Mushrooms on Toast (Breakfast of Queens)

A few years ago I developed an egg allergy. It's not horribly severe, I can still eat cookies or a piece of cake (and a slice of quiche won't kill me), but if I tried to chow down on some breakfast eggs, it would not be a pretty sight. This makes brunch a really sad meal. I look mournfully across the table at all the gooey benedicts, shakshukas, and huevos rancheros, while I drown my tears in bottomless coffee and order another bloody mary. WOE IS ME. 

But not all is lost because I can still eat mushrooms, butter, toast, and a large dollop of crème fraîche with my coffee and feel like I just conquered the morning. This meal is rich, creamy, warm, and comforting, so great for cool winter mornings. Really, it's perfect at any time of day or night because it's so fast and simple but still incredibly satisfying. 

Sometimes it's the simple things that taste the best...

Sometimes it's the simple things that taste the best...

If I were able to digest eggs, I might scramble some up to go with this? And when I have winter greens lying around, I'll sometimes sauté them up with the mushrooms and add some garlic.    


handful of mushrooms

slice of sourdough 

couple sprigs of thyme

couple knobs of butter

crème fraîche

salt & pepper


Slice the mushrooms. Heat a knob of butter in a frying pan on a medium high heat. Sauté the mushrooms in the butter, add thyme leaves, salt & pepper. Stir constantly until cooked through (approx. 5 mins).

Toast and butter the sourdough and top with the sautéed mushrooms and a big dollop of crème fraîche. Garnish with a few thyme leaves and eat immediately.   

Fried Brussel Sprouts with Whipped Goat Cheese

Full disclosure, I'm not the biggest fan of Thanksgiving (I know, blasphemy for a foodie) but I didn't grow up with the holiday so I don't have any childhood memories of mountains of mashed potatoes or stuffing my face with three kinds of pie. It all seems kind of strange to me, like a plate of turkey with a lot of mushy baby food (sorry don't hate me). 

The problem might be that the British have a tradition of eating a roast every Sunday. Yeah, you heard me, we make an epic roast every single week with roasted potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, and sausage stuffing. So Thanksgiving has a uncanny valley feel for me, it's really close to something I know and love but not quite the same... Fortunately, there's one thing that's the same on both side of the Atlantic - brussel sprouts!

I know brussel sprouts aren't the most traditional Thanksgiving side but they've definitely been around more in recent years and they're super delicious, especially if you fry them and dress them in a honey balsamic vinaigrette. And, no, I won't apologies for using goat cheese in everything. Goat cheese is the best and everyone should eat it with everything. 

This dish is pretty bare bones, but feel free to add hazelnuts? pancetta? breadcrumbs? more cheese? all of the above?  

Also **safety warning** the oil spits a little, fry 'em gently and stand back! 


Wash, trim, and half the brussel sprouts. Heat a thin layer of oil in a frying pan. On a low-medium heat, fry the sprouts in batches (usually 10 - 15 halves at a time). Fry until golden brown and crispy, approx. 1 - 2 mins per side. Remove from heat and place on a paper towel. 

Mix together balsamic and honey (add a pinch of salt and pepper). Toss the fried spouts in the dressing and add salt and pepper to taste. 

Spread goat cheese on the serving dish and pile sprouts on top.  


brussel sprouts

whipped goat cheese

1 tbsp honey 

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

canola oil (for frying)

salt & pepper 

Taste test!

Taste test!

Pumpkin Beer and Goat Cheese Soup


I've been taken down by another cold... which means MORE SOUP! Not quite sure how restorative this one is since one of the main ingredients is beer but, hey, it checks all the warming and comforting boxes. This soup has been on my fall rotation for a while now (it's even a FOOD52 community pick), it came about after visiting the Dogfish Head brewery at the end of a late summer trip to Dewey Beach. We were all incredibly hungover and embarrassingly sunburnt. Ready to give up on summer for that year and fully embrace the cool fall weather, our friend order this soup from the restaurant and it blew us all away. 

