Brunch Ideas (and Starbucks Giveaway!)

A few weeks ago I got an email about a brunch workshop, presented by Starbucks new line of naturally flavored coffee. Normally at 10 AM on a Monday morning, I’m timing my kids running laps, but thanks to summer break, I was free to go learn about the wonders of popovers and making edible artwork bowls out of chocolate. Being a teacher and a food blogger definitely has perks!

For those who have cable and love food, you might remember Paul McCollough from Season 3 of Next Food Network Star. Since I only fit half that description (the loving food part), I didn’t know who he was, but I can say now that I’m definitely a fan! The two other bloggers were Lisa and Shauna, who were both incredibly sweet and lots of fun.

I was obviously thrilled to see a GIANT tray of organic berries front and center in the kitchen.

We made edible chocolate bowls for them by spraying balloons with PAM, dipping them in melted chocolate, then letting them set in the fridge.

Once the chocolate is hard, you pop the balloon and have a pretty chocolate bowl to fill with berries! I’d seen this done before, but I’d never seen them with white chocolate too. All you do is drizzle some melted white chocolate over the dark chocolate before you dip, and it makes a really cool design.

Obviously I don’t eat bacon, but for a lot of people it’s a brunch essential. We made maple-coffee bacon by making a paste of brown sugar and maple syrup and brushing it over strips of bacon.

Then we sprinkled them with some of the ground coffee and baked them (on a rack over a sheet pan) in the oven for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Next, we made popovers, which are incredibly simple but look SO impressive! 5 eggs, 1 2/3 cup half and half, 1 2/3 cup flour, and 1 t salt, whisked together then baked at 450 for about 30 minutes. Paul said you can also make them in a mini muffin pan if you don’t have a popover pan, so they’re not quite as big and filling.

Obviously popovers are pretty much a vehicle for butter… so we made two different compound butters.

Bacon butter. Seriously. Kind of a heart attack waiting to happen, but Paula Deen would be proud. You just finely chop some of that maple-coffee bacon and stir it into some softened butter.

Unpictured, but amazing: Marmalade butter. Marmalade is one of my favorite things (my grandpa used to make ridiculously good marmalade and I fell in love at a very young age), so I loved this butter. You just stir some marmalade, orange zest, and lemon zest (to taste) into softened butter. It was insanely good on those popovers!

Eggs are pretty much a requirement when it comes to brunch. We made a scramble (way lower maintenance and easier to serve a crowd than omelets) with spinach (sauteed in butter first), sundried tomatoes, crumbled veggie sausage patties, and sauteed mushrooms. Once all the ingredients are prepped, you just gently heat some beaten eggs, let them firm up a little, and then stir in the other ingredients.

The mix was seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dried onion. You can obviously use fresh garlic and onion, but Paul said the flavors of the dried stuff were mellower and a little easier to take at breakfast time. The last thing I want is to have my face knocked off by too much garlic bright and early in the morning, so I loved this idea.

After about an hour of cooking, we sat down to eat! (And yes, that’s pasta on my plate. If you’d rather make this a more lunch-friendly dish, you can sub cooked pasta for the eggs).


So now the best part… I mentioned that this was presented by Starubucks new Natural Fusion coffees. This is not that old-school artificially flavored coffee – Starbucks grinds the beans with cinnamon or vanilla or a mix of spices that magically tastes like caramel. And they want you to try it!

Two winners will get to try a variety of Natural Fusions coffees – all you need to do is comment telling me your favorite breakfast or brunch food. You have until Thursday, June 30th at 10 PM PST, when I’ll pick two comments at random, and your coffee will be on its way. Good luck!

FTC disclaimer: Starbucks is providing the coffee and the workshop was presented at no cost to me.


58 Responses to “Brunch Ideas (and Starbucks Giveaway!)”

  1. 2 Kierstan @ Life {and running} in Iowa June 28, 2011 at 9:56 am

    That is awesome that they are making naturally flavored coffee!

    My go-to brunch item that last few times we’ve had guests has been quiche. Super easy.

  2. 3 Ange June 28, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Pancakes and home fries.

  3. 4 Rachel June 28, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Waffles! (with ice cream, of course!)

  4. 5 Amy S June 28, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Awesome giveaway!

    For me, I have two faves. For a savory dish, I need a good omelet filled with lots of cheese. For a sweet dish, I LOVE beignets.

