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Brunch for the Broke: Nodding Head

Brunch for the Broke: Nodding Head

Enjoy an affordable but delicious brunch for the broke in Philadelphia

Nodding Head Brewery and Restaurant

We’ve all been here before: it's the end of the week and you're out of money until pay day. You're broke, you're hungry, and as much as you would love to channel your inner Carrie Bradshaw and roll out of bed to meet up with your best gal pals for brunch you want to lay low, take a breather from gluttony and enjoy brunch on the cheap.

Known for its funky décor and super hip brews, Nodding Head in Philadelphia. Monday through Saturday this second floor dive is home to ultra-hipsters and beer connoisseurs, all fighting for a spot at the bar during the happiest hour of the day. It has been a hidden champion among the beer lovers in the City of Brotherly Love. The select six beers that Nodding Head features on tap rotate to fit the season or mood, and the hot spot is recognized by its interesting and lesser-known varieties. Constantly updated and always cold, Nodding Head’s brews are a healthy dose of hops.
Climb the stairs on a Sunday and the space takes on a different vibe in the light of day.

On a recent Sunday, The Daily Meal paid a visit to Nodding Head's brunch. Grand Marnier French toast the size of a small table topped with warm and gooey caramelized apples couldn’t be shoveled into my mouth fast enough. The crunchy crust gives way to a soft and doughy middle, seeming too good to be true. The breakfast sandwich is really the highlight of the meal. A salmon, egg and bacon three-way of joy, the bun is lightly grilled and the ingredients are fresh. The sandwich is served with equally noteworthy potato fritters. The brunch is accompanied with live music from a four-piece band whose tunes are so catchy we couldn't help bobbing our heads to the tunes, resembling the figurines lining the dining room's glass cases.

The whimsical atmosphere at this tucked-away gem, the fascinating beers, the bouncy music, and the unbelievable food is under $35 for two yielding a blissful brunch for the broke and the affluent, alike.

Stephanie Walters is a Philadelphia-based Contributing Writer for The Daily Meal.

If your parents are in town or you’re looking for a classy brunch place to go with friends, Christopher’s is where it's at. While it can be on the more expensive side, the delicious food and friendly atmosphere make it completely worthwhile. With great coffee, crepes, breakfast potatoes, and more, it will satisfy any of your Sunday brunch cravings.

Katy Hickl

Known for its comfort food and Southern-theme, Cracker Barrel has something for everyone. With a huge variety of food to choose from, including eggs, French toast and pancakes, you can’t go wrong. While Cracker Barrel is known across the country, the College Station location is by far my favorite.

Thai Salad with Curry Coconut Dressing Anyone else feeling a little post-Easter brunching bloat? You&rsquore nodding your head like you hot crossed all the buns and pinned the tail on the&hellipcocktail. < &ndash &ndash &ndash How could I resist?

If you&rsquore regretting the third slice of chocolate cake or the 5 th mimosa, fret not, dear dumpling. We&rsquore all on the same bloat boat. If this ship goes down, no need to panic we all have a bloatation device and each other&rsquos company to carry us safely back to shore.

Here, have a Thai Salad!

The way I see it, you have two options when it comes to deflating your sinful sinilicious sugar high. You detox like mofo, or you can continue down Gumdrop Pass and maintain it. Feeding a sugar high is fun. The end. But at some point, Queen Frostine, Lord Licorice, and Mama Gingersnap need to exit Candy Land and eat some Vitamin K.

Ergo: salad. A really, really, really, really big one. This one. Thai Salad. With Curry Coconut Dressing. < &ndash &ndash &ndash spoiler alert: there&rsquos peanut butter in this dressing. Don&rsquot not make the salad dressing. Make the freaking salad dressing!

This is simple. We chop up mango, bell pepper, green onion, avocado, and we arrange the ingredients all pretty-like in a bowl. We blend up peanut butter-infused coconut curry dressing and immediately plant our faces in it. Done and done. We are healed.

