“it’s different.”

breakfast bites

 jump to the recipe

bacon egg and cheese appetizer

On Sunday we had a few friends over for lunch. Among them was a shy 13 year old girl who came earlier than the others to help me get everything ready. I had planned a foolproof meal: tacos. I figured, it’s family style, you get to pick your toppings, it’s generally a crowd pleaser! My young friend looked wary as I brought out the assortment of toppings. Shredded lettuce, onion, diced tomatoes, yogurt, cilantro, shredded cheese, wedges of lime… She looked so uncertain of the whole thing I gave her first a little piece of tortilla to try. She liked it. Afterwards she helped me make the guacamole and I gave her a taste of that. She liked the guacamole. As she was heating up the spicy ground beef, she was feeling so comfortable as to request a taste of the mixture. Go for it! She really liked the ground beef, suggesting only that I add more spice. I was all to happy to comply! Finally the other guests had arrived and we were munching happily on our tacos. That is, all but one. My little friend was avoiding my eye and had barely pecked at the dainty taco she had put together. Mat had noticed too and asked her gently, “Do you not like it?” She replied simply and directly, “No.” My heart sank. But she liked every element of it! Why would she not like it all together? I had made these tacos especially because I thought she would find it fun! I was wrong. I asked her what she didn’t like and she said, “It’s different.”

egg amuse-bouche appetizer

The experience got me thinking about when I was her age. Did I ever react like that to a cuisine I wasn’t used to? Answer: You bet I did! My mind drifted to a memory of visiting my sister in Toronto. We were invited to have an authentic Ethiopian meal. I felt like I was being punished. The wet bread freaked me out. I could not master the technique of scooping various food items into the bread without spilling, which was totally embarrassing. I could not identify any of the strange and colorful items I was meant to be scooping up. The whole thing felt uncomfortable. Fast-forward years later to Montreal, and you know what one of my favorite food memories there is? An African restaurant located in Mont Royal, serving the most incredibly delicious injera with a platter of stewed meats, lentils and vegetables. The very thing I had grimaced about and found weird was now a thrilling and special culinary treat! This serves to show me that over time, our palate develops and our mental stomach hopefully becomes more open to trying new things. Maybe we would like it, if we could get out of our minds the idea that it is weird.

bacon egg tomato cheese appetizer

Which brings me to…the soft egg yolk. Another thing I once considered gross and now feel slapped in the face if I get a hard yolk. “What did I ever do to you?” I ask the egg. “You think I wanted this?” it replies, making a solid point. But I know I was not always a fan of a runny yolk. It took me time to come around to it. The years wasted on a firm yolk are my fault and mine alone. But come around I did, thanks in great part to my runny yolk loving husband. In an earlier post about traveling through Provence, I talked about how passionately the French love their sunny-side up eggs. In fact, I showed you this picture to demonstrate the adoration:

french pizza with egg

And you know what? It. Was. Delicious.

So what could be better to honor the soft yolk and it’s role at the breakfast table than a one-bite wonder featuring a gorgeous quail egg?

quail egg appetizer

quail egg dinner party appetizer

breakfast bites recipe

I suppose this is more of an assembling than a recipe. It is a simple stacking of your favorite breakfast elements. What are your favorite breakfast foods? Feel free to swap things out to suit your taste! Here is a stacking of some of mine:

Go ahead and fry off some strips of bacon. Drain on paper towel and break bacon strips into pieces. Generally, 1 strip will yield 4 bites.

Grab some slices of your favorite bread. I used brioche because I wanted a salty-sweet contrast, but if you prefer to go all-savory, no judgment here. Using a wide-rimmed shot glass, press the rim into the bread to make a perfect round bite-sized piece of bread!

appetizer how-to

Do the same with your favorite slice of cheese. I wanted cheddar, but could only get Emmental (Swiss). I know they have nothing in common other than that they are types of cheese, but to walk you through my process of selection would require a series of posts, so, suffice it to say… good enough!

Next we toast the bread rounds. Heat a pan over medium-low heat and place the bread rounds in the pan. Once lightly toasted on one side, flip over and place cheese rounds on top. Once toasted and cheese has started melting, turn off heat, cause they’re ready!

cheesy bread bites

Now for the quail eggs! Ah the glorious quail eggs. Here’s how I open these delicate lovely eggs:

Place the pointy tip of a paring knife near the top of the egg. (I realize jabbing my thumb looks imminent, but the angle is deceiving. My thumb is lower than the possible mis-hap exit point of the knife. Yay!)
Insert the tip of the knife, carefully.
Drag the blade through the shell until the tip of the shell starts to crack.
Use the blade to pull the shell-top upwards.
Reveal the gorgeous yolk!
Gently turn the egg to let it plop out of it’s shell.


Fry them (it’ll be quick; they’re tiny!) and turn off heat. Don’t forget to sprinkle with a touch of salt.

