Saturday, April 17, 2010

Butter and Eggs, What a Perfect Easter Brunch! (The Petaluma Post)

Here's my column from the Petaluma Post for this month.  It's a little dated for Easter, but perfect for the upcoming Butter & Eggs Day parade.

The sun is shining, the hills are green, the cows and the chickens are starting to enjoy the fresh grasses of Spring. The perfect time to celebrate with a home town favorite parade; the Butter & Eggs Day parade will be April 24th.  To help celebrate here are a couple of my favorite brunch recipes for your parade day breakfast or your Easter brunch.

When planning your Easter brunch, if little ones are involved, there will have to be fun activities even before you get your coffee.  So have a nibble prepared; my sour cream coffee cake recipe is fool proof. Every year at Christmas time I make them as a youth project with the Rainbow Girls.  If you can imagine a kitchen full of 11 to 19 year old girls making 200 coffee cakes!  They sell them for a service project - they freeze well too.

Coffee Cake
1¾ cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla

Lightly mix the dry ingredient together. Mix all the wet ingredients together. Then stir into the dry ingredients; mix till just combined. Place in a Bundt pan or a Loaf pan, then top with streusel and bake until an inserted skewer comes out clean - this will vary with pan size, but is about 45 minutes at 350 degrees. It also makes a great hostess gift or pot luck item. Feel free to add any favorites, like blue berries (frozen are fine), chocolate chips, lemon zest and poppy seeds.

⅔ cup flour
⅓ cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
6 Tbs butter - cold

Place all ingredients in food processer and process till crumbly.

I have had this recipe for years, actually translated from German from my time in Innsbruck Austria. We always keep it in house for a quick topping. From apple pies to coffee cakes. Make a batch and keep it in the freezer.

Our Roasted Pepper Frittata recipe holds and heats up well. We recently did it for a 600 person hot breakfast event. How do you get hot food out to 600 people when all of the guest are going to be seated at the same time and the meeting starts immediately? I found myself asking that question too. As often with catering, you try looking a things from a different direction. The frittata had to be hot, but not the rest of the food, so we plated the pumpkin bread and the fruit and put out the plates, and then 15 minutes before guests we added the Frittata to the plate. The potatoes help to hold the temperature and make it very filling. It was a great hit.

Roasted Pepper Frittata
Yield: 1 9x13 pan, serves 12-15
1½ lbs chopped cooked potatoes (if you are busy and working frozen Obrien potatoes from the supermarket work just fine)
8 oz grated cheese (be creative, any cheese will work, I love the organic white cheddar from Spring Hill Farms)
2 oz baby spinach leaves (for color and texture)
¼ cup diced roasted peppers (canned is okay)
1½ tsp salt
½t pepper
12 eggs

Spray the baking pan with Pam. In a separate bowl crack the eggs and whisk till broken. Fold in all the ingredients, and mix gently until combined. Pour into the baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, until firm.

To reheat: place in 225 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes. It is also great served cold for a light lunch.

Both of these recipes are great dishes that you can make in advance and add to. Purchase a spiral cut ham or breakfast sausages and a gallon of orange juice, have some one bring a fruit salad. I have always entertained, the family gatherings are always at my house with friends and family. It has taken me years to realize that it is not the menu that people enjoy as much as the company. Make a simple meal perfect and enjoy the day.


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