&ndash Insert: worst transition of all time &ndash

Unrelated to bloating, salad, or peanut butter, but a good story nonetheless:

WordPress pulled a fast one last week and created a platform update which pretty much broke all the blogs (this is a slight over dramatization, but mostly it&rsquos true.) So if you&rsquove noticed anything freaky deeky on your favorite food blogs or websites, it&rsquos not you or the 5 cocktails you drank at Easter Brunch yesterday&hellipit&rsquos the WP. Thankfully, nothing major happened on The Roasted Root other than the fact that the update made it impossible for me to post&hellipor change anything&hellipat all. So in essence, it paralyzed my site, but that&rsquos neither here nor there.

I was having doomsday visions of THIS BEING THE END OF THE ROASTED ROOT (which is never going to happen, bt dubs. You&rsquore stuck with me forever). What was I going to do with myself if I couldn&rsquot show you pictures of food and tell you stories? Can you imagine life without my words? FUH REE KAY! Life without Thai Salad? Impossible (said with French accent).

Long story short, I read a bagillion support threads, sent out 42,000 emails, curled myself into a tightly-clenched ball, ate all the ice cream, drank all the wine, and then finally figured out how to solve my problem&hellip in a this-site-is-being-held-together-by-duct-tape sort of way.

While the back end of this jimmy rigged site is still a big ol&rsquo mess, the only way you&rsquore effected on the front end is my recipe cards are momentarily out of order (wah waaaaah). Which means just means you can&rsquot save my recipes to your ZipList recipe box or print them on one neat sheet of paper without copying and pasting. I know. Old school. Brief aside: if anyone else is having issues posting to their blog, email me. I may have a jimmy rigged solution. End aside.

But don&rsquot worry your pretty little heart. The fancy recipe cards with recipe-saving-and-printing capabilities will return soon. So for now&hellip

Here she blows: The salad to end the bloat! Have it!


For the Curry Coconut Peanut Dressing:

  • 1 cup full fat canned coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon yellow curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

For the salad:

  • Spring green mix
  • 1 mango, peeled and chopped
  • ½ red pepper, sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 4 stalks green onion, chooped
  • 2/3 cup roasted unsalted cashews
  • Fresh cilantro for serving


To prepare the dressing:

  1. Add all ingredients for the dressing to a small blender (I used my Magic Bullet) and blend until smooth. Refrigerate the dressing until it thickens, about 2 hours.

To prepare the Thai Salad:

  1. Add all ingredients for the salad to a large serving bowl (or add desired amount of ingredients to separate bowls).
  2. Drizzle desired amount of Curry Coconut Peanut Dressing on top and toss ingredients together.
  3. Serve with fresh chopped cilantro and lime slices.

NOTE: The longer the dressing refrigerates, the thicker it gets. If this rains on your parade, you can add a little water, but the dressing does mix into the salad&hellipyou&rsquove just got to toss it. Smiley face.

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Easy Skillet Italian Chicken

  • I've been feeling pretty good and on top of things all week because of the Monday holiday.

We got a ton done around the house and I whipped out a few recipes and photos for the next couple of weeks. Overall, I'd say it's been a pretty great week. until Thursday.

I got the car washed in the morning after kindergarten drop off and somehow the emergency lights got switched on during the interior cleaning. Well, I'm sure you know what's coming. I didn't notice and they were on Come time for the after school pick up and the car is dead. I ended up walking to the school with my 3 year old, and it's not too long of a walk if you plan ahead, but we were already running a bit late.

I'll spare you the rest of the details, but if you're a mom you've probably experienced similar afternoons. You're nodding your head and filling in the blanks. No matter how organized you are, this sort of thing just happens. It's called life. And that's when I need a meal plan back-up. Something that I can throw together really easily, that doesn't require crazy ingredients, and is flexible. This Easy Skillet Italian Chicken is perfect for that!

Recipe Summary

  • ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Place mozzarella cheese and cream cheese in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high, 20 seconds at a time, until melted.

Whisk egg in a bowl until beaten. Mix in almond flour, baking powder, and garlic powder until well combined. Work mozzarella mixture into the dough until sticky. Stir in Cheddar cheese. Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap and fold plastic wrap over the dough. Gently work the dough into a ball. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.

Remove dough from refrigerator and unwrap. Cut dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Cut each ball in 1/2 to form a top and bottom bun. Place dough, cut-sides down, on the prepared baking sheet.

