Fall Brunch

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Have I mentioned that I love fall? With fall comes so many decorating and baking opportunities, and this weekend I had the pleasure of hosting the “Girls in TV” brunch!

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Planning a menu for a bunch of women in general can be tricky – but especially so for a bunch of women producers, in Los Angeles! Talk about a carb free, gluten free, dairy free, alcohol free, nut free, headache! Good thing I really like these girls.

So I kept a few fully loaded favorites and snuck in a few more healthy options as well.

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Bread pudding – is my ‘go-to’ for EVERYTHING. It’s so easy to make, it’s always a crowd pleaser, and it can be adapted with each seasons fresh fruit. I took my “hot dog bread pudding” recipe and replaced the berries with diced roasted apples. This is now my favorite way to make it! https://wishiwereahousewife.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/berry-bread-pudding/

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You can’t have a fall brunch without a pumpkin flavored item – so I went with this great pumpkin muffin recipe by Something Swanky http://www.somethingswanky.com/pumpkin-pudding-muffins/  The best secret ingredient ever? Instant Pumpkin pudding mix! So this might not be one of my healthy options, but it tastes damn good.

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Since I had two sweet baked items, I decided to bake one last classic brunch staple: Quiche. Once again I turned to Queen Martha for a recipe since I had actually never made quiche. (My mother doesn’t believe in quiche for some reason- but I think this recipe could make her a believer).  http://www.marthastewart.com/868429/shallot-mushroom-quiche#Favorite%20Quiche%20Recipes|/275606/quiche-recipes/@center/276953/brunch-recipes|868429

I changed just a few things to Martha’s recipe – I took out the shallots (for selfish reasons – because I hate anything to do with onions…I know), I used half and half instead of the full cream, I sautéed the mushrooms first and drained the extra liquid,  and I FORGOT to add the fontina! Whoops! But when I brought the left overs in to work one of my colleagues asked what kind of cheese I used because she loved it. Guess I lucked out – or it doesn’t need the cheese.

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Ok so for the healthy guests, I set out berries and honey flavored yogurt and made the cutest tangerine pumpkins with pipe cleaner stems! I also served a kale salad with roasted, diced butternut squash and goat cheese (On the side of course).

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A great ways to frame all the food you’ve prepared is with a natural fiber mesh- with wire, so you can bend and twist it around each dish. It’s a great alternative to a table cloth- which seems dated at the moment. I also love using chargers to bring a pop color (in this case gold) to your table. I found these plastic ones at sur la table and bought them in both gold and red.

Happy fall everyone! 🙂

Hot Dog Bun Bread Pudding

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Bread pudding is my favorite dessert to eat and to make- because it’s so easy! My secret? Hot dog buns. Yep, hot dog buns. Everyone always has left over hot dog buns, and the key to bread pudding is left over stale bread. This recipe was inspired by my Aunt Maxine.

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Ingredients:

6 Stale Hot Dog Buns

2 Eggs

3 Egg Yolks

2 Cups Half & Half (Cream or Whole Milk will work too)

3/4 Cup Sugar

1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract

1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

1/2 Cup of Berries (you can use fresh or  frozen)

The night before I make bread pudding, I rip up the hot dog buns into bite size pieces and lay them out on a baking sheet overnight. (If I forget- I crisp them in the oven for a couple of minutes.)

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Once the bread is stale- toss it into a baking dish. I found this adorable heart shaped one at Sur Le Table. But any dish around 8x8in will do. Preheat the oven to 350.

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Whats great about this baked good– is that it’s not an exact science like ALL other baking, so don’t worry if it’s not perfect! Mix together the eggs, egg yolks, half & half, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract.

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Place the baking dish with the torn buns in a larger baking dish- pour in the egg mixture and add berries. I used a mixture of raspberries and black berries.

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Once all the ingredients have combined and the bread is moist, pour boiling water into the large baking dish until it reaches halfway up the small dish.

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Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover the pudding and continue baking for 15 more minutes until the top browns and bounces back when you touch it.

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This recipe is delicious fresh out of the oven and cold for breakfast in the morning. No matter how you serve it, it is always a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Enjoy!

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