Thursday, April 17

Easter Brunch Recipes

Easy make-ahead recipes for a delicious Easter brunch

Easter Brunch Recipe Ideas

Easter has got to be the number one brunch holiday of the year. Whether or not you're religious, it's a great excuse to get together with friends and family and enjoy a springtime meal together. Brunch is one of my favorite meals to entertain for because you can still host a party, clean up, take a nap, and have the rest of the night to yourself. The key to an easy Easter brunch is to prepare as much as possible in advance (many of these recipes can be made the night before) and serve things family style. Rather than making a bunch of scrambled eggs or pancakes to order, whip up a crowd-pleasing vegetable frittata or bake a big batch of french toast in the oven. These simple recipes will wow your guests ... and they'll have no idea how easy they were to make!

Easter Brunch Recipes:
  • Mini Spinach & Onion Frittatas - Bite-size frittatas made in muffin pans for easy portioning. This recipe is made with sautéed spinach and onions, but feel free to use whatever flavor combination you like.
  • Baked Cinnamon Walnut French Toast - This cross between french toast and bread pudding feeds a crowd and is baked in the oven so that you can enjoy time with your guests instead of being glued to the stove. 
  • Potato Pancake with Smoked Salmon & Greens - A giant hash brown cake makes an impressive presentation and can easily be cut into wedges to serve guests.
  • Lemon Yogurt Cake - This cake works as well for dessert as it does for breakfast. Serve with farmers' market berries to really take it to the next level.

**See my full list of breakfast and brunch recipes here.

Wednesday, April 16

Spaghetti with Asparagus & Poached Egg

An easy weeknight meal with buttered pasta, tender asparagus, and a poached egg

Spaghetti with Asparagus and Poached Egg

My husband and I try and make it a priority to have dinner together every night after work, but I recently had a rare night alone and made this easy spaghetti dish. This is the kind of food that I love - carbs, vegetables, and a perfectly poached farmers' market egg - but that my meat-loving husband doesn't appreciate as much. It makes a great dinner for one, although I adjusted the recipe to serve two. Everything except for the egg is cooked in the same pot: first the pasta gets added to boiling water, then the asparagus gets thrown in during the last minute, then everything gets drained and added back to the pot with some butter and parmesan to create a sauce. This leaves just a few dishes to do after dinner, which is a must for any single person meal. I took the bowl onto the couch and ate it in front of the TV and it made for a perfect night alone.

More Vegetarian Pasta Recipes:
- Spaghetti Aglio Olio with Romanesco
- Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Broccoli Cream Pesto
- Mushroom Marsala & Artichoke Pasta

Spaghetti with Asparagus and Poached Egg:
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil, season with salt, and cook 1/2 lb. of spaghetti until al dente.
  • Trim the tough bottom ends off 1 bunch of thin asparagus and throw into the boiling water with the spaghetti during the last minute or two of cooking.
  • Drain the pasta and asparagus and reserve 1/2 c. pasta cooking water. 
  • Place pasta and asparagus back in the pot over low heat and add in 2 tbsp. of butter, /4 c. grated parmesan cheese, a pinch of salt and pepper, and a little of the pasta water.
  • Stir until the butter is melted and thin sauce coats the noodles, adding more pasta water if necessary.
  • Divide onto plates and top each with a poached egg.*
  • To eat, break up the egg with your fork and toss with the pasta to coat it with some of the soft egg yolk.
Serves two
*See how to perfectly poach an egg here.

Tuesday, April 15

Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

Tender, flakey buttermilk biscuits make a delicious breakfast or dinner side

Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

My husband is an avid golfer and sports fan, so the final day of the Masters tournament is one of his favorite Sundays of the year. In honor of the Augusta location and my excitement over adhering to a theme for every small event, I made some Southern food for us to lunch on while we were watching the TV. These biscuits, adapted from an Alton Brown recipe, were a huge hit and so simple to make. The key to making the dough is to make sure that all the ingredients, especially the butter, stays cold before baking. The clumps of cold butter create steam while they bake, which leads to flakey layers of biscuit. I like to split the warm biscuits open and slather them with a little soft butter and local honey, but they also make great little sandwiches to fill with ham or turkey. Any leftover biscuits are great to have with jam the next morning.

More Recipes for Southern Food:
- Smothered Chicken
- Buttermilk Cornbread
- Chicken, Sausage, & Shrimp Jambalaya

Southern Buttermilk Biscuits:
  • Preheat the oven to 425F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Stir together 2 c. all-purpose flour, 4 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. sugar, 3/4 tsp. kosher salt, and 1/4 c. baking soda in a mixing bowl.
  • Dice 4 tbsp. of very cold butter and then use your fingers or a pastry cutter to quickly work the butter into the flour mixture until the largest pieces of butter are the size of small peas.
  • Form a well into the center of the mixture and pour in 1 c. of cold buttermilk and stir until the mixture comes together in a ball.
  • Dump the dough out onto a floured surface and pat into a 1" thick rectangle.
  • Cut the dough into rounds* and place on the baking sheet.
  • Melt 1 tbsp. butter and brush on top of each biscuit, then transfer to the oven.
  • Cook for 12-15 minutes, or until the biscuits have risen and turn lightly golden.
  • Let cool slightly, then serve with butter, jam, honey, etc.

Makes 6-8 biscuits
*I didn't have a round cookie cutter, so I used the top of a drinking glass. You can also cut the dough into squares.