Now we assemble! We start with the bread/cheese rounds, we add to that sliced tomatoes, (small ones, that fit in the rounds, that are bite-sized, that…OK you get it) a piece of the bacon, the beautiful, beautiful quail egg with that runny yolk, and garnish with some sliced scallion.

breakfast stacks

I know it might not look like a bite, but it’s such a teeny-tiny egg. Look!

quail egg vs. chicken egg

quail eggs

quail egg appetizer recipe

Go ahead, try it! Don’t be scared…after all, you only have to take one bite.

posted in one-bite wonders, top o' the mornin' to ya! .

37 Responses to “it’s different.”

  1. there are soooo many things i wouldn’t eat as a kid that i now love… ethiopian food being one of them! that wasn’t even on my radar – at one point i was so pick that i wouldn’t eat cheese.

    these stacks look fantastic. i love the quail eggs on them – perfect size!

  2. I cannot say that I have had a quail egg before. However, I do like the other elements in your little breakfast bites, so I am sure I would enjoy them. Very creative..too bad some people’s palates do not know what good food is. Have a great afternoon!

  3. I’m a texture person, so generally, if I didn’t like something as a kid, it was a texture thing. No cottage cheese (it’s bumpy) and no jello (it squeaks and it’s just yuck, imo!). But, I’ll TRY anything once.

    That’s my rule with my son! You have to try it before you proclaim you don’t like it. At least she gave it a good try!

    Also, I’ve never had quail eggs. But, I want to. Also, don’t assault me with hard yolks. It hurts my feelings.

  4. When I was younger if a runny egg was served to me I would turn my nose up at it! How foolish I was! It is my favorite way to eat eggs now. Unfortunately being pregnant, runny yolks are out of the question.
    This dish looks delicious and SO pretty!
    So glad that I came across your blog!

  5. I love those beautiful egg photos!

    Try cooking for 2 pre-teen girls. Ugh!

  6. kale says:

    Laura – Oh no, not cheese?? I’m sure you’ve made up for lost time with cheese though, am I right? 🙂

    Tina – Thanks for your comment! It’s everything I love about breakfast all rolled (or rather, stacked) into one tight bite!

    Jen – Very smart rule for your son! I’m with you on the texture issue. It’s why I have such an aversion to rice pudding.

    Beth Michelle – Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! Hang in there, you will meet up with runny eggs in the future!

    Julie – Thanks! You do have quite the task. I’m fortunate to have only my husband to cook for on a daily basis and he is not the type to complain about anything put in front of him!

  7. I loved reading this post and really connected to the stories you told. One thing I have never mastered is the usage of chopsticks. Could that be one of the reasons why I don’t like sushi and won’t even try it?

  8. What a beautiful unique breakfast dish – it looks stunning and I bet tasted awesome!

    Choc Chip Uru

  9. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and leaving a lovely comment. Had to come stop by. These brekkie bites look amazing. Those eggs are so teeny and cute. I haven’t seen quail eggs at the store but my friend 1 hour away has tons of chickens and quails so I could pop over for some. So looking forward to trying these. They’re so awesome.

  10. Christine says:

    Unique breakfast dish. Nice pictures.

  11. I love the rustic speckled veneer of those quail eggs. I’ll have to check out where I can get some and preserve them for a fantastic arts and crafts project. I love love love the rich silky sauce of runny egg yolks. It took some time for me too. These tasty bites look fab.

  12. What a creative, nutritious and different breakfast idea!

  13. kale says:

    CJ – haha There might be something to that theory! For most people it’s the raw fish that stands in their way. But the chopsticks could share some responsibility!

    Choc Chip Uru – Thanks! It was delicious and super simple. I would definitely make them again for a dinner party.

    Lisa – How fantastic you have fresher than fresh quail eggs nearby! Thank you for your kind words.

    Christine – Thank you. It is an appetizer though, so don’t be afraid to try it at night! 😉

    Christine (Fresh) – They are so beautiful, I agree. You could create some lovely art with them! It’s true, the yolk is a perfect ready-made sauce.

    Angie – I’m happy you think so! The elements are so familiar but it’s fun to change up the format. 🙂

  14. Emma says:

    C’mon kid… tacos?

    Being a top-tier picky eater, I guess I can understand. Runny eggs are on my not to eat list (sorry!), but only because I don’t care for the taste of yolk. I’ve been working really hard to overcome food aversions, my latest success being cauliflower! yay:)

  15. Kathryn says:

    Gorgeous pics as always! Different is finally a good thing in our home now that are sons are older and it makes for meals that are much more fun. My hubby would absolutely love this breakfast as he not only loves soft eggs (maybe it is a French thing because it isn’t mine so much) but also loves quail eggs. So now where to find them outside of his favorite sushi bar?? I have a new culinary quest! =D

  16. What an inventive and delicious breakfast bite!! Yes, as a child myself, I didn’t venture far from the norm. That’s great that a 13 year old tried this! I sure would not have! Great recipe!

