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Slow Cooker Stuffed French Toast Casserole

Slow Cooker Stuffed French Toast Casserole

Life is so cyclical. It seems like I am busiest when I have teenagers. To be honest I have had teenagers in my house since 2003. Nonstop. Feeding teenagers, especially in the summertime, is a special challenge. Between the busy schedules, the heat, and the grazing nature of teens I love pulling out my slow cooker in the summer. One of our new favorite slow cooker dishes is something I made for brunch last week, Slow Cooker Stuffed French Toast Casserole.

Although I don’t spend as much time on the road as I used to, everyone got so accustomed to Sunday that I still make it. There are definitely some dishes that make it into a semi-regular rotation, while others are one and done.

Slow cooker Stuffed French Toast Casserole is definitely one that makes the rotation. It is delicious and easy. Every single person in the family enjoyed it.

Slow Cooker Stuffed French Toast, uncooked

Another thing that is great about this recipe is that, just like French Toast, it can be topped in whatever fashion pleases the person eating it. D3 likes syrup on her French Toast and pancakes, so she put syrup on hers. The Hubs, D4 and I had fresh blueberries and blueberry preserves on ours. A person could put any jam or jelly, powdered sugar, nut butter, whipped cream…the list is virtually endless.

This recipe for Slow Cooker Stuffed French Toast Casserole also makes enough to feed a large group. It fed the four of us large first helpings and a couple of second helpings on Sunday. The girls have been able to eat it for breakfasts a couple of times throughout the week, and there is still some left on Thursday.

Slow Cooker Stuffed French Toast, Cooked

If you are looking for a brunch recipe to feed a crowd for holiday brunch or a get – together such as a Bridal Shower Brunch this would be perfect. Throw it in the slow cooker and let it cook, and serve it straight out of the slow cooker. Oh, and a toppings bar would be awesome. I hope you give this morsel a try, and love it as much as we did.

Slow Cooker Stuffed French Toast Casserole

Slow Cooker Stuffed French Toast Casserole

  • 12 slices white sandwich bread (in 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 10 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 16 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  1. Spray the inside of the slow cooker crock with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. In a large bowl or 16 cup mixing bowl whisk eggs.

  3. Mix in 1 ½ cups milk, cinnamon, and vanilla. Set aside.

  4. In a large mixing bowl cream the cream cheese, 1/3 cup milk,and powdered sugar until smooth.

  5. Layer the bottom of the prepared slow cooker with bread.

  6. Cover the bread layer with 1/3 of the egg mixture.

  7. Top the egg mixture with 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture.

  8. Repeat the layers 2 times.

  9. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours until the casserole is firm, with the eggs being set and not runny.

  10. Uncover and turn off. Allow to sit for about five minutes before serving with your favorite French toast toppings.

 

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2019 in Brunch Recipes, Slow Cooker

 

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Cheesy Egg Bake

Cheesy Egg Bake

As the holiday season is upon us, it is the perfect time to share this recipe. I made this the first time for my family about a month ago. It has become such a hit that it has transitioned to a dinner recipe, too! Cheesy Egg Bake started as a cost effective brunch that I thought everyone would enjoy. Imagine my surprise and joy when they all fell in love.

It can be a challenge to find meals that fit all of the likes of my family. Even the little foursome that we are most of the time now have varied food preferences. This recipe ticked off many of my families boxes:

  • Simple
  • Quick
  • Cost Effective
  • Cheesy
  • Not Spicy
  • Meatless
  • Protein

As I served the Cheesy Egg Bake for that first brunch my biggest surprise was how much Daughter Number 3 liked it. In fact, she wanted seconds. Then she asked if she could have it for breakfast the next day.

There’s another box this recipe ticks, too!

  • Easily portable

The Hubs and D4 liked it. They both thought it a bit bland at that first brunch. After a few bites D3 offered up some flavoring suggestions.

Everyone agreed that they sounded good, so I used her suggestion the next time I made it.

 

After I made the new and improved Cheesy Egg Bake the second time it was an even bigger hit.

Within a couple of weeks I made it again; this time for dinner. One more time everyone liked it.

In all of my years of cooking this might actually be the only dish I have ever made that my family wanted to eat as leftovers. The Hubs, who has never been a fan of leftovers, saw me getting a piece of Cheesy Egg Bake out of the fridge a few days after we had it for dinner. “I was looking for that”, he said. I just smiled and heated up the last piece.

