Sunday, August 29, 2010

Labor Day Brunch

In a week the Summer season will end, and I thought it would be best to say so-long to Summer with a family brunch. After the success of my sister's graduation brunch, I thought I could bring back some old favorites and do an encore presentation. The beauty of this brunch will be its simplicity: food with few ingredients, a casual atmosphere, and plenty of helping hands. 

 My Dad's little house on the prairie, home to much of my inspiration!

  • Caramel French toast, easy to make, but is always a hit with the family! I soak day-old French bread in a mixture of half & half and eggs, and bake them on a bed of a brown sugar-corn syrup-butter mixture. The result is a golden-brown toast with a sticky toffee-like crust on the bottom. Caramel sauce from the same ingredients tops it off when they come hot out of the oven.
  • Cinnamon Rolls (I use the "Clone of Cinnabon" recipe from as my starting point, and I finish them off with a double-batch of cream cheese frosting)
  • Brunch Enchiladas ( I've never tried this recipe, but it sounds amazing and I plan on using Chorizo sausage to spice it up)
  • Sausage links
  • Apple butter hand pies or spicy pumpkin bread (a little hint of Fall)
  • Watermelon smoothies, made with pureed watermelon and key lime juice (reminiscent of hot Summer days)
Outside of the food, I want the ambiance to be just right for this casual setting. There are plenty of wildflowers growing down the road, so I'll fill mason jars with them and set them along the buffet. As dorky as it sounds, I have a "Brunch" playlist on my iPod for just these kinds of events. To evoke the right mood (cheerful, eclectic, a little tongue-in-cheek) here are some of my favorites:
  • "Have You Ever" by Brandi  Carlile
  • "Life in Technicolor ii" by Coldplay
  • "Penny Lane" by the Beatles
  • "Something's Got a Hold on Me" by Etta James
  • "Dreams" by The Cranberries
  • "There was Sun" by Devendra Banhart
  • "I Miss You" by the Honeydogs
  • "I Melt with You" by Modern English
  • "Chocolate" by Snow Patrol
  • "Follow" by Semisonic
  • "So Happy Together" by the Turtles