Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mother's Day Brunch, 2010

This year, Mother's Day snuck up on us a little. We knew it was coming, but we weren't doing anything to prepare. Anyone who knows me knows that I start gift shopping early, and I keep a notebook of gift ideas and gifts I've given people in the past so I don't repeat anything, or at least I don't repeat a few years running. This year, I suggested to Graham that we invite both moms over for brunch. It worked out perfectly, and while my kitchen was a disaster area beginning Saturday afternoon, everything was prepped and ready so that come Sunday morning, all I was really doing was warming things up.

One of the first things I made were these blueberry scones. I enjoy a good scone, but I don't love 'em. My sister, however, loved these to pieces. I don't think we had any left at the end of the day. They were great right out of the oven, and the fresh blueberries burst inside the scones, leaving these lovely little trails of blueberry goodness.

I also made this Spinach & Cheese Strata. This was perfect for brunch because it provided a savory option in addition to all the sweet breakfast goodies on the table, but it also is assembled the night before, chilled in the fridge, and baked when you wake up. Strata, my friends, is one of the best things to serve at a brunch if you still wish to sleep in.
I've really been missing Maui the last few weeks, so I decided to tackle some banana bread. This was great, and really reminded me of the bread we had while we were in Maui and Honolulu. My mom is a big fan of banana bread, so this was primarily for her. I topped it with macadamia nuts, and it was so simple to throw together that morning--just mix, pour, and bake.

In addition to the strata, the night before I prepped and made this Baked French Toast. Again, just mix, layer, chill, and go to bed. In the morning, stagger to the oven, turn it on, brush your teeth, and bake.

Just a personal opinion, but it's just not brunch without coffee cake. I made a raspberry coffeecake that I really enjoyed. It had a nice combination of sweet and tangy-ness, as well as a nice crumby topping that I consider a necessity.

Raspberry scones! I decided to tackle two different kinds of scones for brunch just to provide options, and because these looked really good. They're basically raspberries and rolled oats, and unlike the previous scones, these are "drop scones", so after mixing the batter I just had to drop 'em onto a baking sheet and stick 'em in the oven.

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins. These were a bigger hit than I thought they'd be! Light and fluffy, they're best right out of the oven. The lemon juice and lemon zest in the batter really shines through and is a great wake up call.
I also made these home fries, and I broke one of my cardinal rules for entertaining by staying in the kitchen. No one had more fun because I was working the stove, but these were definitely worth it. Soft, crispy, and topped with fresh herbs, these were a fabulous addition to the table.
I also made cinnamon rolls, which as always were a big hit. No breakfast bar is complete without them, eh? Finally, we had fresh fruit salad, yogurt for topping, and my new favorite green salad with blueberries and feta. (All recipes can be found on this blog. Just use the handy search bar at the top!) All in all, it was a successful morning and I'd definitely do it again. All my prep work the day before paid off! If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing--doing some preliminary baking and prepping the day before meant I could sleep in on Mother's Day. Once I slept and turned on the oven and got things going, I was free to tidy up a bit and make sure the house looked presentable for our guests. Brunch 2010 = success!

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