Brunch /brənCH/

Weekends are divine, and brunch is my favourite time. I am soooo poetic! But, it’s true. I love brunch; I love planning brunch, I love prepping for brunch, I love having friends over for brunch, and I love eating brunch. And Sunday’s are my favourite day for brunch!

brunch collage

Last weekend, we had some of our amazing friends over (well, “technically”, as Mouks would say; all of our friends are amazing – seriously!) and these particular compadres we hadn’t seen in quite a while. Life gets busy, and with kids, activities, work and coordinating schedules, we seem to only ever have time for … you guessed it – BRUNCH!

I love trying out new dishes, and am thankful, that for the most part, everything just kind of magically ‘turns out’. At least in my head it does … and everyone seems to choke it all down with a polite smile and a degree of enthusiasm … so I forge ahead with delight!

depression glass bowl labeledPart of enjoying a tasty meal, is the art of setting the table. I like to putter and fuss, and believe that everything tastes even yummier, with a delightful presentation. For this particular brunch, I pulled out some of my favourite pieces. My Baba’s cherished green depression glass bowl housed a yummy fruit salad (I often speculate on how this beloved piece came into her possession), while my antique yellow and white napkins snuggly engulfed delicious bagels in a sweet little basket.

brunch table settingAnd no table setting is complete without added  height; so one of my many cake plates was layered with a coordinating red damask napkin with additional bagels gently laid on top. A secondary stand held a yummy homemade apple coffee cake, and a cute antique glass sugar pot with a lid, held some delectably delicious whipped creamcheese. I used a painted ceramic egg cup to host the capers and put it on a small rectangular glass plate with sliced red onions. To complete the look, everyone had a special ‘spreader’ at their place setting, lime rimmed crystal goblets for water, and red antique low stemmed juice glasses. I don’t segregate kids dishes from adult dishes. (I’m all about equal opportunity for breakage). Once Mouks hit the age of 3, we pretty much threw out the plastic cups and plates, and he went right to glassware and ceramic dishes. I think it makes everyone feel special, and particularly for nice occasions. In my head, I believe it instills a sense of confidence and the opportunity to act more grown up and “M” for mature. (I use this video game analogy to bribe Mouks into acting more mature, citing that he can start getting “M” rated games, when he can act like an older guy – hey! … whatever works – we gotta speak their lingo)! My mom (Bobs) did this whole dish deal for us as well … though I know I am certainly not scientific proof that it instills maturity, because I’m still a bit of a goofball AND a bull in a china shop!; but it sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?! And, in fairness to any youngen who’s eaten in Smackiland, they have not yet broken a dish or glass. Now, that’s impressive!

tulips in milk jugI did buy some lovely fresh tulips and put them in a butter coloured metal milk jug to coordinate with my vintage inspired creamy yellow dishes, meticulously placed on a faded red floral tablecloth reminiscent of a country garden. And… ahhhhhh… my ‘pre-spring’ brunch table was set!

I like to serve a menu with a variety of items everyone will enjoy. Here is a list of my latest offerings:

Bevvies:

  • Big D’s ‘Stand-Up’ Lattes. The name says it all… a load of rich, luxurious caffeine, smothered in frothy goodness, and so thick your spoon will stand up.
  • Juice d’orange.
  • San Pellagrino, with fresh lime wedges.

Cold Delights:

  • Flavourful fruit salad, consisting of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple and blueberries. Topped with maple infused whipped cream. Mmmm…. Mmmm… who doesn’t love just a little touch of maple syrup goodness?
  • Kettleman’s bagels (only THE best bagels in all of Ottawa); poppyseed, sesame and ‘everything’ selections.
  • Deli toppings: prosciutto ham (a.k.a. Moukie’s ‘special ham’), smoked salmon, with ultra thinly sliced red onions and capers.
  • Assorted cheese plate: stinky Rouy cheese, double cream Brie, and garlic Boursin, garnished with grape clusters and strawberries.
  • Whipped cream cheese. I find spreadable creamcheese, whipped with my hand blender makes it creamier for spreading with not a lot of fuss.
  • Delish berry jam.
  • Pads of butter.
  • Homemade apple coffee cake.  Stay tuned for this uber awesome recipe!

