Sunday, September 5, 2010

Manic Monday? Not This Monday...

This Monday, September 6, is Labor Day, which means.... NO morning commute, NO blackberries, NO conference calls, and NO emails!  HOORAY!

Marked as our country’s national tribute to its hard-working folks since 1882, Labor Day is a day of rest, relaxation, and good times. And we deserve it – Hell, I think we deserve Labor Month! But, alas, this isn’t France, so we have to make the most out of the ONE recognized day for our hard-earned wrist tendinitis.

Unless you are Paris Hilton or a Kardashian, whether we like it or not... we work.  Many artists have captured the feeling and necessity of the 9 - 5 through song: Sam Cooke's "Chain Gang", John Lennon's "Working Class Hero", Loverboy's "Workin for the Weekend", and Dolly Parton's "Working 9 to 5", just to name a few.  But, Huey Lewis' WORKIN' FOR A LIVIN' is one of my picks for this week. 

Off the 1982 album, "Picture This", the spirit of his ditty, I think, resonates with us working folk no matter your occupation.  Although a simpler time in 1982 when rent was only $200 a month, Huey is right - we all need money to pay off car loans, rents, mortgages, and fun vacations, thus we work for a living.  Check out the Huey Lewis and the News 1982 live performance below... I love Huey's moves, rad harmonica playing, and 80s Brooke Shields' style eyebrows. 

And now for a similar, but ladys' perspective, of what it feels like wake up Monday morning to begin the daily grind - The Bangles, 1986 hit single, MANIC MONDAY.  In perhaps 1987 or 1988, my oldest brother gave me his Bangles record along with his old record player (he upgraded to a cassette player), and I was soooooooooooo excited.  I played that Bangles record on my own record player in my pink bedroom every day.  I felt so grown-up.  Watching the below original Bangles video brought back those memories.   Whatever your life was like in 1986, this video may bring back some memories for you too....

But this Monday will certainly not be a Manic Monday, and many us will not be Workin' for a Livin'.  Rather, Americans all around the country will be celebrating with food, family, friends, and facebook (oh the albums and tagging from the weekend festivities will be plentiful). There will be BBQs, picnics, and plenty of sleeping-in followed by late morning brunches. Popular and yummy LA brunch spots like Taste on Melrose, Toast, Kings Road Café, Jack and Jills, and The Overland Café will be teeming with hungry Los Angelinos waiting for their Bloody Mary and eggs.

But since this is not a Manic Monday and we have a little time, consider leaving those crowded brunch spots behind this week and cook an equally festive and yummy brunch at home for you and your loved ones. 

So here we go – Labor Day Brunch for a relaxing Monday - and the menu is Smoked Salmon Scrambled Eggs,  Roasted Red Potatoes, plus fruit, cheese, bread finished with Mimosas and Bloody Marys.

Smoked Salmon Scrambled Eggs:

Here is what you need:

-4 oz Sliced Smoked Salmon (aka lox – Scottish, Norwegian, Nova Scotian, or Alaskan smoked salmon will all work. A 4 oz. package of Scottish Smoked Salmon won’t cost more than $7 even at Bristol Farms).

- 10 Eggs (rule of thumb is 2 or 3 eggs per person)

-1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

-12 to 15 blades of fresh chives (finely chopped – easy way – snip them with kitchen scissors)

-Salt (I like Kosher salt) and freshly ground black pepper

- Extra virgin olive oil or butter

Here is what you do:

Chop the salmon into small pieces (and save some for garnish). Combine eggs, cream, and half the chopped chives and whisk all together. Heat olive oil or butter over medium heat for about 30 – 45 seconds. Add the egg mixture. Scramble eggs with wooden spoon. Lightly salt and add pepper (be careful not to add too much salt because salmon is already pretty salty). When eggs have come together but remain wet, stir in the chopped salmon.  Serve from warm pan or plate the eggs directly.  Either way, sprinkle the remaining chives and salmon on top to garnish.

Roasted Red Potatoes

Here is what you need:

- 2 pounds small red new potatoes

- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

- 2 tablespoons melted butter

-1.5 teaspoons sweet paprika

-1/4 cup parsley leaves, chopped

-Salt and pepper

Here is what you do:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Sort potatoes. Potatoes that are 2 inches or less in diameter can be left whole. Halve remaining potatoes. I par-boil the potatoes for about 4 minutes because they can take a long time to cook in the oven, but this is optional.  After par-boiling, drain the potatoes and then spread them evenly on a baking pan. Lightly coat the potatoes with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Place the pan in the oven for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes begin to brown up. Melt butter and add the paprika. When the potatoes are ready to come out of the oven, transfer them to a bowl and season them with salt and pepper. Then pour the butter/paprika mixture over the potatoes to coat evenly. Sprinkle in parsley and toss the whole thing up. Add salt and pepper to your taste, and then serve along side the salmon eggs.

To finish off this Labor Day home brunch, add the following at your leisure: fruit, cheese, and carbs (baguette, Danishes, scones...)

And since there is no work today, let’s add Mimosas or Bloody Marys.

Mimosas are easy: Combine about equal parts Champagne and OJ. 

Bloody Marys: Of course you can use Bloody Mary mix, but this is fun to make and very festive to commemorate our No-Work Monday.

Here is what you need

-1 Bottle (2 quarts) of Tomato Juice or V8

- 8 shots of Vodka (adjust to how much you want to ring in the day off)

- 4 or 5 tablespoons horseradish (depends on how much you like)

- 3 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce (about 10 dashes)

- 1 tablespoon Hot sauce (adjust per your taste)

- 1 tablespoon celery seeds or celery salt

- Juice of 1 lemon

- 1 Teaspoon course black pepper

- Garnishes: celery, stuffed olives, lemon or lime wedges.

Here is what you do - it's simple!

In a large pitcher, combine all the ingredients and stir them up. Put a few cubes of ice in glasses and pour. Garnish with the celery, olives, and lemon or lime wedges.

No matter what you all do on Labor Day (whether cooking Brunch, BBQing, or laying around catching up on NetFlix), I hope you all rest and soak it up before the J-O-B begins again.


  1. Hi, the pictures of the presentations look great! And you know how I love a good Bloody Mary.Happy Labor Day Rockin' Foodie.

  2. smoked salmon and bloody marys all in one blog posting!?!?!?! rock my world rockin' foodie!!!!!

  3. I love that you posted Huey Lewis material. It always irks me when bands make fun of people who work for a living (MGMT and The All-American Rejects come to mind). Be glad you can sleep 'til 6pm, musicians, but don't be a douche by ripping on working stiffs. The Boss would never do that.