To brunch or to lunch?

Easter is just a few days away, but we have yet to decide on the menu for the holiday meal at our house.

Brunch or dinner? That is the main debate as we try to figure out what will work out best with my weekend work schedule. And, of course, there’s the low-carb diet to which Hubby Bryan and I are trying to adhere. We give ourselves a bit more leeway on the weekends, but many brunch dishes have breads as a base. But then, what would Easter dinner be without a basket of rolls?
We just might have to write-off the dietary restrictions for one day, as I’ve found a couple of recipes that I’d like to try.

Actually, I have to admit that I already did a trial run on this first recipe. I had never tried to make scones before, the chives have already emerged in my small garden patch, and the combination of beer and cheddar cheese was irresistible. (We each ate one, and the rest went into the freezer.)

Cheesy Chive Scones

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk 2¾ cups all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in ½ cup minced fresh chives and 1½ cups coarsely shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
In a small bowl, whisk ¾ cup chilled beer (a wheat beer is recommended), 1 egg, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard.
Gradually add beer mixture into dry ingredients, stirring until moist clumps form, adding more beer by tablespoonfuls if dough is dry. Once all the flour is incorporated, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead just until it comes together.

Pat dough out into a 1-inch thick circle. Using a biscuit cutter (I used a small plastic glass since I didn’t have one), cut out scones; gather scraps, reshape and repeat. You should have 10-12 scones.

Place scones on prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk another egg and brush over top of scones. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.

Bake for 14-16 minutes, until scones are golden brown.

The scones would be good served with either brunch or dessert. I think this recipe, from the folks at Pillsbury, might be better suited to brunch.

Lemon Monkey Bread

Heat oven to 350. Coat a 12-cup fluted tube cake pan with cooking spray.

In large bowl, combine 1 cup packed brown sugar, 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel and 1 box (4 serving size, NOT instant) lemon pudding and pie filling mix.
Separate two cans refrigerated biscuit dough into 16 biscuits. Cut each biscuit into fourths and place in another large bowl. Add ¾ cup butter or margarine, melted, and toss to coat, making sure each dough piece is covered with butter. Roll each piece in the pudding mixture and place in the prepared pan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown and no longer doughy in the center. Cool in pan 10 minutes before turning out onto serving plate.

In a small bowl, stir together 1 cup powdered sugar and enough lemon juice (2-3 tablespoons) until smooth and drizzling consistency. Add 1-2 drops yellow food coloring. Drizzle glaze over warm monkey bread.
Serve warm. Stir in airtight container in refrigerator.

Although I wouldn’t exactly call this salad healthy, it does feature cauliflower, which has become a meal staple at our house. This recipe is an oldie-but-goodie from DotMom’s files, originally labeled Mean Salad.
Easter Nice Salad

For dressing, combine ½ cup mayonnaise, ¼ cup sugar, 3 tablespoons vinegar and 1 small onion, chopped. Refrigerate up to 8 hours.

Tear 1 head lettuce into bite-size pieces. Separate ½ head cauliflower into small flowerets. Mix lettuce and cauliflower with dressing. Sprinkle in 8 slices fried bacon, crumbled, and ½ cup fresh Parmesan cheese; toss until well combined.

Oh, and by the way, since I started writing this blog, my in-laws have solved the brunch-lunch dilemma by inviting us out for dinner.

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