Sweet ideas for a bright, seasonal spread
(Family Features) Spring is blooming on your Easter table. From yellow chick cupcakes to blueberry French-toast casseroles, there are plenty of ways to wow your brunch guests with simple seasonal recipes.
“Between hiding eggs and preparing baskets, you may be tempted to fall back on brunch basics like pancakes and scrambled eggs, but that’s no fun,” McCormick Executive Chef Kevan Vetter said. “With simple pantry staples – like food color – and a little planning the night before, you can enjoy a fun and tasty holiday brunch.”
These simple tips from Vetter can help you transform a boring brunch into a colorful Easter feast.
- Waffle art is a fun way to get kids (and adults) involved during breakfast time. Try tinting the waffle batter orange by using McCormick Color from Nature Food Colors. Cut them into wedges hot out of the iron and pipe green frosting for the stems to create these Carrot-Shaped Waffles.
- Making French toast for a crowd can be a hassle. Instead, make a sweet breakfast casserole the night before to pop in the oven Easter morning. Add fresh, sweet-tart blueberries to celebrate spring.
- Rather than splurging on designer cupcakes, just pipe yellow marshmallow creme on mini cupcakes for a baby chick then decorate with sprinkles for the nose and cut up wafers to look like a hatching egg.
Baby Chick Cupcakes
Prep time: 30 minutes
- 1 package (12 ounces) white confectionary coating wafers
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 box (16 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
- 1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme
- 1 teaspoon Sunflower color from McCormick Color from Nature Food Colors
- 2 tablespoons milk, plus additional (optional)
- 48 unfrosted mini yellow cupcakes, baked in white paper liners
- sprinkles (optional)
- additional McCormick Color from Nature Food Colors (optional)
- To make broken egg shell pieces: melt coating wafers as directed on package. Spread on large foil-lined baking sheet to 1/4-inch thickness. Refrigerate about 10 minutes, or until firm. Break into small, irregular pieces. Set aside.
- In large bowl, beat butter with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add vanilla; mix well. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar, beating until well blended after each addition, frequently scraping sides and bottom of bowl. Beat in marshmallow creme until well blended. In small bowl, stir food color into milk until dissolved. Add colored milk to frosting; beat until light and fluffy. Stir in additional milk, as needed, to reach desired consistency.
- To decorate cupcakes: spoon frosting into large pastry bag fitted with large round tip. Pipe two dollops of frosting on top of each other to form baby chick. If desired, insert sprinkles into face for eyes and beak. Or tint any remaining frosting with food colors to pipe out eyes and beak.
- Place coating wafer pieces around bottom of baby chick to resemble broken egg shell.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 2 cups all-purpose waffle and baking mix
- 1 1/3 cups milk
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract, divided
- 1 1/4 teaspoons Sunflower color from McCormick Color from Nature Food Colors, divided
- 1 teaspoon Berry color from McCormick Color from Nature Food Colors
- 1/2 teaspoon Sky Blue color from McCormick Color from Nature Food Colors
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- Heat round waffle iron. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. In medium bowl, mix together waffle mix, milk, egg, oil, 2 teaspoons vanilla and 1 teaspoon each sunflower and berry colors until blended. Let batter stand 5 minutes to allow color to fully develop.
- Pour about 1/3 cup batter onto center of waffle iron. Close lid. Cook about 3 minutes, or until no longer steaming. Carefully remove waffle. Repeat with remaining batter. Cut each waffle into 8 triangles. Set aside.
- In another medium bowl, stir sky blue color and remaining sunflower color into cream. Add confectioners’ sugar and remaining vanilla; beat with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Spoon into re-sealable plastic bag. Cut piece off one bottom corner.
- To decorate and serve waffles, place waffle triangles onto serving plates and pipe green colored cream on wide side of each triangle to resemble carrot tops.
Overnight Lemon Blueberry Muffin Casserole
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons McCormick Cinnamon, Ground
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold butter, cut into chunks
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, milk, divided
- 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, granulated sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon McCormick Cinnamon, Ground
- 1 loaf French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- nonstick cooking spray
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1 tablespoon McCormick Pure Lemon Extract
- 2 cups blueberries, divided
- To make Streusel Topping: In medium bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cover. Set aside until ready to assemble in the morning.
- To make Casserole: In large bowl, mix together eggs, 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and cinnamon with wire whisk until well blended. Add bread cubes; toss gently to coat. Pour evenly into 13-by-9-inch baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
- In medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, remaining milk and sugar, and lemon extract until well blended. Gently stir in 1 cup blueberries. Spread evenly on top of bread cubes. Top with remaining blueberries. Cover. Refrigerate overnight.
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- Remove casserole from refrigerator. Let stand 10-15 minutes.
- Cut butter into Streusel Topping mixture with pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
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.
- 3 cups refrigerated shredded hash browns
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 12 links Johnsonville Original Breakfast Sausage
- 6 eggs
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
- Chopped fresh chives or green onions, for garnish
- Place 12 paper liners in a muffin pan; spray liners with cooking spray.
- In bowl, combine hash browns, butter, salt and pepper. Press hash brown mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the muffin cups. Bake at 400°F for 12 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Meanwhile, cook sausage according to package directions; cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Divide sausage between muffin cups.
- Combine eggs, cheese and bell pepper. Pour over sausage. Sprinkle with chives. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until set.
Yield 12 servings