What you’ll need to make mac and cheese

I use three different kinds of cheese in this recipe: Gruyère, extra-sharp Cheddar, and Parmigiano Reggiano. Using more than one type of cheese adds dimension to the dish. Be sure to use an authentic Swiss-made Gruyère that bears the AOP (Appellation d’Origine Protégée) seal, which shows that the cheese is made according to strict government-mandated quality standards.

Similarly, it’s important to use authentic Parmigiano Reggiano. You can always tell if it’s the real deal by looking at the rind, which is embossed with the name over and over. (If the cheese is already grated, it should be labeled “Parmigiano Reggiano,” not “Parmesan.”)

I go the traditional route with the pasta and use macaroni, but any pasta that has lots of nooks and crannies will work nicely. Your goal is to use a shape that catches and holds onto as much of the cheesy sauce as possible.

Basic French Toast

Easy Homemade Breakfast Sausage

A little maple syrup in the blend adds a hint of sweetness and helps the patties develop a beautifully caramelized crust. We like to use dark maple syrup, formerly labeled as Grade B, because it has more intense maple flavor than lighter-colored syrup, so you can use less. This recipe makes a big batch but freezes well. Shape into patties before freezing for convenience, so you can use them as needed. While we like them for breakfast, they have enough savoriness that they&rsquod also be great at dinner, served with snow peas, brown rice, and a tamari&ndashrice vinegar dipping sauce.

Dirt Cheap Lunch Ideas:

Whether you pack your lunch for work, or are preparing a meal for your kiddos at home, here are some inexpensive ideas for lunch!

11. Grilled cheese – There’s just something so satisfying about a good old fashioned grilled cheese sandwich. Makes ya feel like a kid again!

12. Panini sandwiches – You can use an electric grill (like the George Foreman), panini maker, or even a waffle maker, to make a delicious hot sandwich.

13. BLT – Bread, lettuce, and tomato are certainly inexpensive, and you can buy bacon in whatever amount you want from the meat counter.

14. Quesadillas – Cooked in a similar fashion to a grilled cheese, quesadillas are so flexible! You can put almost anything inside 2 tortillas – from pizza ingredients, to bean, veggies, leftover cooked meat, or even banana and peanut butter.

15. Leftovers – One of the very best ways to stretch your food budget is to make sure that nothing goes to waste. Eating leftovers for lunch is a great way to save yourself time and money.

16. Soup – Stock up on some cans of soup when they’re on sale for $1. They make an easy, quick lunch. Or here are 61 easy and delicious soups you can make in your slow cooker!

17. Macaroni and cheese – You can prepare the boxed or frozen kind, or make a super easy 3-ingredient mac ‘n’ cheese like this one .

18. Wrap – Can you tell that tortillas are a staple ingredient in many dirt cheap meals? You can make a wrap out leftovers, frozen chicken strips, or lunchmeat.

19. Baked potatoes – It’s so easy to make baked potatoes in the microwave or slow cooker. Top it with whatever ingredients you enjoy or have on hand. They are a great way to repurpose leftovers like chili or pulled pork as toppings too.

20. Egg, chicken, or tuna salad sandwiches – For a variation on traditional deli meat sandwiches, try making a batch of egg, chicken, or tuna salad.

Ingredients For Boozy Caramel French Toast Casserole

I use broiche bread to make my French toast casserole. Brioche is a lightly sweetened yeast bread enriched with lots of butter and eggs. You can find it in the bakery of most large supermarkets if for some reason you can’t find it, challah makes an excellent substitute.

Grand Marnier is an orange-flavored liqueur. It adds depth of flavor and subtle orange flavor that pairs nicely with the orange zest and caramel. If you’d like to omit the booze, go ahead and replace it with more half and half.

I also found some amazing cocktail recipes, like Giada de Laurentiis' Moscow Mule.

Like many others, I spent part of 2020 improving my bartending skills. And although I enjoy light, refreshing cocktails, I've never been great at making them at home.

Fortunately, I've discovered some great new drinks, like the gorgeous and delicious Moscow Mule from de Laurentiis. Her detailed recipe, which includes a mint-infused vodka and homemade ginger simple syrup, made this a showstopper.

It really goes down like water, and I can't wait to cool down with a copper mug of this Moscow Mule on a warm summer day.