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Brunch and Bubbly

Sunday Brunch! Banana Muffins

By April 21, 2017 breakfast, Brunch and Bubbly, food, General, Recipies, Sunday morning brunch ideas

The smell of fresh baked banana bread is reminiscent of my childhood days. My mom would make several loaves. The riper the bananas, the sweeter the taste. And there is nothing like the taste of melted butter slathered on a warm slice. Keep scrolling for my spin on mom’s traditional banana bread recipe. Hint, I made them into muffins and sprinkled shredded coconut on them. Kick it up a notch and marinate chopped pineapple in spiced rum. Pour the marinade over the muffins just before serving.

banana bread muffins recipe

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 Tbl shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups spiced rum (alternative)
1 can chopped pineapple (alternative)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat muffin pan with non-stick spray. Sift together the four, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Combine bananas, sugar, egg, and melted butter in a large bowl. Stir in almonds. Fold in flour mixture. Add almonds and mix until smooth. Scoop into muffin pan. Top with granulated sugar and shredded coconut.

Bake: Mini Muffins for 10 – 15 min. Lare Muffins for 25 – 30 minutes.

Alternative
The banana muffins soaked in the pineapple rum marinate is something like a rum cake. It makes a wonderful dish for Sunday brunch. Simply marinate the pineapple in rum for at least 1 hour. Plate your muffins. Pour the rum and pineapple marinade over the muffins just before serving.

These are so good. I find it hard to resist eating more than just one muffin.

Invitation Design Update: I am now winding down from Easter and gearing up for summer and all of the fun festivities associated with the season. I know that summer is still a couple of months away. However, I couldn’t resist sharing with you my latest designs for editable text family reunion invitations. Be sure to check in often to see my latest designs.

family reunion invite editable text

Instant download editable text red checkered family reunion invite $9

editable text family reunion invite

Instant download editable text polka dot family reunion invite $9

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Sunday Morning Brunch: Artichoke, Ricotta and Italian Sausage Frittata

By March 5, 2017 breakfast, Brunch and Bubbly, food, frittata, General, Recipies, Sunday morning brunch ideas
frittata artichoke italian sausage ricotta

Ever since I started writing my Sunday Morning Brunch installment I have had so much fun rounding up ideas for recipes to share with you all. Today’s recipe for an Artichoke, Ricotta and Italian Sausage Frittata is one that I developed over this past week.

frittata artichoke italian sausage ricotta salad

I love frittatas because they are easy to cook and versatile. You can customize your ingredients to include anything you like. I chose the ingredients for my frittata because I love how the flavors meld together to create a savory dish that you can have for breakfast, brunch or dinner. Just because frittatas are easy to cook does not mean that you should whip some eggs and ingredients together and hope for the best. The secret to a good frittata is the addition of dairy. They are best if you don’t skimp on the fat. So instead of skim milk, use cream. Or if you prefer to use yogurt for a more healthier option, go for the full fat version. Anything less will result in a spongy, lack luster frittata. And we don’t want that do we?

I have added some dollops of ricotta cheese and topped it off with some asiago cheese. The nuttiness of the asiago and the creaminess of the ricotta add a bit of specialness to this frittata.

Frittata’s are perfect if you are having a crowd for brunch. If it is just an intimate brunch, the leftovers keep well for dinner later on or to bring to work for lunch tomorrow. Keep scrolling to see my complete recipe.

Ingredients
1 tbl olive oil
6 eggs
1/4 Cup of Heavy Cream
Pinch of Sea Salt and Pepper
2 Italian Sausages
1/2 14 oz. Can of Quartered Artichoke Hearts
1/4 cup of Ricotta Cheese
1/4 Cup Grated Asiago or Parmesan Cheese
Sprinkle of Fresh Thyme

Directions
Preheat over to 350 degrees.

Grease a cast iron pan (or red copper pan…see my review) with olive oil and set aside for baking your frittata.