Do you have a recipe that ticks off many of the boxes that satisfy the needs of everyone in your family? What about a dish that even the leftovers are sought after? If you don’t, Cheesy Egg Bake might just be the one!

I think it is a perfect breakfast or brunch recipe for your holidays!

Cheesy Egg Bake

  • ½ cup unsalted butter (melted)
  • 16 ounces cottage cheese
  • 2 cups grated cheddar (see note)
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon chives
  • ½ Tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 12 eggs (beaten)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13 baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl combine melted butter, cottage cheese and cheddar. Stir in flour, baking, powder, pepper, salt , chives, and parsley. Whisk in the beaten eggs until combined. There will still be lumps from the cottage cheese.
  3. Pour into greased pan and bake 30-40 minutes or until lightly browned and set in the middle.
  4. Remove from oven to cool 5-10 minutes. Cut into squares and serve.

Note: To make this lower in fat use mozzarella cheese and lower fat cottage cheese.

Note 2: The seasonings can be altered to your families taste.

Note 3: I have used as few as 8 eggs in this recipe, which makes it less fluffy and more dense.

 

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2018 in Breakfast Recipes, Brunch Recipes

 

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Mini Crumb Cakes

Mini Crumb Cakes

If you haven’t decided what to make for your Sunday brunch I have a great recipe for you! I made these last Sunday and my kids and mom are still talking about them!  They loved these mini Crumb Cakes!

If you have never had crumb cake let me explain. It’s a moist muffin-like cake with a crumbly topping. The topping is what takes it, quite literally, over the top!

When the girls and The Hubs saw that I was making what appeared to be muffins or mini loafs for brunch they were seemingly underwhelmed. Once they tasted these mini Crumb Cakes with their buttery, soft inside and the cinnamon-y crumb topping they changed their tunes. The only downside to them was that I didn’t make more.

A few years ago The Hubs got me a mini loaf pan. They are great to make muffins and other quick breads. So, for an occasion that I want something a little fancier than just a muffin, or to give as little gifts I break out my mini loaf pan.

Using the mini loaf pan you end up with fewer total than a traditional muffin recipe.

Mini Crumb Cakes are perfect for any breakfast or brunch. Whether you are serving Sunday brunch to your family at home or hosting a Brunch shower these are a perfect addition. They also make great snacks for the kids.

This is also the perfect time of year for baking, so another great reason to whip these mini Crumb Cakes up. Your family will thank you.

Mini Crumb Cakes (or Crumb Cake muffins)

Cake

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs

Topping

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease your mini loaf pan wells with butter, oil, or nonstick spray.

Prepare topping:

  1. In a medium bowl combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Stir in melted butter. Add flour and stir until moistened. Set aside.

Prepare cake batter:

  1. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and salt.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together milk, oil, and eggs until thoroughly combined.
  3. Pour milk mixture over dry ingredients and stir together just until moist. Do not overmix.
  4. Scoop the batter into your greased mini loaf pan wells. Sprinkle with reserved crumb topping. Press crumb topping gently into batter. Do not submerge topping.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, checking after 15 minutes. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven to a wire rack. Run a rubber spatula around the edges of the cakes to loosen from the pan. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. May be served warm or at room temperature.

To make as muffins grease a standard 12 muffin pan or use paper liners.

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2018 in Breakfast Recipes, Brunch Recipes

 

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Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Scones

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Scones

Sometimes it is best to leave well enough alone. I will definitely stick to that adage the next time I decide to try a new scone recipe. Not that my family did not love the Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Scones that I made for brunch last week, it’s just that they were not proper scones.

When I came across the recipe I thought it would be great to add some extra nutrition in the form of oatmeal. I have made scones many times before and so has The Hubs. We love scones. We especially like them with butter and fruit spreads like Orange Marmalade.

As the Chocolate Chip Oatmeal scones were coming together for yesterday’s brunch I could tell that they were a little too wet. I did not add more flour, as was my instinct. I thought maybe the oatmeal would somehow expand or compensate during baking.

As I tried to make triangles of dough out of the wet mess I had in my bowl I resigned to having a mess. When I checked the scones at the end of the recommended baking time I added another five minutes to the timer. They were definitely not done.