Warm Goodness:

  • M-mm-mmm maple sausages…. yummmm… sausages! Easy to throw in the oven on a cookie sheet, and voila!
  • Egg nests! Yeah… you heard me.. but these are different, there are no birds. My latest experiment…. I found a little recipe online, so gave it a whirl! Here’s the Smack-Attack version:

eggs in phyllo recipe

Please call ahead to book your Brunch reservation in Smackiland!

Now taking appointments….

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Did I hear correctly?… “Buy me… buy me…”

So, what’s a rainy weekend without tea time and a little baking? (Well… I suppose there was a little shopping that preceded the freshly baked muffins, but that’s just a technicality)!

It’s not that I don’t already own a couple of teapots (don’t tell the Big D, ’cause I don’t think he’s noticed; seriously.  Yeah… I know); but I have been searching high and low for just the RIGHT purple teapot for my kitchen.  After all, it’s a non-scientific fact that things taste that much better when served in and on pretty things.  I think I finally found it this time though!   I suppose I MAY have said that the last time, when I found that cute purple teapot at the Bombay company, just before we went on vacation.   (But if I said it in my head, it doesn’t count, and there were no witnesses).   But this one REALLY  does have all my fave house colours.  And it spoke to me.  I’m sure you’ve heard it before… that faint, yet distinct high-pitched “buy, me…. buuuuyyy me” squeak from that oh so amazing item that you have coveted for at least fifteen minutes and you know with certainty that you cannot leave on the shelf; as it would otherwise be destined to exist in a unadmired and underappreciated dwelling.  And that, would be a shame.  Well that’s my ‘sales pitch’ to the Big D, in case he questions me.

I’m not sure if any of you have ever heard that ‘plea to purchase’?  I figure it must just be something that only us women folk are astute enough to decipher.  I’m sure there is an episode of Big bang theory, where Sheldon says “Evolution has made women sensitive to high-pitched noises while they sleep, so that they’ll be roused by a crying baby…”?   So, if it happens when we sleep, it must happen when we’re awake too…. right?  And, if it’s on t.v., well, then, there must be SOME truth to it.  I mean, what are the chances that they would risk putting a quote like that on t.v. if there wasn’t some type of scientific evidence to back it up? So, I’m thinking I’ve got a pretty good case here, for buying my new teapot.

So, after I found this uber fab teapot in THE most perfect colours, for my ohhh so cute kitchen… I made some scrumptious banana muffins.  (Moukie’s favourite, and the easiest recipe that my Sistah passed along to me).  I have no idea where she got it, but it is a tried and true banana bread/muffin recipe.  I am pretty darn sure that people call it ‘bread’ and ‘muffins’ to make it sound healthier.  Seriously, who the heck are we kidding?  Slap on some icing and you’ve got yourself a cupcake! mmmmm…..mmmmmm….mmmmm… sugah!

Here is the recipe for you to enjoy.  (I usually double the recipe, ’cause who can only eat a dozen or so…?…. but this time I tripled it and took a chance, and it STILL came out delish)!  I have no idea if my Sistah will care that I’ve passed it on for the world to see, but she hasn’t read my blog yet, so she’ll probably never know!

Ohh! Great idea from my BFF in the prairie land…. (Auntie Kermin, as Moukie lovingly refers to her as). She peels her bananas before freezing them, whereas I just chuck them in the freezer. But she’s smarter than me, so I think we should do it her way.  Otherwise you end up with this kinda mess:

frozen banana mess

So, grab a ‘cuppa’ somethin’ somethin’ and a few of them there muffins, and ENJOY!

And to quote Tammy Faye Bakker (because I MUST be desperate!):   “shopping is cheaper than a psychiatrist”.