Open Faced Fried Egg Sandwich

3 years ago I started Joylicious with no particular goal in mind. I took pictures of the food I cooked at home and surprisingly, people liked it. Never did I think a simple blog would've led me straight to my true passions and love in life, but here I stand, renewed, happy and found. 

During these years, I explored deeper in to food and listened to what people were really looking for when it came to recipes. How could I convince and teach my readers the importance of wholesome eating and cooking? What are the biggest hurdles that stop many people from trying to cook from home? 

I realized fear was the biggest  challenge: fear of failing, fear of chopping off your fingers and setting your kitchen on fire, fear of not knowing how to really run an efficient home kitchen. The lack of knowledge and practice really kept people out of their kitchens and I knew I had to change that. 

Without further ado, I present to you an improved and simplified interface for Joylicious -- where you'll find a brand new category of cooking tips that teaches you anything from how to shop at the grocery store, pick out produce, how to chop, mince, and slice; you'll even find tips on how to utilize and store leftovers, ways to save money and how to keep your kitchen clean. You'll see more informative posts on the importance of wholesome eating and even the occasional gardening tip. But most importantly, just simple, straight forward recipes that not only nourish our bodies but tastes amazing.


Let us celebrate this new beginning together and explore the wonders of cooking. With breakfast being one of the most important meals of the day, it's important we take the time to start each day with a meal that leaves us sharp and fulfilled -- ready to take on the World. Put that donut down, throw out those nasty hot pockets, and embrace this easy recipe for a sandwich that might quite possibly change your life. 


This open faced fried egg sandwich tests true time and time again whenever I've made it at home -- the crispy sourdough bread, paired with rich creamy avocado, sharp peppery arugula topped with the perfect fried egg, it makes you fist pump the air and plus it takes like 5 minutes to make.

A couple things to remember when making this recipe: pick out a nice ripe avocado and use good quality bread and eggs. You can read more about how to shop for eggs here and how to fry an egg here. 

I also recommend a coarser salt to sprinkle over your avocado as it gives it a surprising crunch that leaves your taste buds happy and excited. Did you know humans have an innate propensity towards crispy food? Hear more about it through NPR

I used pink himalayan sea salt, but any type of sea salt would work. No sea salt? No problem, just use kosher as substitute and call it a day. Also feel free to substitute the arugula for a milder tasting lettuce if you are not a fan of its earthy, peppery, flavor. 

To pick out an avocado look for ones that are completely black (green means unripe) with a dull skin -- also it should give slightly when squeezed. Avoid any ones that are extremely soft and mushy and if there are only unripe avocados at the store, place them in a brown paper bag with a banana and it should ripen within a day or two. You can learn how to cut an avocado here.


Recipe for Open Faced Fried Egg Sandwich

  • 1 slice sourdough (3/4"-1" thick)
  • small handful of arugula or mixed greens, cleaned
  • 1/2 avocado, cubed
  • sea salt or kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 good quality egg
  • cholua or any type of hotsauce

Toast sourdough in toaster oven. Meanwhile, make fried egg. Remove sourdough from toaster, place lettuce, chopped avocado on top and sprinkle with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Top with fried egg and serve with Cholua hotsauce if preferred. (It'll wake the tastebuds right on up)

Peanut Butter Nutella Crepes

Summer came and went with a whisper, as time slipped through my fingers -- another year has almost past, though sometimes I wish it wouldn't. Amidst a flurry of work and struggles, it all becomes overwhelming and you realize you forget. You forget to take time to tend to relationships, you forget to take time to really see what's around you, but most importantly you forget to take the time to honor yourself. And what a tragedy that must be.

Though fortunately enough you have those that truly love you-- that dig deep and force you to wake up. You're suddenly able to hear your voice again -- Be present. Be steadfast. Be strong. As time waits for no one, so what better reason than to make the most out of every minute, every hour, every day.

I spent some time this Summer visiting Collin's Grandparents out in Linville, North Carolina where we went on hikes, explored the mountains, played cards, cooked -- it healed me to say the least, but most importantly reminded me the frailty of life itself. From the billowing clouds that hung above the rolling hills, down to the intricate butterflies that fluttered about, to the babbling creek I'd wake up to every morning -- quickly my inner calamity faded and was replaced by a sense of peace, happiness and pure love. Nature can work in mysterious ways but I choose to not question it but instead, experience it to the fullest extent.







