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:
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.
Eggland's Best Giveaway is available ONLY to US addresses.
Giveaway closes on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 6 PM PST.
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.
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!