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Breakfast in a Cuban Home With the Easiest Spanish Omelette Ever

I’m in D.C. visiting my parents. Again.

And it’s all wonderful, especially because I decided that I was going to spend two days relishing in all the things that make our home a fun, exciting, unique and welcoming one. Trust me when I tell you there is never a dull moment in this house.

My brother came up from Miami this past weekend and we celebrated Mami’s 60th birthday all over since he wasn’t here in May. It was pure madness. All the kids, grandkids, nephews, nieces, 7 dogs, the girlfriends and wives  and mami’s relentless desire to feed us from the moment she opens her eyes.

Some would say it’s pretty pathetic. But it’s the way we function.

The kitchen door stays open, the espresso machine(s) has seen its day, the domino table needs fixing. Actually, we could benefit from a new one. And I think I might upgrade mami’s stove to a gas range. For year’s she’s been cooking on electric and I can’t stand it. Not to mention one of them is out!

That’s a whole other issue I don’t understand and won’t waste my time (or my dad’s) trying to figure out. It’s her kitchen after all.

While any given day kinda takes its course as it will, breakfast is that moment that sets the tone for our personal interaction. For us, it’s not planned or fancy, it just happens. And it’s usually the simplest form of  satisfaction, requiring little effort and few ingredients or props.

It’s the best, no-fuss breakfast a busy family could have.

So, I decided Mami and I would make breakfast this morning. And then eat it on the deck. The sun was out, nice and bright with our willow tree hanging its branches over our umbrella.

Without a doubt, you know there is the tasita de café, which is the most important detail to enjoying a great breakfast. Without it, it’s not right. Not having it is the biggest faux pas. When getting ready to have your sip, you can’t just pour espresso into your demitasse. There’s a process, which is why it’s the most critical element on the table. You have to make espumita first; the foam if you will. And, it’s a trick not everyone I know has mastered.

It’s a matter of taking a bit of sugar and adding the 1st drippings of the espresso into a larger cup and whipping it with all of your vigor until you yield a lovely and fluffy layer of caramel colored foam. You then pour the rest of the coffee into the foam and you will end up with a lovely taza of espresso with a beautiful head of foam.

Practice making it!

The second most essential portion of our breakfast is toast. Yup. Just a piece of toast with butter slathered all on it! No jam, jelly or preserves. Just pan tostado con mantequilla. In this case, it has to be pan cubano, the  ultra delicious crusty bread I encourage all of you to try if you’ve never. It’s the same bread we use to make the famous Cuban Sandwich. Any Cuban home you  have the delight of breaking bread in — no pun intended — will have a few whole loaves. We cut a good 6″ piece, slice it in fours and toast it.

So damn good, I could eat an entire loaf on my lonesome. Don’t mind the calories or carbs. If you care about those things when eating a Cuban breakfast, surely you’re so far removed from the culture that you probably can’t even appreciate the simplicity of sitting on the deck with the family and sipping perfectly sweetened café.

That’s pretty much it. Toast and café.

But, sometimes we like to infuse our Spanish background (oh yeah, my paternal grandmother’s blood line is Spanish—but then again Cuban food is comprised of Spanish, African and French cuisine). So, we like to have a tortilla, a really nice, thick one. I’ve shared one or two with you guys. While the plantain one is my all time favorite and the single one I would fight over, a plain one with onions is the default choice for a morning desayuno. Sometimes, small chunks of white potato adds  lovely texture and a different flavor profile.

Mami made it this morning and I just snuck over her shoulder to watch her in action….she does everything with such ease and precision without ever measuring– a bad cooking technique I’ve learned from her but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t work!

The Spanish-style omelette was beautiful. It was fluffy and wonderfully, yet simply seasoned with sea salt and onions. That’s it. In Spain, it’s what you find on every street corner, what you have for breakfast every day and what you love to eat just because.

And lastly, some ham. Good LAWD— the one meat that defy’s my eating capacity. I passed on it, but sliced it up for her and plated it. She laughed all the way to the deck while I gasped at the though of her gnawing Calabrese salami and prosciutto. But it makes her most happy and when Mami is happy, I’m happy.

There are few things that are more special than taking some time to break bread and enjoy delicious food that’s always cooked with mucho amor. The food always tastes better and stays with you all day!

By the end of this post, we’ve both had 3 tazitas de cafécito! ¡Ay que rico!

* this post on culture and traditions is part of my participation in the Latina Smart campaign and as such, is sponsored.

Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 white onion, minced
  • 1.5 tbsp. butter
  • salt and pepper to taste


Whisk eggs in medium bowl. In medium non-stick skillet (about 8″) heat butter and sauté onions. Add onions to egg. Add salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture into same skillet and cook  on each side until light golden brown. Serve on plate and cut into 4 triangles.

0 thoughts on “Breakfast in a Cuban Home With the Easiest Spanish Omelette Ever

  1. Well, I surely would have delighted in that lovely ham you passed up. WE have to to coordinate our schedules soon. I don’t know how much more I can take of reading this blog and not eating the food you make.

  2. this is making me hungry.. like really hungry.. I’m having breakfast for dinner tonight. ¡ A lo CUBANO !

  3. Aw, shucks!! 🙁 I shouldn’t have come to work today!! look at what I missed… not fair. That tortilla and slices of serrano look to die for. Yummy. Ah, y te quedo muy buena la espumita 🙂 It seems you guys had a great breakfast. Que bueno!! Enjoy.

  4. Envious, Envious….looks simply scrumptous! Thanks for the espresso tip….always wondered how that was done.

  5. AJ: u just need to take at least 1/2 day off when you know I’m in town!

    Jonathan: yea if u do, tell me all about it!

