Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Brunch Menu & Some Little Lambs

We had a rag tag family gathering for Easter this year. Usually there is a big egg hunt but no one was around to participate. My twin nieces left for riding camp Saturday. My sister in law, a pediatric nurse, worked the overnight shift at the hospital the night before. So I decided to take on the brunch.  The rest of the family and a sleepy sister in law celebrated at our place.

Here was my menu:

Prosecco with Aperol - Festive and a lovely color

OJ - Add prosecco if desired :-)

Strawberries and Kiwi Fruit Salad

Breakfast Pizza - From this amazing recipe adapted from the Big Sur Bakery Cookbook via the wonderful SmittenKitchen. FABulous blog, that SK. Also provided me with an excuse to further experiment with my new pizza stone. More about that later in this post.

American Style Pancakes with Maple Syrup
I used a plain old version. Sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Make a mound with a hole in the middle, crack in the hole add milk, melted butter, mix and you're good to go.

Gesine's Golden Eggs. Check out her GE video tutorial here: If you haven't visited her blog or her new website, Go there.  Also, her book was a great read with wonderful recipes. I highly recommend it.

Luckily, I had an egg shaped pan:

Love this yellow color of the batter:

I followed the recipe to the letter, except for the last step where you roll the eggs in a sugar/cinnamon combo.  I found this in the market the day before:

I added a little orange sugar to the sugar/cinnamon mix.  Gesine mentions people won't believe these are not fried like donuts.  She was right, it's the first question my family asked after tasting them.

Iced Lemon Sticky Rolls with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze- Recipe here from The Kitchn. These were also delish with a wonderful Lemon kick.  I am a die hard cinnamon bun fan but these made me a convert.

Of course I had to set out a plate of German meats, wursts and cheeses.  It's always a safe bet in case no one likes the food I cook. It's my "US Expat paranoid neurotic what if everyone hates my food?" back up plan.

Assorted Rolls and Bread.- When it comes to breads here in Germany, there is no end to the delicious varieties of bread to, pumpkin seed, gray, spelt... on and on.

From Wikipedia:
Germany prides itself on having the largest variety of breads worldwide. More than 300-500 basic kinds of bread come together with more than 1,000 types of small bread-rolls and pastries. 

Anything I would spend hours making would be blown out of the water with a 10 minute trip to a local bakery. Actually every Friday, our baker comes to us.  He pulls his little truck up to our place, opens up the back, rings the bell and we all go outside to view his lovely array of breads, rolls, cakes and pastries.  I just love that. Note to self - snag a picture next time.

My contribution was adding fresh herbs to butter.

I put Dr. B in charge of selecting the meats and rolls (this must be done by a German native) and recruited him as chief coffee maker. I mean I was too busy crackin' those eggs on top of the pizza.

Speaking of which, a note about the whole pizza stone/transferring dough technique.  I read a lot about everyone's favorite methods.  What worked for me in the past was sprinkling large grain cornmeal onto the stone itself and also on a piece of parchment placed on top of a backing pan.  Once you shape the pizza dough,  put it on the parchment, then add the toppings.  Slide the pizza on the stone which is already in the oven and very pre-hotted. Then pull the parchment (should be under half the pizza) out from underneath, like the magician's trick of pulling the tablecloth off the table and leaving the dishes.

The cornmeal grains act as little rollers and the pizza just slides into place.   However, the addition of the raw eggs on top of the pizza made this process treacherous requiring a whole new skill set (way beyond mine) and turned the whole process into a Lucy episode.  It was HELL to transfer the pizza, once I cracked those suckers on top.

The only reason I was able to make it work after a lot of struggle was:

1) I yelled at it (always works for me) and

2) I made mozzarella fortresses - piling the cheese up around the cracked egg so it wouldn't run all over the place when I moved the pizza.

Then of course, once I was on my third and final one, I realized how much easier it was to crack the eggs on top AFTER getting the pizza on the stone.


I never said I was smart.

Just talented and good looking.


I bought these egg holders and napkin rings last year on my trip to Budapest...

when stumbling upon an outdoor market (dontcha just love when that happens?) where many potters and ceramic crafters selling their wares.  The price was so good, I couldn't resist and now I get to break 'em out and in for this brunch.

Here is the entire family (almost) sacked out after the meal:

On a separate subject,  but related to Easter and Spring -  For the past few days I have been stalking our neighbor's newborn lambs with my camera. They are skittish and camera shy. I cannot believe how fast they can move on their little wobbly spanking brand new legs. So I have not been able to get any really nice shots.


I plan on continuing stalking them until the farmer takes a restraining order out on me.

Here they are trying to hide behind their mamas.

I thought this mama was concerned I was too close to her baby and was trying to fend me off.

Turns out she was just interested in eating my camera.

I managed this shot of the little white one.

The only picture I managed to get of all three together was this butt shot. Cute nonetheless.

My sister in law made this for her front door.  Sweet huh? She creates the best decorations.

Wishing you all a Happy Easter!

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