Monday, May 21, 2012

Almond Creme Brulee for Liv Life's Eggs-pect the Best Brunch and an Eggland's Best Giveaway


For some 5 years I volunteered every other week as Liv's Girl Scout Leader.  Planning the meetings and creating memories for my 16 Girl Scouts gave me more pleasure than I can convey, but as my girls grew up, Girl Scouts became less important as busy schedules demanded more and more time in different areas.  Part of me still misses those meetings and watching the girls grow.

Today Liv spends her days at the dance studio where she competes with her team, and as such, she doesn't really have much time to coordinate with friends outside of school.  This does leave, however, a group of girls who have become some of her best friends with exactly the same schedule.

When Eggland's Best offered to sponsor Liv Life for a Brunch featuring our beloved eggs, turning to Liv and her friends was a no brainer.  Stopping by the dance studio I was immediately pelted with ideas for our menu and had 5 excited girls creating and planning in no time.

With demanding rehearsals and technique classes reaching up to 20+ hours per week after a full day at school, eating healthy is vitally important to these hard working girls, and protein-rich eggs have become a big part of their diets.  Always watching out for health, the Eggland's Best Eggs are easy for me to recommend.

A little research shows Eggland's Best using a superior chicken feed which not only boosts Vitamins E, D and B12, but also Omega-3's and Lutein.  Personally, I served up just a little extra knowing that these EB marked eggs contain 25% less saturated fat than other eggs and are also lower in cholesterol.


Arriving early in the morning on the day of our Eggs-pect the Best Brunch the girls set right to work and showed me that my hovering during my Girl Scout days are over.  These girls not only created the whole meal themselves, but they set the table, cleared the table and made a good start on the dishes.

Clockwise:  Vanners, Jilly, Devi, Liv, Vanners, Ryn
Do you remember Vanners from our Sleepover Special?  Her suggested Breakfast Burritos became our main course while Devi worked with me on creating Cheese Cups.   Ryn worked out her arms whipping up a fabulous Angel Food Cake, Jilly put together a zesty platter of Tex Mex Guacamole Deviled Eggs and Liv outdid herself with Scrumptions Strawberry Ebelskivers.

Extra Strong Shirley Temples (the grenadine flowed freely), sides of Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins and desserts of French Macarons and Almond Creme Brulee had our heads were swimming with eggs and my sink was soon swimming with dishes.

Scrambled eggs, avocado and scallions served in a cheese cup
Working without machines, I quickly set the girls to whipping the eggs for our Angel Food Cake the old fashioned way... with a whisk.  They caught on quickly and learned how to whip the eggs to incorporate the air and soon we had beautiful peaks and burning arms.  So excited to whip the eggs, I gave Ryn the incorrect order to add the ingredients and after her "eggs-treme" whipping and sifting, we ended up with a not-so-lofty cake due to my lack of following directions.  Still tasty though, my teenage son only received one small piece as he scrounged after the brunch and wondered why I hadn't saved him more.

Coming out a surprise winner of the day, the Guacamole Deviled Eggs brought thoughts of summer all around.  Eggland's Best supplied the pre-hardboiled eggs which I have to admit to being skeptical of when I first saw them.  The ease of prep though, as well as the perfection of hard cooking, has these little bags of hard cooked eggs a winner in my by book and I won't hesitate to pick them up again next time I'm in need.

Cut in half, the yolks are mashed in a bowl with avocado, cilantro, onion and garlic for a zesty and pretty guacamole alternative that will be a welcome addition to any summer event you attend.

Clockwise from upper left:  Chocolate Espresso Macaron's, Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Bread, Vanilla Bean Almond Creme Brulee, Creme Brulee, Shirley Temples
Rounding out our dessert we served up a spectacular Almond Creme Brulee.  Adapting a recipe we found on A Farm Girl Dabbles, this creation drew "oohs and ahhh's" from the girls.  Better made with a kitchen torch, we used the oven broiler this time with satisfactory, though not perfect results.  Creating less than beautiful brulees, the looks didn't matter a wink once we had our first tastes and this recipe is going into the "definitely don't lose it" file.  See recipe below.

