Lunch just makes me think of my dad asking for a sandwich. Boring. Brunch is filled with all of the things you could ever want, really, there are not rules at brunch.
I think next year I’ll give up something other than dessert for lent.
My reasons are multi-fold. Number 1, it wasn’t actually as difficult as I expected it to be. This may be because I turned to pizza and toast as “fun foods,” or because I wasn’t really able to spend a lot on ingredients, Number 2, I didn’t gain anything but a stomach-ache for the last three days when I reintroduced (and by that I mean overloaded) myself with candy, and Number 3, I just missed baking, making and writing here! I’ll just have to rethink this in about 10 months.
I have three things to write about, but I think I’ll do them backwards, because the best was the most recent – Easter brunch! Because my parents were on a cruise up until 9:00pm the night before Easter, I was the leader of the brunch. I have no problems doing that, just hand me a credit card and a full day for prep work and I’m ready. Plus it helped that I have fun little people to bake for and fun grown-ups who supplied the champagne.
I spent some time (ok, I spent a few days) deciding what I wanted to make (technically these aren’t all desserts, but they all did bake in the oven). I wanted an easy, overnight french toast and then a completely opposite egg bake – no bread. We had toast, of course, but I wanted to make something slightly healthy or at least give my eaters a choice.
I found a super awesome recipe for what I called the Egg Bake, and then I michelle-ed it. The recipe calls for spinach, green onions, mozzarella cheese and 8 eggs. I changed it by swapping out the onions for asparagus (which I chopped and roasted the day before), and then I used a bigger pan, 9×13, so I used 2 cups of cheese and 10 eggs. It was super fantastic and relatively healthy.
Then I made another egg bake with the exact same idea, but much heartier ingredients – bacon and potatoes. I cooked some frozen hash browns in a wok and spread them on the bottom of a 9×13 and topped that with super easy oven-roasted bacon. Seriously, go buy some bacon, foil cover a pan, and then 25 minutes later at 400 degrees you’re gonna be very happy. I topped the potatoes with the bacon, a bag of cheddar cheese and 11 eggs. I cooked both at 375 for about 40 minutes.
Next up – apple fritter french toast! I’m usually anti-store brand items, mostly just Jewel and Dominicks brand. I don’t know if maybe we had some weird cookies, oatmeal or what growing up, but I just didn’t like those. Target, however, always has delicious store brand items. I spent about 10 minutes in the bakery aisle, and came upon pure genius, apple fritter breakfast bread. I had a yummy looking recipe picked out, from the Pioneer Woman, but wanted to make it my own, so I swapped the bread for the apple fritter loaf, used half and half instead of cream and accidentally used softened butter in the topping. It was really good, but I definitely want to try it with the right topping and see the difference. I was most excited that all three of my “bakes” turned out, cooked, warm and yummy.
As for dessert, I went to my staple, chocolate covered strawberries. Remember the video? Always throw a little shortening in the chocolate so they look pretty.
Finally, chocolate chip, Oreo, brown sugar, giant brownies. Betty Crocker never steers me wrong. I mixed up the red box, added in 3/4 of the snack size bag of mini Oreos, half a bag of dark chocolate chips, half a bag of milk chocolate chips and about 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Mini Oreos seems liked a better idea than chopping up big ones, I love chocolate chips and I had some weird yearning for brown sugar, so that’s where the add-ins came from. I decided to cut them huge because they looked pretty, but mostly because they were unbelievably gooey and I knew I’d have trouble if I tried to cut them smaller.
We also had pineapple, toast (thanks mom), champagne, and of course, Easter candy.
Then I took a 4 hour nap.