First I want to thank Emily, my contact person at Eggland's Best, for the opportunity to host this brunch. Emily kept me informed, answered questions promptly, sent out a great EB Mine box, and was a sweetheart to work with. I also want to thank Lark of Lark's Country Heart for passing my name/blog along to Eggland's Best. It constantly warms my little heart how supportive food bloggers are of each other.
And more thank yous go to my family for putting up with me totally ignoring them the night before the brunch as I prepped for the next morning, and assigning tasks that had to be done tout sweet (that's right now, yall), and yelling "OMG, get dressed! Get dressed now. Get dressed!" several times the morning of the brunch. (Even though I slept until 8 and answered the door wearing my fuzzy slippers. It's nice to have friends & family who don't bat an eye at that.)
Thank you also to our friends who braved downpours and tornado warnings to get here. Not to mention the mighty fine, cerebral conversation during brunch. If you believe that...I have this bridge. It's for sale.
Eggland's Best contacted me to host this brunch with a Valentine's spin. I've mentioned before that when Mardi Gras falls in February, Valentine's Day pretty much doesn't exist. This brunch became more of a Mardi Gras party than A V-Day celebration. It was held before my town's annual Mardi Gras Boucherie (Boucher...what?). A kick-off to our Mardi Gras festivities.
On the menu:
OJ, coffee, and/or kir / fruit platter / Oatmeal Berry Muffins / Brabant Potatoes / Leek & Mushroom Quiche / Grab & Go Granola Bars from Eggland's Best website / Scrambled Eggs w/ Crab & Roasted Poblano Pico
*All recipes/recipe sources appear near the end of this post*
We also had some special guests make appearances. Everybody loves a party!
The Boy's alter ego...The Nutty Knight
Even EB showed up. Though he wasn't much help with the dishes, he didn't mind being tossed around.
The Husband was assigned drink duty. He made the coffee and the first (of several) rounds of Kir, a French drink made with crème de cassis and white wine.
Gotta have some kind of fruit with brunch.
Going with the heart-healthy theme were these Berry Oatmeal Muffins. Made with oatmeal, wheat flour, and egg (Eggland's Best!) whites.
I also firmly believe that brunch can't be brunch without potatoes. Brabant Potatoes are my favorite.
And if you're letting me indulge in some potatoes, I may as well take that yard and have some chocolate too. These Grab & Go Granola Bars, from the Eggland's Best recipe collection, have lots of fruit, nuts, oatmeal, shredded wheat, and mini chocolate chips.
But the two eggiest dishes of all were probably the most commented on.
Mushroom & Leek Crustless Quiches...with just an itsy bitsy bit of bacon:
I love this egg-shaped cutting board that was included in my goodie box. Way cool.
Perfect Scrambled Eggs w/ Crab & Roasted Poblano Pico:
I know. I know. Eggs and bacon. Eggs and breakfast sausage. Steak and eggs. Crab and eggs?
In keeping with the heart-healthy theme, I wanted something lighter with the eggs. This mixture of crab, roasted poblano, tomato, red onion, avocado, and lime was light and fresh. A great topping for light, fluffy, cloud-like eggs. I use Tyler Florence's (Food 911) method for cooking scrambled eggs and they come out perfect every time.
Pour crème de cassis into a wine glass. Top with white wine (or Champagne for Kir Royale). Determine the ratio of crème de cassis to wine based on personal taste. I like about 1/4 cassis to 3/4 wine.
Berry Oatmeal Muffins --printer friendly
recipe from Cooking For Your Family on BabyCenter
1 C rolled oats
1 C buttermilk
2 egg whites
1/4 C sugar
1/4 C canola oil
1 C whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg and/or cinnamon
1 1/4 C blackberries (fresh or frozen), or a mix of berriesCombine oatmeal, buttermilk, egg whites, oil and sugar in a medium bowl. Beat well and let stand for 5-10 minutes. In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spice. Mix well then combine with wet ingredients and stir until just moistened -- do not overmix. Gently stir in berries. Spoon batter into a muffin tin lined with either cooking spray or muffin cups. Bake at 400' about 15-20 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes, then serve.