As I thought back to this trip this Summer, I made a promise to myself: make more time for Me. And making more time for Me really entails making myself feel important by making fancy breakfasts. These Peanut Butter Nutella Crepes are anything but hard to make and even better, you can freeze un-filled crepes to use for later. So plan accordingly and you can have these for breakfast EVERY SINGLE DAY. I know, you're welcome. Feel free to add bananas or maybe even top it with a little whipped cream. I chose to top mine with a little drizzle of Dude Sweet Chocolate's Love Potion (oooooh-la la!). Thanks to Alton Brown for the wonderful crepe  base recipe.

Peanut Butter Nutella Crepes
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Alton Brown
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 35 mins
Serves: 2-4
Makes about 17-20 crepes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • Butter, for coating the pan
  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 cup nutella
  • powdered sugar for sprinkling
  1. In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and pulse for 10 seconds. Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour. This allows the bubbles to subside so the crepes will be less likely to tear during cooking. The batter will keep for up to 48 hours.
  2. Heat a small non-stick pan. Add butter to coat. Pour 1 ounce of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. Cook for 30 seconds and flip. Cook for another 10 seconds and remove to the cutting board. Lay them out flat so they can cool. Continue until all batter is gone. After they have cooled you can stack them and store in sealable plastic bags in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for up to two months. When using frozen crepes, thaw on a rack before gently peeling apart.
  3. To make Peanut Butter Nutella Crepes simply spread 1 tablespoon of each filling (I may have used 2...) on each side and fold into quarters as pictured. Sprinkle with powdered sugar to finish and serve with fresh fruit and a cup of joe.

A few more shots I captured during our trip with the iPhone 4-S. I find myself using this camera more on trips than my professional gear. It's easy, great resolution and allows me to capture moments I otherwise might have missed. Yes, technology can be a beautiful thing :)

Ricotta Pancakes with Banana Pecan Syrup

Nothing really beats the smell of pancakes and bacon cooking on the stove in the mornings. It's a wonderful way to welcome the weekend and even a better excuse to stay in your pajamas just a little bit longer. And when it's a Paula Lambert recipe that involves whipping some of her house made ricotta cheese into the batter-- life doesn't really get sweeter than that.
Dallas Mozzarella Company (owned by Paula Lambert) makes some of the best cheeses hands down. Having won numerous awards from the American Cheese Society, Paula has been serving up fresh made cheese in Dallas for over 24 years -- that's almost a quarter century of cheese making folks. This woman is damn serious when it comes to cheese and the flavors of her products says it all.
I really fell hard for this recipe because of the light airy texture of the pancake, resulting from the whipped egg whites that are gently integrated into the batter.  Plus there's ricotta cheese in the batter, need I say more? I think the base would also serve for a great savory version as well -- maybe topped with some creme fraiche, smoked salmon and chives... Do I smell a weekend project coming on? Perhaps. But for now, enjoy this recipe!
Ricotta Pancakes with Banana Pecan Syrup

Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Paula Lambert
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 4
Light fluffy pancakes dotted with rich creamy ricotta cheese topped with a warm banana and pecan syrup. Yes. This is what heaven tastes like.
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter Unsalted
  • 1/2 Cup Pecans Chopped
  • 2 Bananas Thinly Sliced
  • 1 Cup Cane or Maple Syrup
  • 2 Cups Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 eggs Separated
  • 2 Cups Milk
  • 4 Ounces Ricotta
  1. Banana Syrup: Melt the butter in medium skillet over medium heat. Add the nuts and sauté for about one minute, or until fragrant. Add bananas and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring to combine the ingredients. Add the syrup and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, or until syrup is well heated and thick. Remove from heat and set aside in a warm place.
  2. Ricotta Pancakes: Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt together onto wax paper or a plate. Beat the egg whites in a medium bowl with a hand beater until stiff, but not dry.
  3. Beat the egg yolks, milk, and ricotta together in a large bowl until well blended and smooth. Add the dry ingredients and mix gently with a large spoon. Stir a spoonful of the egg whites into the batter to lighten it, then fold in the remaining egg whites with a spatula.
  4. Warm the platter in a low oven. Heat a flat nonstick griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Grease with butter or vegetable oil. Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup batter per pancake onto the pan when it is hot. Pour as many additional pancakes as the griddle will comfortably hold. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until air bubbles form on the surface, and then flip the pancakes over using a large flat spatula. Cook on the other side for 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and place the pancakes on a warm platter.
All the ingredients for this recipe can be ordered through Artizone - a grocery delivery service that finds the best artisans in the city and showcases their goods in the form of an online market . I've been working with the company since the beginning when there were just 5 vendors. Two years later, they now have over 40 vendors and have expanded to Chicago and recently started to ship nationwide.  It's been a great experience meeting all of the vendors, exploring their passion in their craft  -- it has allowed me to take the time to appreciate the love that goes into all of their products and further more, being able to support and buy from local businesses. It's fun, addicting, and quite frankly freaking awesome.
Give it a whirl, make breakfast for your family or maybe even your boo. But whatever reason you have to cook, always cook from the heart and embrace the messes. Happy cooking and have a great weekend!
On a side note, I was recently contacted by Love With Food to review one of their specialty food boxes. Based in California, this company not only sends you tasty snacks from great vendors they find, but with each box they donate a meal to help feed hungry kids across America. Pictured below is the box of goodies they sent me, I especially loved the hot fudge sundae sauce. I use it to top my coconut gelato nightly :) Lucky for my readers, Love With Food is actually offering a giveaway for a free 1-month trial. The winner must provide their credit card number in order to qualify and you may choose to cancel your membership at the end of your term or continue ordering away!  Also anyone who is curious to try it out can also get $2 off their next order using the coupon code JOYVIP.
To win your free one month trial for Love With Food simply leave a comment below and I will draw a number randomly next week and announce the winner. Good luck!

Sunday Brunch with Dean Fearing

Sometimes your fate is sealed for you, even before you realize it.  When we allow ourselves to search deep enough to find our true being, magical things can happen.  Dean Fearing, chef and owner of the highly acclaimed restaurant Fearings is joining us this week for our Sunday Brunch, featuring his famous Fried Quail with a fresh Heirloom Tomato Salad.

The legend begins in Eastern Kentucky right by the Ohio River where Fearing spent his childhood.  His father was a Kentucky innkeeper for several years. He’d work closely with Dean showing him the ropes of the business and often encouraging young Dean to explore the world of cooking.  But Fearing had something else in mind: playing music.  “My father so badly wanted me to work as a chef but my true love and passion was playing music.”

It wasn’t until Fearing came back to Louisville after college that he met a man who would change the course of his life—Harvey Culture.  He opened up young Fearing’s curiosity and fueled his fascination for the workings of a kitchen.  “He saw something in me.  He (Harvey) said you need to join up with me and I did and WOW I learned the world from him.” After two years, Fearing headed to study at the CIA in Hyde Park New York and upon graduation he came to Dallas.

“I started out at the Old Fairmont back in 78 as a young cook working as the poisson cook.  This whole town was all French or Italian or Continental – there weren’t any American restaurants, you know it was the old days.  So that’s what got me into Dallas.  I fell in love with Dallas; I fell in love with the spirit, the attitude of the people, the fact that it was an up and coming new city.  Dallas was new, bright, and I instantly just fell in love.”  


Fearing wanted to transform and reinvent American cuisine and using the ideas and techniques that he had learned during a trip to France. There he spent some time exploring the culinary creations of some of the best French masters in the culinary world at the time.  “It was my kind of threshold into American cuisine.  I saw what they were doing over there and said I can do this with American cuisine.  It really opened up my eyes what could be done and what should be done really, in the big picture.  I just felt I needed to do something regional. I came up with a lot of my Hispanic crew and I said teach me how to make a salsa. What’s a taco? What’s a real taco? What’s a real enchilada? All of that.  So I started working with my crew and understanding what Mexican cuisine was all about and taking that step to Southwest cuisine which is the Texas melting pot of great food.”

Widely known as the “Father of Southwestern Cuisine”, Fearing has rocked not only the food world here in Texas but in the whole United States.  Having received a James Beard Foundation nomination for Best New Restaurant, named Restaurant of the Year and Table of the year in Esquire Magazine, numerous accolades from The New York Times, Newsweek, Food and Wine, Texas Monthly, and Modern Luxury – Fearing’s list of recognition for his talent in the restaurant world is numerous.

