Recipes from a Weekend Brunch

So I’ve been up since 3:15 this morning. Ugh. Randy got a new job and was supposed to start next week, but he requested to start this week, so they “graciously” obliged and he gets to work 4:15-9:00 a.m. this week! Super fun. I’m used to staying up late to get my work done, but thought maybe I could flip it this week and get up with Randy and be productive in the morning instead.  We’ll see if this lasts beyond today.  And since I came down with a case of laryngitis, I’m sitting with a scarf wrapped tightly around my neck and  switching between sipping peppermint tea and coffee (because I’ve been up since 3:15, so of course, coffee).  And if I can’t talk, I might as well type!

Taking a break from writing about our Fruit of the Spirit unit (I’m super excited about what we’re doing for kindness this week, by the way!) and figured I’d post some recipes I tried out over the weekend for a brunch we had.  Randy and I love having company over, especially in the fall (around the holidays) and in the summer when we can cookout.  With kids, brunch is one of our favorite meals to host because we don’t have to worry about bedtime and the fussy evening hour that always comes around. 😉

img_0686Here are some tasty recipes from Saturday:

Sausage and Kale Strata

img_0688This recipe is tried and true in the Dattolo house.  I’ve made it for special occasions for years and it’s super easy!  It makes a lot, though, so only make it if you really want leftovers (it reheats nicely, almost better the next day) or are feeding a crowd. Eggs, sausage, bread, cheese, leafy greens… what a great combo!

Here’s the handy-dandy printable: sausage-and-kale-strata

Salad with Ham Quiche Croutons and Maple-Cider Vinaigrette


Noah LOVES Bobby Flay’s brunch show on the Food Network!  The kid loves all breakfast foods and when he watches Bobby Flay cook, he also asks me to make “that” for him (usually for his birthday).  haha!  He’s so sweet!  I wanted to make something fresh on Saturday that would lean a little toward the lunch side of brunch, so I found this recipe from Bobby Flay himself.  The only thing I changed was that I happened to have prosciutto in my fridge, so I used that in place of the black forest ham. Otherwise, I followed the recipe pretty much to a tee.  It was a huge hit, and you can find the recipe here!

Apple Cider Cocktail

So I originally found a recipe for a Pear Cider Cocktail in my NEW subscription to the Food Network magazine (thanks, Mom!).  But unfortunately, I couldn’t find ANY of the specific ingredients to this drink.  (Don’t you just hate that?)  So, I had to adapt.  And I must say, it came out great!  Here’s the original recipe, Pear Cider Cocktail.  Here’s what I did:


I made the simple syrup with a 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water.  Mix in a saucepan and add 1 TB of fennel seeds.  The recipe also calls for 1 TB of coriander seeds, but all I could find was ground coriander, so I added about 1 tsp of that (not wanting to overpower the flavor with the ground spice rather than the seeds that would be strained out).  So, bring the sugar-water with the fennel seeds and coriander to a boil, and then let simmer for about 5 minutes (make sure the sugar is dissolved).  Store the syrup in an airtight container in the fridge overnight, then strain out the seeds right before use.

For the cocktail, combine the syrup (should be 1/2 cup total), a bottle of sparkling apple cider, a bottle of white wine with cranberry flavor (local wineries like Nashoba Valley produce this–the original recipe calls for hard cider and then white cranberry juice, but I couldn’t find the white cranberry juice, and I couldn’t find a 750 ml bottle of hard cider, so I switched it around) and then 3/4 cup of apple brandy.  I used thin apple slices as garnish.  It was delicious!  The perfect fall cocktail. 🙂

Also, the perfect way to END the day with some serious magazine catch-up!



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