When I finally did take the Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Scones from the oven and place them on the cooling rack I just looked at them. Then I called the girls in from a project they were working on in the backyard. They knew what I was supposed to be making for brunch, because I had written it on the menu. Both of the girls took a look at the ‘scones’ cooling on the rack. Out of respect they said nothing.

I told the girls, as The Hubs was making his way into the kitchen, “I made Chocolate Chip Oatmeal breakfast cookies,” laughingly. They all assured me that they loved the breakfast cookies that I made and would definitely eat them again.

I shared one with my mother, as well. She agreed that she would eat them again. Was I making them next week?
While I won’t be making them as soon as next week, I am adding Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Scones to my brunch list. However, I will be calling the Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies.

What recipe did you make, with good intent that turned out entirely different than you expected? Although this was not a success, it was not a failure. I will classify this as a definite food adventure!

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Scones (aka Breakfast Cookies)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter (cold and cubed)
  • 1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • ½ cup milk
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Add cold, cubed butter and pulse until combined to resemble coarse meal.
  4. Place mixture in a large mixing bowl. With a spoon, mix in oats and chips.
  5. Beat together eggs and milk.
  6. Stir egg mixture into the dry ingredients until just mixed. Do not overmix.
  7. Pour dough onto a lightly floured surface. Gently roll or press dough to ½ inch thickness. Cut dough into triangles roughly 2 inches across by 2 inches long.
  8. Place scones on ungreased baking sheets.
  9. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown and set.
  10. Remove from the oven to a cooling rack.
  11. Serve warm with butter, or cold.

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2018 in Breakfast Recipes, Brunch Recipes

 

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Shrimp, Kale, and Sweet Potato Skillet

Shrimp, Kale, and Sweet Potato Skillet

In all areas of life it can be difficult to find the right balance. This is true in cooking for a family with varying food preferences and eating styles. Sometimes trying a new dish can be a total flop or it can be a success. Occasionally a dish I think will be met with resistance proves to win over the family. That was the case with this Shrimp, Kale, and Sweet Potato skillet.

Why do I even try to get people in my family to eat things I don’t think they will like? As a child I didn’t like cabbage and today I enjoy it. Many times foods that we previously abhorred become tolerable or even palatable. Once in a while we discover that the scales shift altogether and we love a food that we previously disliked.

The people in my home do not readily ask to eat kale. They have never liked anything that I have made with it, they say. Also, D3 does not like sweet potato anything. However this Shrimp, Kale, and Sweet Potato skillet sounded tasty, brunch worthy, and healthy.

Skillets are great for any meal. I love serving skillets for brunch and throwing an egg on top. Also, one pot meals such as skillets cut down on dishes. That definitely brings harmony into my household.

To be honest I did pull a bit of a trick on the girls. I used white sweet potatoes, instead of the traditional orange hued tubers. Both D3 and D4 thought that they were being served good old white potatoes. D3 cleaned her plate before mentioning to me that the dish seemed very sweet. What kind of potato had I used? When I affirmed that they were sweet potatoes she was not happy, reminding me that she does not like sweet potatoes. She had already eaten the plate of food that was served to her.

I agree that the Shrimp, Kale, and Sweet Potato skillet was a little bit on the sweet side, even with the crushed red pepper. For me, the egg I added on top evened out the sweetness. Of course, the buttermilk biscuits I served with our brunch changed the health aspects of the meal, but as always were a winner. Also, when a very healthy dish is served having something less healthy is fine. It brings parity to the meal.

While I loved the Shrimp, Kale, and Sweet Potato skillet; most notably, I was delighted that everyone ate it, even if they didn’t love it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained; and this was a great gain toward balancing new foods and healthy meals.

How do you find balance in your mealtimes? With health, eating preferences, and varying likes it can be challenging. Share your tried and true tips with me.

Shrimp, Kale, and Sweet Potato Skillet

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup onion (diced)
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper falke
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 cups white sweet potatoes (diced)
  • 1 pound fresh shrimp
  • 4 cups kale leaves (trimmed and chopped)
  1. Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add onions and red pepper flakes.
  3. Cook onions until translucent. Add garlic, stir to combine.
  4. Add sweet potato to the skillet and cook until fork tender. A tablespoon or 2 of water can be added to the skillet to prevent sticking. This also allows the potatoes to steam.
  5. Add shrimp to the skillet and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring gently.
  6. When the shrimp is pink, stir in the kale. Turn heat to low and toss gently until kale has wilted.
  7. Serve hot from the skillet.