The girls and I would like to extend our thanks to the Eggland's Best Company for suggesting our Liv Life Eggs-pect the Best Brunch.  Our morning filled with creating in the kitchen was indeed followed by one of the best brunches I've attended in years.  Listening to the girls chatter as they baked, stirred, whipped and even cleaned, I know why time with friends is so special.  As I cleaned up the final dishes I expected the girls to relax in the sun, but was not really to surprised when they ended up migrating to the living room to do what they love most... dance.

Strawberry filled Ebelskivers... recipe to follow in a few days!
Eggland's Best Eggs-pect the Best Giveaway
Eggland's Best sent us a fabulous box of goodies to enhance our brunch and they have kindly offered to give one away to one of our lucky readers in celebration of National Egg Month.  As we wrap up May, one winner will receive:

Leave a comment telling us your favorite egg dish (links welcome and encouraged!) to enter to win this Eggland's Best gift including :  Apron, spatula, whisk, cutting board, mixing bowl, bowl scraper, coffee mug, tote bag and plush egg.  Might I just say that this plush egg was extremely popular at our brunch!
All you need to do to enter is leave us a comment below telling us what your favorite egg recipe is (links welcome and encouraged!).

Check out Eggland's Best Facebook page or Eggland's Best website for nutrition info and recipes.  The Guacamole Deviled Eggs came from their site, and while searching for egg recipes I printed myself a good 15 pages of recipes to ponder for future brunches.

Fine Print:
Eggland's Best Giveaway is available ONLY to US addresses.
Giveaway closes on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 6 PM PST.
Eggland's Best provided Liv Life with a gift of the above giveaway as well as coupons for eggs and a remittance to cover food costs for our brunch.


Almond Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee
Brenda, of A Farmgirl Dabbles, combined her love of vanilla beans with a traditional Almond Creme Brulee to come up with her version of this showstopper.  Better completed with a kitchen torch, the oven broiler will work in a pinch.

2 c. heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean seeds scraped from a split bean
6 large egg yolks
1/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. pure almond extract
6 T. sugar, for topping 

Preheat oven to 275º.

In a medium saucepan, add the whipping cream and seeds scraped from 1/2 of a vanilla bean.  Add the vanilla bean pod if desired and heat over medium heat just until bubble form around the edges of the pan.  Remove from the heat and allow the cream to cool to almost room temperature.  Remove the vanilla bean pod and discard.

In a medium bowl whisk the egg whites for 1 to 2 minutes, or until they turn pale in color.  Whisk in the sugar and continue whisking until the sugar has dissolved.  Pour in the cooled cream, whisking very lightly just to combine.  Gently stir in the almond and vanilla extracts.

Spoon the mixture into ramekins and fill a little more than 3/4 full.  Place the ramekins into a baking dish and fill the baking dish with warm water about 1/2 way up the sides of the ramekins.

Carefully place the baking dish filled with water into the preheated oven, taking care not to slosh water into the brulees.  Bake for 30-40 minutes depending on the size of your ramekins, or just until the center of each custard juggles slightly.

Remove the baking pan from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack briefly.  Place the ramekins into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.

When ready to serve, place the ramekins on a baking dish and sprinkle about 1 Tbs of sugar evenly over each custard.  With a kitchen torch, caramelize the sugar until the sugar is browned.

Serve immediately.  Liv and her friends topped theirs with fresh strawberries and blackberries.


We used a lot of eggs...

Happy National Egg Month!


30 comments:

  1. What a great post! I love Creme brulee...the hint of almond would be heavenly.

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  2. Do they just grow girls gorgeous on that side of the country? They're all beautiful!

    What an amazing time you must have had with them. How cool that you've been able to see the whole cycle through from girls to young women.

    The Creme Brulee looks heavenly, but my heart belongs to the eggs Benedict. :)

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  3. The girls are adorable! So talented! For me creme brulee would be on top when it comes to desserts. But we love quiche too!

