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Easter Brunch Recap

 I have a large family scattered across the east coast, and it's always impossible to get everyone together on actual Easter Sunday, so every year we celebrate "Feaster" or Fake-Easter, aka whatever weekend in April all our aunts and uncles and cousins can fly in. This is actually quite nice because it allows me to host my own Easter Sunday Brunch for friends in the NYC area. 

Here is the recap of this year's get together, from table settings to tips, DIYs and recipes from my meal.

The first thing I do on the day of and event is set my table. Even if your food is still cooking when your guests arrive, the scene will be set and guests will feel comfortable to mingle because you will (at least appear) to have everything finalized and under control!

I wasn't able to find the flowers I wanted for my table this year so I went with a sunny, fresh design that didn't require any! I kept my place settings simple and clean, white plates and coffee cups and clear mimosa glasses. I added color with gold chargers ($2.50 each at Target and I use them ALL THE TIME), yellow lemon place cards and gold chevron print napkins from C Wonder. (I love THESE too for spring!)

If you don't have a full set of matching plateware, cups, etc, have no fear! The key to mismatched place settings is to make it purposeful! If you are setting a table for six, don't have 5 matching places and one odd man out - alternate each plate and cup to create a pattern so you have 3 and 3 that match. Or even make each place setting decidedly different so that your table has an eclectic feel. I like to finish an eclectic look by choosing an interesting coffee or teacup for each place that suits the person who will be sitting there. It shows that you put thought into each of your guests, even if they don't all have matching plates:)


This is one of my favorite brunch/dinner party tips, that I posted about extensively earlier this week. Creating a make-your own drink station on a table or countertop for guests to utilize when they first arrive is (a) fun and colorful and (b) solves the age old problem of "too many cooks in the kitchen" aka guests crowding around asking what they can do to help you while you're trying to put the finishing touches on your meal. Now you can tell them to help you (and themselves) by making a delicious drink!

Click here to read the Mimosa Bar DIY.

Here's the table once the meal was dished. So colorful! For the brunch I served a quiche lorraine as my protein/main dish and a red flannel hash as my starch (keep scrolling to find recipes below). For my greens I served a spring salad made with mixed greens, a can of mandarin oranges (drained), blueberries, chopped apple, pecans and crumbled blue cheese with a raspberry vinaigrette. Salads with fruits and veggies are great both for spring and for brunches when people are craving something lighter and fruity.

And the piece de resistance... angel food cake for dessert! 

I won't dain to include a recipe here because I used a box mix for this cake. All you have to do is add water to the mix!! It's too easy not to do this when you're preoccupied with cooking all the other parts of the meal. It still tastes 100% better than if you bought one in store and no one will know (or care) that it's not homemade once you add your own homemade topping. Just do yourself a favor and buy yourself the $10 angel food cake pan at Target. It's necessary. This type of cake won't bake right in a regular cake pan. And it's so good you'll want to make it again this summer. (Angel food cake is also supposedly a fat-free dessert. Sugar free? No. But fat-free? Ok. Oh hello there swimsuit season, terrifying to see you.)

I popped this cake in the oven while I was working on my main dishes on the stove, then let it cool while we ate our meal. For the topping I sliced a whole lotta strawberries and then threw in the blueberries and raspberries that were left over from my cocktail station. HERE IS THE KEY: my mother taught me this as a child and it's one of the best and easiest tips for fruit topped desserts. Slice your strawberries into a bowl and then sprinkle a bit of white sugar over them. Mix up with a spoon and then let sit. The sugar will draw the juice out of the strawberries and make it into the world easiest juicy fruit topping. Without this step, your grocery store bought strawberries look a little sad and dry atop a delicious cake.


To brighten up the party, I purchased a few bags of multicolored easter candies, namely jelly beans and m&m's. I dumped them out into a medium sized bowl and then spent a few minutes separating the candies into smaller bowls based on color. I then filled a few glass containers (some small vases and mason jars) with layers of each color of candy and set them about the space. Colorful + delicious.

