There are few things I enjoy more than brunch. And what’s more perfect than to make brunch on Mother’s Day? Growing up, we would go to these elaborate brunches that my Aunt Kathy would put together for all the moms in the family. This year, I wanted to recreate a little of that so early on Sunday I “snuck down” into the kitchen to prepare a yummy brunch for our mom. She’s more of a savory than sweets person so at least I had somewhere to start.
I poured through no less than four cookbooks. “Aack!, what am I going to make?” I asked myself a dozen times. Finally, I settled on my old favorite, the Betty Crocker cookbook from the early seventies. I used to read it like it was a novel. So delicious, so intriguing. Since we, along with my sister, were going to be spending the majority of the day working in the garden, I wasn’t ashamed to make something a little indulgent. I decided to go with a Buttermilk biscuit (recipe below) that I jazzed up with some thinly sliced ham, cheese, and freshly snipped chives folded into the batter. The white cheddar was chunked so it browned a little more than I expected but they were really yummy! To go along with the biscuits, I soft-scrambled two eggs, added a little black pepper and a little more cheese and filled these phyllo cups from Athens that my mom had in the cupboard for company (I’m company, right?) and topped them with fresh chives. The crunchy shells and eggs were the perfect bite-sized accompaniment to the hearty biscuits.
What’s that luscious looking bread next to the eggs you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. Those are slices of Triple-Hit Lemon Loaves from the Kraft Canada site. I am not a fan of boxed cake, I’ll say it. Well, except when it’s used for cake-mix cookies because those are awesome. But, I was on a mission on Thursday. See my mom loves the lemon cake from Starbucks and I wanted to gift her with a homemade version.This recipe came up in my search feed, had a 5-star review and I was intrigued by the addition of Jell-O and a lemon glaze that you pour over while the loaves are still warm. Between the two of them, I was confident that this recipe would be very moist. So while it does start off with a base of lemon cake mix, the addition of the Jell-O, lemon zest and lemon glaze made the flavor as close to homemade as you can get. And oh, was it moist! The recipe says it makes 2-8×4 loaves but instead I bought the mini foil loaf pans and was able to get 5 tea sized loaves from the recipe. I gifted them in clear cellophane bags with a sweet green and blue ribbon and it was thumbs up all around. And in case you are wondering, they freeze really well too! Happy Tuesday!
The Buttermilk Biscuits
6 T butter
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 thin slices of Imported ham (from the deli) cut into bite-sized pieced 2 T fresh chives, snipped 4 ounces white Cheddar cheese, chunked into little cubes 3/4 cup buttermilk (I made a buttermilk substitute of 1 Tbs lemon juice and then filled with milk to make 3/4 cup)
A few tablespoons of regular milk
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Cut butter into flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt with a pastry blender until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Then mix in the ham and chives. Stir in milk and cheese until just incorporated.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Pat out the dough to a 1/2 inch thick square and using a bench scraper or knife cut the dough into squares (I was able to get 12). Transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Before I popped them into the over I brushed the tops with milk so they would be nice and golden. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Enjoy!