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One Out Of Two

My original plan for Easter was to make scrambled eggs, turn on a romantic comedy, and wedge myself into the couch cushions like a stale Dorito.   Throwing a brunch was at the bottom of my agenda, along with 5 a.m. pilates and a trip to the orthodontist.  But then things changed:  On Monday I came across a recipe for croissant french toast.  On Tuesday prosecco was on sale at the grocery store, and on Wednesday the front yard erupted in little purple flowers.  By Thursday night, I was poring over cookbooks and draft menus and salivating like a golden retriever.

I wanted brunch to be a little fancy.  We live 40 minutes outside of Chicago, and I didn’t want our friends to drive out here for pastel M&Ms and soggy quiche.  I also didn’t want our house to look like it normally does–which is a cross between a laundromat and a lost & found department–but one out of two isn’t bad, right?  Easter Brunch 2014Here’s what we ate:

  • deviled eggs (I’ve written about them here.)
  • cayenne candied bacon (An Emiril Lagasse recipe.  These didn’t crisp up the way I hoped they would.)
  • smoked turkey and Jarlsberg salad (I grew up on this salad from The Silver Palate Cookbook.)
  • croissant french toast casserole (This is from Pinch of Yum.  It was great; I’ll add nuts next time.)
  • herb & cheese scones (from Jane on Fillmore, in San Francisco, via Bon Appétit.  Everyone loved these except for me.)
  • fruit salad

After brunch, we sat on the front steps and planted lavender and thyme in little pots.potted plants And then we played bocce.

At least, we tried to play bocce.  Thunder got mad that we were leaving her out, and she started interfering.Thunder playing bocceShe made it impossible for our friend Graham to throw the ball for a full 20 minutes.Thunder bocce 2And when he finally did throw the ball, she plopped down in the center of the field and prevented further play.Thunder playing bocceBut at least she didn’t eat a kid’s tutu like she did last year.

Happy Easter to you, my friends!

34 Comments Post a comment
  1. Enjoy reading your post, your writing style is wonderful. Happy Easter!

    April 20, 2014
  2. That looks like a delightful Easter brunch spread! And oh, that expression on Thunder’s face in the last picture…that is doggie bliss at its finest. I have yet to host anything but informal meals at my place since getting a dog, so I can only imagine what kind of shenanigans will ensue when I do! Happy Easter!

    April 20, 2014
  3. That brunch menu looks amazing…note to self: steal it! Love the Thunder pics, he must be in dog bliss. Happy Easter to you!

    April 20, 2014
  4. This sounds like a superb way to spend Easter! That brunch looks fantastic. I so want to plant lavender this year… I tried one year and failed miserably, but I’m ready to don my gardening gloves and give it another shot. Also, your dog has epic jumping skills. Mine hasn’t figured out how to use his hind legs to much effectiveness… when he has momentum, he can easily jump onto our tall bed. Without momentum, his feet barely leave the ground by a few inches, and if we try to call him up he acts as if the task is impossible. It’s pitiful.

    April 20, 2014
  5. sue ellen #

    You are such an artist !!!! We do so enjoy peeking into your life with the writings you share ~~~
    Thank you for the Easter smile… and give Thunder a little hug ☺

    April 20, 2014
    • Sue Ellen, I gave Thunder a hug for you and she grunted a little. Happy Easter to you too!

      April 21, 2014
  6. jenny_o #

    You sound like a born entertainer; for me it’s like pulling teeth (my own). Your food looks and sounds so good.

    Thunder is an amazing jumper! I was truly surprised by how high she was getting in those photos.

    April 20, 2014
    • Isn’t it amazing, Jenny? She can jump incredibly high for just a little thing. She must have jumped 40 times yesterday. I think she’s had enough of it, though–she wanted to lie on the bed this morning but just waited by the side, like “I need a lift.” I have a feeling I’m going to be picking her up and placing onto things for the next day or two, while she’s sore from her Easter antics!

      April 21, 2014
  7. Your brunch sounds amazing! Now I’m going to be dreaming of that french toast until I can find some people to invite over for brunch. Or maybe I’ll just set places for the kitties and pretend they are brunching with me

    How was the bacon besides not crisp enough? That hurts my feelings that it was so rude to not get crispy!

    April 20, 2014
    • You know, I’m not sure about this bacon. It might have been good straight out of the oven, but as it cooled, the fat cooled into opaque splotches outside the candy coating (even though I cooked the bacon on a rack, so it wasn’t swimming in its own fat.) It wasn’t very appetizing looking, in addition to being limp. I don’t like when candied bacon is 1/2″ thick because it’s positively shellacked in sugar, but I guess that’s the idea? I think it didn’t get crisp because I didn’t put enough sugar on it (though I did follow the directions exactly, since it was my first time doing this.) I did like the spicy kick of the cayenne, though, so when I try another recipe I’ll definitely add cayenne.

      April 21, 2014
  8. Aww. Cute pup. Sounds like a fun Easter with yummy food!

    April 20, 2014
    • Thanks for leaving a note, Jess. I hope you had a good Sunday, too.

      April 21, 2014
    • Man, I love the name of your blog. Fantastic. I’m also thinking that red chicken curry needs to make an appearance over here.

      April 21, 2014
      • Thank you so much! It was the first thing that popped into my head when I decided to make a blog! The red curry is soooo good! Please do try it and let me know what you think!

        April 22, 2014
  9. Hilarious, delicious, charming!

    April 21, 2014
    • The only thing that could have made it better is the fava beans and unoaked chardonnay featured on linnetmoss. . .

      April 21, 2014
  10. C.e. #

    a lovely day to be had with wonderful companions ~

    April 21, 2014
    • It was pretty great, especially because it hit 70 WHOLE DEGREES in Chicago! I could have stayed on the front steps for hours, but Thunder got hot. We ran a little cold water in the bathtub and she splashed around in it as if it were a baby pool. Hope you had a good day, too!

      April 21, 2014
  11. Kristi #

    What a wonderful brunch menu for Easter!! Sounds like you had an awesome day! We miss you guys!

    April 21, 2014
  12. I’d eat the crap outta that. That is all.

    April 21, 2014
  13. Mi casa es su casa – or at least it sounds like it, maybe minus the imaginative menu.Belated Happy Easter.

    April 21, 2014
  14. Oh, Thunder is my role model. I want to learn to hover-dog like she does.

    April 21, 2014
  15. Her Ladyship #

    Good lord that dog can jump. Looks like a fabulous meal!

    April 21, 2014
  16. Ah that sounds like the loveliest of (nearly spontaneous) brunches! I’m so super impressed that you just threw it together with only a week’s worth of contemplating/shopping (I couldn’t have done that).

    And not only is one out of two not bad, but it’s obvious that you have your priorities in line. I mean who wouldn’t rather eat delicious things in a laundromat/lost & found than sit around in a spotless room with nothing but soggy quiche?

    April 21, 2014
  17. Eggton, I feel you on getting carried away by the sheer “springness” of it all. And the food all looks amazing (that bacon!). But I’m pretty sure that your friends would’ve come by for pastel m&ms and quiche. Just a hunch.

    April 21, 2014
  18. maurnas #

    You need to know how insanely picky I am because that makes what I am about say even more meaningful. That meal looked amazing! Especially the scone. Yum!

    April 21, 2014
  19. The spread looks awesome, but those puppy pics just did me in. Who knew dogs were such bocce fans?

    April 25, 2014
  20. Kath the Cook #

    Looks very delicious to me. Thunder has very impressive jumping skillz.

    April 25, 2014
  21. You had me at candied bacon!

    April 29, 2014
  22. Trischa #

    I make a version of candied cayenne bacon, and its generally pretty crispy. My recipe: use thick cut bacon, the meatier the better 🙂 I line a sheet pan with foil for easier clean-up and put one of the small-square type cooling racks on top of it, and put the bacon on that. I sprinkle a bit of brown sugar directly on the bacon (not too much) and sprinkle a bit of cayenne (or Aleppo pepper if you are feeling spirited) put in a cold oven set to 425 and bake for 20min or so until bacon is done.

    I’ve always had it crisp up and it doesn’t get the weird greasiness when cold (we chop this up and put on salads, or use whole cold slices for a yummy BLT the next day) much easier than the emeril recipe sounds 🙂

    April 29, 2014
  23. I fell like if prosecco is on sale then it has to be purchased. Isn’t that some unmentioned rule? Your menu sounds delicious, and Thunder looked like she had a good time. Girl can bounce.

    May 13, 2014
  24. Amy #

    Sounds like you had a wonderful Easter…and a delicious menu!!

    May 13, 2014

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