    David: yup! u should have stayed at home and had a great bfast with me and mami! and the kids. too good.

    Aly: practice, girl! it’s pretty easy!

    Rosa: you nailed it! sweet and savory all in one!

    Eliana: well, for blogalicious, right!!!

    Joiful: oh and it was… it was very reminiscent of being in Havana!

  6. My kind of breakfast. My childhood on a plate. Cooking from the heart is the best kind of cooking. Just…

    Buy a new domino table. Gotta do it.

    Be good.

  7. I will love to have a breakfast like this one. Everything looks delicious. Where can I buy this cuban bread? It is so good! I’m a big fan of cuban food.

  8. It looks delicious! However the omelette and toast is surely what I would enjoy the most along with the tasita de café.

  9. It’s 5:15 am here and I woke up to this! I could smell this breakfast by just looking at these delectable photos. Good job alerting my senses this early. Works every time 😉

  10. You are such a wonderful writer! and this recipe looks delicious i will definitely have to try it! Plus, I am an espresso fiend! Thank you for posting this!

  11. Bellini: i love the way you think!

    Rohan: hahaha. well you know how we do. especially when I’m with my mom!

    Carrie: Exactly! I’m just waiting on an invite! For real. You know I’m all for it.

    Laz: i love it! childhood on ur plate! this is why i cook and share my experiences on this blog—for people like you to have memories like that.

    Cristina: you can make Cuban bread at any major grocery stores… we have Publix and Kroger in Atlanta and Safeway, Bloom and Giant in D.C.—all of them have it. Otherwise, you can just make it!

    3Piece: I’m with you on those preferred options. I’ll have to make this for you next time ur in my neck of the woods. You know the cafecito is my thaaang!

    Ericka: I loooooooove that you woke up to that! I went to bed wanting to make another one but mami was like “mijata, son las una de la mañana–aquestate!” ha.

    Jenny: Awww, thanks. I do love writing and I’m glad it shows. And I already like you just b/c ur an espresso fiend…

    Sujeiry: who doesn’t!

    Mercedes: I’m about to make me some cafecito… much needed on a day like this! 😉 thanks for the family love! they’re loco but I wouldn’t trade them for nada!

  12. I love BOTH the recipes *and* the story. You make it seem like we’re right there with you and your mom… I can almost taste the food itself. Yum!

  13. Bren I love your blog posts! They really make me feel like I am right there with you enjoying what you are enjoying. Your madre sounds like a Wonderfull woman, I’m going to have to meet her some day! I’m sure she will see me and know that I enjoy food! Ha!

    Buen provecho! And I will be trying this omelette recipe tomorrow !

  14. Ay Bren you are so helarious, my poor tiny chihuahua kept growling at me I was laughing so hard while reading your post 🙂
    Just last night my son at 3AM was busy making himself a tostada, and if I did not need to go to sleep I probably would have wanted a tacita de café myself. My husbands favorite tortilla is also the plantain one but I love the onion with some potatoes and a little bit of the Ham!
    ♥ Noemi aka @wegottogoback
    Fashion: Classy N Glamorous
    Travel: Across The Sea

  15. verdad que todo quedo delicioso?! la tortilla tu sabes que me encanta y ese cafe no tiene competencia me encanta el cafe y ese co espumita. que decir solo una palabra excelente trabajo mi’ja. siempre tanto fun cocinar contigo! mami-

  16. Why oh why did you come to my blog? More importantly, why did I have to come to YOUR blog?? I guess my kid will have to get ignored all day long, since I’ll be making friend with every post you have ever written!

    Your photos are gorgeous and all these recipes look divine. But seriously, thanks for connecting. I need more connections to my roots. I am lost in a Cuban-less world 🙂


  17. Rachel: And so was mine later that night! So tempting.

    Aurelia: that’s what I love to do: invite you over, at least virtually! So much good food and good family times at their house ALL the time!

    Taj: Oh ur so sweet. Thanks for stopping by. It’s been a minute since I’ve seen your name come up and it made me smile. And, si, my mother is a wonderful woman!

    Mami: yup! claro que si, mami. Cuando tu metes tu mano en cual quier cosa, siempre queda riquisimo!! 😉 I love you for that!

    Noemi: hahahaha. even the dogs get jealous when they know you’re about to enjoy good food– do you let them eat table food!!? Ooh, and you’re going to have to make your hubby that plantain one. It’s the best out there.

    Vanessa: Well, b/c it was so great connecting with another Cuban. I don’t think enough Cubans or even Latinas/Latinos know about this space but I’m here to spread the food love!!!

    Presley’s Pantry: Me, too! Cuban bread rules.

    The Stylistrocrat: Whenever we road trip to D.C.???

  18. Bren,
    This is a lovely post. The pictures capture the “life” of your story. I so believe in the “serving morning to all I love” morning noon and night. It’s not pathetic to me. It’s pathetic when a woman says, “I don’t cook.” I often think “well then, how do you love?” I know that’s a personal take on the world, but it’s how I was raised. We LOVE cuban bread and the idea of some buttered toast and a good coffee is a great way to wake up and start the day. Happy family, happy cooking.

  19. Thanks for this B! Jerry made this omelette when we were in DC for Obama’s inauguration. I still remember how confused I was when he said he was making a “tortilla.” I was thinking okay, we must be having breakfast burritos! Needless to say, I was pleasantly suprised and Merari was very kind to explain the whole thing to her ignorant gringo cousin! I’ll definitely try this at home.

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