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  4. Wow! This would make a great desert! I cant wait to make this!

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  5. I love the photos of the girls!! Cute :-)

    I also love the photos of every thing you have up there, especially that creme brulee, which is a weakness of mine. I have been wanting to try Egglands Best eggs forever, but haven't been able to do so yet. Someday hopefully I'll be able to justify spending the extra money they cost. In the meantime, regular eggs and creme brulee, here i come! :-p

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  6. How cute...and fun! I think Liv may end up a cook just like MOM! I think my favorite thing to make with eggs is now Shirred Eggs with Proscitto and Gruyere...as of about two weeks ago. It is easy and divine...recipe is on my blog!

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  7. Creme brulee is delicious but a shot of almond must make it boost up :D
    Lovely!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  8. Michael J. McCoyMay 21, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    I just love fried eggs. Something about them reminds me of my childhood!!

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  9. Michael J. McCoyMay 21, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    I just love fried eggs. Something about them reminds me of my childhood!!

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  10. Gorgeous post, Kim! The creme brulee looks incredible and I love the gorgeous picture of the dancers! I've been very bad at visiting blogs lately, but I am trying my hardest to catch up... :) heading off to read more of your posts now! Thanks for this gorgeous recipe!

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  11. A year ago I had to create and cost a menu for one of my finals in school, and I came up with a Havarti and Asparagus Quiche which still reins supreme as my all-time favorite egg dish. http://www.thethreelittlepiglets.com/2011/04/havarti-and-asparagus-quiche/ LOVE eggs! They are so versatile!

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  12. I always love a good quiche. I never take the time to make it though.

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  13. Such a lovely post and such a beautiful group of girls! What a fun time making all those great recipes with them. I think this creme brulee may be my new favorite thing to cook with eggs. YUM

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  14. i don't think there's anything better than the "old fashioned" family special of SALAME and EGGS.

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  15. Fios de ovos http://www.gastronomias.com/doces/doce0084.htm
    Portuguese desserts are fantastic with plenty of eggs.

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  16. http://www.egglandsbest.com/recipes/book/q/quiche-cutie-cakes.aspx went to their website and would love to try this recipe
    thanks
    aunteegem@yahoo.com

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  17. This is too much fun, I always love coming to look at your blog because you have so many pictures!

    Personally, I love me some huevos rancheros!

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  18. The creme brulee looks really yummy, I do need to try it out. Looks like your daughter has lots of fun with dance and her friends. My daughter loves dance too, she just finished her year end recital and will be off this Summer and she misses it already.

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  19. It all looks delicious! The combination of almond and vanilla sounds wonderful and I can't wait to see the recipe for the Strawberry filled Ebelskivers!

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  20. The girls look like they had a blast!! So great to include them in it!
    Not sure what my favorite egg dish would be. Love custard (that is mainly eggs), but that defeats the healthy part :) A Quiche stuff full of yummy stuff is always good too!

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  21. I love a baked rice custard because it reminds me of my grandmother.

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  22. Wow, Kim. Every time I see photos of Liv and her friends dancing, they look so impressive! What a shot of the air hostesses. What a brunch - loving your crème brulée (all the more whites left for your macs!) and eggs benedict (my fav!) Now, as for your macarons, I'm just as impressed. Fabulous feast!

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  23. Your creme brulee sounds delicious! That addition of the almond would be wonderful!

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  24. quiche is my favorite. though lately have been having a craving for angle food cake which i have never attempted before. not sure what to do w/ all those yolks ....

    fruitcrmble AT comcast DOT net

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  25. Fritatas are our #1 choice for breakfast. It's a crustless quiche, in that we can use veggies or leftover ingredients. However, a simple soft-boiled egg, served in an egg cup brings back memories of how my German mother served them to me. As for the brulee-- you had me at almond. Look fabulous.
    Debby, "A Feast for the Eyes"

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  26. What an amazing sounding creme brulee! My favorite egg recipe is probably eggs benedict

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  27. nice idea.. thanks for sharing.

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  28. Christy... Yay!!! Thank you, you made our day!

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