Babes Brunch

I love me a good brunch and enjoying making it even more.  I surprised my dear friend this weekend with a brunch to celebrate her recent engagement.  We had such a great time and whipping up brunch was a breeze.  While the ladies enjoyed the mimosa bar, I made a frittata, candied maple bacon and breakfast potatoes.  Everything was a hit and super easy to pull together.

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Candied Maple Bacon

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb thick cut bacon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line two rimmed cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Scoop the brown sugar into a shallow long pan.
  4. Pour the maple sugar into another shallow long pan.
  5. Take each strip of bacon and dunk it into the maple syrup, then the brown sugar. Place each strip on the cookie sheets.
  6. Place in the preheated oven and cook for about 15 minutes, turning once halfway through.
  7. Check the bacon and if it’s how you like it remove from the oven. If you like yours a bit crispier you can add 5 minutes or so. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  8. Pull each piece off the parchment paper and place on a plate to cool.

Frittata 

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Ingredients:

  • 8 eggs, beaten
  • 1 lb baby spinach
  • 1 lb ground breakfast turkey sausage
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cup grated gruyere cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Spray a cast-iron skillet with non-stick spray and set to medium heat, add sausage and cook, stirring occasionally. Once the sausage is cooked through, add sweet peppers and continue to cook until tender yet crisp. Add spinach and cook until just wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Add beaten eggs, swirling them around the pan. Continue to cook for about 1 minute or until eggs are set on the edges but still loose on top. Sprinkle top with cheese and transfer skillet to oven. Bake at 400 F for about 10 minutes or until frittata is slightly golden and set in middle. Cut into wedges to serve.

Breakfast Potatoes

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Ingredients:

  • 2.5 pounds red potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the potatoes, garlic, onion, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, olive oil, butter, seasoned salt, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper.
  3. Pour potatoes onto a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, tossing twice during baking.
  4. Raise the heat to 500 degrees and bake until crisp and brown, 10-15 more minutes, tossing twice.

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Make Ahead Easter Brunch

It’s really no surprise that I love brunch.  I’ve hosted Easter brunch several times and love it.  There are so many fun recipes you can assemble and even make the night before so you’re not spending all of your time in the kitchen.  Here are a few of my go-to crowd pleasing recipes.

Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze

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Ingredients:
Blueberry Scones:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, cold, cut in chunks
  • 1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing the scones
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Lemon Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 lemon, zest finely grated
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Sift together the dry ingredients; the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Using 2 forks or a pastry blender, cut in the butter to coat the pieces with the flour. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and pour in the heavy cream. Fold everything together just to incorporate; do not overwork the dough. Fold the blueberries into the batter. Take care not to mash or bruise the blueberries because their strong color will bleed into the dough.
  3. Press the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 12 by 3 by 1 1/4 inches. Cut the rectangle in 1/2 then cut the pieces in 1/2 again, giving you 4 (3-inch) squares. Cut the squares in 1/2 on a diagonal to give you the classic triangle shape. Place the scones on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush the tops with a little heavy cream. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until beautiful and brown. Let the scones cool a bit before you apply the glaze.

Healthy Bacon, Egg, Potato Breakfast Casserole

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Courtesy: Jeanette’s Healthy Living

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (~ 1 cup)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped (~ 1 cup)
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 strips uncured antibiotic free turkey bacon, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Fines Herbes or other herb blend
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup non-fat cottage cheese, pureed in food processor
  • 1 cup reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups shredded Yukon gold potatoes
  • 9 cups baby kale

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet and sauté onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, garlic, bacon and fines herbes until onions are translucent. Set aside.
  3. In large bowl, whisk together eggs, cottage cheese and cheddar cheese. Stir in shredded potatoes. Add sautéed bacon and vegetables. Spoon into lightly greased 9×9 square dish.
  4. Bake 45 minutes until casserole is firm.
  5. Serve on bed of baby kale.

