What’s Cookin’ at Callie’s Cabin: Sierra Brunch | TahoeDailyTribune.com

What’s Cookin’ at Callie’s Cabin: Sierra Brunch

Cal Orey

It was warm and balmy at our Kauai hotel when I decided to treat myself to brunch. I knew I could have made a quick cold meal in my room, but I wanted a hot breakfast by the ocean. Plus, I craved something special. The restaurant obliged my fantasies. I ordered and savored a cheese omelet, whole wheat toast, fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, and a cup of hot coffee amid an indoor-outdoor setting complete with a tropical breeze, warm sunshine and pigeons above and below me. I felt like a native California girl embraced by a Hawaiian beach resort.

Last weekend, I wished I was there enjoying sun and surf, but an author’s work is never done. So, I whipped up a spicy Spanish omelet, whole wheat biscuits, fresh pineapple and a cup of my fave coffee. I took my homemade Spanish-style meal outdoors to enjoy it on the deck with sensory charms. It hit me. Gosh, I live in a resort town, and with a little bit of creativity and cooking, it’s easy to take a mini-vacation with good, wholesome and nutrient-rich food without going anywhere.

2 brown eggs

1/4 cup 2% low-fat organic milk

1/8 cup tomato, chopped

1/8 cup green bell pepper, chopped

1/8 red onion, chopped

1 tablespoon butter

1/3 cup Mexican four cheese blend (medium cheddar, Monterey Jack, asadero and queso quesadilla), shredded

Chives (organic)

In a bowl, whip eggs and milk. Add tomato and vegetables. On medium heat, melt butter in medium-sized skillet. Pour in mixture. Once cheese begins to melt, carefully lift omelet edges and fold over, flip. Cook until golden brown. Garnish with chopped chives and fresh ground pepper. Serves one. Double recipe for two.

3 cups store bought wheat pancake and baking mix

1 cup 2% low-fat organic milk

2 tablespoons organic honey

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

In a bowl, pancake and baking mix with milk. Stir in honey and spices. Drop medium-sized spoonfuls on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 10 to 12 biscuits.

I made the biscuits the day before and popped them into the freezer. Then, when I whipped up the egg dish it was faster to have a complete meal. Brewing coffee and slicing fresh juice is child’s play. And the quick time it takes to make this Spanish omelet is amazing. It’s the four cheeses that make it tasty, not to mention the veggies. The aroma in the kitchen from start to finish and after made me smile.

Enjoying the squirrels, a lone blue jay, my black cat Kerouac basking in the sunny windowsill, and my Brittanys on the loveseat in the living rooming was comforting. (No vacation kennel.) And, of course, enjoying my home-cooked exotic brunch surrounded by our pine trees reminded me that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. There is no place like home.

Skip juices with artificial ingredients and go for the fresh stuff. Or better yet, choose fresh and natural whole fruit. Seasonal Tahoe produce include, bananas, grapefruit, pineapple, mangoes, papaya and kiwi fruit. Pair slices of one (or more) of these sweet treats with your eggs, biscuits, and java and enjoy brunch in the Sierra.

Cal Orey is an author and journalist. Her books include “The Healing Powers” series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate) published by Kensington. Her website is http://www.calorey.com.

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