I will admit - I can be a bit of a cliche. As we know by now, I love to indulge in self-care and self-love rituals, taking time to read Kinfolk magazines in the bath with a face-mask, I love to listen to records, diving into a collection full of Stevie Nicks, David Bowie, and Florence Welch, and I also love to entertain. As a queer male, I rely on these things for a multitude of reasons: whether it means embracing a part of my community that we are often stereotyped for, reconnecting with the want to fit in and not feel different among others, and by reforming and establishing a deeper relationship with my friends who enjoy the same things that I do. I mention that I love to entertain as I feel like food within the queer community is something that we often trust as a source of comfort and connection. We, like many others, use food as a way to bring our community together, becoming this important trope by which the queer community has found commonality, sought visibility, championed diversity and encouraged activism. It creates a sense of intersectionality - a safe-space as you will.
In creating these safe-spaces, I rely on this blog as a place where I can come and feel free to write and share about my experiences as well. I often rely on the weekends as a time to bring my friends together, mixing our different diversities in a setting where we can just be ourselves and be accepted. These usually take place in the form of brunches! I wanted to share with you some of my favorite meals I use to entertain, to extend and share my safe-space with yours. I hope you enjoy these recipes for the perfect weekend brunch as much as I do:
Eggs Benedict is one of those classic menu items you will see at any brunch or breakfast! It is one of those dishes that I feel like a lot of people are intrigued by and love but are so intimidated when it comes to making it at home. But don't fret! Eggs Benedict is actually pretty easy to make when you prepare and take the time prep. This recipe comes from the New York Times and is one of my favorite recipes. I have tested this recipe multiple times and swear by it!
Serves - Four Eggs Benedict Plates
FOR THE HOLLANDAISE:
- ¾ Cup (1 1/2 sticks) of Unsalted Butter
- 3 Large Egg Yolks
- 1 ½ Teaspoons of Fresh Lemon Juice - Plus More To Taste
- ¼ Teaspoon of Cayenne or Paprika - To Taste
- Kosher Salt and Pepper - To Taste
FOR THE POACHED EGGS:
- 1 Tablespoon of Distilled White Vinegar
- Kosher salt
- 8 Large Eggs
FOR THE BENEDICT AND ASSEMBLY:
- 4 English Muffins - Split
- 8 Slices Canadian Bacon or Thick-Cut Ham
- 2 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter
- ¼ Cup of Chopped Chives
- Dill and Parsley - For Garnish
- Flaky Sea Salt and Pepper
- Make the Hollandaise Sauce: Melt butter in a small pot over medium heat until it’s foamy but not yet beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Place egg yolks and 2 teaspoons water in a blender. Start blending, and, working very slowly, add the hot, melted butter until it’s all incorporated. (If it starts to get too thick to blend, add 1/2 teaspoon of water.) Add lemon juice and cayenne, though feel free to adjust the amounts to taste, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the hollandaise to a small bowl, and place plastic wrap directly on the surface so it doesn’t form a skin. Set aside. (It will keep at room temperature while you work.)
- Poach the eggs: Fill a medium pot with 3 inches of water. Add vinegar, season with salt and bring to a simmer. (Look for just a few bubbles; it should never boil.) Gently crack an egg into the center of the pot, letting the water swirl around it and allowing the white to envelop the yolk. Repeat with remaining eggs — you could probably do up to four at a time. Cover with a lid. Check the eggs after 2 to 3 minutes: Use a slotted spoon to lift an egg out of the water, and feel the white for firmness. If it's not quite done, slide it back in for another minute or so. Let cook until the whites are just set, but the yolks are still completely runny, 4 to 5 minutes. Once eggs are perfectly poached, remove from the water, and let drain on a plate lined with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Set eggs aside.
- Using a toaster, toaster oven or regular oven, toast the English muffins until crisp and golden brown. Don’t be afraid to toast them thoroughly: They'll be covered in hollandaise and poached eggs, and will need to be sturdy.
- Cook Canadian bacon or ham (or bacon) in a medium skillet over medium–high heat until golden brown and just crisp at the edges, about 6 minutes.
- Assemble the Benedict: Place eight halves of English muffin on a plate and butter them generously. Top each with a slice of Canadian bacon, ham or bacon, then a poached egg. Spoon hollandaise sauce over and sprinkle with chives, dill, parsley, flaky sea salt, and black pepper.
Baked Blueberry Oatmeal
If you are looking for something a little healthier to give to your guests, this blueberry baked oatmeal recipe is a delicious healthy breakfast that will surely please during brunch! For a twist, swap in whatever seasonal fresh fruit you like.
