Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Night Cocktail and...Sunday Morning Mother's Day Brunch!

Since its Mother's Day this Sunday, I would say its a special weekend...so why don't we start the weekend off with a special cocktail to honour all the Moms out there that spread their love throughout the year...
What could be better than a refreshing glass of lemonade? And what could be better than a glass of PINK lemonade with a little boost...? This cocktail has the sweet essence of raspberry, the tartness of lemons and the briskness of fresh mint. One word: YUM!

Raspberry Limoncello Spritzer
Ingredients:
1 ounce Vodka
1 ounce Limoncello
1 ounce raspberry liqueur
2 ounces pink lemonade concentrate
Sparkling water
Fresh raspberries
Fresh mint sprigs

Method:
Place first 4 ingredients in cocktail shaker filled with ice; shake until blended. Strain into chilled Martini glass. Top with sparkling water. Garnish with raspberries and mint.

Now for the main event...Mother's Day Sunday Brunch! I was looking for a way to put eggs into a dish that shows the delicate nature of a mother...I know what you are thinking - this girl has way too much time on her hands! But as Mother's Day is a day to step into our girlie shoes and celebrate being a MOM, and I wanted something that would look good next to my cute little pink cocktail - I came up with these oh so delicate Egg Blossoms:

Egg Blossoms
Ingredients:
4 sheets filo pastry
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
4 eggs
4 teaspoons minced fresh chives
Sea salt and white pepper
Optional: 1/2 jar of your favourite pasta sauce, preferably a chunky variety



Method:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 4 (2 1/2-inch) muffin cups
2. Brush 1 sheet of filo with butter; top with another sheet;brush with butter. Cut stack into 6 (4-inch) squares. Repeat with remaining 2 sheets. Stack 3 squares together, rotating so corners do not overlap. Press into greases muffin cup. repeat with remaining squares.
3. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon Parmesan cheese in each filo-lined cup. Break 1 egg into each cup. Sprinkle chives over eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Bake 15-20 minutes or until pastry is golden and eggs are set. Serve plain or with warmed tomato sauce. Makes 4 servings.

A good egg breakfast, as delicate as it is requires protein, so I thought I would pair the pretty egg blossoms with a hearty pork sausage, which is laced with thyme, sage and apple. I shaped them into patties and pan-fried them until they are golden brown.


Country Breakfast Sausage
Ingredients:
1 pound ground pork
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried sage leaves
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 a large apple, peeled and coarsely grated

Method:
1. Combine all ingredients in medium bowl; mix well. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight for flavours to blend.
2. Shape into 6 patties. Cook in lightly greased skillet over medium heat about 15 minutes or until browned on both sides and centres are no longer pink, turning occasionally  (be careful not to overcook, or the patties will become dry).

One of my favourite breakfast items is fruit and granola, topped with yoghurt. I decided to make these individual fruit and granola crisps using my favourite fruit and nut granola, mixed berries and apple. The house smells so delicious when the oven is baking something with apples and cinnamon! Topped with plain yoghurt, these sweet and tart babies are just the right balance to an egg and sausage breakfast!

Individual Fruit And Granola Crisps
Ingredients:
2 cups frozen mixed berries plus 1 small apple peeled and chopped
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup fruit and nut granola
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter

Method:
Place berries and apple in mixing bowl. Add lemon juice, tossing lightly to coat. Spoon into 4 buttered oven- safe ramekins. Blend remaining ingredients together until crumbly, sprinkle over fruit. Bake in 375F oven for 15- 20 minutes or until topping is golden brown and fruit is bubbling. Serve warm or cold with plain yoghurt. These can be made the day before and re-heated in a 325F oven for about 10-15 minutes. Serves 4.




I really wanted to put together a Brunch Menu that is easy enough for kids to prepare (maybe with a bit of help from Dad...) The sausage mixture, the fruit and granola crisps and the filo blossoms can be prepped/made the day before (as long as the filo is well basted with butter and covered with cling wrap then it won't dry out overnight). Then all you need to do in the morning is cook the sausage patties, reheat the crisps and pop the eggs into the filo blossoms and bake them. Mom can be sitting in her favourite chair, sipping her Raspberry Limoncello Spritzer while she is waiting for her delicious Sunday Brunch!









Have you decided how you will set the table...? Here is a little inspiration for some table decor - remember: there is beauty in imperfection - just go for it!!


HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!


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