Monday, May 2, 2016

Ideas and Recipe for Mothers Day Brunches

Hello Everyone!
Oh my goodness this year is going fast. I sat down tonight to continue on my Spring cleaning posts and realized that this weekend is Mothers Day!!!!

Isn't she adorable?  I have a lady vase that looks a lot like her that stores my paint brushes.

I made a promise that I would give y'all recipes for awesome brunches for your mom when I couldn't do them for Valentine's Day and I don't plan on reneging on that promise.  So, we will continue on with Spring cleaning later this week and will focus on brunch for this post.

Making brunch for your mother is a great way for you to spoil mom and save on our pocket book.  Most of the supplies will only cost about $10 (excluding alcohol)  total when you purchase them at the grocery store. That is less than the cost of one brunch meal at a restaurant, let alone two meals, and that doesn't even include if you decide that you would like a Bloody Mary or Mimosa to go with Brunch.
I'm sorry that I don't have pictures for most of these, but the holiday snuck up on me. 
Brunch is, overall, not a difficult meal to create. The hard part comes in the timing of when you prepare the dishes.
My timer actually looks like this, minus the face, and with minutes instead of hours.  I actually use it quite a lot when I am preparing breakfast.

If you are not a frequent cook, for some of these recipe, I would advise that you have breakfast for dinner some time this week and practice your timing so that you get it just right for mom on the big day.
I have broken these down into individual meals, but please feel free to mix and match to your heart's content.  I also have avoided the breakfasts that you may make every week-end such as scrambled eggs, bacon, and pancakes. Instead, I have opted for the brunches that will look prettier and feel more luxurious when eating, so that it feels more like it belongs in a ladies salon than a farmhouse table.

Please note, if I have put a * by the name of the dish it means that you can do it yourself and feel smug about the fact that you are awesome and did everything by hand, but it is more work than most of us are willing to do. I have included the recipes, but I would suggest cheating and just buying them at the store.

Brunch #1  (Easy)  Blueberry Scones* with Clotted Cream & Lemon Curd or Strawberry Jelly
                               "Parisienne" Coddled Eggs
                                Thick-cut Bacon

Brunch #2 (Medium) Ham and Egg Cups
                                 Gourmet Hashbrowns

Brunch #3 (Hard)  Jacques Pepin's Eggs Jeanette  (A dish named after and inspired by his mother)
                               Served over Romaine lettuce and sprinkled with Bacon
                               Crusty French Bread* 

I want both of these outfits.  The be honest, I want this picture to be my life.  But this is the feel that I strive for when making a Mothers Day Brunch.

Brunch #1:  Blueberry Scones with clotted cream (or butter) with Lemon Curd or Strawberry Jelly                                           "Parisienne" Coddled Eggs    and   Thick Cut Bacon               


Blueberry Scones

Although I have baked blueberry scones, to be brutally honest I usually purchase them from the market.  But I am including this recipe for those of you who like to bake.  This is my favorite recipe for blueberry scones and is on a website that truly has some wonderful baked recipes.

I am not a baker, so I do not come up with my own recipes when it comes to baking, so I thought it only fair that I give all the credit to Sally.

Microwave Lemon Curd

I got this recipe from the book The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard. 

I am not being paid to endorse this book, I just like it.

I found it at the library and loved it so much that I had to go online and buy it for myself.  As you know, I am starting to garden now that I have a house, and I wanted to have recipes for the items that I am growing in my garden.  But I did not want 20 jars of tomato sauce.  This book tells you how to can fruits and vegetables in small batches so that it is more practical for the smaller household. The only hard thing about this recipe is making certain that you monitor the temperature in your microwave.  You have to be careful not to overcook it or it will separate.
I have included this recipe in case you cannot find lemon curd or if the lemon curd that you found is too expensive for your budget.  This recipe is extremely budget friendly.

