Ryan Welton

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Your breakfast idea for the weekend starts with Trader Joe’s sriracha ranch

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You don’t need to go to the big city for the best breakfast in America. You can have it at home, and all it takes is Trader Joe’s sriracha ranch dressing.

That was the impetus for the breakfast Kristi made last weekend, both days. We feasted, and it was delicious. Of course, my role in the festivities was to take photos and tell you all about it, guided of course by my talented fiance.

This was essentially an egg dish with a potato side. I’ll tell you about the egg dish first.

“Sriracha Ranch Eggs”

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • Turkey lunch meat, 8 slices, chopped
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Trader Joe’s sriracha ranch dressing
  • Dried chives

Beat your eggs. While you’re beating, put that chopped turkey lunch meat (or whatever you have at home) into your dry pan and brown it a little.

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Then you slip in those beaten eggs, all nice and smooth-like.

Add a sprinkle of cheddar cheese to the extent of your cheese-aholic-ness.

Add a couple drizzles of that sriracha ranch, but not more than about a tablespoon.

Add a tablespoon of dried chives.

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Cook it and stir until you get it to the consistency you like.

Put it onto a plate with a little cheddar cheese sprinkled and sriracha ranch dotted atop it.

***

The potatoes dish is even easier.

“Potato Delight”

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of sliced new potatoes
  • Garlic salt
  • Small / medium onion, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Pepper
  • Dijon mustard

Put a little olive oil into your skillet, and then add those potatoes (drained, of course).

Then add your chopped onion, and add some pepper to taste.

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When everything starts to brown, add a tablespoon of Dijon mustard.

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Sauté until the dish gets slightly crispy, tossing your potatoes every once in a while. Do this on medium to medium high heat.

Serve with a little avocado and your favorite breakfast beverage, and bon appétit!

Breakfast with full-on Southern charm: Buttermilk Kitchen everything I expected Atlanta to be

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Flew in to the ATL Tuesday night with a trip through the Deep South ahead of me. But my first mission was breakfast.

A quick Google search landed me on an Eater.com article detailing the “24 essential breakfast spots” in Atlanta. First listing was a place on Roswell Road called Buttermilk Kitchen.

It’s great to step away from the newsroom and experience a little bit of Americana. I’ve never traveled beyond Mexico (yet) but I’ve loved every trip I’ve taken across the United States.

Well, maybe except for Wilmington, Delaware. Did not like that little crime-infested city. Took a jog through town only to learn later that I was fortunate to not have been a murder victim.

But I digress.

The Buttermilk Kitchen lived up to the expectations Kristi and I had for Southern dining. Big time.

The first thing I always ask is, “What’s the one thing you tell folks that they absolutely have to try?”

The waiter’s answer? Chicken biscuit.

Sold. It was a big piece of fried chicken on a from-scratch sweet biscuit with a hint of red pepper jelly, a side of cheese pimento grits and some pickles. I’m a sucker for good grits, and these were magnificent. Best I’ve had since a Virginia trip I took a few years back.

Kristi ordered a pimento cheese omelet with thick maple bacon and red pepper jelly. With a side of more bacon, of course.

Bacon.

When we do our adventures, we order two plates and share. And there wasn’t a bite of either dish that didn’t make me think Buttermilk Kitchen wasn’t one of the ten best restaurants I’ve ever patronized.

Even their coffee was on-point. I had hot and Kristi got iced with cream. Strong, flavorful with a side of cream and vanilla syrup.

My first impression of Atlanta was as a cosmopolitan metro are with lots and lots of green, as if NYC’s Central Park was as big as the city itself.

But the impression of Buttermilk Kitchen was positive enough that I gotta encourage anybody stopping in the ATL to eat there.

Top 10 meal, all-time.

What do you like to put in your smoothies?

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I’m on kind of a health kick in the days after mom’s passing, not because I recognize my own mortality but because I recognize my own frailty. I just need to shed a few pounds and be more purposeful about what I put into my body.

It’s a daily, hourly struggle.

So, I’m on a smoothie kick.

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However, I’m a novice and would totally love your input as to ingredients and recipes that would work with a simple Magic Bullet appliance. My go-to recipe is pretty easy, actually:

  • Spinach
  • Banana
  • Cherries
  • Pineapple
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Greek yogurt
  • Milk
  • Honey

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I’m looking to maximize my satiety throughout the day and the health benefit of anything I eat first thing in the morning. I’m also trying to get good at the process of making the smoothie, which can take more time than you’d expect if you don’t mix the ingredients just right.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll share my favorite combos — and an update on how much weight I’m shedding due to some simple changes in diet.

I always remind myself: You can’t outwork your mouth.

Diet first. Exercise second.

Breakfast at Pioneer Woman’s shop, The Mercantile, worth the wait

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Sometimes the best getaway is in your own back yard.

This weekend, my girlfriend and I took off for north-central Oklahoma and the land of Pawhuska Huskies and bison. Oh, and it’s also the home of Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. She and her “Marlboro Man” have a large ranch west of town on Hwy. 60, and she has a restaurant and shop in town called The Mercantile, which in and of itself has made this Oklahoma town of about 3,500 people a tourist destination.

Don’t take it from me. Open your AirBnB app and look how many places are available for folks to stay: travelers come from far away to have breakfast at Ree Drummond’s place and browse her wares.

The first thing we did was rent a house for the weekend. What a great era we live in. Forget a hotel room at the Budget Inn: we stayed at a house. Had the whole place to ourselves, and it was so easy to do. We stayed at a property on 6th Street called the Gray Haven.

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Once we had our sleeping situation squared away, it was off to The Mercantile for breakfast. Mind you, Pawhuska is a super small town, and we could have walked to the restaurant. However, spare your feet when going to dine at Ree’s because you’re going to stand in line. We got lucky and only spent an hour in line. The Mercantile is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays, and we arrived at about 8:55 a.m. and were seated by 10.

Actually, we were darned lucky that we were able to get breakfast. The folks who arrived a bit later than we did were likely relegated to lunch. I wanted pancakes and was going to be awfully disappointed in my trip to see the Pioneer Woman if I didn’t get pancakes.

For those of you wondering, the wait was eased a bit by benches alongside the building. We didn’t have to stand the whole time, and many folks stood in line on behalf of friends and relatives who waited in their vehicles nearby. Whatever works.

Once inside, the service was quick, surprisingly so for a place so in-demand.

We ordered coffee, me the “Cowboy Coffee” and Kristi a hazelnut latte. My concoction was like nothing I had ever tasted. It was topped with frothed milk and flavored with sarsaparilla. My cup wasn’t as hot as I like my coffee, but the taste was second-to-none. It was the richest, creamiest, most flavorful cup of coffee I’ve ever had.

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Starbucks be damned. The Pioneer Woman kicks your butt.

Our orders were quite different as well. Kristi had the farmers breakfast with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, tomatoes and a biscuit with delicious strawberry jam. I had the Edna Mae’s pancake breakfast complete with three different butters and four different flavors of syrup, although as a traditionalist, I loved the maple syrup the best.

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It all tasted as indulgent as it sounds, and it didn’t put that big a dent into the old pocketbook. We got out of there for under $40 and spent the rest of our morning shopping at The Mercantile. The shop was full of hustle and bustle, and they did a brisk business in our time there. Heck, business is so good at The Mercantile that Drummond is going to be building an 8-room hotel near her restaurant and shop.

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Pawhuska is really, really lucky to have her there. The adage about build it and they will come rings true as long as the “it” is in demand, and in her case, locals, tourists and fans can’t get enough of it.

 

 

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