While Pittsburgh beer enthusiasts and/or the local “Irish” were clumping into green colored herds to commence daytime drinking and revelry, I was clad in red and very soberly intent on avoiding them. Am I against the holiday? No, I just have a hard time relating to festivities that revolve solely around intoxication. Thus I came to celebrate in my own way, which meant a green inspired Post Patty’s Day brunch. Though there was plenty of Jameson, our holiday acknowledgement notably lacked the debauchery of the previous night’s full fledged festivities.
On the menu for the celebration…
Irish Coffee Baked French Toast
Cheddar & Greens Frittata
Cake in the case of the Birthday Girl
Kiwi & Lime Bellinis (Kiliminis?)
Irish Coffee French Toast
organic challah rolls (4)
1/2 cup organic sour cream
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 cup Bourbon Berries
2 cups organic buttermilk
1 cup Organic Valley hazelnut half & half
1 cup brewed and cooled (such as One Village Coffee)
2 eggs (local/free-range)
2 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons Jameson whiskey
2 Tablespoons organic brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Butter a 9×13 glass baking dish.
Use slices of the challah rolls to create a single layer on the bottom of the pan. Use pieces of the multigrain baguette to fill in any spaces.
In a pourable, glass measuring bowl, combine the sour cream, ricotta cheese and maple syrup.
Pour the mixture over the bread layer.
Spread the bourbon berries over the cheese layer and follow with another layer of challah and more multigrain bread chunks as needed.
In a mixing bowl, combine the buttermilk, half & half, coffee, eggs, vanilla, Jameson, brown sugar and salt. Pour the mixture over the bread, making sure to saturate the top layer.
Sprinkle with the spices. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, preferably overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cover with foil and bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, until top is golden brown.
Serve with Irish Whipped Cream and pure maple syrup.
Irish Whipped Cream
1 cup organic heavy whipping cream
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2-3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup, to taste
4-5 Tablespoons Jameson Irish Whiskey, to taste
2-3 Tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a chilled bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat until stiff peaks form.
My First Frittata Ever…
Cheddar & Greens Frittata
7 large eggs (local/free-range)
2 Tablespoons organic heavy cream
1 medium sized red onion, chopped
1 organic parsnip, sliced
4-5 brussels sprouts, sliced
1 small organic leek, sliced
Freshly ground smoked black pepper, to taste
1 Tablespoon Yakima Applewood Smoked Sea Salt
organic spinach (eye it)
1/2 cup Irish Cheddar, grated
Danish blue cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a pourable measuring bowl, mix the eggs and heavy cream. Set aside.
Pour a few Tablespoons of olive oil into a 10-inch skillet, over medium-high heat. As the oil starts to shimmer, add the chopped onion.
Once the onion has softened (about 2-3 minutes), add the sliced parsnip and brussels sprouts. Stir frequently.
Once the brussels sprouts have begun to brown slightly, add the sliced leek, and continue to stir.
Add the salt and pepper, and continue to stir. Once the vegetables are stir fried (still slightly crisp), remove the skillet from heat.
Stir in spinach leaves to your liking. The remaining heat will be sufficient to wilt the greens slightly. Add the cheese, and stir to combine.
Pour the egg and cream mixture over the vegetables in the skillet.
Cover the skillet with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10 minutes more.
Slice and serve directly from the skillet, warm or at room temperature.
It didn’t dawn on me fully until this Post Patty’s Sunday, but there is a place where I can find inspiration, creativity, humor, craziness, encouragement, passion, advice, knowledge, exploration, activism, insight and so much more! It’s the brunching table!
Over glasses of green juices and plates of food, Dana commended Nina for her actualization of the venue Dana had once wanted to create. Assemble is a place where one can engage his or her intrigue through hands on activities about art and technology, through film screenings, happenings, workshops, lectures, and community activities.
Meanwhile, Dana was inspiring both of us with the story of channeling her own powerful cancer survival story into fighting for environmental initiatives and anti-fracking campaigns. These environmental discussions circled back to a need for more educational programs a la Nina’s involvement with this amazing program to promote girls in math and science.
Those accomplishments certainly merited another toast!
Dana’s response to my request for something green to drink:
Fresh Pressed Kiwi Juice + Lime Juice + Simple syrup (from pure cane sugar) + Prosseco
Nina’s garnish addition:
Green grapes + Fresh Mint
Another Nina brunch plate interpretation. It looks like an army tank?!? Knowing Nina’s artistic inclinations, it’s probably something on the phallic side of the sculptural world.
Turn a good cup of coffee into an even better cup of coffee with a dollop of the Irish Whipped Cream (recipe above). Even the coffee cup will be smiling when the coffee is gone.
Nina zipped away in her greenest display of the day- her new mini! I’m still waiting for my inaugural ride!
As I took a moment to take in the remains of the table, the true power and potential of these friends of mine hit me in the most marvelous way, and I felt truly honored to have brought them together!
Never underestimate the power of brunch!