Baked Eggs with Lemon Basil Cream (Oeufs en Cocotte if you’re feeling French)

Image

We just love a good brunch. We got hooked on weekend brunches at this cute little restaurant near where we lived in Florida, but when we moved to Vermont we had a hard time finding a place close to home and started making it ourselves. Planning our wedding was a great excuse to have a weekly brunch to eat great food and sip mimosas while we worked on some project or another (we were an very DIY bride and groom and made just about everything from the invitations to the bouquets, boutonnières, centerpieces, and programs, and even wrote the ceremony ourselves).

Now we still like to make a big deal of brunch every weekend. It’s such a fun meal to play with because the possibilities are endless. The main dishes can be sweet, savory, fancy, or a big pile of just about anything. This recipe is my attempt to recreate an awesome brunch we had at restaurant called Kismet in Montpelier, VT. It’s not health food but it’s a decadent way to kick off a relaxed Saturday. The feta, cream, and egg melt together to form a smooth and rich combination that is perfect for dipping toast or crusty bread with one hand and washing down the creamy goodness with fresh juice or a cold mimosa in the other.

For each serving (make as many or as little as you’d like)

What You’ll Need:

2 eggs

2 tablespoons heavy cream (calories don’t count at brunch)

½ teaspoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons feta

4 basil leaves

¼ cup diced tomatoes

Salt and pepper to taste

Butter to grease the ramekin

How To:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the ramekin with butter. Carefully crack one egg into the ramekin (try cracking into a small bowl first and then pouring into the ramekin to avoid shell pieces). Pour half of the cream, lemon zest, feta, basil, and tomatoes over the egg and salt and pepper to taste. Keep in mind that the feta adds saltiness so you’ll likely use less salt than you usually would on eggs. Repeat this process again by layering another egg and the rest of the ingredients. Place the ramekins into a baking dish filled about half an inch high with water and put into the oven for approximately 20 minutes if you enjoy runny egg yolks and 25 minutes if you prefer your yolks to be set. Garnish with a little extra basil if you’d like and serve with toast or pieces of baguette to scoop up every last bit of sauce.

Advertisements

Holiday Party or Game Night Idea: Popcorn Bar!

Once upon a time, two foodies were planning a wedding and thought it would be great to let their guests play with food and flavors at the reception. They spent months planning a beautiful popcorn bar with lots of toppings and lovely matching serving pieces. Then once all of the toppings were elegantly displayed and ready to go, the bride realized she forgot to bring the popcorn to the wedding…

Whoops!

Ah well, the popcorn bar was a huge hit when we saved everything and used it at our going away party before we moved. I think this would also work really well as a snack set up for a holiday or game watching party. It can easily be dressed up or dressed down to suit your occasion. For the wedding, the plan was to use multicolored vases to hold the cones and coordinated dishes for all of the toppings. It was easily “dressed down” for our picnic going away party by serving the popcorn in a beverage tub and the toppings in coordinated plastic dishes. Rather than having a bunch of bowls to keep track of and wash, we rolled multicolored scrapbook paper into cones and sealed with a sticker. For the holidays, you can use holiday scrapbook paper and for game night, printing the teams’ logos on regular printer paper for the cones would be nice touch.

Image

Then, just set out lots of popcorn and encourage guests to mix and match flavors. We’ve noticed that the seasonings will tend to stick to the popcorn better if you give the popcorn a splash of butter spray first. Here’s a list of suggestions for toppings that we used at our wedding, er, going away party: 

Chocolate chips

White chocolate chips

Butterscotch chips

Cinnamon sugar

Garlic salt

Sea salt

South African seasoning blend

Italian seasoning blend

Really anything you can throw on to popcorn will work. I’ve always loved the look of holiday M&Ms and if you have fresh herbs or chives around, those would work, too. The whole idea is to play with flavors and get creative!