Cut Italian sausages into bit size pieces and sauté on the stovetop until cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together eggs until the yolks and whites are combined. Be careful not to whisk too much or your frittata will fall flat upon cooling. Stir in sea salt, pepper, yogurt, artichoke hearts and sausage. Pour mixture into greased pan. Add dollops of ricotta spaced evenly apart. Cook in the oven for 20-30 minutes. After 15 minutes check your frittata to make sure that it does not over cook. At this time sprinkle on some grated parmesan cheese and fresh thyme. Return to the oven and cook for the remaining 5-15 minutes. You want to be careful not to overcook your frittata. If it is browned, then it is overcooked and the consistency will be spongy.

Are you serving your frittata for brunch? Why not serve with a side salad like my blue cheese crumble and pineapple over a bed of baby kale with shaved celery hearts. I know what you are thinking. Pineapple and blue cheese? You wouldn’t think that pineapples and blue cheese would go together. However, they are actually a perfect pair. Go figure? Here is a link to learn how to make this salad. Blue Cheese Crumble and Pineapple Salad.

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Baby Kale Salad with Pineapple and Blue Cheese Crumble

By March 5, 2017 blue cheese, Brunch and Bubbly, Dinner Party, food, General, pineapple, Recipies, salad, Sunday morning brunch ideas
pineapple blue cheese crumble salad

Who would have ever thought that blue cheese and pineapple would pair up so nicely? I first discovered this unlikely duo while reading an article some years ago about food pairings. With blue cheese being my favorite of all fromages, this duo inspired me to create my baby kale salad with pineapple, crumbled blue cheese, and shaved celery. I lie to shave the celery because it give the salad a nice hint of celery flavor with out the obviousness of it. It is super easy to make. Read on to learn how.

pineapple blue cheese crumble salad

Ingredients
1/2 Cup Crumbled Blue Cheese
1 16 oz Can Chopped Pineapple (reserve the juice)
1-2 Stalks of Celery
4 Cups Baby Kale
1 Tbl Olive Oil

In a large bowl toss the kale and olive oil. Arrange on serving dishes. With a potato peeler shave the desired amount of celery on each dish. Top with blue cheese and pineapple. Drizzle a little pineapple juice over the top.

Serves 4

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Sunday Morning Brunch: Egg, Ham and Cheese Sliders

By February 26, 2017 breakfast, Brunch and Bubbly, food, General, Party Ideas, Recipies, Sunday morning brunch ideas
ham egg and cheese sliders brunch ideas

Today’s Sunday brunch recipe is a fresh spin on your traditional breakfast sandwich. Everyone is sure to love the egg, ham and cheese on a homemade herbed mini roll. It is a flavorful dish that is perfect for mid morning to early afternoon brunches.

ham egg and cheese sliders brunch ideas

Who knew that bread dough was so easy to make? I am an early riser so I whipped mine up this morning. One batch makes about 12-16 rolls. I like to make 6 rolls at a time and set aside the remaining dough to make a pizza during the week. For my easy bread dough recipe >>CLICK HERE

Ingredients For Homemade Rolls
Victoria’s Easy Homemade Bread Dough
1 tsp Fresh Thyme
1 tsp Fresh Rosemary
3 tbl Olive Oil
1 tbl Raw Sunflower Seeds

Directions For Homemade Rolls
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Separate Victoria’s home-made bread dough into small sections. Knead the dough a tiny bit more and let rise for about 10 more minutes.

Meanwhile, combine olive oil, thyme and rosemary in a small dish. Set aside to allow the flavors to infuse a bit. The longer you can marinate the herbs in the olive oil the better the taste. If you have 24 hours, fantastic! If you only have ten minutes, that is fine too. Your rolls will still taste amazing.

Next dry sauté sunflower seeds in a frying pan until they begin to turn a golden brown and the nutty aroma is released. Remove from heat.

Brush each roll with the olive oil mixture and sprinkle with sunflower seeds. Bake at 375 degrees on the middle rack for 12 to 15 minutes or until a golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

ham egg and cheese sliders brunch ideas

Slider Fixings Ingredients
6 Eggs
3 Slices Thinly Sliced Ham
2 Slices Baby Swiss Cheese
1/2 Cup Baby Kale
3 Thinly Sliced Red Onion
1 tbl Olive Oil

Slider Fixings Directions
Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a non stick frying pan. Cook eggs over-easy.

