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Happy-Gourmand

It's brunch season

There is something about spring and a long weekend that seem to create the perfect ambience for brunch.

It's the quintessential lazy meal, meant for lounging over and savouring. So, this week I wanted to offer a few of my favourite brunch recipes in case you want to partake.

Even if you don’t manage it for this long weekend, you can save the recipes for later use.

Some folks like to focus on the lazy aspect of brunch — in this case, laziness on the day simply requires a bit of planning. With current restrictions in place against indoor dining and it being a bit cool for patio brunches yet, a restaurant brunch is tricky.

My suggestion is to support local eateries by ordering items you can finish preparing later, or items that can be served at room temperature, like pastries, cheese and charcuterie, or salads.

A favourite for brunch is the good old-fashioned cinnamon bun. There are a million recipes out there and many people have their preferences — just cinnamon or with raisins or nuts, cream cheese icing or not… I am not here to pass judgment.

I offer a few alternatives for you to sample and decide what’s best.

Kick up the filling.

My mom used to buy frozen dough and spread butter over it, then top it with a sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon. When I was little, I figured these were great; I knew no better.

Now, I can share the secret to truly delectable buns: mix the cinnamon, sugar and butter into a paste, and then spread it on your dough. Add nutmeg if you are adventurous.

Get creative.

Raisins and/or nuts are fun (hint: toast the nuts first), but how about finely chopped apple, or chocolate? A new craze that is like a souped-up cinnamon bun is Babka — check out one of those recipes if you want to knock the socks off the folks you are feeding.

Serve them with fruit salad.

It might sound simple, some fruit tossed in a citrus-honey dressing adds another old-fashioned touch and some colour to your plate. Or, if you’re looking for a more decadent spread, put out some cheeses, scrambled eggs and maybe even bacon.

If you want something you can assemble at the table, then I think waffles are a fun option. My favourite recipe is Pecan waffles.

I serve them with our homemade “fruit goop,” a sort of compote that we preserve in the summer with whatever is in season. You can cook frozen berries with a bit of sugar or honey and a dash of cornstarch in a slurry to thicken it and voilà.

Thick yogurt or whipped cream is delicious as well.

Perhaps you are more of a savoury brunch fan. In that case, I have got you covered. My old standby (which also serves as a creative dinner dish too) is Eggs Shakshuka.

The rich tomato sauce bubbling with an elegant poached egg in the centre is a happy marriage of flavours. Add a slice of sourdough toast and you are in brunch heaven.

Another easy-to-make dish that can even be prepped in advance is Onion Galette. (For those of you who don’t like cooked onions, how about a variation with mushrooms, or even a medley of zucchini and peppers?)

This would go well with eggs and/or bacon, or on its own with a bit of salad if you wanted something more toward the lunch part of brunch.

The key component here is making a choice that does not stress you out. Make a pot of your favourite coffee or pour mimosas if you like them.

Lounge about after the meal to really let the vibe soak in. Toast your good health and send some of those good vibes into the universe. Then you know your brunch was a success.



More Happy Gourmand articles

About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."

 

E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com

 



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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