We were so impressed by the soup we spent the rest of that fall trying to figure out the recipe (plus finding different toppings, adding sweet potatoes or squash, and experimenting with different beers). The additional toppings and autumnal vegetables were very successful but I stuck with Dogfish Head Punkin Ale. Sure, other beers worked fine, but the Punkin Ale is my favorite fall beer and I like drinking it while I cook.


Stuff for Soup

1 sugar pie pumpkin

1 onion

2 garlic cloves

1 Dogfish Head Punkin Ale (or other Pumpkin Ale)

2 cups vegetable stock

pinch of nutmeg

pinch of cinnamon

spoonful of brown sugar (optional)

olive oil 

salt & pepper


Stuff for Toppings

handful pepitas

olive oil

sage leaves

goat cheese






Preheat your oven to 425° F. Half and seed pumpkin. Rub with olive oil and season with salt, roast pumpkin in the oven until tender (approx. 30 mins). Let cool, then remove flesh from skin.

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Dice onion and garlic and sauté until tender. Add roasted pumpkin, nutmeg, and cinnamon to the pan. Pour in beer. Increase heat and allow at least half the beer to burn off. Once the beer has burned off, lower the heat and add in vegetable stock. Allow the soup to simmer for 10 to 20 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, purée the soup until it's smooth (if you like a thinner soup, you can add some more vegetable stock). Add salt and pepper to taste. If the soup is a little bitter, add sugar. 

In a frying pan, toast the pepitas until they are crunchy and remove from heat. 

Heat olive oil in a frying pan, drop in the sage leaves and fry until they are crispy but still green. 

Cut the goat cheese log into 3/4-inch chunks. Divide the soup into bowls and place a goat cheese chunk in the center. Drizzle the sage oil over the soup and sprinkle the pepitas on top of the cheese. Garnish the dish with a fried sage leaf.


Salmon and Sweet Potato Fishcakes

Okay... so this recipe involves canned fish... it's not the most glamorous ingredient but, hey, it's cheap and easy. You could totally use salmon filets for this, but on a week night it's just so quick to open a can of salmon and mix it in with all the other stuff. Try it and you won't regret it. This recipe is simple, rich, and very satisfying (it's also totally stolen, ht Cheep Beets).

I'd never used canned salmon before I stumbled upon this recipe. Tuna, sure, sardines and anchovies, yes... but salmon? The first time I opened the can and looked down and the pink grey smoosh I wasn't sure anything good was going to come of it. Turns out 'don't knock it 'til you've tried it' was the right attitude here, it tastes great all fried and mixed with sweet potato mash (I mean, it would be hard to find something that didn't). 


So this is now a regular week night dinner. It's so comforting on cool autumnal nights with a light side salad and a glass of wine or a nice IPA. It would almost be a fancy meal if my roommate and I didn't eat it in front of the TV catching up on Nashville

Fall food really is my favorite and the first lot of sweet potatoes came in our CSA last week, so I'm getting ready to cook these on repeat for the next few months. 


1 can of salmon

2 sweet potatoes


juice from 1 lemon

1 egg

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

good pinch of paprika 

canola oil 

salt & pepper

plain yogurt to dip

parsley and lemon wedge to garnish


Peel and chop the sweet potatoes. Boil until tender, approx. 15 mins. Once cooked, mash. 

Slice the scallions and add the scallions, salmon, lemon juice, breadcrumbs, and paprika to the potato mash. Mix together, taste, and season. 

Stir the egg into the mixture and form patties about 2" by 1/4".

Heat a thin layer of canola oil in a frying pan on a low medium heat. Drop the patties (maybe 3 at a time) into the pan. Cook without touching for about 3 minutes, flip, and cook on the reverse side for another 2 or 3 minutes. Add more oil or adjust the heat if necessary. 

Serve with yogurt dip and a lemon wedge, garnish with parsley.  