I have to say my favorite decoration were these easy + cheap lemon place cards for each table setting. 
Click here to read my Lemon Place Card DIY.


For my holiday meal, I decided to go with a more traditional Quiche Lorraine, but the beauty of quiches is that you can fill them with ANYTHING your heart desires. I'm excited to try asparagus in my next one...

Tips on Quiches The way I remember the foolproof quiche formula is two parts egg to one part milk, i.e. 3 eggs to 1 1/2 cup milk. This will give you just enough eggs to set the milk, but your quiche will still be silky and custardy. If you prefer a bit more substantial quiche, go with 4 eggs. As for the milk vs. cream debate, original quiche recipes call for all cream, but most current recipes now call for 1 cup milk and 1/2 cup cream. I generally just go with 1 1/2 cups half&half - one less thing to buy at the grocery, and then I use the remainder of the carton to serve with coffee.


pie crust
3-4 eggs
1 1/2 cup cream or milk
1 medium onion
1 bag spinach
3-4 strips bacon
1 - 1 1/2 cups swiss cheese

1. My first step was to pre-bake my frozen pie crust. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line the frozen crust with aluminum foil or parchment paper so it completely covers all the edges. Then fill 2/3 of the way with dry beans to weigh it down to prevent bubbles. (Don't fill more than that. If your weights are too heavy, the crust will stick to the foil.) Bake 20 mins. Remove from oven and remove the pie weights by lifting the foil up by the edges. Using a fork, poke little holes all around the base of the pie crust then pop back in the oven for 10 more minutes (it will be lightly browned all over).

2. While your crust is baking, prepare all your fillings- wash and dry your spinach, chop your onion, defrost your bacon and shred your cheese. 

3. Pre-cook each of the fillings that will go in your quiche. Reusing the same pan I just fried the bacon, sautéed the spinach and browned the onion.

4. Next, fill your baked crust with your fillings. I spread about 1/3 of my cheese evenly on the bottom, then sprinkled half my spinach, then half my onion and half my bacon over that. I then repeated another layer of the remaining halves of spinach, onion and bacon. Top with remaining cheese. Set aside.

5. Using a large bowl, whisk your eggs. Add your milk or cream (I also added salt, pepper and nutmeg here to season) and whisk vigorously so your quiche will be fluffy. Pour into pie pan, stopping just before you reach the top - believe me, throwing away a little extra egg mixture is better than attempting to transport an overfilled quiche into your oven without catastrophe).

6. Bake quiche at 350F for 30-40 minutes. The quiche will be done when only the center still wiggles a bit. Let cool so the filling will set, or become firm. You can eat at room temperature, or reheat the next day in the oven at 200F. I prefer to make my quiches the night before. The consistency is always better the second day.

Tip: Wrap the edges of the quiche lightly with foil before baking (it doesn't have to look pretty), then remove the foil about 15 minutes before the quiche is done. This will ensure a perfectly browned, but not overdone, crust.


A potato dish is a must for me for big brunches, but considering that quiche is not the most colorful dish, I wanted to add something more colorful to my plate other than white potatoes. This red flannel hash gives a great pop of purple/red against the yellow quiche and green spring salad.


one large leek 
(you can use an onion instead)
3 red potatoes
3-4 large beets, or about 10 small beets 
(thoroughly scrubbed)
3 cloves garlic, minced
a good pinch of oregano, thyme & rosemary if you have them
goat cheese for topping (optional)

1. Roughly chop leek, potatoes and beets. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat and saute your leek until it begins to soften. Then add your garlic and spices, with a generous pinch of salt and pepper.
2. Add in your potatoes and beets. Cover the pan and cook until tender, about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom from burning. Try one of the potato chunks to test when it is soft and done, and to determine if you need more spices.
3. Sprinkle with goat cheese and a dash of herbs if desired. Serve warm.


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