This past weekend was just about perfect.
Nick and I went to visit his parents, his sister and her husband, and our two too-cute-for-words nephews.
And, as usual, we ate. A lot.
My family never needs an excuse to make big meals, but this weekend was full of great breakfast and brunch dishes. Foodbuzz put out a call for a brunch party, and I couldn’t resist!
And instead of pulling out all my favorite brunch dishes on one morning, we split them up over the weekend: 1 big one on Saturday and 1 on Sunday with fruit, coffee, tea, and yogurt on the side.
So what do you make for 6 adults and 1 toddler who eats everything?
I knew exactly what I wanted to make Saturday morning.
Ever since I tried this dish 3 or 4 years ago, I can’t stop thinking about it. I would drive to Louisville any day to have a Hot Brown from Lynn’s Paradise Cafe.
To get ready for our brunch on Saturday, I asked Nick’s dad to bake a batch of my farmhouse bread Friday night while we were on the road to their house.
Little Bugga helped me in the kitchen that morning, cutting the bread, making the white sauce, layering everything together. Everyone was up, drinking coffee or tea, and the dogs were running around playing. Just a normal weekend morning.
Tattoos + bedhead. How can you resist that?
He also helped me make my Vanilla Maple Breakfast Bread Pudding on Sunday morning with the second loaf of bread. He ate a slice and talked to me while I mixed the custard – it worked out well.
As part of the brunch, Foodbuzz and Dannon sent me some coupons for the new Activia Yogurt Harvest Picks to pick up for the meal. I’m always worried when I get coupons – my town is so small that we often get new products much later than bigger cities, if we even get them all! But I found all 4 flavors of the Harvest Picks and chose the two I knew I would love: cherry and strawberry.
Usually, I’m a plain-yogurt kind of girl. I like adding my own fruit and flavorings, but it’s always nice to have some flavored options in the fridge when I’m running late or forget to mix up something the night before.
I had my cherry Activia Harvest Pick with some Love Grown Granola – and loved it! I am not a fan of fruit on the bottom yogurts, but blended fruit yogurts like this are a-okay. And cherry just happens to be one of my favorite yogurt flavors. This was a great balance of sweet + tart and super creamy.
I actually ate my yogurt while waiting for the hot brunch dishes to finish cooking – it was a delicious breakfast appetizer!
And as for the hot brown? It’s officially in the top 5 best brunch / breakfast dishes to make.
I wanted my first homemade Hot Brown to be as authentic as possible, so I used the recipe straight from the source. The Louisville Hotel has their recipe online and I followed it to the letter, making a larger serving to make enough for all of us.
The only change I made was using some of our slow roasted tomatoes that I froze this summer – and it was a great swap.
If you haven’t had a big weekend brunch lately, do it. One big dish to bake, some yogurt + granola + fruit, coffee, tea, and juice is all you need.
*I was compensated for my time commitment to put together a brunch and try the new Dannon Activia Harvest Picks yogurt. However, my opinions are entirely my own – as always – and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.