By Kalena Newberry
Spring is my favorite time of the year, except for the annoying pollen. There’s something about stepping into the warm sunshine while feeling a light and cool breeze on your face. This makes me feel alive again! Everything comes to life again! All things are new once more!
With Easter celebrations hopping up around the corner, I’d like to share some ideas for an Easter brunch with you. Brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch. It’s usually served between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Its origin is from 19th century England and its popularity began in the United States in the 1930’s.
Here’s your chance to decorate with your favorite spring flowers and pastel colors. You can set up a drink station with coffee and a juice variety. Serve up some fresh fruit, blueberry scones, muffins, pastries. You can serve ham and cheese quiche and maybe some pigs in a blanket. How about yogurt parfaits topped with granola in pretty decorative glasses? Miniature pancakes held together by skewers are a nice touch.
Don’t forget to add a beautiful centerpiece, maybe something in a robin egg blue hue? You can use flower printed paper plates with color coordinated napkins or you may choose to use your finest China. Just have a fun time preparing brunch your family and friends. It will be a pleasant surprise for them. Don’t forget the true meaning of this season… JESUS!!!
Ham and Cheese Quiche
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 cups diced ham
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 deep dish frozen pie crust
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter in a small nonstick pan and cook onion until soft. Let cool slightly. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, salt and pepper. Stir in ham and both cheeses. (I like to leave a small handful of cheese to sprinkle on top.) Stir in cooked onion. Pour filling into pie crust, set on a baking sheet and place in oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until set. Serve warm.
Blueberry Scones w/ Lemon Glaze
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold, cut in chunks
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing the scones
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 lemon, zest finely grated
Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Sift together the dry ingredients; the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Using 2 forks or a pastry blender, cut in the butter to coat the pieces with the flour. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Fold the blueberries into the batter. Take care not to mash or bruise the blueberries because their strong color will bleed into the dough. Make a well in the center and pour in the heavy cream. Fold everything together just to incorporate; do not overwork the dough. Press the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 12x3x1 1/4 inches. Cut the rectangle in 1/2 then cut the pieces in 1/2 again, giving you 4 (3-inch) squares. Cut the squares in 1/2 on a diagonal to give you the classic triangle shape. Place the scones on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush the tops with a little heavy cream. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until beautiful and brown. Let the scones cool a bit before you apply the glaze. You can make the lemon glaze in a double boiler, or for a simpler alternative, you can zap it in the microwave. Mix the lemon juice with the confectioners’ until dissolved in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water for the double-boiler method, or in a microwave-safe bowl. Whisk in the butter and lemon zest. Either nuke the glaze for 30 seconds or continue whisking in the double boiler. Whisk the glaze to smooth out any lumps, and then drizzle the glaze over the top of the scones. Let it set a minute before serving.
Yogurt Granola Parfaits w/ Berries
2 containers (6 oz each) strawberry, raspberry, key lime or banana-cream pie fat-free yogurt
3/4 cup blueberries, raspberries or sliced strawberries
6 Tbsp granola
2 mint leaves, if desired
Directions: In each of 2 clear 8-ounce dishes (or use 2 martini glasses or wine goblets for a more elegant touch), spoon one-third of the yogurt from 1 container, 2 tablespoons of the berries and 1 tablespoon of the granola; repeat layers 2 more times. Garnish each serving with a mint leaf, if desired.