Thursday, April 23, 2009

Breakfast at Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

We began our first morning at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta with a spectacular breakfast buffet, holding coffee cups as much for warmth as for caffeine while we surveyed the enormous range of possibilities.

Two huge tables groaned under the weight of heated chafing dishes with scrambled eggs and biscuits and gravy; bread and pastries, cereal, and fresh melon. Another table offered serve- yourself hot and cold beverages.

At the omelet station, I requested shredded cheese, sliced mushrooms and a bit of ham. A woman in chef whites prepared my eggs, and I loaded up another plate with cantaloupe, crisp bacon, and a fluffy pancake. Early morning sunshine in a brilliant blue sky illuminated adjacent mountain peaks and the balloon field while we savored our meal. James pointed out the bar and the four of us retrieved a round of mimosas.

As we toasted our friendship, our vacation adventure, and a 25th wedding anniversary, balloons crossed the sky above our outdoor dining room and our cameras captured the moment forever.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Apple Cinnamon Cornbread

Gorgeous blue skies and a lovely early spring temperature in the upper 60s made last evening a perfect time for Mark to grill a pork tenderloin marinated in Italian dressing. I used up some red and green cabbage plus some grated carrots to make coleslaw, and wanted a starch that wasn't the same-old-same-old.

So I took a basic cornbread recipe I've had forever and added apples and cinnamon to the mix. The result was a nice complement to a great piece of meat, followed by a terrific breakfast item with a generous drizzle of honey added.

Apple Cinnamon Cornbread
Makes 9 servings
2 apples, chopped fine (skin on)
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 1/2 teapoons cinnamon
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup organic cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 beaten eggs
1 cup low-fat milk
1/4 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels

Grease 9x9x2 baking pan and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Use a steamer to 'wilt' apple pieces over high heat, about 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat. In a small bowl, toss apples with sugar and cinnamon until thoroughly coated. Set aside.

Mix together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Add beaten eggs, milk and oil; mix together. Fold in corn and apples. Pour batter into pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.