(Family Features) As warmer weather approaches, so do a variety of special occasions. If you’re looking for an easy way to celebrate with family and friends, brunch is a perfect option.
Not too early and not too late, everyone can enjoy a hearty meal and good company before the day gets busy. A brunch menu can include both elegant options and classic favorites, so it’s easy to customize to fit the occasion and your guests’ preferences.
With so many possibilities, brunch is the perfect opportunity to get creative. Develop your own versions of traditional dishes by incorporating new ingredients, such as using duck bacon to change up your menu and add some extra flair.
With a rich, hearty texture, duck bacon is more like pork bacon than traditional poultry bacons. Made from duck breast meat, it brings a touch of sophistication to any menu item. Plus, duck bacon is healthier for you, too. With 26 percent less sodium and 57 percent less fat than traditional pork bacon, it’s the perfect way for you to enjoy great flavor without the extra calories.
For an exciting added element, use duck bacon with this version of classic Eggs Benedict. This brunch recipe feeds a crowd and is ready in less than 30 minutes, making it the perfect choice when you want to whip up a quick entree for family or friends.
Find more brunch recipes and information about cooking with duck at mapleleaffarms.com.
Eggs Benedict with Duck Bacon
- 3 egg yolks
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 12 slices Maple Leaf Farms Duck Bacon, cut in half
- 12 English muffin halves, toasted
- 12 eggs, poached
- pinch of salt
- chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
- To make Hollandaise Sauce: Fill medium saucepan with 1 inch of water (for double-boiler) and bring to simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low.
- In medium bowl, whisk egg yolks until they lighten in color, about 1 minute.
- Place bowl with eggs over saucepan and whisk constantly until thickened and doubled in volume, about 3-5 minutes.
- Remove bowl from saucepan and whisk in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Whisk in lemon juice, salt and cayenne pepper. Keep warm, covered, over double-boiler.
- To cook duck bacon and poach eggs: In skillet over medium-high heat, fry duck bacon halves 4 minutes per side; set aside. In large pot over medium heat, bring water to simmer and add salt.
- Crack egg into cup or small bowl. Gently pour egg into simmering water; repeat for additional eggs, leaving room around each one for cooking. Cook 2-4 minutes, depending on desired firmness.
- Using slotted spoon, carefully remove eggs from pan and place on paper towels to drain.
- To assemble Eggs Benedict: Lay two toasted English muffin halves on each plate. Top each with two duck bacon halves. Carefully place poached egg on top of each muffin stack. Pour Hollandaise Sauce over each. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
Source: Maple Leaf Farms
Quality nutrition for the perfect start to longer spring days
(Family Features) With warm weather on the horizon, it’s time to turn the clocks forward and say “so long” to winter and “hello” to longer spring days. With an extra hour of daylight ahead, spring is the perfect season to get outside, enjoy the fresh air and get the family on track with healthy habits and quality nutrition – starting at breakfast.
As you plan morning meals for your family this spring, remember that milk provides important nourishment – like high-quality protein – for you and your kids. As one of the original farm-to-table food, this wholesome drink typically arrives on grocery store shelves in just two days from many family-owned and -operated dairy farms. Milk is minimally processed for safety and farm fresh, often originating from dairy farms fewer than 300 miles away from your grocery store.
Start off warm springtime mornings with a sweet, butterfly-inspired twist on a breakfast sandwich made with Mandarin orange slices, sure to get your kids excited about wholesome choices at breakfast. Pair with an 8-ounce glass of milk to give your kids more of what they already love, with protein they need to give them a good start on the day.
For more information and kid-friendly recipes with milk, visit milklife.com.
Recipe by Tiffany Edwards of Creme de la Crumb
- 1 white English muffin
- 2 tablespoons whipped cream cheese
- 6 blueberries
- 4 mandarin orange slices
- 1 green grape, cut into strips
- Slice and toast English muffin. Spread cream cheese on both halves of muffin.
- Arrange three blueberries in a line down the middle of each half of the muffin and place a mandarin orange slice on each side of the blueberry lines to serve as wings of the butterfly. Place grape strips above blueberry line as antennas.
- Serve with an 8-ounce glass of milk.
Nutritional information per serving: 310 calories; 8 g fat; 4 g saturated fat; 30 mg cholesterol; 14 g protein; 46 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 440 mg sodium; 364 mg calcium (35% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk, and include an 8-ounce glass of milk.
With Jimmy Dean fully cooked Hearty Sausage Crumbles, you can whip up an Easy Egg Casserole in the morning – or even the night before – and pop it in the oven for a no-hassle breakfast that’s so comforting and delicious, they’ll be coming back for seconds.
