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.
Candied Maple Bacon
1 lb thick cut bacon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Line two rimmed cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Scoop the brown sugar into a shallow long pan.
Pour the maple sugar into another shallow long pan.
Take each strip of bacon and dunk it into the maple syrup, then the brown sugar. Place each strip on the cookie sheets.
Place in the preheated oven and cook for about 15 minutes, turning once halfway through.
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.
Pull each piece off the parchment paper and place on a plate to cool.
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
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.
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.
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
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
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.
Pour potatoes onto a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, tossing twice during baking.
Raise the heat to 500 degrees and bake until crisp and brown, 10-15 more minutes, tossing twice.
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.
1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing the scones
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 lemon, zest finely grated
1 tbsp unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Preheat oven to 350.
Butter a large baking pan.
Place frozen hash browns in baking pan, spread evenly.
Combine butter, salt and pepper. Pour over hash browns.
Stir together onions, soup, sour cream and cheese and spread over hash browns.
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!
Templeton Rye Whiskey
San Pellegrino blood orange sparkling soda
Luxardo maraschino cherries
Fill glass with ice
Pour 1 shot of rye whiskey over ice
Add orange bitters (2-3 drops)
Add approximately ½ can San Pellegrino blood orange sparkling soda
Stir to incorporate
Add 1 Luxardo maraschino cherry
Peel a piece of the orange rind and squeeze into the drink and around the rim of the glass
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cooking oil on the bottom and sides of a 9x5x3 loaf pan
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
Using the electric mixer, beat butter until softened. Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy
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
Scrape half the batter into the loaf pan. Add the blueberries in the middle. Add rest of batter on top
Bake for 55 to 65 minutes. Or until a toothpick comes out clean
For the glaze, stir the sugar with lemon in a microwaveable bowl. Place in microwave for about 30 seconds or until sugar has dissolved
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
1/2 cup of melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 loaf of Texas Toast
1 1/2 cup of milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Ground cinnamon for sprinkling
Powdered sugar for sprinkling
Melt butter in microwave. Add brown sugar. Stir till mixed
Pour butter/sugar into bottom of 9×13 pan. Spread evenly
Beat eggs, milk, and vanilla
Lay single layer of bread in pan- use sliced Challah bread
Spoon 1/2 of egg mixture on bread layer. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top, evenly
Add a 2nd layer of Challah bread
Spoon on remaining egg mixture. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top, evenly (I like to add extra)
Cover and chill overnight
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes
Sprinkle powdered sugar on top before serving. Serve with maple syrup, optional