  5. 6 Cathy June 28, 2011 at 10:09 am

    I love fruit. I don’t like to eat heavy breakfasts.

  6. 7 Aubreylaine June 28, 2011 at 10:10 am

    My fave would definitely be quiche!
    littlegray88 at yahoo dot com

  7. 8 Anna June 28, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Pancakes with fresh blueberries!

  8. 9 Courtney @ The Granola Chronicles June 28, 2011 at 10:20 am

    What a fun event! I love breakfast/brunch food – cinnamon rolls and a veggie-packed frittata are my favorites.

  9. 10 Kathryn June 28, 2011 at 10:28 am

    French Toast please!

  10. 11 Sarah K June 28, 2011 at 10:30 am

    LOVE eggs florentine. And Starbucks coffee of course!

  11. 12 natalie (the sweets life) June 28, 2011 at 10:41 am

    i love pancakes with fruit salad on the side!!

    what a fun event—i totally want to make those chocolate bowls!

  12. 13 Jessica W June 28, 2011 at 10:43 am

    My favorite breakfast is a breakfast burrito outside at our favorite brunch spot!

  13. 14 janet June 28, 2011 at 10:51 am

    OK, that chocolate bowl idea is fabulous!!
    For breakfast, I love the banana scramble I recently posted.

  14. 15 Jill (JBean Cuisine) June 28, 2011 at 10:56 am

    I love my homemade “Egg McMuffins”.

    Great post – looks like a fun day!

  15. 16 ErinsFoodFiles June 28, 2011 at 10:59 am

    #1 What a fun event! How awesome that you could go!

    #2 I already love Starbuck’s Vanilla flavored coffee. It’s a great subtle flavor.

    #3 My favorite breakfasts always include eggs. From scrambles, to omelets, to fried eggs, I love eggs for breakfast!

  16. 18 Amy June 28, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Mmm French Toast!

  17. 19 Elise June 28, 2011 at 11:08 am

    I am loving those chocolate bowls!

    My favorite brunch item is eggs benedict.

  18. 20 Jessie C. June 28, 2011 at 11:12 am

    I like French toast.

  19. 21 Fabiola H. June 28, 2011 at 11:23 am

    I love having eggs for breakfast. One of my favorite ways is in a bacon, potato, egg and cheese burrito. Not the healthiest breakfast…but once a month it doesn’t hurt to indulge.

  20. 22 Alleigh June 28, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Eggs Benedict is my favorite, although those fun chocolate bowls are going to have to be on “to try” list.

  21. 23 Carrie June 28, 2011 at 11:47 am

    i love omelets for a fancy breakfast

  22. 24 Catherine (Kut's Kitchen) June 28, 2011 at 11:49 am

    My favorite breakfast food is pumpkin pancakes. We’d only eat them in the fall so it was a real treat, they are SO good!!

  23. 25 Samantha June 28, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    I’m not a huge fan of egg, I love making some big maple pumpkin scones with butterscotch chips! Warm out of the oven with a little butter and extra maple syrup = best brunch food ever!

  24. 26 Kimberly June 28, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Those chocolate bowls are SO awesome!!

    My favorite brunch item has to be biscuits with cream gravy!

  25. 27 Aj June 28, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Bacon, all the way!

  26. 28 Rachel June 28, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Hands down, favorite breakfast food is oatmeal. Sounds boring, I know, but I’d happily eat it for every meal if that were, um, socially acceptable. Or nutritionally feasible. Sometimes for a lazy weekend breakfast or brunch, though, I’ll change things up a bit with some sort of baked oatmeal concoction, or oatmeal pancakes!

  27. 29 Blake June 28, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    It’s not very original but my favorite breakfast food, hands down, is blueberry pancakes!

  28. 30 Shelby Parks June 28, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Those all look so great! My favorite breakfast food has got to be waffles with fresh strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and whipped cream!

  29. 31 Anna M June 28, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Breakfast burritos!

  30. 32 Julie June 28, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Breakfast or brunch is made if there is any kind of runny egg involved. Poached is my fav!

  31. 33 Beth June 28, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Brunch is by far my favorite meal. I love french toast, thick cut, with lots of berries. One of my favorite spots in Boston used to make it perfectly, with homemade whipped cream so thick, I swear you could stand a spoon up straight in it.