Yield: 12 servings (1 square each)
- 8 eggs
- 3 cups milk
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 8 cups French bread cubes (3/4-inch pieces)
- 1 package Jimmy Dean Hearty Original Sausage Crumbles
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Beat eggs, milk and pepper in large bowl with a wire whisk until well blended. Add bread cubes; stir gently until evenly coated. Stir in sausage crumbles and 1 1/2 cups cheese.
- Pour into lightly greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish; sprinkle with remaining cheese.
- Bake 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into 12 squares to serve.
Spinach-Egg Casserole: Add 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeeze dry, to egg mixture before pouring into prepared baking dish.
Make-Ahead Egg Casserole: Assemble casserole as directed; cover. Refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, uncover and bake 50 to 55 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Source: Jimmy Dean
(Family Features) If the way to your loved one’s heart is through the stomach, there’s no better way to start off this Valentine’s Day than with a homemade breakfast prepared with love.
Whether you’re whipping up a breakfast for a spouse with a sophisticated palate or trying to tempt the taste buds of your littlest loves, explore these ideas to get inspired.
- Red is the color of love, so build your menu around fresh strawberries or raspberries, which pair perfectly with French toast or crepes, and can even dress up a simple cereal.
- For a more sensible menu, opt for a fruity berry smoothie or a parfait layered with fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt and granola. Add a hint of loving indulgence by sprinkling dark chocolate shavings on top.
- Show your affection with a plate of these colorful Cocoa-Kissed Red Velvet Pancakes featuring rich 100 percent cocoa, buttermilk and fresh berries. Heart-shaped cookie cutters lend a special touch to these fluffy, flavorful pancakes. Add sweet garnishes like powdered sugar and berries for a sensational way to say “I love you.”
Find more recipes you’ll love to share with your nearest and dearest this Valentine’s Day at Culinary.net.
Cocoa-Kissed Red Velvet Pancakes
Recipe courtesy of Nestlé
Servings: 10 pancakes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons Nestlé Toll House Baking Cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup reduced-fat buttermilk or low-fat milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon red food coloring
- heart-shaped pancake cutters or cookie cutters (optional)
- butter, for garnish (optional)
- powdered sugar, for garnish (optional)
- maple syrup, for garnish (optional)
- fresh berries, for garnish (optional)
- In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir well.
- In separate large bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, unsalted butter, vanilla extract and food coloring. Add to flour mixture; stir to combine. Allow mixture to sit 5 minutes.
- Heat nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Brush with oil or butter. Add about 1/4 cup batter to skillet. Cook about 2 minutes, or until bubbles start to form on top. Flip and cook 1-2 minutes, or until bottom is lightly browned. Serve immediately with butter, powdered sugar, syrup and berries, if desired.
Tip: If using pancake or cookie cutters, be sure to coat with oil so pancakes don’t stick. Place cutters in skillet and pour batter into cutters. Remove cutters before flipping.
(Family Features) You’ve probably heard the saying, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Or perhaps you’ve said it yourself. The reality is – while a lot of people say that eating breakfast is important, not very many are actually doing it.
In fact, 93 percent of Americans agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but less than half (44 percent) are eating it every day, according to the 2009 International Food Information Council Foundation’s Food & Health Survey.
If the morning rush in your house means grabbing a toaster pastry, a fast food meal, or – even worse – skipping breakfast, take heart. It’s easier than you think to refuel the body, energize the mind and have some family time around the breakfast table. Here are a few tips to get your family back on track:
- Make a Plan. Get everyone involved in planning breakfasts for the week. The more they participate, the more likely they are to eat it. Keep the plan posted where everyone can see it.
- Keep a breakfast-friendly kitchen. Make sure you always have a ready supply of milk, yogurt, whole grain breads and cereals, fruits, and plenty of proteins such as eggs and sausage. Store them where everyone can find them easily in the morning.
- Get prepped. Set out dishes and non-perishables on the table the night before. Some heartier breakfasts, such as the Weekend Brunch Casserole, can be prepped the night before, then heated up in just 15 minutes in the morning.
To get more ideas for a better breakfast, visit www.bobevans.com.
- 1 8-ounce can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
- 1 pound Bob Evans Original Recipe Sausage Roll
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 °F. Crumble and cook sausage in medium skillet over medium heat until browned. Drain.
- Line bottom of greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish with crescent roll dough, firmly pressing perforations to seal. Sprinkle with sausage and cheese.
- Combine remaining ingredients in medium bowl until blended; pour over sausage.
- Bake 15 minutes or until set. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting into squares; serve hot. Refrigerate leftovers.