After working 20-plus year at The Mansion, he opened up Fearing’s in August 2007 at The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas.  A reflection of his personal vision and design, the lively, comfortable restaurant features seven stylish dining settings, including the most distinctive alfresco experience in Dallas and a popular interactive display kitchen offering ringside seating for true foodies. “Texas has great game coming from the South, great fish coming out of the Gulf, we have our indigenous products such as mangoes, cilantro, limes, chiles, peppers, so you know for me, it was like wow I have all these new paints to paint with.  So since then started working with it, one step at a time, one dish at a time and 30 years later, you know here we are.”

And what a beautiful masterpiece dear Fearing has created.


Fearing’s serves brunch from 11:15am- 3:00pm on Sundays. 

Sunday Brunch with Tim Byres

There are many qualities that define a good chef: a well organized kitchen, an inviting dining space, and certainly delicious food that’ll keep you coming back for more.  But what makes a great chef?  At Smoke, Chef and co-owner Tim Byres is finding the roots of great food again.  He pushes the limit when it comes to finding resources and suppliers for ingredients and goes even further with going back to basic good ‘ole fashion cooking techniques.  This week for Sunday Brunch, Chef Byres will be sharing his infamous Blueberry Pancakes served with Vanilla Poached Apricots and Fresh Cream.


Byres first discovered his love for cooking through family get togethers, he often helped his mother prepare for backyard parties, relishing in the energy and hospitality that came along with entertaining.  “There’s this service, fun, unpretentious kind of happiness that happens at these parties that I hope to share with people.”

During high school Byres started working as a busboy at restaurants and soon after decided to attend Johnson and Wales in Miami. Upon graduating, he worked under Jonathan Eismann from The Pacific Times at the age of 18 and from there he went on to work at several other prestigious restaurants including Stephan Pyles and The Mansion in Dallas.

Dallas is lucky to have a gem like Smoke.  Chef Byres really wants to bring diners back to the basics again with good old-fashioned recipes like breads made from scratch, house-cured and smoked meats and pickled vegetables, along with sweet and savory jams.  It’s this beautiful earthy simplicity geared towards renewing the reminiscence of how cooking use to be: simple, natural, and family-styled.

“They call it heritage inspired food but you know it’s more like old fashioned American cooking, like with wood fire cooking.  We have all these lost recipes that really aren’t done anymore because now you just buy bread from the stores, pickles in jars…I want to bring it all back.”

What a magical wonder he’s created.  The most beautiful part of it all is how Byres strives to make diners feel right at home with a simple dose of Southern hospitality where the forks and knives may not match, but rest assured you’ll always leave Smoke with a happy stomach and a full heart.

“I’m trying to demystify any real funky ole recipe that no one knows about and then bring them out in a fun way.  Also there’s just a certain nostalgia level to everything – when this place [Smoke] gets busy people will start talking to other tables around them.  I’ll even have long tables full of friends and family that share a family-styled meal together.  So if you’re in this real fancy fuddy duddy formal arena, you don’t get any of that.  I guess breaking some of those rules down and bringing it back to what it was, you know the beginning.”


It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Chef Byres was selected as The People’s Best New Chef by Food and Wine magazine this year.  He is after all a great chef: he respects the history of American cooking; he strives to find only the very best local ingredients through developing close relationships with farmers and purveyors; he goes to great lengths in ensuring that every diner has a fun, memorable and comforting experience.  It’s chefs like Byres that makes food feel alive again, nourishing our minds, bodies and souls.

Visit Smoke for brunch served every weekend from 8am-3pm.

Whisk cake flour, all purpose flour, and next 3 ingredients in large bowl. Whisk milk and eggs in medium bowl. Gradually whisk milk mixture into dry ingredients. Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter.

Heat griddle or 2 heavy large nonstick skillets over medium heat. Brush lightly with additional melted butter. Working in batches, pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto griddle. Sprinkle each pancake with 1 heaping tablespoon blueberries. Cook until bottoms brown, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn pancakes over and cook until second sides brown, about 1 minute. Divide pancakes among plates. Serve with syrup.

Recipe for Honey Vanilla Poached Apricots from Epicurious

  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
  • 3/4 pound fresh apricots, halved lengthwise and pitted

In a 1 1/2-quart saucepan simmer water, honey, sugar, and vanilla bean, covered, 5 minutes. Add apricots and simmer, covered, until just tender but not falling apart, 2 to 5 minutes, depending on ripeness of fruit.

Transfer apricots with a slotted spoon to a bowl and boil syrup until reduced to about 1/2 cup. Pour syrup over apricots and chill 25 minutes.