Cut the ham and cheese into 2 inch squares. Place 1-2 slices each on your home-made buns. Top with cooked egg, baby kale, and thinly sliced red onion.

You can use whatever ingredients you like for your slider fixings. For this recipe I am partial to the flavors of the herbed rolls combined with the eggs, tavern roasted ham, and baby Swiss cheese topped with baby kale and thinly sliced red onion. This dish goes well served with my cranberry lime mimosas.

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Cheesecake Filled Strawberries

By February 16, 2017 breakfast, Brunch and Bubbly, Desserts, Dinner Party, food, General, Recipies

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The other day I made my Pineapple Coconut Carrot Naked Cake and I had some left over cream cheese frosting. If you have found yourself in the same predicament, then you will love this recipe. It is simple. First cut the tops and tips off your strawberries, scoop out the center, and fill with cream cheese frosting. You will want to sprinkle some graham cracker crust (or cinnamon works nicely as well. I am in love with cinnamon and cream together) over the top to finish it off. Arrange on a platter. I do a little volunteer work at my local art center. I brought these in to share with the group and they absolutely LOVED them! If you are making this recipe from scratch read on for directions on how to make the cream cheese filling.

cheese cake filled strawberries

Ingredients

1 bushel of strawberries
5 graham crackers crushed
1 package of Philadelphia Cream Cheese (or any cream cheese you like) softened.
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Directions

Cut the tops and the tips off of your strawberries so that they won’t topple over when placed on a serving tray. Scoop out their cavities.

Beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract together in a bowl until smooth. Spoon into a piping bag. Fill the cavities of the cored strawberries with the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with crushed graham crackers.

Arrange on a dish. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Bon Appétit!

Have you tried these? What do you think? Share your comments below.

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Brunch and Bubbly – DIY Mimosa Bar Ideas

By February 12, 2017 Brunch and Bubbly, Cocktails, General, Party Ideas
mimosa, naked cake, brunch and bubbly ideas

Read on for bridal shower ideas and 3 delicious mimosa recipes to serve at your next brunch and bubbly.

The time has come to start preparing for your bridal shower. It’s always a little bit hard deciding on a theme when pulling together an elegant and yet seamless event. Luckily I’ve collected some fresh inspiration from a few things I found across the web and I can’t wait to share them with you all. Bridal showers are all about new beginnings, and I have to say this roundup of favorites is like a breath of fresh air. Here we go…

Bring on the Mimosas! A brunch and bubbly is not complete without a mimosa bar. Why not set up a make-your-own mimosa or Bellini bar. Your guests will ooooh and awww over it.

Here is what you will need to set up your mimosa bar in less than 10 minutes.

1. Pour juices into clear carafes. An assortment of 3 is all you need. For my recent brunch and bubbly I offered orange mango, pineapple guava, and cranberry juices.

2. Pop the bubbly. Chilled prosecco and/or champagne are good choices. Ménage à trois’ prosecco is my favorite. For non-alcohol choices include chilled Pellegrino. To keep them cold, fill an ice bucket with ice and place the bottles inside.

3. Offer fruit slices as a garnish. I selected strawberries, pineapple and sliced kiwi fruit to compliment my juice choices.

When your guests arrive, invite them to pour themselves equal parts champagne and fruit juices. To avoid having to repeat “Pour the bubbly, Splash some juice, Garnish with fruit” to every guest that arrives, I designed a pretty little mimosa bar sign and set it right by my champagne glasses. Matching invitations and tags are perfect for tying your whole theme together. You can instantly download yours at www.diyInvitationDivas.etsy.com and receive 10% off with promo code: SAVE10

pineapple brunch and bubbly sign invitation place cards

I have included an added splash just for you. Three of my most favorite mimosa recipes.

TRADITIONAL MIMOSA WITH A TWIST
Rachael Ray is well known for her cooking show on The Food Network. And I have to say, her mimosa recipe is one of the best that I have tasted.