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2018 in Brunch Recipes, Dinner Recipes

 

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Sticky Buns

Sticky Buns

Most years I ask The Hubs what he wants to eat on Father’s Day. This year I made brunch of bacon, scrambled eggs, and sticky buns.

I have been making cinnamon rolls alone or with my parents as long as I can remember. Of course I change them up and do variations from time to time. Really all sticky buns are is a variation of cinnamon rolls.

While others might disagree with my analysis of sticky buns being a variation of cinnamon rolls it would be a hard argument to win. Both are made with sweet yeast dough, rolled out, coated with a cinnamon sugar mixture, rolled, cut, and baked.

Some sticky buns recipes call for nuts in the filling or even caramel in the filling. Not all of them do. The absolute with sticky buns is that there is a sticky, caramel-like topping and nuts.  This is created by pouring the caramel mixture into the bottom of the baking pan along with chopped nuts. The uncooked rolls are placed on top of the caramel nut mixture and baked. The buns are inverted onto a serving plate, making the caramel and pecan topping the main attraction. Pecans are the predominant nut in sticky buns, although I have seen walnuts, almonds, and peanuts in recipes.

Sticky buns, before inverting

Sticky buns, before inverting

As for the sticky buns I made for Father’s Day they were a hit. They were exactly what I wanted them to be. Light sweet buns dripping with caramel. Everyone loved them.

Although everyone loved them and the change was well received I will most likely stick to the traditional cinnamon roll over the sticky buns. The extra time and mess is definitely a once or twice a year thing.

Do you have a preference for cinnamon rolls or sticky buns?

Sticky Buns

Dough:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup butter (melted)
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour

Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Topping:

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 cup pecans (lightly chopped)

For Dough:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the flour, yeast, and salt.
  2. In a large glass measuring cup or small mixing bowl heat milk in microwave for about 30 seconds. Add 1 stick of butter and stir. Microwave at intervals until butter is melted. Do not boil. Stir in ¼ cup sugar.
  3. When the temperature of the mixture is about 110 degrees F add to the flour, yeast, and salt. Using the flat beater mix to combine. Add eggs and mix until combined.
  4. Using the dough hook beat for 5 minutes. Dough should be sticky.
  5. Remove the dough and spay the inside of the mixing bowl with nonstick spray. Return the dough to the bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp, lint free kitchen towel.
  6. Set aside in a warm place for about 2 hours, until dough has doubled in size.

For the filling: Combine ¼ cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.

    For topping:

    1. In a saucepan combine butter, sugar, and corn syrup and cook over low heat. Stir until combined completely and smooth, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool.

    Rolls:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9” cake pan with nonstick spray.
    2. When topping is cooled pour into prepared cake pan. Sprinkle the chopped nuts in the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
    3. When roll dough has doubled in size sprinkle flour onto counter or clean, dry surface. Place dough onto floured surface and using a floured rolling pin roll into a rectangle, roughly 12” X 20”, 1/8” thick.
    4. Brush dough with melted butter, leaving about ½” edge all the way around. Sprinkle prepared filling mixture evenly over the top of the melted butter.
    5. Starting with the long side, tightly roll the dough into a log. Pinch the seam together to seal in the filling. Seam side down, use a serrated knife to slice into 2 ½” pieces.
    6. Place the rolls into the prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap or a lint free kitchen towel.
    7. Set aside to rise for 30 minutes to an hour until doubled in size.
    8. Bake the rolls in preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.
    9. Remove from oven to a wire cooling rack. Set for 5 minutes.
    10. Use an offset spatula or rubber spatula, gently run along the edges of the pan and under the sticky buns. Invert rolls onto a serving plate, so that the caramel and nuts are on the top.

     

     

     

     

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    Chocolate Chip Muffins

    Chocolate Chip Muffins

    Have I mentioned how much I love all of the honored foods this month? The flowers are in bloom, birds are singing, and yesterday was National Chocolate Chip Day! While most posts I saw paying homage to these delicious morsels put them in cookie form I did not. I made Easy Chocolate Chip Muffins.

    Muffins are one of my favorite foods to make. In my opinion muffins are the original fast food. They are a small size quick bread, so they don’t take long to make. The prep time is a matter of minutes and they take less than 30 minutes to bake.