Mushroom and Cashew Soup

I have a cold (boo), but that means it's definitely soup season (yay)! I love mushroom soup but I sometimes find it to be a bit meh... mushrooms have that great unami taste but they don't always hold up that well in soup. I find the soup often needs something to bulk it up. Something to give it that extra creamy warmness, you know, the thing that makes us hold steaming soup bowls between our hands on crisp fall days, so excited for the bowl of delicious warmth we're about to devour. 

So there I was, standing over a bowl of mushroom soup, thinking to myself 'what can I add to this?' And it struck me that cashews would be perfect. They're creamy, nutty, and not too strong. I threw in a handful of cashews and I've never looked back.  

I now soak the cashews in water overnight (or for a couple of hours in advance) and use the water they're soaked in for the broth. If I forget to do this (which happens all the time), I still add them, the soup just isn't quite as creamy. This recipe is vegan but if you're not, you can use butter to sauté the shallot and garlic and I'd highly recommend adding a big dollop of crème fraîche to your bowl of soup.   


1 packet of mushrooms 

handful of cashews (soaked overnight in water)

1 shallot

2 garlic cloves

few sprigs of thyme

handful of parsley 

2 quarts vegetable stock

a big splash of sherry

olive oil

salt & pepper




Dice the shallot and the garlic. Heat olive oil in a pot on a medium heat. Sauté the shallot and garlic until tender.

Roughly chop the mushrooms and the thyme. Add to the pot, season everything with salt and pepper, and stir. Cook for 5 - 6 minutes or until the mushrooms begin to soften.

Add sherry and turn up the heat. Let the alcohol burn off then add the cashews with the water they were soaked in and the vegetable stock. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. 

Simmer for 20 - 30 minutes then blend with an immersion blender until smooth and creamy. Taste and check for seasoning. Roughly chop the parsley.  

Serve with a dash of olive oil and sprinkling of parsley. 

Pssst... looking for a great CSA in the DC area? Look no further! I use From the Farmer and have all my lovely produce delivered to my door! These mushrooms came from them and so do most of the ingredients on this blog. If you want to try them out, use the code HUNGRIESTBEAR for 50% off your first two orders! 

Roasted Parsnips with Apple and Chorizo

Despite dodging Hurricane Joaquin (or did Joaquin dodge us?) there was still a shit ton of rain this past week... so much so our little basement flooded on Tuesday night. Don't worry, we're fine! The apartment is fine and the cats are fine (in fact, they had a blast playing/nesting on the pile of sopping blankets in our hall). But after the place dried out and we picked up some sandbags to prevent future disasters, all we really wanted to do was spend the weekend indoors, sheltering from the rain, playing Settlers, drinking wine, and watching West Wing

It also seemed like a good opportunity to eat as much fall food as we could fit in our fat little mouths. So my roommate pulled an apple pie out of the freezer, I made a mushroom soup, we drank some pumpkin beer, spiked some apple cider, and I got really excited about parsnips.

I adore roasted parsnips. They're a little peppery, a little nutty, and go perfectly with sweet apples and spicy chorizo. Bring this to a fall potluck or think of it as an alternative side for your Thanksgiving spread? Honestly though, I'll eat this by itself topped with some crumbled goat cheese. Vegetarians can skip the chorizo and add some paprika to the apple sauce.


2 lbs parsnips

2 shallots

2 apples (gala or another sweet variety)

6 oz chorizo

pour of maple syrup

good pour of apple cider vinegar

pinch chili flakes

olive oil

salt & pepper


Preheat the oven to 400F. Wash and chop the parsnips into 2" sticks. Toss in a baking tray with the maple syrup, olive oil, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until tender (approx. 50 minutes), stirring half way through.

Peel and dice the apples, shallots, and chorizo. In a saucepan on a medium heat, sauté the shallots in olive oil for 3 - 4 minutes, add the chorizo and the apple. Cook for another 4 - 6 minutes. Add the apple cider vinegar and turn up the heat. When the apples start turning soft and the liquid has reduced, remove from the heat.

Mix the shallot, apple, chorizo sauce with the parsnips. Season with salt and pepper to taste.