I’ve been trying to better my food photography, and wanted to cook something with color. I decided to put together a breakfast for me that was delicious AND photogenic. Continue reading
This is the first Thanksgiving in years that I do not make a turkey. Okay, that isn’t true. I didn’t last year either – but that was ONLY because I was away for military training and that shouldn’t count. It didn’t feel like Thanksgiving happened at all for me in 2011.
Don’t get me wrong, we were taken out to a great restaurant and shared a meal with our shipmates. The food was great and I even took pictures of it (maybe I can dig those up and update this post another time). It still isn’t the same when your family is two thousand miles away (1,949 to be exact).
This year I’m thankful for a lot of things. God has blessed me with a supportive family that enjoys watching me grow as a woman, a mother, and now a wife. I’m also thankful that I could start a new tradition – Thanksgiving Brunch. I love making food for the holidays and brunch is a new meal I never took on with guests.
I am posting links to the recipes that I used for the meal today (see related links below).
The Raspberry Lemon Scones:
Recipe (very traditional) for Quecitos (think cheese danish with a Puerto Rican twist)
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (from Sparkpeople.com)
Raspberry Lemon Scones (I would suggest adding more sugar than recipe calls for if you like your scones sweeter OR but sugar on top before baking so it’ll caramelize on them)
Egg Muffin cups (I only used egg and cheese in mine, but this was my inspiration)
Creamy Fruit Salad (not pictured above)
Pumpkin Spiced Pancakes (and other ideas)
I hope you enjoy and have a great Thanksgiving.
This is one of those posts where I can’t understand why I haven’t shared. YaYa’s is a place that has been part of my life for a long time.
Their original location, which I am reviewing, is right down the street from my old high school. As long as I had time before class, I’d stop in for toast with butter and coffee – still my favorite breakfast! And I got it all for about 3 bucks!
When it comes to breakfast sandwiches, I just cannot stay away from this – it is my favorite. A fried egg sandwich. The Cuban bread, baked fresh every day here, just makes it unbelievable. This bakery sells out of their freshly baked bread by 9 or 10 every morning. I think that proves it.
I think the only person that makes better coffee than YaYa’s is my husband, Ruben.
Here’s a video with the restaurant’s owner on the tradition of Cuban Sandwiches and a recipe
Note: YaYa’s caters and even make complete Thanksgiving dinners for great prices and options. Also, if you go there for lunch, try their Pan con Lechon (pork sandwich). It’s very good!
The drive to Fernandina Beach was so relaxing. My husband drove the whole hour while I just took in the scenery in the passenger seat. Ruben never minds driving long distances and for that I am so thankful. I had no idea what our destination was – just that we were going to eat breakfast somewhere new. This week we were in Mayport because I was on duty and this morning was my time to rest in between nightly watch shifts.
During the drive we took the St. Johns River ferry – this was my first time ever riding a ferry in a car. You are allowed to get off the car while the ferry is crossing the river and take pictures or just take in the waterway.
After a little more driving we got into a little town that for some reason reminded me of Stars Hollow (a pretend Connecticut town of the old show Gilmore Girls) even though the city in the show wasn’t near a beach – but this area of Fernandina didn’t scream beach town (no surf board & bathing suit stores in sight).
Side note that has nothing to do with the restaurant in this post: I always found it interesting that Gilmore Girls ended and Gossip Girl started in the same year (2007). Two words; similar titles. The end of one type of show and the beginning (to me anyway) of a new show for teens to watch that was so racy. I still love Gossip Girl. But shows that started up after this like 90210 (among others) were just too sexy for me to deal with. The dirty drama is so bad for teenagers to watch. They are adult shows (please make sure you know what your kids are watching). *End rant*
BACK to this post…
So we get to Jack & Diane’s and right away I feel a good vibe. There was so much to describe about this place so I took a lot of photos (sorry if you feel that’s lazy on the writing portion here hehe).
