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Breakfast Random Thoughts

Can You Ever be Too Thankful?

December 31, 2020

Wow, what a December. After much debate, stress, confining ourselves to the same five rooms in our respective homes for weeks, Covid tests, and a very long drive for my daughter, I got to see two of my three kids for the holidays.

When my daughter finally got here, we greeted each other with what may go down in history as the longest, most emotional hug we’ve ever had. Covid has a way of making you realize how much you have to lose, and we both knew it. I hadn’t seen her in almost a year, and couldn’t have been happier. I’m very thankful for that.

Her tearful reunion with Topper was well documented and although he’s pretty blind and a little wobbly now that he’s almost 105 in dog years, they re-bonded on the floor. Another thank you moment.

Milena bonding with Topper

After Andy tested negative, he came home and we spent weeks together doing what families do. Eating, doing dishes, trying to overlook the little things about each other that drive us nuts, me giving my children my best advice, them countering by giving me their best advice, baking, figuring out what gifts their brother, Brandon and his family in Chicago would love, wrapping packages, singing while decorating the tree, and figuring out what to eat next. I hope I remember to never take any of that for granted again.

We got all our favorite LA food including Tommy’s burgers, Thai Food, Panda Express, tacos, pizza and wings, and more.

Then for our early Christmas Eve we made steamed crab, shrimp, and Pasta with Scallops and Curry Cream Sauce, then watched the Muppet Christmas Carol. I nodded off in the middle as usual, but woke to Scrooge making amends for his evil ways, leaving me ever thankful for Jim Henson, the Muppet creator who left us way too soon, and his son, Brian, the director. It’s entertained us every Christmas Eve for 28 years.

Milena made it back to Washington safely, leaving me and my son to celebrate Christmas alone, sustained by the most amazing rib roast dinner I’ve ever had. I’d never made a rib roast for Christmas, and am trying to cut down/cut out red meat, but this was so good I’d happily forego red meat all year if I could have this roast for Christmas from now on. I also made popovers with a bit too much butter in the pan and set the smoke alarm off. We also had sauteed spinach with garlic, roasted Brussels Sprouts with balsamic vinegar, and garlic mashed potatoes.

Best roast dinner I’ve ever had!

I found the roast recipe on a website called Tin Eats. The only thing I would change is the wine gravy. I’d add less wine and more beef stock, but it was good nevertheless. I am really thankful for this recipe. Here’s the link: Standing Rib Roast Recipe

We ate the roast, which was the size of a 1960 Cadillac, for days, then made soup with the meaty bones, leeks, garlic and potatoes, which was fantastic.

Andy and I will be together until the New Year. His conversation skills are a vast improvement over Topper’s. He also does dishes and helps me get through leftovers fast. His only drawback is he eats his own weight in tomatoes daily and seems unable to use less than five different glasses for water every two to three hours. But I’m very thankful to have someone here who seems to enjoy spending time with me.

And speaking of tomatoes, he’s been making his favorite new breakfast of Tomato Egg. It’s a dish Chinese grandmothers have been making for ages and my son believes he’s perfected it. I’m grateful he’s inherited my passion for tweaking a recipe. It’s made with brown rice, tomatoes, eggs and sprinkled with scallions. It’s a delicious and healthy way to start the New Year.

Sure, it would have been great to have had our annual Christmas Eve Fish fest, and yes, we all missed being together in Pennsylvania and Ohio, but it’ll be that much better when we do get together, hopefully next year. In the meantime, I’m just practicing gratitude for what I do have.

Lastly, I’m thankful for you my readers. Your comments always make my day and I hope this blog brightens yours at least half as much. I wish you health, happiness, good food, and family and friends to get together with as soon as it’s safe. Can you ever be too thankful? I think 2020 has taught us that’s simply not possible.

The bar is low, so I think the chances of 2021 being better than 2020 are pretty good!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Tomato Egg

Yields1 Serving

 1 cup brown rice (or white if you prefer)
 2 tbsp canola oil
 2 eggs
 2 medium tomatoes
 2 green onions
 ½ tbsp soy sauce
 1 tbsp ketchup
 ½ tbsp cornstarch
 1 tsp or enough water to make the cornstarch liquid
 ½ tsp Mirin
 salt and white pepper to taste
 ½ tsp sesame oil
 Furikake seasoning

1

Rinse rice and place it in a rice cooker or pan with 2 cups water. If cooking in a pan, bring water to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until rice is cooked. Set it aside.

2

Lightly beat two eggs in a small bowl. Add a little salt, pepper and 1/2 tsp. Mirin. Place 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil in a wok. Heat to almost smoking. Add the eggs. The edges will puff up quickly. Turn the eggs lightly to fold over. They cook in about 30 seconds. Remove from pan while still slightly runny. Set eggs aside. Clean all egg and oil from wok.

3

Rinse, dry, and chop tomatoes into 6 wedges. Remove inner pith. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok over high heat. Add white part of the green onions, stirring constantly until very lightly browned. Add the chopped tomato and stir. Cook it about a minute, then push tomato mixture to middle of pan and drizzle soy sauce around the outside of the tomatoes, letting it sizzle slightly, then mix it in. Add ketchup to tomato mixture and mix well.