 

Bourbon Banana Nut Stuffed French Toast

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Courtesy: Country Cleaver

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf Brioche, sliced 1 ½”-2″ thick
  • 2 Bananas, sliced
  • 4 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
  • 2 tbsp Bourbon
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • ½ cup Finely chopped Pecans
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/3 cup Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • Maple Syrup

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place sliced bananas onto a non-stick baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes until the bananas start to gently caramelize. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
  2. While the bananas are baking, take each slice of brioche, using a sharp pointed and serrated knife, lay the slice flat and like you were slicing the bread horizontally, insert the knife flatly into the bread and slice a small pocket into the middle of the bread, ensuring you don’t puncture through the bread. Repeat with each slice of brioche. Set aside momentarily.
  3. In a bowl, mix together cooled bananas, bourbon, cinnamon, ¼ cup pecans, and cream cheese until smooth. With a spoon or knife, or a piping bag with a round tip and filled with banana mix, spread into the pocket of each bread slice.
  4. In another shallow bowl whisk together, milk, eggs and vanilla. Dip each slice of stuffed brioche into the egg wash and place into a heated, and non-stick sprayed pan over medium to medium-high heat. Cook until each side is deep golden brown. Flip and cook completely. Serve immediately with additional bananas and chopped pecans on top. Top with maple syrup.

Party Potatoes:

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Ingredients:

  • 32 Ounce Bag Frozen Cubed Hash Browns
  • 1/2 cup Melted Butter (More for Greasing Pan)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Onion
  • 1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 Pint Sour Cream
  • 2 cups Sharp Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Butter a large baking pan.
  3. Place frozen hash browns in baking pan, spread evenly.
  4. Combine butter, salt and pepper. Pour over hash browns.
  5. Stir together onions, soup, sour cream and cheese and spread over hash browns.
  6. Baked for 45 minutes, stirring half way through.
  7. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and serve.

Holiday Brunchin’

In previous years, I’ve hosting a holiday dinner/gift exchange for a few of my closest girlfriends and wanted to switch things up this year.  After watching an episode of “Brunch at Bobby’s” (swoon- yes I have a crush on Bobby Flay), I was inspired to host a brunch this year.  We had a variety of yummy food and drinks to enjoy!  I included the highlights along with a couple of recipes that should definitely make your next brunch menu.  Happy hosting!

 

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Bold Fashioned:

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Ingredients:

  • Templeton Rye Whiskey
  • Orange bitters
  • San Pellegrino blood orange sparkling soda
  • Luxardo maraschino cherries
  • Orange bitters

Directions:

  1. Fill glass with ice
  2. Pour 1 shot of rye whiskey over ice
  3. Add orange bitters (2-3 drops)
  4. Add approximately ½ can San Pellegrino blood orange sparkling soda
  5. Stir to incorporate
  6. Add 1 Luxardo maraschino cherry
  7. Peel a piece of the orange rind and squeeze into the drink and around the rim of the glass
  8. Sip and enjoy

 

Lemon Blueberry Bread

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk

Lemon Glaze

  • 2 tablespoon granulated white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cooking oil on the bottom and sides of a 9x5x3 loaf pan
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Remove 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture. Place the blueberries in a separate bowl and toss in the 1 tablespoon flour
  3. Using the electric mixer, beat butter until softened. Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy
  4. Add eggs one at a time. Beat in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in 3 parts and milk in 2 parts alternatively, starting with the flour and ending with the flour. Mix only until combined
  5. Scrape half the batter into the loaf pan. Add the blueberries in the middle. Add rest of batter on top
  6. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes. Or until a toothpick comes out clean
  7. For the glaze, stir the sugar with lemon in a microwaveable bowl. Place in microwave for about 30 seconds or until sugar has dissolved
  8. After the loaf has cooked, place on wire rack in pan. Poke holes in the bread. Brush the lemon glaze on top of the loaf. Cool completely

 

French Toast Bake

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of melted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 loaf of Texas Toast
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Ground cinnamon for sprinkling
  • Powdered sugar for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in microwave. Add brown sugar. Stir till mixed
  2. Pour butter/sugar into bottom of 9×13 pan. Spread evenly
  3. Beat eggs, milk, and vanilla
  4. Lay single layer of bread in pan- use sliced Challah bread
  5. Spoon 1/2 of egg mixture on bread layer. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top, evenly
  6. Add a 2nd layer of Challah bread
  7. Spoon on remaining egg mixture. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top, evenly (I like to add extra)
  8. Cover and chill overnight
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes
  10. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top before serving. Serve with maple syrup, optional