2-3 Lemons
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup granulate sugar
2 eggs

1.  Finely grate (zest) the thin outer rind of the lemons. 
2.  In a small bowl or juicer, squeeze the lemons until you have about 1/2 cup of lemon juice.  (Please don't try to cheat and use ready made lemon juice.  It won't taste good.)  Pour the juice into a 4 cup microwavable container.  (I have a 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup that I like to use.)
3.  Stir in the grated rind (zest), butter and sugar. Microwave, uncovered, on high (100%) for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes OR until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot.
4.  In a medium bowl, beat the eggs.  GRADUALLY add the hot lemon mixture to the eggs, stirring constantly.  You have to be gradual and stir constantly or the hot lemon mixture will scramble/cook the eggs and you don't want that.
5. Return the mixture back to the microwaveable container and microwave, uncovered, on medium heat (50% power for 1 to 2 minutes OR until just thickened, stirring every 30 seconds. (This was the hard part for me because it took me forever to try to figure out how to get my microwave to half power.)
Do not allow the mixture to boil; the mixture will thicken as it cools.
6.  Let cool.
7.  Pour curd into a container that can be tightly sealed.  In can stay in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or in the freezer for longer.

NOTE:  This will make about 1 2/3 cup lemon curd.  You can make this at least a week in advance or the night before and it is one less thing that you have to worry about the day of your brunch.
If you want to be a little naughty, you can stir 1 tbsp. Amaretto or Grand Marnier into the curd after cooking.

"Parisienne" Coddled Eggs

I adore coddled eggs.  I make them for my husband and myself for breakfast at least once a month.  Although it is easier to coddle your eggs in a coddler, I realize that not everyone has this breakfast tool, so I have also included instructions for how to coddle an egg in a teacup.  Both are beautiful in presentation and will make your mom feel like a queen.

This is one of my set of four coddlers.  As you have probably figured out, I love little birds and every time I see these coddlers I get happy.

Cooking spray or melted butter
3-4 large eggs
1/2 tsp. milk or cream each (for each egg)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp. freshly shredded parmesan cheese.
1/2 tsp. dried herb de provence  (Or, if you have an herb garden, you can use any herbs that are in your garden and that you think would taste yummy on your eggs.)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions (For Coddler)
1.  In a small bowl, I use a custard cup, mix together the garlic, parmesan and herbs. Set aside.
2.  Spray the inside of each coddler with non-stick spray or brush on melted butter.  Make certain that you cover the inside of the lid as well so that they egg won't stick.
3.  Carefully pour about 1/2 tsp. of cream or milk into each coddler.
4.  Gently break each egg, one at a time, into a coddler.  Unless you have an extra large coddler, one coddler should fit one egg.
5.  Divide the cheese mixture evenly among the  number of eggs you are making (3 or 4eggs) and sprinkle on top of each egg.
6.  Screw the lids on top of the coddlers.
7.  Put the coddlers into a medium sized pot and fill with water up to the silver rim but not over the lid.
8.  Remove the coddlers from the pot.  On high heat, heat the water until it comes to a boil.  Once it comes to a boil, put the coddlers back into the boiling water.
9.  Boil for 6 minutes and remove from heat.

NOTE:  This method will be quicker than the teacup method because, with the coddlers, you can cook the eggs on a higher heat.

Instructions (For Teacups)
1.  Butter the insides of 3-4 teacups with melted butter.
2.  Follow directions 3-5 from the recipe above.
3.  Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit just inside the skillet that you plan on using.  Skillet should also have a lid.
3.  Bring 1 inch of water to a gentle simmer in a large skillet. 
4.  Transfer teacups to the simmering water and cover with the piece of parchment paper you cut.  Reduce heat to medium, and steam, covered with skillet lid until whites are set but yolks are still soft, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Thick cut Bacon

Cook this however you normally would cook bacon.  I actually have a nifty handcrafted bacon mug that I got for Christmas last year that allows me to cook bacon in the microwave in 3-6 minutes.  This literally makes this brunch a 6 minute meal for me.
But you can pan fry it or cook it in the oven as well.

I am going to do a brunch an evening, starting with the easiest and ending with the hardest.  So please keep a look-out for the next three evenings.  On Saturday, I will get back to spring cleaning and show some more homemade cleaning supplies.

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