    I also love hashbrowns, and Boogaloos in SF has an incredible dish called “Temple of Spuds” which is hashbrowns topped with salsa, guac, melted cheese and a fried egg on top. So tasty!

  32. 34 Rachel Nash June 28, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    My favorite breakfast is challah french toast with fresh fruit and agave nectar!!

  33. 35 Kathryn June 28, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    I love all brunch food but I would have to say my favorite is scrambled eggs with spinach and red bell pepper.

  34. 36 Kelsey June 28, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    What a great way to begin your summer vacation! I love brunch and have a difficult time choosing my favorite. I’m gonna slide in on a technicality here. If I make bacon waffles, I get both bacon and waffles. Since a mimosa is a drink, I’m saying it’s its own category. Did I break the giveaway rules too much?

  35. 37 becca June 28, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Mmmm, favorite breakfast food is sticky buns, specifically a recipe I grabbed off Oprah once. (recipe link = You do all the assembly the night before. Delish!

  36. 38 carly June 28, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    I love oatmeal!

  37. 39 Dee June 28, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    I love banana pancakes with bacon!

  38. 40 Kaetlin June 28, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    I love pumpkin pancakes with real pumpkin mixed in, a caramel latte, an egg scramble with avocado, mushrooms and spinach… I could go on and on about wonderful breakfast/brunch ideas. That is why breakfast for dinner is so great!

    What a fun event. I love your blog.

  39. 41 Allison June 29, 2011 at 5:26 am

    I love that balloon trick! I have to try that. My favorite breakfast food is blueberry buttermilk pancakes! YUM!

  40. 42 Coleen June 29, 2011 at 6:52 am

    I love Eggs Benedict. I have made them at home but they just seem to taste better when someone else does all the work.

  41. 43 Laura H June 29, 2011 at 6:53 am

    eggs and potatoes — i could eat eggs and potatoes for every meal if i didn’t love to cook all kinds of other things too! Love your blog, cate!

  42. 44 Kara June 29, 2011 at 7:17 am

    I like to keep it simple with whole wheat toast topped with peanut butter and sliced banana – yum! 🙂

  43. 45 Regina June 29, 2011 at 7:29 am

    my fave brunch food is leftover steak and eggs!

  44. 46 Tara June 29, 2011 at 8:33 am

    Your post has made me soooo hungry!
    Fave sweet treat: french toast and strawberry jam
    Fave savory treat: biscuits and sausage gravy

    No one said anything about being healthy, right? 🙂

  45. 47 Lynne June 29, 2011 at 11:24 am

    I love to make cranberry walnut whole wheat pancakes served with Maine maple syrup…yum!

  46. 48 Billie June 29, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Stuffed french toast. So sinfully delish!

  47. 49 Alaina June 29, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    My recent favorite brunch item was a french toast fritter stuffed with jam at a restaurant in Boston. It was so good!! 🙂

  48. 50 Maggie June 29, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    I’ve been on a greek yogurt kick… topped with granola, almonds, and berries

  49. 51 Erica June 29, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    I love strawberry and ricotta stuffed french toast. YUM!!
    And with a small cup of coffee of course 😉

  50. 52 Cait's Plate June 29, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    I’m definitely a waffles, eggs and bacon girl myself 🙂

    Throw in a glass of OJ and I’m perfectly happy!

    I could also easily add those popovers to the mix though! THOSE LOOK AWESOME!

  51. 53 Melanie June 29, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Lox, cream cheese and bagels! Yum yum.

  52. 54 Jen June 29, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    cate – what a fun morning! but bacon butter, seriously? although the chocolate bowls i can get on board with. 😉

    i love spinach florentine benedict!

  53. 55 Cheryl June 29, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Hmmmm…. My favorite breakfast definitely requires coffee. I’m currently hooked on plain greek yogurt and blueberries, but for special occasions french toast is my favorite.

  54. 56 Joanne June 30, 2011 at 4:01 am

    This sounds like so much fun! I love Starbucks and it’s nice to know they can put together a good brunch. Those chocolate cups are too cute!

  55. 57 bethp262 June 30, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Looks yummy! My favorite brunch item is probably quiche–I make one with spinach and feta cheese.

  56. 58 Kamaile June 30, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    I’ve made chocolate bowls before, so easy but looks like more work. Pancakes & mimosas are my favorite!

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