The feel of the small place is very homey. My husband and I discussed that it is obviously a home with a couple walls knocked out to make the open space of the dining area. I wouldn’t host a wedding reception here, but the place is very comfortable and the staff was very friendly.
The walls are covered with local art for sale. There is also a small little area where collectibles are sold (travel memorabilia of the town, wine made locally, and business cards of a few local entrepreneurs).
The first (and only) negative I saw to this place was how extensive their menu is. A place that has more than 30 options sounds ridiculous. BUT after eating the food I realized that every entree must be good if they feel it’s important to leave it in. This means the ONLY negative of this place is retracted and I actually found nothing wrong with Jack & Diane’s. I would definitely recommend.
My meal was the Carne Asada & Eggs ($11) (hash made of regular and sweet potato, really diced up fries, eggs, steak/carnita in jalapeno)
I could not get enough of my food. This came with flour tortillas for me to build my own and everything tasted so great. Each piece was individual and full of flavor but complimented each other so well. I would definitely eat this again.
Ruben’s meal was the Mel’s Bagel Sandwich ($8) (bagel, ham, egg, and cheese) which came with the house remoulade, in addition he ordered the mango salsa to try – it’s obvious he went a little safe here, but he did say it was all very good.
I would say give them a try, but don’t bash the place for not being your “type” of place. Make sure you describe things constructively. I really did enjoy this place.
St. Johns River Ferry (Website), (Here is the schedule)
Gilmore Girls (website with information if you’ve never heard of the show)
Trip Advisor (reviews) – I could recognize the table’s design so I know the picture on there is legit.
Urbanspoon – I cannot believe the “Like” percentage is so low. Hopefully my review will show more detail of the ambiance before some people head over with the wrong expectations.
Jack & Diane’s (official site)
Thanks for reading,
This morning we went out for a late breakfast with a friend. It wasn’t planned so we just searched for a random location and this happened to be it.
|This the the awning outside… so you get the jist of their “decorations”.|
The Menu – one of the obvious signs this is an “old” place.
There is some definite wear and tear on these.
I had pancakges, eggs, hash browns, bacon, and orange juice (basic diner test plate) and everything tasted authentically “diner-ish” . Greasy – nothing extraordinary about it.
Thanks for reading,
The mention of Astoria always reminds me of New York, low-key fashionistas, and now it also reminds me of the very cool brunch Ruben and I had at a place called Fatty’s Cafe. Today actually marks a whole month since our visit, but the experience is my favorite from the entire trip (to be beat only by breakfast at Tom’s – more on that another time).
Part of me wishes I would have taken more photos of the ambiance, but I was too excited to think twice of it. Fatty’s is a small cafe on the corner of Ditmars Blvd. and Crescent St. When you approach it, you might almost miss how perfectly awesome it is. If you go, (and weather permits) request to be seated out on the patio. You’ll walk on the sidewalk to the back of the building to enter a whole new realm. Instantly, we felt as if it wasn’t even New York anymore. The atmosphere is that different.
Your order is taken – drinks first of course. Take note: Each brunch entree ($15) comes complete with your choice of a Orange, Mango, or Pineapple Mimosa. I am pretty sure we all chose Mango flavored. I also couldn’t help but to order and try their “Cafe con Leche” (espresso with sweetened warm milk). It was really good…
But let’s remember my husband is Cuban – and no one makes a cafe con leche like he does.
At any rate, Fatty’s cafe con leche did not disappoint.
Ruben had Steak, eggs and home fries (which he thought would be fries and not potato chunks) he didn’t eat the potatoes. I tried not to crop this photo too much so you could see the natural light we were basking in 🙂
I ordered pancakes, eggs and bacon – and sadly could not eat it all. But really tried!
Thanks for reading,
I prefer my eggs over-easy (fried in butter), but occasionally we have them as an omelette or scrambled to mix it up. My daughter prefers her eggs scrambled so when she’s not having cereal or Farina I’ll make her eggs like this. I have no idea what my husband prefers for eggs because if I ever ask he’ll just say he’s happy with whatever I want that morning lol.
Thanks for reading,