast.
4) Remove from heat. Serve immediately or wrap in paper to prevent the sandwiches from becoming soggy.