Easter Brunch

  • Fresh EggsI've received a lot of advice regarding the best way to cook hard boiled eggs. Seems everyone has a strong opinion on this—"cold eggs, room temp eggs, cold water, warm water, vinegar, salted water, sauce pan frying pan, covered, uncovered." Descriptions are so complex and specific—like practicing voodoo.

    I can make a HB egg that is soft, not dry or green in the center, and it's very simple. Place eggs in a sauce pan in a single layer. 
Cover the eggs with water (warm or cold)
 Bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water boils, cover the pan and turn off the heat.
 In 21 minutes the eggs are done.  

    Deviled Eggs

    Mix in a small bowl:
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp white pepper
    • 2 tsp prepared horseradish
    • 2—3 Tbsp mayonnaise
    Add the yokes of six hard boiled eggs, mix with a fork just till combined. Pipe yoke filling into each half egg white. Store refrigerated in air-tight container. My eggs are garnished with shredded carrots dressed with lemon juice to retain color.
  • spring vegetables I chose vegetables that reminded me of spring, or at least did not remind me of winter. Broccoli and cauliflower were intentionally left out.


    The carrots made me smile, they look like some Jack pulled from our garden in July. There will be no Michigan carrots for months, these are organic from CA.spring potatoes


    I've never met anyone who enjoys raw potatoes, mine are par-boiled (cooked, but not soft). Likewise the asparagus. After they've cool, I tossed the potatoes in a puddle of olive oil and salt. All the other veggies are undressed.


    To make certain that the tender tips of the asparagus are al dente, I cook them upright in boiling salted water for 2 minutes. I untie them and let the tops fall into the simmering water, count to 30, then take them out. I quickly put them into ice water, because I think it makes them greener.asparagus


    Admittedly, cleaning vegetables for Crudités is time consuming. I always do this ahead. I clean, slice and cook the vegetables, and store them in the fridge in separate containers.
  • I like the bread in bite-size pieces for the buffet; I bake this bread in the style of Monkey Bread. When I say, "in the style of," I mean just that. This will not BE Monkey Bread. It will come apart in single serving pieces, but it will not be gooey or sticky. Okay, it will be a little sticky, but definitely not gooey.


    Begin by preparing your favorite bread recipe. I use a wheat dinner roll recipe. After the dough has had a chance to rise, (usually 1 hour) divide the into pieces the size of walnuts.


    Drop each piece into melted butter, roll in cinnamon sugar (1/3 cup granular sugar, 1/3 cup powdered sugar and 4 tsp cinnamon)


    Arrange in two layers inside an eight inch round or square baking pan. Or a tube pan. Or a couple loaf pans. Really, any pan will do. Cover, let rise 30-40 minutes.


    Meanwhile prepare oven: Heat oven to 400º


    Bake 5 minutes, then lower heat 350º and continue to bake 15-20 minutes longer. Turn out of pan, while still warm (the sugar releases easier when it's warm)


    Wheat dinner rolls

    • 1 cup warm water(about 110º)
    • 1 T sugar (or honey)
    • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 2 1/4 tsp. dry yeast
    • 1 cup whole wheat flour
    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 T. oil
    • 2 egg whites
      In the large bowl of a stand mixer, combine water, sugar, salt and yeast. Proof yeast 15 minutes.


    Add  whole wheat flour and oil; beat 5 minutes.


    In a separate bowl beat egg whites until stiff, add beaten egg whites to batter. Gradually add a cup of  all-purpose flour. Really, take your time. The more mixing the machine does, the less time you'll spend kneading.


    Continue adding flour until the dough is too stiff for the machine. Turn dough out onto floured surface, adding flour as kneaded to prevent excessive sticking. Knead(10-15 minutes)


    Place dough in an oiled bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place till doubled(1 hour) Punch dough down, cover and let rise 15 minutes.
  • My kids call this, "Blue Ribbon Quiche", because it  won  me a fancy blue ribbon once. It was a very fancy ribbon.  

    Broccoli Cheese Quiche

    • 4 eggs
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1 baked 9" pie shell
    • 3-4 cups steamed chopped broccoli
    • 1/2 cup chopped onion
    • 1  cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
    • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp white pepper
      heat oven to 375 degrees


    Steam the broccoli first; it can dry and cool on a kitchen towel while you prepare the other ingredients.


    Saute onion in 2 Tbsp olive oil.


    Beat eggs.


    Add milk, cooked broccoli, onion, salt and white pepper, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.


    Sprinkle remaining cheese into baked pie crust (the cheese adheres to the hot crust and prevents it from getting soggy while the quiche filling bakes)


    Pour egg mixture over cheese.


    Bake 50 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350º and continue to bake until center is thoroughly cooked.


    Quiche reheats nicely in a microwave oven, so use a non-metal pie pan.


    I'm serving Kielbasa along side my quiche because…it's a holiday, and my ancestors are Polish. My family never celebrates a holiday without Kielbasa.
  • Carrot & Apple Juice

    • 4 cups carrot juice = 4 lbs organic carrots (Earthbound Farm)
    • 2 2/3 cups bottled apple juice
    • 5 tsp lemon juice


    Juice the carrots into a cup. I've added a tsp of lemon juice to the bottom of the cup first, be retain the bright orange color.


    Continue juicing the carrots in this manner. Add apple juice. Serve immediately or refrigerate.



    Bloody Mary

    • 3 center stalks of celery, diced
    • 1 tsp grated yellow onion
    • 2 tsp prepared horseradish
    • juice of one lemon
    • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
    • 12 dashes Tabasco sauce
    • 1/2 tsp celery salt
    • 36 ounces tomato juice
    • 1 cup vodka
    Puree diced celery in Vitamix (or blender) Add onion, horseradish, Worcestershire, Tabasco and celery salt. While machine is running, slowly add tomato juice blending after each addition. Pour into a pitcher. Stir in vodka. Chill. Serve over ice.
  • Mixed fruit Candy

    Drop mixture of dried fruit and nuts into puddles of melted white chocolate. Allow to cool. Store at room temperature in an air-tight container.


    Suggestions; dried cherries, golden raisins, turkish apricots, chopped pistachios, pine nuts, pepitas, sliced almonds

Easter Brunch Shopping List

A complete shopping list for the Easter Brunch can be found here: Real Food Easter Brunch Shopping List

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One day my son Jack announced, “Mom, I kinda do like cow milk.”

Up to this point, he had grown-up on Eden Soy soymilk, because, well, cow milk is for baby cows. Really there was more to my decision to serve the boys soy milk than just the fact that they were not little cows. But the baby cow line seemed to settle them on accepting the soy milk. It was logic that was hard to argue with. And every one seemed content until: “I kinda like cow milk.”

We still drink soy milk, but we drink “cow” milk too. Our dairy milk comes from Calder’s Dairy Farm.

If you have a preschool aged child in my town, more than likely you’ll get the opportunity to take a field trip Calder’s Dairy Farm. Whomever it was that surmised four year olds would dig visiting a real farm, was truly inspired.

Calder’s 140 cows are fed  a high quality, home grown forage and grain diet. You can meet some of the cows at the Calder family farm in Carleton Michigan. You can buy milk there and at their store in Lincoln Park (where the milk is bottled) . Luckily, Calder’s products are available at indie Markets too.

They have a super website and Facebook page. The site has a lot of information, a list of Markets, and pictures of the cows… including baby cows.

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