Part II of the Fruit Bar Post: No Christmas brunch would be complete without a fruit bar. A few simple ingredients laid out with flair and served with dipping cremes will leave your guests impressed and feeling special. For good reason, filled with beauty, wonderful aroma, and the healthy aspect of an otherwise heavy breakfast I find myself being pulled to the fruit more than anything else on the buffet. Two of my favorite dipping cremes to serve with fruit is champagne sabayon and cheesecake crème.
I’m sorry y’all, I’m going to have to say the M word that no one likes, but when it comes to orange muffins, I want them to be Moist. This sweet muffin delivers and then some. In fact, it is so good you might be tempted to serve it for dessert. I love serving them on Christmas morning for brunch and later in the day as a snack.
I cannot believe that Christmas is almost here. I haven’t even gotten my tree yet and let’s not talk about gift shopping. I have friends who are already done and here I am without even a list. Time to kick it into gear. From now until Christmas I thought I would share my Christmas morning, through recipes, with you and your family.
As the kids started getting a little older, I realize that with all the hoopla before Christmas day; the decorating, cookie baking, pageants, and parties, that the actual day itself was over before it even began. We open presents and the kids run off to play with their new toys and the day is rather anticlimactic.
That is when I decided to prolong the day. Today we get up and make a beautiful breakfast buffet, or “Meat Fest” as it has been affectionately termed. My husband and I work side-by-side in the kitchen getting everything ready. The kids set the table and lay out the food on the buffet table. Then we all sit down in the dining room and enjoy a leisurely mid-morning meal filled with laughter, stories, and yes, anticipation.
Croque Monsieur is a wonderfully toasted ham and creamy cheese sauce sandwich. If you put an egg on top you have a Croque Madame. You often see Monsieur and Madame Croque at the lunch table as a sandwich. My version is a simplified breakfast cup that I love to pop in the oven while I round up backpacks and loose homework on busy weekday mornings.
In the 19th century, turkey hash was the centerpiece of a hearty Southern plantation breakfast. Today, it is also an excellent way to use Thanksgiving leftovers. I make a big batch of turkey hash and use it in two ways. In the morning it makes a beautiful turkey gravy spooned over country biscuits garnished with chopped onion or parsley. It also makes a beautiful lunch when spooned over leftover mashed potatoes served in a small cast iron skillet. It’s a perfect way to make leftovers an intended and delicious creation.
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One of my fondest memories of fall was Opa and Oma’s orchard. They had several varieties of apples, a couple pears, and a few plums. Every fall we would leave the city to spend the day with Oma gathering fruit. Then she and Mom would spend the day making jam, jellies, and applesauce. Oma would send us home with bushels of fresh fruit, canned goodies, and a delicious apfelstrudel with a homemade blättertei.
My mouth still waters thinking about that apfelstrudel. So, of course, for this fall challenge, I knew I wanted to include Oma’s German apple strudel and I added some good old-fashion American bourbon to the mix.