The Opinionated Foodie: The Love (or Not) of Food and Everything That Goes with It


The Donut Hole-Destin, Florida

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You gotta wake up early in the morning to get a table at The Donut Hole in Destin.

We didn’t. Still, it was worth the wait.
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I love a good breakfast. We planned to visit The Donut Hole and fill up for a long day at the water park. That was a good plan even with the wait. While we were waiting, I struck up a conversation with a lady from Kentucky who said she had eaten at The Donut Hole three times and this particular morning was the first breakfast meal. She said the lunch and dinner sandwiches were really good.

I’ll have to take her word for it. Breakfast is the name of my game at this place.
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I had the crab cake eggs Benedict with hashbrowns. The hollandaise sauce was a little lemony, but it was good with the crab cakes. The poached eggs could have also been a little runnier, but I am not complaining.
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Mr. Opinionated had the chocolate chip pancakes. He told me to type here that he could get better pancakes at home, but I really think he is just trying to butter me up.

Miss Helper had plain pancakes with two eggs. She ate most of it and asked several times during the trip if we could go back for more.
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Mr. Picky had two chocolate glazed donuts, and he ate every bit. I say that makes for a good food review.

We made it through the day at the water park easily. Since the water park has crappy, super-expensive, slow food, eating a big breakfast was part of the plan and it worked beautifully.

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The Pioneer Woman’s Breakfast Muffins

Saturday mornings were made for breakfast makin’. The usual fare at our house is pancakes, plain for me followed by chocolate chip for everyone else. A meal of pancakes starts the weekend off right.

This week at work, things were a little quiet as my kids were taking tests, and so I had a little free time to explore my cookbooks. One on the pile to search for new things in was the Pioneer Woman. I love her recipes, hate her show. Regardless, I chose several new recipes to try-a cake, a meatball thingy for bookclub, a chicken wing dish, and a new breakfast dish to try.

This morning, the breakfast muffins made their debut.

I decided to scale PW’s original recipe back a little. Even if they were delicious, we didn’t need twelve breakfast muffins for four people. I also could not sacrifice a dozen eggs and a pack of bacon for one dish. I used about three fourths of what she called for for each ingredient and broiled the muffins accordingly.

When I opened the oven, the smell was intriguing. The muffins with all their breakfasty goodness, including an almost uncomfortable amount of eggs and bacon, looked very yummy. Their tops had browned and the edges of the English muffins were perfectly toasted. I was impressed.

We sat down with our muffins and the usual pancakes.

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The muffins? Worst recipe ever.

I mean, they were totally gross. The intriguing smell was the smell of too much worchestire sauce before noon and too much mayonnaise for anytime of the day. I tried one before anyone else, and my bites were like eating a hot, manly deviled egg. Bleh.

This recipe was not a keeper. Instead, my experience may cause me to tear the recipe out of the cookbook.

I’ve got no love for these love muffins.



The Best Breakfast of the Year

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Once a year, we get to eat this breakfast. It is a favorite.

We have bacon, eggs, biscuits with chocolate gravy, pancakes, country ham, and my favorite part-fried grits.

183Fried grits are the best part of the whole deal, because they are crunchy, delicious, and this is the only meal when I get to eat them.

Why do we not make them more often? Good question.

The recipe:

Grits, cooked ahead of time-like the day before-and cooled. Store them in a glass covered in plastic wrap.

Corn meal

A pan with a shallow amount of bacon grease, extra bacon grease as needed

Using a knife, pull the grits out of the glass while keeping the shape of the glass as best you can. Cut the grits into slices of about a quarter of an inch or a little less. Coat them in the corn meal, and then fry them in batches in the bacon grease until they are slightly browned. You are not looking for a dark brown here; you want more like a tan color. Drain the grits on paper towels and eat immediately. However, these are good after they have cooled as well.

Make sure to tell someone to kiss them.  As in, “Hey, you.  Come here and kiss my grits.”  It’s a funny I get to make once a year.

I amuse myself.

There will be no leftover fried grits. Trust me. I have looked for leftover grits on Christmas morning after breakfast my whole life. They are the one thing Santa never leaves.



Pirate and Princess Breakfast at the Hangout-Gulf Shores, Alabama

We love pirates. We love princesses. We love breakfast.

This meal was a perfect fit.

A small group of us went to the Hangout for the Pirate and Princess breakfast one morning. We weren’t sure exactly what to expect, but we were very happy with the experience.

We ordered the buffet, which was actually a large platter of food that we could have refilled any way we wanted without ever having to leave the table.

That, my friends, is my kind of buffet.

The eggs were not the greatest, but the rest of the food was good. The bacon and sausage hit the spot. The biscuits were warm. The grits were nice and cheesy.

The beignets? Outstanding.

I’m talking great. We ordered five refills of them. Five. They were warm and soft.

They were so good, as a matter of fact, that when we returned to the Hangout later in the week for lunch, we asked for and got more beingets until the kitchen ran out.

The Hangout’s breakfast was great fun. The kids got to do a treasure hunt with the priates and a princess, who also visited our table. The view was uncomparable. The gift shop rocked. The kids’ meals were free. The company and food were great.

Loved it. Been there; done that; doing it again someday.
The Hangout on Urbanspoon



A Tribute: Saturday Morning Breakfast
February 4, 2012, 3:40 pm
Filed under: Random Foodie Thoughts | Tags: , , ,


During the week, breakfast is a quick meal in the car. It has been that way for as long as I have been driving.

Coffee with toast, pastries, peanut butter sandwiches, crackers, whatever. Monday through Friday, breakfast is behind the wheel to save time and maybe a little sanity.

My kids eat breakfast the same way. Mr. Picky eats a pack of orange crackers with orange cheese every day. Miss Helper has whatever I am having, but sometimes she has waffles, pancakes, or on adventurous days, cereal with milk.

It is the most important meal of the day, but it is also the least thought about and the quickest.

Except for Saturday.

God bless Saturdays. I actually cook breakfast on Saturdays, and no one is in a moving vehicle. I get to take my time and maybe even use a recipe. I take my coffee in a real mug instead of a travel contraption, and we all eat off a plate.

Pancakes made with sour cream and chocolate chips, chocolate gravy with fresh biscuits, omelets, eggs in any variety-I love it.

Thank goodness for Saturday mornings.



The Blue Plate-Chattanooga, Tennessee

We ate at the Blue Plate in Chattanooga while we were in town to visit the aquarium.  Thinking that since the name was “Blue Plate,” I assumed that it would be a hole in the wall with an awesome breakfast menu.

It wasn’t quite a hole in the wall, and the menu wasn’t quite so breakfast-awesome.  It still was okay.

My husband and I both ordered the egg and tomato sandwich.  I could have made the same thing at home, but it was still good. 

Mr. Picky ordered the pancake.  He ate most of it, but it was different.  I tried it, and it was sweet and tasty. Delish.  For a fru-fru breakfast place, it was okay.  A greasy spoon for breakfast could beat it, though. Hands down.


Chattanooga on Dwellable


The Morning After

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Breakfast this am-leftover turkey and gravy on a biscuit.

I hope I don’t overdose on turkey this week…




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