Mother's Day Brunch


Most of my friends, and now our devoted readers, have attained my joy for gathering friends over for brunch. To start the day with great food, friends, and love is a perfect way to commence a day off from work. To have an occasion to celebrate, makes brunch all that much more delightful.

I'm not a mother, however, I am blessed to have been nurtured by a loving, affectionate, compassionate, resilient, beautiful woman.  My enthusiasm for cooking started with my mom's passion to serve us healthy, delicious, nutritious meals; and now, she inspires our blog by continuing to support me by providing delicious recipes that I share with you. She illuminates my world and showers me with love with every breath she takes.

How can I ever thank my mother one day out of the year for all the days of her life in which she unconditionally loves me? It's not possible. My father says it best: "everyday is Mother's Day!" As a family, my parents do not weigh in or value a calendar day set aside to celebrate.  Therefore, we generally do not buy gifts or dine at fancy restaurants on Mother's day.  Rather, every day I remember to celebrate my mother with gratitude for her presence in my life. However, I do like to do something a little different on Mother's Day to simply celebrate.

For that reason, I like to serve a special brunch and I insist upon my mother to relax and enjoy the day. Belgium waffles are traditionally a staple, as that is one of her favorite breakfast dishes. Nonetheless, I take pleasure in surprising her with a new recipe.  This year, along with setting a elegant table decorated with flowers, serving hot and cold beverages, rosewater fruit salad, and waffles of course, I am planning to serve my recipe for savory eggs baked in the oven along with candied Bourbon maple bacon.

Chopped fresh herbs with a hint of garlic sprinkled on top of fresh eggs from our own chicken coop, is baked in individual ramekins along with butter, cream and cheese. These savory eggs serve a hearty, delicious, satisfying balance to the sweet fruit salad and waffles. Bourbon maple syrup glazed bacon accompanied along with eggs and freshly baked bread (thank you Anja for the recipe) is a home run! The bacon is prepared in the oven which makes it crispy, evenly cooked, and easy to clean up. I promise you, once you taste these candied bacon strips, you will want to enjoy them all day long: crispy, sweet and salty with a dash of Bourbon- Need I say more?

Happy Mother's Day, to all mothers, all the days of the year!


Serving 4

The below ingredients can be modified using any herbs available, fresh or dried. Naturally fresh herbs are favored. For dried herbs, use slightly less and crush them in your hands first to release natural aromas.  I generally like to serve 2 eggs and 2 strips of bacon per person- modify amounts per your guests preference. 

Savory Eggs
8 eggs
1 teaspoon freshly chopped basil
1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme
1 teaspoon freshly chopped sage
1 teaspoon freshly chopped chives
2 teaspoon freshly chopped parsley
1 large clove of garlic
4 teaspoons of butter
4 tablespoons of cream
4 tablespoons of Gruyere cheese (or any cheese of your choice such as Parmesan,cheddar)- shredded
4 round ramekins
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit placing rack in the middle of the oven. 
In a small food processor, finely chop all herbs and garlic (or simply finely chop or mince with a knife). In each ramekin place one teaspoon of butter and1 tablespoon of cream. On top of the butter and cream, gently crack open two eggs making certain yolk does not break.  Sprinkle on top equal amounts of herb mix, cheese followed by salt and pepper to taste.
Place ramekins in a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes. Later, top high broil the eggs for 1-2 minutes to ensure cheese on top has melted and rendered golden.  Egg yolks should be runny yet cooked on top, therefore check them frequently and broil a minute longer if needed depending on your oven's temperature. Remove baking sheet from the oven and place ramekin on individual plates to serve.  Warn guests ramekins are hot.

Candied Bourbon Maple bacon
 8 strips of bacon
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 or 3 tablespoons of Bourbon ( Cognac, Grand Marnier, or Brandy work equally well)

Bacon can be prepared hours in advance.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. On a baking sheet, place bacon strips next to each other making certain strips do not touch one another. Bake for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, over medium heat, in a small sauce pan dissolve brown sugar in maple syrup and Bourbon. The alcohol content should be burned off (5-6 minutes.
Remove baking sheet from the oven and discard as much of the bacon grease as possible. With a brush, glaze strips of bacon with Bourbon mixture.  Place back in the oven and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Repeat again with an additional layer of glaze, this time reducing oven heat to 200 degrees and bake for 10 minutes. Remove strips of bacon and place on serving platter.

Enjoy!

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