Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I Baked and Baked and Baked Some More

This Sunday Kev and I hosted our annual choir brunch. Kev is a choir director and every year to celebrate the end of the season we host a brunch at the house. This is the 8th (I think) year we've been doing it and it's always a good time. A lot of work but a good time!

The day before I like to get all of the baking finished and as much prep as possible.Some things like cutting the fruit is better left for the morning of, but for the most part I'd rather spend the morning of getting on last minute touches. Saturday was spent making all of the treats, prepping the french toast, the egg bake fix-ins, the sausage balls and the dip. 

Sunday morning I finsihed setting the table, cleaned the kitchen and started cooking. I was having issues with the bake times this year. It started with the Smores bars the day before and lasted the entire day. I know it's because I overfilled the oven but I was seriously panicing at 1145am when the egg bakes were just going in. I started with the sausage balls at 10am and after they were finished put them in a chafing dish on the table. The I put in the Cheesy Hashbrowns. This year I realized that while the recipe calls for frozen hash browns, you should really de-frost them before attempting to bake.They took 90 minutes. Lesson learned. By some miracle I actually managed to get everything finished by 12:15 which was perfect. I did end up cooking the cheese toasts in the toaster oven, 9 at a time. But hey, they were ready on time!

So, what did I make?

Disclaimer: Not a BIT of this is detox approved. I confess that I had a pinch of the the baked goods to make sure they were table worthy but that was it. I was 98% on the detox on Saturday. 

The Brunch Line Up:
Ham, Cheese, Green Pepper and Onion Egg Bake - I used 15 eggs, an entire ham slice, a pepper, half an onion and enough cheese to make it look good. Bake at 350 for 40ish minutes

Vege and Cheese Egg Bake with Broccoli, green peppers, onions and tomatoes (I completely forgot to add the spinach). I sauteed the veges the day before to soften them up and the morning of added 12 eggs, threw it in a pan and baked for 40 minutes.

Upside down Apple French Toast - There are a few recipes floating around the Internet for apple french toast and this is is the one that is hands down the best. It's Kev's favorite and he requests it every year. Over the years I have made some adjustments to this recipe, for example, I used probably 8 apples and it took a loaf and a half of the Challah bread to fill my giant pan. I also cut the bread in cubes before soaking it in the egg and milk mixture, it's much easier for guests to scoop it off the platter that way.

Aunt Neet's Cheesy Hashbrowns - This is my grandma's sister's recipe and it's straight from the 60s. They lived in a small town in Ohio and the recipes from that town and that era definitely have their own... flair. It's delicious and full of ingredients we would never use today. I'm pretty good about disclosing all my ingredients but I was a little worried that they wouldn't eat it if they knew what was in there. I told the guests that even though it seems vegetarian, it's not and don't ask why.

Sausage Balls  - This is a new to me recipe and the addition of the cream cheese was quite nice. They were a little "Bisquicky" for me but I made a double batch and every last one was eaten. I also whipped up a dijon mustard / mayo dip for them which I think really helped

French Onion Dip with Gruyere Toast - Make this! Make this now and eat it and cry happy tears. It's the thyme that makes it so delicious. But when you spread it on cheesy toast, it's seriously the best dip I've eaten in a long time. I also had pita chips for dipping as well. There was a little bit of this left and Kev ate it for dinner.

Soft and Gooey Smores Bars - I had some trouble getting these to bake and I think I cooked them too long.  They were still delicious but I felt the marshmallows baked in a little too much. They did make a delicious crusty top. I think the problem might have been that I made 2 batches and put them in at the same time? I'll try again with just a single batch and see how it goes. Oh, I also used Trader Joe's Cinnamon Grahams which are AMAZING.

Blackberry Jam Shortbread Bars - I've made these several times over the last few years and they never disappoint. I use a blackberry jam from Trader Joe's which is delicious but you can use any type of jam. If Kev liked cherries I would use a cherry jam, I think it would be delicious.

Watermelon and Cantaloupe  

Lemon Almond Bread - This bread is a new staple for events, it's so, so good. (This one I took a tiny taste and it was definitely worth it!) I just love how this turned out. I added some doTerra Lemon essential oil to the batter (used it in place of the lemon zest) and added a few drops to the glaze. It gave the bread an amazing, tart lemon flavor. The presentation is also gorgeous. It's just pretty. Pretty and delicious. 

I ran out of canola oil for the second loaf and subbed about 1/4 cup of olive oil. I couldn't tell a difference in the taste but the color was a little darker. I liked the texture of the canola oil version a little better but you could sub if it's all you had on hand. 

Blueberry Muffin Bread - This is another family recipe and it's just stupid good. I'm going to do a separate post and share the recipe. It's amazing.

All in all, it was a huge success! I had a lot of sweets left over and I swear, I can never plan from year to year. Sometimes they eat all the treats and others they go for the savory. This was definitely a savory year. I plated up the leftovers and took them to work. They were gone in an hour. Engineers love treats and I can always count on them to take care of anything left in the break room.

If anyone needs me, I'll be taking a break from baking for a while!

What's the biggest party you've ever thrown at your house?

No comments:

Post a Comment