Monday, May 17, 2010

Mother's Day Brunch

Less than 24 hours after our big 1st birthday blow out for my niece Ella, the family was back together to celebrate the mothers with a morning brunch. Perfect opportunity as the grandmothers (and a great-grandmother!) were in town and it was my sister’s first official Mother’s Day!

Planning with my brother-in-law Ike, who would be the host of the meal, we decided to make a buffet style brunch complete with different stations. I took my inspiration from the many European hotel breakfasts I’ve indulged in and made sure to add a cheese plate to the mix! I picked up a brie log, pesto gouda and port salut. The pesto gouda was really tasty and the port salut is one of my signature additions. Love it.

The pastry display featured French breakfast muffins and Pain au Chocolat. These muffins taste just like cinnamon donuts - mmm.
French Breakfast Muffins
12 servings
from the Colorado Cache Cookbook

1 1/2 cups plus 2 Tbs flour

3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted

for the topping:

1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine first five ingredients. Add milk, egg and 1/3 cup melted butter. Mix thouroughly. Grease and flour small muffin tins. Fill 1/2 full and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until  lightly browned. Mix cinnamon and remaining sugar, set aside. Mix remaining 1/3 cup melted butter with vanilla. Remove muffins immediately from pan and dip in vanilla butter then roll in cinnamon sugar. Serve warm.

I have to admit that I had grander plans for the Pain au Chocolat as I was going to be tackling the recipe found
here at Sweet Charity Pie. Then I actually read the recipe the whole way through right before the weekend - apparantly it takes about 2 1/2 days to prepare with the number of times/hours you need to chill the dough! So, I settled on frozen puff pastry sheets and a quickie recipe. Unfortunately, I tried to stretch out the dough to make 12 instead of the recommended 8 and ended up with an open faced pastry - not the intent to show the chocolate! To be honest, I also could have just bought croissants and spread nutella in the middle of the warmed up breads! I do still want to tackle the full on dough making at some point - after all, I did buy the dry yeast and bread flour special for the recipe!

We set the toaster out with a basket of bread and bagels for those carb loaders in the room: yummy cream cheeses to top.

My brother in law has perfected the omelet and made them to order with tomato, spinach, green onion and cheese. 
Our meat station consisted of sausage links, straight-from-Iowa bacon and a giant honey baked spiral cut ham! Some ham drama when it got picked up the day before - no record of the reservation Ike made! Luckily we talked our way into one. . .

Ike's sister Kate whipped up the waffle batter the night before and quickly became an expert at the waffle maker! To make serving as easy as possible, the batter was already measured out in glasses at 3/4 a cup. The waffles were delicious - airy, not too heavy which was good since we had about fifty other breakfast items to pile on our plates. With some homemade whipped cream and strawberries, you should definitely indulge in more than one! 
The recipe is part of a chicken 'n waffles recipe from Emeril. Here's the recipe, sans the fried chicken:

Buttermilk Waffles

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Unsalted butter, topping
Maple Syrup

Preheat a waffle iron and lightly grease. Into a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients together. In a clean bowl, beat the eggs. Add the butter and buttermilk and beat to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix well. Pour the batter into the hot waffle iron and cook until golden brown and lightly crisp. Remove and if desired, top with a slice of butter, and serve with the maple syrup.

A wooden tray filled with juice glasses and a pitcher of orange juice also held some pre-poured mimosas in champagne flutes for those that were ready to kick back and relax. Including me!
All in all a great success and some pretty pleased mamas - brunch for 10 accomplished without too much chaos in the kitchen thanks to a well organized buffet line and patient family members!

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