Notes: best if made the night before
Brabant Potatoes can be found here. --printer friendly
Grab & Go Granola Bars can be found here.
Mushroom & Leek Crustless Quiches --printer friendly
based on a recipe for broccoli/bacon quiche from Dusanka
1 leek, leaves separated & rinsed, sliced
about 10-12 baby bella mushrooms (medium size), sliced
2-3 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled (optional)
2 cups half & half (OR milk OR heavy cream)
salt, pepper, Tony's
1 1/2- 2 cups grated cheese (your favorite)
Preheat oven to 350. Add liners to 24 muffin cups (regular, not mini).
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Saute the leeks and mushrooms until browned in places and any liquid released has evaporated. Set aside to cool. Can be made a day ahead.
Meanwhile, cook bacon and crumble, if using.
Whisk together the eggs, half & half, and seasonings (to taste). Stir in the cheese. When cooled, stir in the leek/mushroom mixture and bacon.
Pour mixture evenly into muffin liners. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Mini-quiches are done when knife inserted into middle comes out clean.
Note: these will puff up a lot in the oven, then shrink back down as they cool.
These can be refrigerated and microwaved, works well for a fast breakfast
Perfect Scrambled Eggs w/ Crab & Roasted Poblano Pico de Gallo
For the pico:
1 large Poblano pepper, roasted, skinned, seeds removed, diced
a few Tbsp chopped red onion
1-2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
a few Tbsp chopped parsley
salt and pepper
juice of 1-2 limes
2 avocados, diced
8 oz cooked crab
The pepper can be roasted and prepped the day before. Combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl except for the crab and avocado. Use salt, pepper, and lime juice to taste. Mix until combined. Let sit about 30 minutes for flavors to meld. Just before serving, gently fold in the crab and avocado.
For the eggs:
1/4 c half & half, milk, or cream
3 TBSP unsalted butter
salt & pepper to taste
Crack the eggs into a bowl and add the half & half. Whisk vigorously until foamy.
Melt butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. When the butter is foamy, turn down the heat and slowly pour in the eggs. Using a heat-resistant rubber spatula, slowly fold the eggs from the outside of the pan to the center. This will become easier and more like folding once the eggs start to set. Continue folding from the out edges of the pan into the center until the eggs are almost completely set. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper and place in a serving bowl. Top with the pico and serve right away.
If you've never tried Eggland's Best eggs, whatcha waitin' for, cher?
You'll notice a difference right when you crack them open. I'm tellin' ya--even the shells are higher quality than other eggs.
And did you know...
"Eggs can be incorporated into a heart-healthy diet, and are one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. Eggland’s Best eggs contain more than 2X the heart healthy Omega-3 fatty acids than ordinary eggs, 2X more Vitamin D and 10X more Vitamin E, a vitamin associated with reducing the risk of heart disease." (from Eggland's Best)
Get yourself to a store (tout sweet!) and try some for yourself. And how about liking them on FaceBook too?
NOW FOR THE PART YALL SCROLLED AND SCROLLED FOR...
Having been a winner of an EB giveaway in the past, I can tell you that you're in for a treat.
One reader will receive:
•2 Free EB Dozen coupons (Any variety- classic, cage-free, or organic)
•1 Free EB Hard Cooked and Peeled variety coupon
•1 EB Apron
•1 EB Spatula
•1 EB Whisk
•1 EB Cutting Board
•1 EB Mixing Bowl
•1 EB Bowl Scraper
•1 EB Coffee Mug
•1 Plush Egg
•1 EB Tote Bag
All you have to do to enter is:
* leave a comment telling what heart healthy ingredient you think pairs best with EB eggs
* comment by 7:00 PM CST March 2nd, 2010
* Please leave a way for me to contact you in your comment.
A winner will be randomly chosen and announced March 3rd, 2012. The winner has 48 hours to respond. This giveaway is open to residents of the continental US only.
The details: Eggland’s Best provided me with VIP coupons and a gift card to help purchase items for this brunch, an EB Mine box which included a large mixing bowl, apron, cutting board, and other goodies, information, coupons for my brunch guests, and a prize pack to give away to my readers. The writing, opinions, and images above (except for Brad Pitt's head) are my own.