Start Your Day Deliciously

Savory, sweet & unexpected Easter treats
blueberry_coffee

Photos by Jeff Hobson

The Menu

Make something decadently sweet and something deliciously savory — everyone will be happy.

  • Blueberry Brown Sugar Rolls
  • Blue Cheese Popovers with Sundried Tomato Butter
  • Turquoise Sparkler

Easter always seems to mark the beginning of spring, and with that comes fresh colors, flavors and outlook on everything. At our house, Easter is celebrated with a luncheon featuring all the fresh produce suddenly available at farmers markets. The table is filled with spring flowers that have just begun popping out from the ground. And the children’s baskets are filled with eggs — both hard-boiled and chocolate.

Our picturesque family celebrations don’t start off perfect. We always deal with the early morning grogginess as the kids hunt for the Easter Bunny and the church clothes are being ironed. The morning is often filled with frantic racing around while coffee is brewing and we are in a mad rush to get out the door.

What to do? During the morning struggles last year I realized we are missing some of the joy that can be spent together as a family — however quickly it flies by — and we can celebrate our “getting ready” time and take it down a notch. So this year we are getting up a little earlier so we can slow down and enjoy a small breakfast, fun décor and quality time together. And who knows, maybe we’ll even catch the bunny.

blueberry_sugar_rollsBlueberry Brown Sugar Rolls

Blueberry jam is one of my all-time favorite things. I spread it on everything, which is why I seem to run out so fast. These rolls taste like the best blueberry jam has been wrapped up in meltingly soft bread and baked into heavenly perfection. I’m in love with them.

Dough

  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons yeast
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 4 cups flour

Filling

  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 8 ounces fresh blueberries

Icing

  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons cream

To make the dough, warm the milk to 110 degrees and stir in yeast, brown sugar and salt. Let it sit five minutes or until yeast is foamy. Stir in melted butter and flour until just incorporated. Knead on a floured surface or knead in a stand mixer using the dough hook attachment. Knead by hand for eight minutes or in the mixer for six. Pour one tablespoon olive oil into a clean glass bowl. Drop dough on top of oil and turn once to coat dough. Let rise one hour in a draft-free space.

While the dough rises, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and mix the filling. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, flour and white sugar and set aside. Pour blueberries into a bowl and smash lightly with the back of a fork. Reserve any juices that come out of the berries.

When the dough has risen one hour — and doubled in size — remove from bowl and roll into a 12-by-18 inch rectangle. Brush melted butter on the dough and coat the top with the brown sugar mixture.

Dot the top of the brown sugar with blueberries and their juices.

Roll the dough up using the short end as the starting point and create a log that should end up about 12 inches long and 6 inches round. Slice the log into six equal portions. Place each portion into a greased 9-by-12 inch pan.

Bake 35 minutes until bubbly and browned on top. Mix together icing ingredients and pour over the top of the rolls while warm. Serve immediately.

blue_cheese_popoversBlue Cheese Popovers with Sundried Tomato Butter

I really love a savory breakfast, but I know it’s not for everyone. While I encourage making these first thing in the morning and serving them alongside some light and fluffy scrambled eggs, they are just as fabulous with a hearty steak at dinner. Whenever you choose to eat them, I know you will love them. This is a recipe I adapted from a Neiman Marcus cookbook. Makes six popovers.

  • 1 ¾ cups milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place a popover pan in the oven.

Warm milk in the microwave (about 100 degrees). Do not overheat the milk. Microwave it in 30 second intervals.

Sift together flour, salt and baking powder and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs quickly until light and fluffy. Slowly add milk while mixer is running. Pour in flour mixture and cheese and mix until just incorporated. Mixture will be a bit lumpy.

Pull the popover pan out of the oven and — working quickly — fill the pan with batter, filling each section ¾ full. Place popover pan on a baking sheet and return to oven.

Bake 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and continue baking an additional 25 minutes. Remove from oven, pop them out of the pan and let them cool briefly. Serve warm with butter.

Sundried Tomato Butter

  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 ounce sundried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

With a fork, combine tomatoes, butter and parsley until well-mixed.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Blown-Out Egg Basketflowers

I adore anything a little bit unexpected at Easter. Sure eggs in a basket are common — but this is a twist on the ordinary. Once you’ve blown out the eggs for this project, the rest is ridiculously simple. Choose interesting eggs and you don’t need to paint them at all!

Tip: You can pierce it on both sides and blow the insides of the egg out the old-fashioned way, or you can buy one of the handy tools available, including the Blas-Fix Egg Blower, which includes everything you need to blow out an egg minus the headache. amazon.com, $5.99

What You’ll Need

  • 18 blown-out eggs
  • Hot glue gun
  • 1 small bowl

Step 1: Using the bowl as a frame, arrange eggs inside the bowl in layers.

Step 2: Begin with the bottom layer and apply small dots of hot glue at the points where eggs touch.

Step 3: Work your way up the bowl, marking eggs as needed to apply the glue on the correct spots.

Step 4: Let glue sit for a few moments to set completely. Invert bowl and very carefully remove your basket made off eggs!

Spray-paint or dye the eggs a fun color to match
your decorations.

Turquoise Sparkler

turquoise_sparkler

This delicious twist on a mimosa is a welcome addition to any brunch — or baby shower. Just remember to buy a sorbet without artificial colorings added!

  • 1 scoop orange sorbet
  • 2 ounces orange-infused vodka
  • 1 ounce blue curacao champagne

Scoop a bit of orange sorbet into the base of a champagne glass. Pour vodka and curacao over top. Fill the glass with champagne and enjoy.

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