Hellooo! Let's see . . . two days ago was my 40th birthday. I celebrated by hosting my own brunch with tons of friends and their families. Here's what I made:
Bountiful Breakfast (from Andrea Cataland in the Suzuki cookbook, Noble Hearts, Hungry Bellies)
1/4 cup milk (I used 1/2 cup half and half)
1 tsp nutmeg (I used half this amount for one casserole & didn't use it at all for the 2nd)
1/4 tsp salt (I used a teaspoon I think, but I also think it was too much, but 1/4 would have been too little)
1/8 tsp pepper (a bunch of grinds - who measures pepper???)
1 Tbs fresh parsley, finely chopped
3 Tbs butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup green onions, finely chopped
8 slices crisp bacon, crumbled
6 oz. fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced (I hate mushrooms, so I left them out)
1 cup shredded cheddar (I used mild cheddar from the farmers' market)
1 cup shredded swiss or jack cheese (I used Jack)
Combine eggs, milk, salt, pepper, parsley, and nutmeg. Scramble in butter in large skillet until soft set. Transfer eggs to greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish. (I forgot to grease, and I don't think it mattered.) Pour sour cream, green onions, bacon, mushrooms (yuck!), and cheese over eggs. Cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, bake uncovered at 300° for 30 minutes or until completely warm and cheese is melted. (I tried mixing the sour cream stuff on the 1st and just layered it on the 2nd. Layering is the way to go - much prettier.)
Strawberry Bread (from Ruth White, Lauren Myracle and Susan White's mom)
Baked Cheese Grits (from Abby Nardo)
1 quart milk
1/2 cup butter
1 cup uncooked grits
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
2. Bring the milk to a boil in a pot over medium heat. Melt 1/2 cup butter in the boiling milk.
Gradually mix in the grits, and cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and
season with salt and pepper. Beat with a whisk or electric mixer until smooth. Mix in the
Cheddar cheese and 1/3 cup butter. Transfer to the prepared baking dish, and sprinkle with
3. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, until firm.
Sour Cream Cake with Chocolate Chips (from CI)
Refer to the illustrations below when layering the batter and streusel in the pan. A fixed-bottom, 10-inch tube pan (with 10-cup capacity) is best for this recipe. Note that the streusel is divided into two parts—one for the inner swirls, one for the topping.
|3/4||cup unbleached all-purpose flour (3 3/4 ounces)|
|3/4||cup granulated sugar (5 1/4 ounces)|
|1/2||cup packed dark brown sugar (3 1/2 ounces)|
|2||tablespoons ground cinnamon|
|2||tablespoons unsalted butter , cold, cut into 2 pieces|
|1||cup pecans , chopped|
|12||tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened but still cool, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, plus 2 additional tablespoons, softened, for greasing the pan|
|1 1/2||cups sour cream|
|1||tablespoon vanilla extract|
|2 1/4||cups unbleached all-purpose flour (11 1/2 ounces)|
|1 1/4||cups granulated sugar (8 3/4 ounces)|
|1||tablespoon baking powder|
|3/4||teaspoon baking soda|
|3/4||teaspoon table salt|
|1||cup chocolate chips|
- 1. For the streusel: In food processor, process flour, granulated sugar, 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, and cinnamon until combined, about 15 seconds. Transfer 1 1/4 cups of flour/sugar mixture to small bowl; stir in remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar and set aside to use for streusel filling. Add butter and pecans to mixture in food processor; pulse until nuts and butter resemble small pebbly pieces, about ten 1-second pulses. Set aside to use as streusel topping.
- 2. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 10-inch tube pan with the 2 tablespoons softened butter. Whisk eggs, 1 cup sour cream, and vanilla in medium bowl until combined.
- 3. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in bowl of standing mixer; mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add butter and remaining 1/2 cup sour cream; mix on low speed until dry ingredients are moistened and mixture resembles wet sand, with few large butter pieces remaining, about 1 1/2 minutes. Increase to medium speed and beat until batter comes together, about 10 seconds; scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula. Lower speed to medium-low and gradually add egg mixture in 3 additions, beating for 20 seconds after each and scraping down sides of bowl. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until batter is light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
- 4. Using rubber spatula, spread 2 cups batter in bottom of prepared pan, smoothing surface, and sprinkle 1/2 cup chocolate chips on top. Sprinkle evenly with 3/4 cup streusel filling (without butter or nuts). Repeat with another 2 cups batter, 1/2 cup chocolate chips, and remaining 3/4 cup streusel filling (without butter or nuts). Spread remaining batter over, then sprinkle with streusel topping (with butter and nuts).
- 5. Bake until cake feels firm to touch and long toothpick or skewer inserted into center comes out clean (bits of sugar from streusel may cling to tester), 50 to 60 minutes. Cool cake in pan on wire rack 30 minutes. Invert cake onto rimmed baking sheet (cake will be streusel-side down); remove tube pan, place wire rack on top of cake, and reinvert cake streusel-side up. Cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Cut into wedges and serve. (Cake can be wrapped in foil and stored at room temperature for up to 5 days.)
And last, but not least . . .
Tall and Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits (from CI)
We prefer to use low-fat buttermilk in these biscuits, but nonfat buttermilk will work as well (though the biscuits will be a little lighter in texture and flavor). For the highest rise, use a double-acting baking powder, such as Calumet, Clabber Girl, or Davis. Store leftover biscuits in an airtight zipper-lock bag. Reheat by placing them on a baking sheet in a 475-degree oven for 5 to 7 minutes.
|Nonstick cooking spray|
|2||cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces)|
|1||tablespoon double-acting baking powder|
|1||tablespoon granulated sugar|
|1||teaspoon table salt|
|1/2||teaspoon baking soda|
|4||tablespoons unsalted butter (cold), cut into 1/4-inch cubes|
|1 1/2||cups buttermilk cold, preferably low-fat|
|To Form and Finish Biscuits|
|1||cup unbleached all-purpose flour (5 ounces), distributed in rimmed baking sheet|
|2||tablespoons unsalted butter , melted|
- 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees. Spray 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. Generously spray inside and outside of 1/4 cup dry measure with nonstick cooking spray.
- 2. For the dough: In food processor, pulse flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and baking soda to combine, about six 1-second pulses. Scatter butter cubes evenly over dry ingredients; pulse until mixture resembles pebbly, coarse cornmeal, eight to ten 1-second pulses. Transfer mixture to medium bowl. Add buttermilk to dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula until just incorporated (dough will be very wet and slightly lumpy).
- 3. To form and bake biscuits:Using 1/4 cup dry measure (I now use a cookie scoop) and working quickly, scoop level amount of dough; drop dough from measuring cup into flour on baking sheet (if dough sticks to cup, use small spoon to pull it free). Repeat with remaining dough, forming 12 evenly sized mounds. Dust tops of each piece of dough with flour from baking sheet. With floured hands, gently pick up piece of dough and coat with flour; gently shape dough into rough ball, shake off excess flour, and place in prepared cake pan. Repeat with remaining dough, arranging 9 rounds around perimeter of cake pan and 3 in center. Brush rounds with hot melted butter, taking care not to flatten them. Bake 5 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 450 degrees; continue to bake until biscuits are deep golden brown, about 15 minutes longer. Cool in pan 2 minutes, then invert biscuits from pan onto clean kitchen towel; turn biscuits right-side up and break apart. Cool 5 minutes longer and serve.