For Spring Break this year I am taking a vacation. This is a vacation from Spring Break. In fact I am going to make this spring break all about family and food in a more traditional way. I’m starting with brunch. After Sunday’s brunch question from Daughter Number Four I decided to see how many ways I could incorporate brunch into the week. Last night I deviated from brunch to make brinner; breakfast for dinner. The menu was chocolate chip pancakes, link sausage, turkey bacon, and smashed potatoes.
Way back when I was a child I remember spring break being a great week off of school for children. It also seemed a time for older kids, college aged youth to head south and be free from adulthood. I don’t know when spring break has turned into an obligatory vacation week. The first time I realized this was when Daughter Number One was in Junior High. She could not believe we were not going somewhere over her spring break. It was a very typical teenage “ermagerd” response at the time. Everyone, just everyone else was going somewhere over spring break. Gah.
Over the years we did take a couple of trips over Spring Break, including a big one with D3 and D4 to Washington, DC. It was really a work trip for The Hubs, but he timed it so we could go, too.
This year, because of life happenings we did not go anywhere. Of course our youngest daughter is in Junior High this year. You would truly think that the world was spinning off of its axle. We. Aren’t. Going. Anywhere. Ermagerd. Gah. Trust me when I say that I am not the kind of mother who believes her children should get everything they want. Not even close. However, when she mentioned that she thought we should have brunch every day since it’s Spring Break, why not.
I have not told D4 that is my plan. We’ll see how far I can actually take this brunch thing. Last night was easy. I love breakfast for dinner for two reasons. The first and most obvious reason is that I love breakfast food. Also, breakfast for dinner can be so easy.
For example, last night we had chocolate chip pancakes, link sausages, turkey bacon, and smashed potatoes. The dirty dishes were a minimum: 2 sheet pans lined with foil, 1 mixing bowl, 1 fork, 2 measuring cups, 1 measuring spoon, 1 griddle, 1 flipper. That does not include the plates.
The time to make everything is minimal, too. First of all I save time with my smashed potatoes by cooking them in the microwave first instead of parboiling them. If you are not familiar with smashed potatoes, let me give you a bit of history. The first time I had these or even heard of them was at a restaurant in Lawrence, Kansas. The Hubs and I went for brunch. He had quiche, I had biscuits with mushroom gravy and smashed potatoes. I had no idea what I would be getting. What a pleasant surprise.
When I got home that day I started researching smashed potatoes, which are sometimes called Crash Hot Potatoes. My research indicated they originated in Australia. They have the consistency on the inside of a soft baked potato. However, as the top and some flesh have been exposed and oiled they have the crunch of a fried potato. They can be seasoned a variety of ways but for me lots of garlic is a key.
Daughter Number Four loved the brinner. The chocolate chip pancakes were obviously her favorite. My favorite was the smashed potatoes.
What are your memories of Spring Break? Did you go on trips as a child or wild adventures as a young adult? Keep it clean here, though.
Also, share your favorite breakfast, brunch, or brinner recipes with me. I will be needing some ideas be week end.
- 12 small red potatoes or 4 larger potatoes
- ½ – 1 teaspoon minced garlic per potato
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- Parmesan cheese
- Olive Oil
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and oil liberally.
- Fill a Dutch Oven to half with water, bring to boil. Add potatoes, and boil for 15 minutes, or until they poke easily with a fork. Drain and set aside.
- Place potatoes on the foil lined pan, leaving room between. Using a potato masher or fork, press down in the center to smash your potato; repeat for all potatoes.
- Oil the tops of the potatoes. Sprinkle minced garlic, salt and pepper over each potato. Grate some fresh parmesan over each. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until browned and tops are crisp.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
To cut down time I cook the potatoes in the microwave instead of the Dutch oven, then bake.