    Beyond the time aspect is how versatile muffins are. A standard muffin batter can be turned into something wondrous. The add-ins and upgrades are endless. You can add cocoa powder to the batter to make chocolate muffins. You can add baking chips, nuts, or fruits to flavor them. Toppings can be added to provide more flavor and texture. Muffin batter is a virtual blank canvas.

    I chose easy Chocolate Chip Muffins in honor of National Chocolate Chip Day so the girls could have them for breakfast. Muffins are a great breakfast or brunch food. They are small and portable so they travel well. Also, they are not completely void of nutritional value. I would say they are no worse than breakfast cereal.

    My girls were thrilled to have fresh out of the oven easy Chocolate Chip Muffins for breakfast. I offered to package them to take. D4 started eating one immediately. Then she asked how many she could have. Two. These were standard size muffins, not mini muffins. Two seemed like plenty. D3 did want hers to go. She also asked how many she could have. The same answer; two.

    I told the girls I was going to drop one off at their grandmother’s house. My usually generous daughters who love their grandmother very much questioned if that was necessary. Apparently they are suddenly concerned about her health. These might have too much sugar in them, or saturated fat. I assured them that she didn’t have any concerns with those.

    After taking one to deliver to my mother I wrapped up the rest for later. Oh, after I had one for breakfast. Nothing with chocolate lasts long in my house. Easy Chocolate Chip Muffins are definitely on the list of quickly eaten items.

    Did you celebrate National Chocolate Chip Day? What did you make or eat? Also, what is the most exciting Chocolate Chip thing you heard about? For me, it was a local brewery who tapped a Chocolate Chip Beer yesterday! I hope I can get over to try it before it’s all tapped out!

    May really is one of the best month’s for food!

    Easy Chocolate Chip Muffins

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • ½ cup granulated sugar
    • 3 teaspoons baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1 egg
    • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • Colored sugar (for decoration)
    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    2. Grease the cups of a twelve muffin pan, or line with paper liners.
    3. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
    4. Add chocolate chips and stir to coat.
    5. In a small bowl whisk together milk, egg, oil, and vanilla.
    6. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients.
    7. Stir gently to blend. Do not overmix. Batter will not be smooth.
    8. Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full. Sprinkle colored sugar on top, if desired.
    9. Gently tap filled muffin pan on counter top to remove any air bubbles.
    10. Bake for 20-25 minutes until brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean of batter.
    11. Remove pans to cool on a wire rack. After 5 minute remove from pan and continue cooling on rack.

     

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    Buttermilk Biscuits

    Buttermilk Biscuits

    Yesterday’s brunch was not an elaborate one, like the one I did for Crêpes Suzette Day. When Mother’s Day falls the day before National Buttermilk Biscuit Day there is only one thing to do. Make Buttermilk Biscuits for brunch.

    In the south they believe the key to a good biscuit is the right kind of flour. I think that using butter instead of an alternative fat is definitely a necessity in making a good biscuit. The other key is using buttermilk.

    I could into the science aspect of why butter and buttermilk make for the best biscuits I will refrain. What I will say is that butter is absolutely necessary, and buttermilk makes a better choice than anything else. They both play a huge role in the quintessential flavor of a buttermilk biscuit. Also, the acid in buttermilk helps tenderize gluten. This makes the biscuits softer.

    If I have mentioned in the past that Daughter Number Three loves biscuits, I’m mentioning it again. She has told me that every brunch can be biscuits and she’ll be happy. In the quest to make my children happy I do throw biscuits onto the brunch menu about every 6 weeks. D3 likes BIG biscuits. So, since yesterday was a special occasion I made big biscuits.

    My buttermilk biscuits had a diameter of over four inches and stood almost 3 inches high. They were golden, buttery, flaky, and delicious.

    The consensus was that they were almost too big. Even D3 had a tough time eating the entire biscuit. She did not give up, though. She conquered the big buttermilk biscuit because it was so good.

    No matter what your choice of toppings or accompaniments is, don’t forget to celebrate National Buttermilk Biscuit Day!

    Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe

    • 3 cups all purpose flour
    • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 4 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter (cold and cut into ¼” pieces)
    • 1 cup buttermilk (cold)
    • 1-2 tablespoons milk (cold)
    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
    2. In the bowl of a food processor add flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Pulse to blend.
    3. Add the butter pieces and pulse until butter is incorporated, but not blended. You want to see a mixture that resembles coarse meal, with a few pea size lumps.
    4. Add ¼ of buttermilk and pulse a few times. Repeat until all of the buttermilk has been added. If you need to pulse more to get a rough dough you can. Be sure not to overmix.
    5. Pour the biscuit dough onto a floured surface. Using a floured rolling pin, lightly roll the dough to a thickness of about 1 ½ inches.
    6. Using a biscuit cutter or large circular object, cut the biscuits.
    7. Place biscuits on a baking sheet about 2” apart.
    8. Using a pastry brush, brush tops of biscuits with milk.
    9. Bake in preheated oven until biscuits are golden brown. They should sound hollow when lightly tapped.
    10. Remove from oven to a cooling rack. Cool slightly before serving.

     

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    Crêpes Suzette

    Crêpes Suzette

    I was excited about yesterday’s brunch for a week leading up to it. Crêpes are on thing that everyone in my family loves. So when I told them that May 6 was Crêpes Suzette Day, they were excited, too.

    Over my lifetime I have made crêpes dozens of times. My own passion for these light, eggy pancakes came from my father. He made them many times when I was little. In high school he made them for a sleepover I had and my friends were also hooked.

    With all of the varieties of crêpes I have made, savory and sweet, I have never made Crêpes Suzette. It didn’t seem daunting, just not what I thought the family would like. I decided to go ahead and see what they thought.

    The batter isn’t hard to make, though it is definitely something you want to make ahead of time. It needs to be refrigerated for a few hours prior to cooking. Also the most important ingredient for Crêpes Suzette, the beurre Suzette, should be given time to mingle.

    It always takes me a few tries to remember exactly how hot to have the skillet and how to make the perfect crêpes. Once I have it down it goes smoothly. The crêpes don’t take long to cook, so it goes quickly.

    Daughter Number Three had been helping me with the beginning stages of the Crêpes Suzette and was eager to assist me in the final step, pouring on the alcohol and lighting the crêpes on fire. Having watched my fair share of cooking shows I told her ahead of time that this doesn’t always go according to plan. We did not really end up flambéing our crêpes, but we did have fun trying.

    Everyone loved the Crêpes Suzette. I was overjoyed. The Hubs even asked if he could take over so I could eat. My guess is that it looked like so much fun he wanted to be a part of it. Yes, this was a fun dish to make and eat. It will definitely be something we eat for brunch again.

    Daughter Number Three ate a ridiculous number of crêpes. She really loved them.

    Have you ever eaten Crêpes Suzette? If so, have you ever made them? These crêpes definitely fall right at the top of my list of favorites.

    Crêpes Suzette

    Crêpe Batter

    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 cups whole milk (more if needed)
    • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon melted butter (plus more for the pan.)

    Crêpes Suzette Sauce (Beurre Suzette)

    • ½ cup butter
    • ¼ cup granulated sugar
    • Juice of 1 orange (about 4 tablespoons)
    • Zest of 1 orange
    • ½ cup Grand Marnier or Cointreau
    • Powdered Sugar (to garnish)

    For the Crêpes

    1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, and milk. In a separate small bowl whisk together flour, salt, and sugar until combined. Whisk the flour mixture into the milk and eggs. Strain the flour mixture through a strainer, mix in the butter thoroughly. Refrigerate batter for at least an hour.
    2. Heat a 6-inch crêpe pan about one teaspoon of butter. Add 2-3 tablespoons of the batter and tilt the skillet quickly in all directions to distribute the batter evenly. Cook over moderately high heat until the edges of the crêpe curl up and start to brown, 45 seconds to a minute. Flip the crêpe and cook for about 30 seconds longer, until a few brown spots appear on the bottom. Remove the crêpe gently from the skillet to a platter. Repeat with the remaining batter until batter is gone. Re-butter skillet after every 1 or 2 crêpes.