4

Add a splash of water to the tablespoon of cornstarch (just enough to make it liquid) add it to the tomato mixture and stir until thickened. Fold the egg into the tomato mixture, and cook until egg is heated through. Remove from heat.

5

Scoop 1/2 to 1 cup of rice into a bowl. Sprinkle with Furikake seasoning. Place the egg and tomato mixture on top of the rice. Drizzle mixture with sesame oil and garnish with green onion.

Ingredients

 1 cup brown rice (or white if you prefer)
 2 tbsp canola oil
 2 eggs
 2 medium tomatoes
 2 green onions
 ½ tbsp soy sauce
 1 tbsp ketchup
 ½ tbsp cornstarch
 1 tsp or enough water to make the cornstarch liquid
 ½ tsp Mirin
 salt and white pepper to taste
 ½ tsp sesame oil
 Furikake seasoning

Directions

1

Rinse rice and place it in a rice cooker or pan with 2 cups water. If cooking in a pan, bring water to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until rice is cooked. Set it aside.

2

Lightly beat two eggs in a small bowl. Add a little salt, pepper and 1/2 tsp. Mirin. Place 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil in a wok. Heat to almost smoking. Add the eggs. The edges will puff up quickly. Turn the eggs lightly to fold over. They cook in about 30 seconds. Remove from pan while still slightly runny. Set eggs aside. Clean all egg and oil from wok.

3

Rinse, dry, and chop tomatoes into 6 wedges. Remove inner pith. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok over high heat. Add white part of the green onions, stirring constantly until very lightly browned. Add the chopped tomato and stir. Cook it about a minute, then push tomato mixture to middle of pan and drizzle soy sauce around the outside of the tomatoes, letting it sizzle slightly, then mix it in. Add ketchup to tomato mixture and mix well.

4

Add a splash of water to the tablespoon of cornstarch (just enough to make it liquid) add it to the tomato mixture and stir until thickened. Fold the egg into the tomato mixture, and cook until egg is heated through. Remove from heat.

5

Scoop 1/2 to 1 cup of rice into a bowl. Sprinkle with Furikake seasoning. Place the egg and tomato mixture on top of the rice. Drizzle mixture with sesame oil and garnish with green onion.

Chinese Tomato Egg

  • Reply
    Nicol Z
    January 5, 2021 at 7:30 am

    I’m so very glad you had hearts as full as your bellies. May the new year be truly healthy and joyful for all.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      January 12, 2021 at 10:25 am

      Thank you Nicol. I’m working on getting rid of the extra Fran after the holidays but my heart will be full for quite some time and that’s OK with me! Happy New Year!

  • Reply
    lafriday
    January 1, 2021 at 5:52 pm

    Tomato Egg looks even better than it sounded when Andy described it to me (what a treat to get to speak to that “boy” I first fell for when he was a small first grader in my art class). Your Christmas dinner sounds fantastic too. I am grateful for your enduring friendship, Miss Fran. It has sustained me through a lot of dark days and has also been a source of so much light and laughter. Friendships that bridge the full spectrum of life and emotion are rare—thank you for yours. Here’s to a 2021 that shines so brightly it burns the memory of 2020 to mere dust particles. <3

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      January 12, 2021 at 10:24 am

      Oh Linda, that sounds wonderful! Yes to the dust particle part! Andy so enjoyed talking with you and I am grateful for your friendship and wisdom, which has gotten me through quite a few dark days as well. Yes to friendship that spans a lifetime!

  • Reply
    JoAnn
    December 31, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    Happy New Year to you and your family , Fran, love reading your blogs. I would hire you to cook for me, everything you make sounds delicious 😋 Love you , Bill & JoAnn

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      December 31, 2020 at 2:56 pm

      And I would happily do it! The roast was truly awesome. Not my recipe but a great one! I wish you, Bill and the family a wonderful 2021!!!!

  • Reply
    Bruce Barker
    December 31, 2020 at 11:57 am

    Smoke alarms be damned. There’s no such thing as too much butter.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      December 31, 2020 at 2:55 pm

      I totally agree Brucie, until it’s time to clean the oven! Happy New Year!!!!

  • Reply
    Chas Madonio
    December 31, 2020 at 8:27 am

    Happy New Year Frannie. Your Christmas dinner sounds wonderful and the tomato egg is intriguing, but I don’t think I have the patience for such a complex breakfast. Let’s hope the New Year bring better times than 2020.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      December 31, 2020 at 2:52 pm

      The tomato egg is really good, but I’m with you. It’s a lot of prep when a piece of bread with peanut butter and jelly will take care of me just fine.

  • Reply
    Charles Burkett
    December 31, 2020 at 5:44 am

    Thank you, Fran, for providing a wonderful touch with reality and all those things we miss. All the best for a healthy and happy new year.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      December 31, 2020 at 2:54 pm

      Awww, thank you Chuck! I wish you the very best in 2021! I’m hoping it’s great for you and your family! Thanks for always reading.

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