Ingredients
8 punches orange juice
Dry Champagne
2 ounces Triple Sec or other orange liqueur
4 curls orange peel

Directions
I never thought of this, but it makes total sense. Rinse and chill champagne flutes in freezer to frost. Pour 2 ounces of orange juice into each flute. Fill almost to the rim with champagne. Top each glass with a splash of Triple Sec and garnish with a curl of orange peel. Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray.

raspberry cream mimosa

These raspberry cream mimosa’s are as good as they look

RASPBERRY CREAM MIMOSA ANYBODY?
I am LOVING this mimosa, created by Debbie and Julie of Cooks with Cocktails.

Ingredients
1 bag frozen raspberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup half and half cream
1 bottle of sparkling wine or champagne
Raspberries rolled in sugar for garnish, or just plain raspberries

Directions
Thaw frozen raspberries in a small pot over medium heat. Once they get soupy, add the sugar to taste and stir until it completely dissolves.

Puree the raspberries and pour them through a sieve to get rid of the seeds. Let the mixture cool.

When it is cool, add the cream and mix. Add the raspberry cream mixture to a container and freeze for 4 hours or overnight.

When you are ready to assemble your drinks. Add a table spoon or two of frozen raspberry cream into a glass. Then pour the sparkling wine over to the top and drop in a fresh raspberry or two for garnish.

Serves  4

VICTORIA’S SEXY NON-ALCOHOLIC MIMOSA
The ingredients are simple. It is the presentation that makes this cocktail sexy.

Ingredients
Peligrino
Pineapple Guava Juice
Sliced Pineapple For Garnish

Directions
Fill a champagne flute almost to the top with Peligrino. Add a splash of juice and garnish with pineapple.

Have you thrown a brunch and bubbly? Share you mimosa experience with my audience. We would love to hear your thoughts below:

If you like this post, tell a belle and share it with your girls.

Have you thrown a brunch and bubbly? I would love to hear all about it in the comments below.

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Pineapple Coconut Carrot Naked Cake

By February 12, 2017 Brunch and Bubbly, Desserts, General, Party Ideas, Recipies
cream cheese frosting recipe

With this weekend’s brunch and bubbly with the girl’s quickly approaching, I am scrambling to get things done. My theme is tropical and I wanted to bake something special for the ladies that would be pretty and have a tropical flair. Now I love a good cream cheese frosting. Who doesn’t right? The problem is carrot cake is the only thing that comes to mind when thinking of cream cheese frosting. So I added some pineapple and coconut to the recipe. It is sure to to leave my guests obsessing over this cake.

pineapple coconut carrot cake

Make this indulgent cake the next time you are having guests for brunch or dinner. You are sure to be the belle of your ball.

PINEAPPLE COCONUT CARROT NAKED CAKE

Cake Ingredients
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups plus 1 Tbl all-purplose flour, divided
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 lb grated carrots
1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Frosting Ingredients
3/4 lb cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 lb unsalted butter at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 lb confectioners’ sugar sifted
1/4 cup shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter 2 8-inch round cake pans.

Cake:

Beat sugar, oil, and eggs together in a bowl with an electric mixer until light yellow. Add vanilla. In another bowl, sift together 2 1/2 cups of flour, the cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.

Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in the large bowl. Add carrots, pineapple and coconut to the batter and mix well.

Divide the batter equally between the 2 cake pans. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely in the pans.

Frosting:

Mix the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a  bowl with an electric mixer until just combined. Add sugar and mix until smooth.

Optional: Arrange rosemary or thyme on a cake pedestal for decoration. I am in love with this rustic look.

Place 1 cake layer, flat-side up, on a cake pedestal. With a spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top with the rounded side up. Spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake. To achieve this trendy naked cake look scrape the frosting from the sides.

Sprinkle the shredded coconut over the top of the cake. If desired add a slice of pineapple and a sprig of rosemary as a garnish.

At a loss for what to do with the extra cream cheese frosting? Try my cheesecake filled strawberry recipe.

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