Monday, October 1, 2012

Mmm Mmm Monday ... Let's Do Brunch

One of my very favorite things about our NYC trip was leisurely coffee dates with my mom and sisters every morning.

I'm not really a big breakfast person, I typically just drink coffee, and occasionally I'll have a bagel. But, most of the time I don't mess with it, I'm just not really hungry first thing in the morning. Nevertheless, I do loveee brunchy foods and pin different breakfast yumminess on Pinterest all the time.
I decided to try out a couple this weekend on the fam.
First up was the Pioneer Woman's Baked French Toast (Did your mouth squirt just reading that? Mine did.).
The last day we were in NYC we ate at a New York hot spot, Junior's Cheesecake, that had the yummiest French toast! I rarely make it because it's such a mess, but it is one of my absolute faves. This baked kind was PERFECT and I'm sure it will become a holiday tradition since you can get it all ready the night before and then pop it in the oven the next morning! Love.
This recipe was easy, but a teensy bit time consuming ... But, I promise it's worth the effort. Just cut up a loaf of sourdough bread and arrange evenly in a greased 9x13 Pyrex dish.
Then put together a mixture of 8 whole eggs, 2 cups of whole milk, half a cup of heavy cream, half a cup of sugar and half a cup of brown sugar and two tablespoons of pure vanilla extract and pour over the bread cubes evenly. Then you can pop it in the fridge overnight.

For the topping combine half a cup of flour, half a cup of brown sugar, a tsp of cinnamon, a quarter tsp of salt, and a dash of grated nutmeg. You can just mix this with a fork or whisk or whatever tickles your pickle.
Next, cube up a stick of cold butter. By the time I get done cutting it in little cubes its getting kinda soft so I pop them in the freezer for a few minutes. Then I pulled them out and put the topping and the butter in a food processor to blend into a "pebbly consistency." If you have a pastry cutter that would probably work much better, but I didn't, so the food processor worked fine.

After you get it all combined then dump it in a ziploc and put the mix in the fridge.
The next morning you can crumble the topping over the bread mix and then bake at 350 for 45 minutes. It is a DELICIOUS treat!
Next up I whipped up some yummy Cream Cheese Sausage balls. These were easier than I expected, I'll probably start making these more often. You need 1 lb breakfast sausage, (uncooked), 8 oz softened cream cheese, 1 1/4 cups Bisquick
and 4 oz cheddar cheese, shredded.
Mix all ingredients until well combined (The recipe recommended using your KitchenAid mixer with the dough hook attachment). Roll into 1-inch balls. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until brown at 400.

I tried to use my oven for both dishes and just bake the sausage balls at the lower temp for longer ... This worker okayyy. But the bottoms were burnt, so I wouldn't recommend this. Here is what they should look like.

Mine looked similar ... Lets just leave it at that.
To go with the not-so-healthy French Toast and Sausage Balls, I made a fruit salad that I've done a couple times now that was suggested by one of my friends, Mandy. It's a Honey Lime Fruit Salad and it's just delish.

I forgot to pick up a couple kiwis which not only looks pretty in the dish, but adds a different flavor, too. So I won't skip it again.
It's so simple to make and adds a teensy bit of "good for you" to the table.
Here's what you need:
1 (20 oz.) can pineapple chunks, drained well
1 can mandarin oranges, drained well
2-3 ripe kiwi, peeled and sliced into thick half moons
1 cup green grapes, halved
1 cup strawberries, quartered
Zest from one lime, about 1 tbs
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon poppy seeds (optional)
Here's what you do:
Combine the fruit in a medium-large serving bowl. Add the lime zest and poppy seeds, if using, and gently toss. Drizzle the honey over the fruit and again, gently mix until the fruit is evenly coated with the honey. Serve. Enjoy. Tell your friends.

I may have to start making a big spread every weekend; it seriously made the whole morning lovely and my house smelled divine.
Hope y'all have a Mmm Mmm good Monday!
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