  17. Asmita says:

    Hi Kale,
    This looks wonderful!I love these little breakfast bites. I absolutely love your photographs and love that nail polish you have on.

  18. Speaking of different things, I have never had a quail egg before, so curious to try now.

  19. whoa, i never knew quail eggs looked like that!

    when i was younger i wasn’t open to “different” foods either. good thing i have changed otherwise I’d still only be eating white bread, mac and cheese and nutella

  20. kale says:

    Emma – Seriously, I really thought I would have a home run with tacos! Congrats on your cauliflower success. I forgive your feeling about egg yolks, but I can’t speak for the yolk. 😉

    Kathryn – Must be, cause my hubby too is crazy for a soft egg! I never expected to find quail eggs here, and especially so cheap! It’s been fun. I hope you find some soon!

    Katie – Oh no, she didn’t try this! She tried tacos. And hated them. I think she’d have started crying if I had put this in front of her. hehe Thanks for your comment!

    Asmita – Thanks so much! I’m really happy you like the photos and thanks for the compliment on my nail polish. I’m almost out of it and I don’t have anymore in ‘stock’. *sniff*

    Sylvie – Ooh you must!

    Connie – Tell me about it. It’s good to widen out and explore other foods. Although truth be told I am now craving mac and cheese. Thanks for that. 😉

  21. Awww,I’m sorry she didn’t like it. You should just invite me over next time because I’m sure I will LOOOOOVE it. It looks beautiful!

  22. Hm.. I hated sushi once. Now, I would never imagine not having sushi in my life! I hope that little girl grow to love her tacos. Cuz they’re amazing! Btw,quail eggs, awesome!! Scary cholesterol, but love the idea of down-sizing everything! too cute! 😀

  23. Dori says:

    Kale, Luv your name and blog. You take such fantastic photos and your dishes look wonderful! Great job!

  24. Parsley Sage says:

    Love the little cuto quail eggs! So picture perfect 🙂

    And I cringe at what I wouldn’t eat just TWO years ago. I didn’t eat anything before I started to blog. It was chicken, peanut butter and mustard for the first 28 years of my life. Sooooo glad I’ve changed 🙂

  25. I adore quail eggs and this breakfast would make my heart skip a beat in delight! 😀

  26. kale says:

    Chung-Ah – The door is open! 🙂

    Jesica – We’ll see…it’s very far from her food culture, but I hope she grows to like them!

    adam – Thank you Adam!

    Dori – Thank you for the kind words! I’m learning as I go but the positive feedback is truly encouraging.

    Parsley Sage – It’s true that writing about food makes us open up even more to new things!

    Lorraine – I’m happy to have an effect on your heart! 🙂

  27. Liz says:

    Wow, what a gorgeous one bite breakfast treat! I need to grab some quail eggs next time I spot them in the market 🙂

  28. Kristina says:

    haha aw I love this story! It completely reminds me of my little brother, it always drives me nuts when I come up with new recipes because he always pushes it away because he says “its different”, it were up to him he’d eat the same bowl of spaghetti every day 🙂 You little egg apps look incredible! Even as a kid I LOVED runny yolks, forget the whites I just wanted to dunk toast in all that gooeyness 🙂 Yum!

  29. Kankana says:

    I never had quial egg till date but looking at this .. i feel like.
    That looks like a fancy and cute breakfast 🙂

  30. i just nominated you for the versatile blogger award! check out my blog to receive it 😀

  31. You definitely have to give her props for trying all the pieces though! Most kids wouldn’t even do that!

  32. Lemon says:

    These eggs look delicious. And yes, kids need to get to used to different tastes when they grow up, I guess it’s just normal.

  33. kale says:

    Liz – Oh you must! They’re delicious little eggs.

    Kristina – I wish I’d had your developed palate when I was a kid!

    Kankana – I hope you get to try them. These wouldn’t be enough to hold me in the morning though! I make these as a breakfast-in-the-evening appetizer. Breakfast is so good at night, right?

    Connie – Thank you sweetie!

    Jen – Oh I know, you’re right. And she loved them! Which is why I was so surprised when she did not like her taco in the end.

    Lemon – True enough. It’s a part of life.

  34. How fun! That is very different, but it looks good!

  35. Oh man, I was SUCH a picky eater when I was younger. I was a total vegetarian for years and lived mostly on pasta, bread and cheese. Now, still mostly vegetarian, but will try just about anything that’s not meaty. We’ve come a long way, eh?
    Quail eggs, how interesting. I haven’t seen those here, but I’ll keep my eyes open. These breakfast sandwiches are adorable!!

  36. Megan says:

    These look so delish! And So pretty.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *