Tag Archives: brunch

Fourth of July Weekend: We Are Family!

The Fourth of July fell on a Monday this year, so we had an extra long weekend. My brother’s fiancée (Lissa) flew in from L.A. and met him (Jordan) and my parents in OH, then they all came down here to spend a long weekend with my sister (Michelle) and me. It was fun to meet Lissa and I think she’ll fit right in with our family.

Left to Right: Michelle (my twin sis) and Baby Mark, her husband Alan, Bryan, me, Lissa, Jordan (my bro), Micah (7), and Jordan Elliot (5) - (Mom and Dad - not shown)

We had SO much good food while they were here. My sister hosted a BBQ dinner one day, and I made Carnitas, Black Beans and Cilantro Lime Rice for lunch another day. Lissa made her Ceviche to go with the Beans and Rice. And for our last breakfast together, we made omelet cups, scones, and a giant fruit display!

Brunch! Mom made the Scones, Bryan helped with the Omelet Cups, and I made the Fruit Tray. It's always fun to be in the kitchen together!

Most of the fruit was from our organic produce basket from Milk and Honey Organics. The honeydew was from EarthFare (I had a coupon for a $2 watermelon, but they were out and graciously let me have the honeydew instead). I literally prayed on the way home that it would be a sweet honeydew (I’m not usually a big fan because they don’t always have a lot of flavor). This one was delicious!! I should pray over my grocery shopping more often!

Caught in the act: Jordan Elliot just couldn't wait for brunch! Those giant organic strawberries were just too tempting!

Not shown:

  • Bryan and Josh Spencer took engagement shots for Jordan and Lissa! I accompanied and helped pick out the shoot locations.
  • Lunch after the photo shoot at Mellow Mushroom.
  • Mom and Dad figuring out their new iPhones.
  • We had a showing on Friday before everyone arrived, so it made it easy to get the house clean for company. (Yes, the house is still for sale.)
  • Lots of laughs!
  • Inordinate amounts of coffee!

Recipe: Swiss Chard and Swiss Cheese Egg Pie

Crust Ingredients:

  • 2 c. shredded organic potatoes (about 2 small to medium potatoes)
  • 1 all-natural eggs
  • sea salt and black pepper (to taste)
  • 1/4 c. all-natural all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

Pie Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/3 c. organic red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large organic garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch (about 4 c.) Swiss Chard, chop into bite-sized pieces
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 8 oz. Baby Swiss Cheese, shredded
  • 4 all-natural eggs
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 Tbsp. dried marjoram

Topping Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. breadcrumbs (I used homemade breadcrumbs from feta spinach bread)
  • 1 Tbsp. butter

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400F. Shred potatoes and pat dry with a towel. Add flour, salt, pepper, and egg, combining well. Spread into 9″ deep dish pie pan. Brush with oil and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and lower oven temp to 350F.

While the potato crust is baking, heat butter and olive oil in saute pan over medium low heat. Chop the onion and add to the skillet, sauteing for 3-5 minutes. Add minced garlic, salt and pepper, and cook for another minute. Chop chard (Note: Spinach could be a good substitute; for the chard, discard excess stems, if desired; I used about 2″ past the end of each leaf for the added color and discarded the rest.) Add to saute pan, cooking for 5-10 minutes, until sweated down.

Meanwhile, combine eggs, milk, shredded cheese, and seasonings in mixing bowl. Add chard mixture and pour into baked potato crust. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top and put tabs of butter on top of breadcrumbs, evenly spaced. This will help the top brown up beautifully.

Bake at 350F for 35 minutes, or until knife inserted 1″ from the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cover with foil. Let sit for at least 15 minutes before cutting. This allows the egg to finish cooking and solidify so your pieces come out perfect on the first slice.

Serves 8. Serve for brunch or a light dinner with a side salad and/or sliced tomatoes. Feel free to add chopped, cooked bacon to the pie ingredients for extra flavor (if you do this, you may want to eliminate the oil and butter and cook the onions, etc., in the bacon grease once you’ve cooked and drained the bacon). This is a great recipe if you have spinach or chard that has begun to wilt and you don’t want to throw it away. Also, you can prepare it the night before, if desired.

Weekending

This past weekend started with dinner at Flat Rock Cafe with Bryan and his folks. I had the Hickory Salmon on a Flatrock Salad, which has blue cheese, glazed walnuts, dried cranberries and sliced granny smith apples. Yum!

Saturday started early. Bryan had Men’s Prayer Breakfast at church, and I had my friend Heather (of Wife Mom Runner) over for breakfast. We had Basil Omelet Cups and Organic Fruit Salad. I added spinach, mushrooms, and ground sausage to the eggs and used mozzarella instead of cheddar. They were delicious! The fruit salad was compliments of all the wonderful things from my Milk & Honey Organics baskets the last two weeks (orange segments, apple, pear, banana, and blueberries). Yum! And such a good time catching up with Heather!

We stayed up far too late on Friday night catching up on Hulu and talking, so after Bryan got home, we took a short nap before I got ready for my lunch interview. It’s not what you think. I actually interviewed Christine, the owner of Milk & Honey Organics.

Christine and I met at Everyday Organic at Cherrydale (one of my new favorites) and had a wonderful time. She had the chicken salad on wheat and I had the Cherrydale Turkey on wheat (turkey, lettuce, goat cheese, and sliced granny smith apples), each with the quinoa salad as our side dish. We split our sandwiches so we could taste both of them. We talked as if we had been friends for years. I can’t wait to share the interview with you! Stay tuned for that!

For dinner, we met up with our old Game Night group and had a fun time playing Poker, eating chili, drinking IBC root beer, and sharing lemon tarts (along with the age old inside jokes, of course)!

The funniest part about this is that she just cleaned her husband out, and he's still cheering.

I ended up making graham cracker crust crackers (basically, press graham cracker crust into muffin papers and bake at 350F for 5-7 minutes) and topped them with Ina Garten’s lemon curd (in which I used 2 lemons and 2 key limes instead of 3 lemons) and some pomegranate arils. Yum! The first attempt, I filled the lemon curd into the muffin papers, but it never set (even when I tried freezing it), so we tried just a teaspoon on each graham cracker crust cookie, and it worked great. Picture below:

Sunday was a great day of services. Sunday morning, Pastor spoke on Romans 14 and dealing with differences among fellow Christians graciously. In our Sunday School class, we had a couple give a testimony of their experiences making difficult decisions (which included a long distance engagement, living in China, getting pregnant in the first few months of their marriage, having a child with only half a heart, doing a short term mission to Indonesia, getting pregnant again, and traveling on deputation to return to Indonesia). It was a wonderful, transparent time that really helped me see that we’re not the only couple going through life changing decisions and challenges.

Sunday lunch was garlic-y sauteed greens and roasted yams and yukons (golden potatoes, that is)! We haven’t consciously made a choice to become vegetarians or anything like that, but due to current budget constraints, it just happens in about 75% of our meals right now. The cool part is, we both love fruits and vegetables, and it’s fun experimenting with putting different ones together. And when we do splurge for meat, it doesn’t feel quite so bad to spend the money on all-natural and organic options because it’s more of a treat than a necessity.

Sunday night, we were privileged to watch the premiere showing of the fourth Dispatches from the Front DVD, a glimpse into God’s Kingdom in India. It was inspiring and beautiful! God really is working all over the world, and His purposes are so much bigger than I can understand. It’s like I’m looking up, asking “Why?” and only being able to see the underside of a tapestry. Meanwhile, God is looking down and seeing the beautiful artistry of all those strings woven together into a perfect picture! And I have to choose to stop trying to figure out the strings on the underside and just trust the Artist!

Finally, I want to share a blog I recently came across.

This blog is put together by a Christian couple, living a simple life. It’s called Frugal Granola, and I can’t stop reading it! Check it out. They’ve got great recipes, crafts, devotionals, etc., but the Simple Living section is my favorite. It’s like reading a beautiful novel. It’s about making difficult choices to follow the dream of a simple life, the challenges of miscarriage and adoption, the joys of being a stay-at-home mom, and the journey of their marriage. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

I’ve been learning so much recently, but I’m having a hard time putting it into words. God is stretching me and reinforcing my heart’s desires and teaching me to trust Him by trusting my husband, and so many other things. Just know my heart is full. God is so good and I am truly overwhelmed by that instead of my circumstances right now. Have a great week! It’s a busy week, but I’ll be back soon, so stay tuned!

~Melissa