Serves - 8 | From Love and Lemons
Gather Together :
- 2 Tablespoons of Ground Flaxseed and 6 Tablespoons of Warm Water
- 2 Cups of Whole Rolled Oats
- ½ Cup of Slivered Almonds
- ½ Cup of Hemp Seeds
- ⅔ Cup of Coconut Flakes
- ¼ Cup of Brown Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
- 1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
- ¾ Teaspoon of Sea Salt
- ¾ Cup of Almond Milk - At Room Temperature
- ¼ Cup Maple Syrup
- 3 Tablespoons of Melted Coconut Oil
- 1 Banana - Chopped
- 1 cup Strawberries - Sliced
- ½ Cup of Blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray an 8x8-inch (or similar) baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, combine the flaxseed and warm water and set aside to thicken for about 5 minutes.
- Reserve 2 tablespoons of the almonds, hemp seeds and coconut flakes and set aside. In a large bowl combine the oats, the remaining almonds, hemp seeds and coconut flakes, and the baking powder, cinnamon, brown sugar and salt.
- In a medium bowl, combine the almond milk, maple syrup and coconut oil and whisk to combine. Stir in the flaxseed mixture and blend until smooth.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir to combine.
- Layer the bananas and strawberries in the baking dish and spread the oat mixture on top. Sprinkle with the blueberries and the reserved almonds, hemp seeds and coconut flakes.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the top is crisp and the middle is set. I find it easiest to wedge a knife in and make sure the middle has thickened nicely. Remove and let cool for 15 minutes before serving.
You cannot have brunch without serving potatoes - it's a sin! This super easy to make breakfast potato recipe will leave you always wanting more, so get them while you can!
Serves - 6-8 | From The Pioneer Woman
- 5 Pounds of Red Potatoes - Roughly Chopped and Diced
- 4 Cloves of Garlic - Minced
- 1 Onion - Chopped
- 1 Green Bell Pepper - Seeded and Roughly Chopped
- 1 Red Bell Pepper - Seeded and Roughly Chopped
- 1/4 Cup of Olive Oil
- 1/2 Stick of Butter - Melted
- 1 Teaspoon of Seasoned Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon of Cayenne
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, toss together the potatoes, garlic, onion, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, olive oil, butter, seasoned salt, cayenne pepper and some kosher salt and pepper.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, shaking the pan twice.
- Raise the heat to 500 degrees and bake until crisp and brown, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper before serving.
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
Did you know it is also a sin to not serve pancakes at a brunch! This recipe takes the classic pancake recipe and kicks it up a notch by adding delicious flavors such as lemon and ricotta. Bam! You got yourself some amazing pancakes!]
Serves - 2 | From Chef John
Gather Together :
- 1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
- 1 Large Egg
- 1/8 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
- 2 Tablespoons of Melted Butter
- 1 Tablespoon of Lemon Juice
- 1 Cup Plus 2 Tablespoons of Self-Rising Flour
- Whisk water and baking soda together in a mixing bowl. Add ricotta cheese, lemon zest, vegetables oil, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth, breaking up lumps of cheese as you mix. Add melted butter, lemon juice, and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons self-rising flour. Whisk together, stirring until most of flour disappears into the batter.
- Let batter sit at room temperature about 15 minutes.
- Heat lightly greased cast iron skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Portion out 1/4 cup scoops of batter onto skillet (cook in batches). When bubbles begin to form on the surface and the edges of the pancakes start to look dry (2 to 3 minutes), flip and cook other side until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a warm plate.
Pear and Pomegranate Bellini
Cousin of the mimosa, the bellini usually combines Prosecco and peach nectar. I mean, come on – if something has nectar in it, it must be classy, right? Plus, since Prosecco is a sparkling wine and doesn’t have a very high alcohol content, bellinis are basically bubbly juice that get you buzzed. What more do you need in life? Mine takes a different spin on the recipe using pear and pomegranate - just trust me on this one, would you?
Serves - 8
Gather Together :
- 5 Ounces of Pear Brandy
- 3 Ounces of Pomegranate Juice
- 1 Bottle of Prosecco (750ml) - Chilled
- 1/4 Cup of Pomegranate Arils - Plus Extra For Garnish
- 1 Anjou Pear - Thinly Sliced
To a glass pitcher, add pear brandy and pomegranate juice and stir.
Pour in prosecco, arils and pear slices and gently stir.
To serve, add a sprinkle of pomegranate arils to bottom of a champagne flute, top with a few cubes of ice, pour in Bellini, garnish with a few slices of pear if desired.