    For the Sauce

    1. Zest one orange and set zest aside. Juice one orange and set aside.
    2. In the bowl of a food processor add the butter and sugar. Blend thoroughly. Add a small amount of orange zest and pulse to blend. Reserve remainder of the zest for garnish.
    3. With the motor of the food processor running add the orange juice slowly to the butter. Only use about 4 tablespoons of the juice. If you have more, set aside for a refreshing drink later.
    4. Scrape the butter into a glass bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

    To assemble

    1. In a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat, melt tablespoons of the beurre Suzette. When the butter is hot add 1 crêpe to the pan. Allow the crêpe to cook in the hot butter for about 1 minute and using a long spatula gently flip. Fold into fourths and set along the edge of the pan. Continue with 3 more crêpes. Add 3 tablespoons of liqueur. Remove from the heat. Using a long-handled match, ignite the brandy and stir the crepes in the sauce until the flames subside. Transfer to plates. Serve immediately with powdered sugar and garnished with orange zest. Repeat with remaining crêpes and beurre Suzette.

     
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    Posted by on May 7, 2018 in Brunch Recipes

     

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    Eggs Benedict

    Eggs Benedict

    Today is National Eggs Benedict Day! Eggs Benedict is not something I grew up eating. In fact, I don’t know that I even tried Eggs Benedict until I was an adult.

    I was definitely more of a Biscuits and Gravy kind of a girl. I may have mentioned that I am a huge fan of bread, and biscuits definitely fall into that category. I am also lover of gravies and sauces. While I don’t eat the country style sausage of my childhood anymore, I do still enjoy gravies and sauces.

    Eggs Benedict could be considered a more upscale version of biscuits and gravy, having both bread and sauce components. The flavor profile is quite different, however.

    Hollandaise sauce is a lemony, buttery sauce with a silky texture, a truly French sauce. The origins of Hollandaise Sauce, however the sauce predates the dish by several hundred years. Hollandaise makes a wonderful sauce for more than the Eggs Benedict, upping the game of asparagus or salmon.

    In honor of National Eggs Benedict Day I made this dish for Sunday brunch. While I don’t personally eat pork I did make it in the traditional way, using Canadian-style bacon. One of the keys to excellent Eggs Benedict is timing. All of the ingredients need to be ready and hot at the same time. It’s an art that I do not quite have down. My bacon and muffins were done before the eggs and sauce, which caused them to dry out.

    All of my brunch attendees were skeptical of poached eggs, so I made a batch of scrambled eggs. It’s a good thing I did. The girls were not about to try the poached eggs. Later, Daughter Number Four said that she probably would have liked them. The Hubs was also a bit skeptical. I assured him that I would over poach his egg. Again, I’m glad I made some scrambled eggs.

    One of the biggest surprises came when both D3 and D4 asked for seconds. They loved the Hollandaise sauce and liked their version of the Benedicts. I have learned that substitutions can be wonderful. Generally I have my Benedicts with salmon or crab. These I just ate meat free.

    I served the Eggs Benedicts with some crisp fried potatoes. Fried potatoes are always well received at my house, and frequently the side when I have Eggs Benedict at restaurants.

    The Eggs Benedict celebration brunch was a success, even with a few small hiccups. I also learned that while I love Eggs Benedict I will leave the making of them up to the professionals. Between the timing and the vastness of dishes dirtied it makes the most sense. Also, the family doesn’t love them as much as I do. It’s quite a bit of work to go to if I’m the only person who loves all of the parts of the whole.

    So, are you celebrating Eggs Benedict Day? I would love to know if you are a fan of this dish or not. Let me know your thoughts on it!

    Eggs Benedict

    4 servings

    • 4 English Muffins (split, toasted and buttered)
    • 8 slices Canadian-style bacon (warmed)
    • 8 eggs (poached)
    • Hollandaise Sauce (recipe follows)
    • Cayenne Pepper
    1. Prepare English Muffins and Canadian-style bacon. Keep warm.
    2. Poach 8 eggs.
    3. Prepare Hollandaise Sauce, assemble Eggs Benedicts immediately. Serve topped with Cayenne Pepper.

    Food Processor Hollandaise Sauce

    1. 3 egg yolks
    2. 2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh squeezed
    3. Salt
    4. Pepper
    5. 1 stick butter, melted in saucepan over low heat
    6. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat, taking care not to scorch or allow any evaporation. Set aside.
    7. In the bowl of a food processor blend egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Blend for about 5 seconds. Remove tube cover and pour melted, slightly cooled butter in a thin, slow steam through tube as processor is running. Blend continuously for about 20 seconds until a thick, cream like sauce is created. Do not over blend or sauce will break down. Serve immediately.

     
     

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