I love whipping up a good holiday brunch for just me and Joe (Exhibit A, Exhibit B, Exhibit C, Exhibit D, Exhibit E, Exhibit F…), but having company is even better. Last week my mom and Mike were visiting over Easter and we were able to enjoy a lovely brunch with dishes from all my foodie faves: Ina, Ree and Joy. Instead of breaking out each dish in a separate post, you get the whole experience here. Let’s check out all the details:
I knew I had to upgrade last year’s Maleficent-looking napkin folds, so this year I tried out roses.
There were nestled in everyone’s bowl, which helped them keep their shape. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to make them.
I’ve said this before, but when hosting big (or small) gatherings, make things 250% times easier by setting out all of the plates, silverware, serving dishes, glasses, etc the night before. Everything out and ready to go!
My mom and I made four dishes, which was plenty for us. Let’s start with the sweets, my favorites.
My brunch table will always, ALWAYS have Reese’s Eggs. I don’t know why they taste better as eggs than cups (which are still good!), but these babies make Easter for me.
This year we displayed them and our baked goods on a sweet floral tiered stand that Bobbie gave me for Christmas. I love it. So perfect for Easter!
On the bottom of the stand are the Barefoot Contessa’s Easy Sticky Buns, which were a hit.
Very easy to make, and to devour.
For our fruit option, we made the Pioneer Woman’s Champagne Oranges instead of a traditional fruit salad.
I was surprised how much I loved them. The syrupy sauce packs quite a punch, and bonus: you can make it the night before!
For the savory, we made Joy the Baker’s Spinach and Artichoke Strata from her new cookbook Over Easy.
Egg dishes will never be my favorite, but I did love the flavors and crusty bread around the edges. Also the bonus that you prep it the night before and just throw it in the oven the next morning.
By far the standout dish for all of us was the Barefoot Contessa’s Maple-Roasted Carrot Salad.
The FLAVOR of this dish is incredible. I want to make this every week for dinner.
It was the last thing to the table, so not easy to get a great shot of it, but it’s bursting with caramelized carrots, almonds, cheese and dried cranberries reconstituted in orange juice. Just ridiculous.
Then we were ready to get to it!
Thankful for the great company and help in the kitchen. Wishing we could spend all holidays with family!
And because Over Easy is hot off the press…
Spinach and Artichoke Strata
source: Over Easy
2 Tbs. unsalted butter (plus more for prepping dish)
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 (10 oz.) package frozen spinach, thawed, excess liquid removed, and chopped
1 (15 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
8 c. sourdough bread cubes
2 c. grated Gruyere cheese
2 c. whole milk
1/2 c. heavy cream
2 Tbs. whole-grain mustard (I omitted)
8 large eggs
pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Generously butter a 3-quart casserole dish and set aside.
In a medium skillet set over medium heat, combine the butter and oil. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the spinach and artichoke, stirring well to heat through.
Place one-third of the bread cubes in the prepared dish. Top with one-third of the spinach-artichoke mixture and one-third of the cheese. Repeat the layering, finishing with cheese.
In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, mustard (if using), eggs, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Pour over the casserole, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, though overnight is best.
Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Let strata sit on counter for at least 20 minutes to remove some of the chill.
Bake until golden brown and cooked through–45-55 mintues. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Served best slightly warm or at room temperature.