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At-Home Brunch Tips

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Easter is the first holiday after Christmas when family and friends sit around the table enjoying one another’s company. Make your Easter get-together one that everyone will remember by hosting an at-home brunch. Executive Chefs, Robert Nixon of Wrigley Mansion, Paul McCabe of T. Cook’s, and Eugenio Alvarez of Rita’s Kitchen share their expertise on creating an elegant brunch in the comfort of your home.

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Five Main Components of a Successful Brunch

RN: Variety is the key to an irresistible brunch spread. Of course you’ll want to serve all the brunch basics, including bacon, sausage (turkey meat substitute works as well), eggs, prime rib and other carved meats. But don’t forget delicious sides like fresh fruit salad, and a couple of your favorite bite-sized desserts or pastries.

PM: Variety, seasonality, creativity, and great brunch cocktails.

EA: A selection of fun seasonal foods, unique display of the foods, outdoor location with great views, great music, and an eclectic group of people.

Appetizing Easter Brunch Menus

RN: Like most holiday dinners, it’s all about the main plate. While ham is a staple for Easter brunch, you can mix things up by substituting a roasted prime rib. Or if you have a big family, serve it alongside a traditional ham for a true feast.

PM: A signature egg dish. Whether a tasty eggs benedict, a simple French omelet or a hearty quiche, start with a great egg dish and create your menu from there.

EA: Carved lamb or ham, a unique frittata with fresh seasonal ingredients, and maybe even an ice cream sundae bar

Add Your Own Special Twist to an At-Home Brunch

RN: Like I mentioned earlier, you’ll want to have all the brunch basics covered. But dessert is a perfect way to add a personal touch and give guests something sweet and special to look forward to, like fresh-baked pastries, homemade pie or a unique family recipe.

PM: Seasonality is big. Know what’s in season, and check out your local farmers’ markets. Your guests will taste the difference.

EA: By mixing together unusual ingredients that you may not use on a daily basis in your kitchen.

Have Fun with Breakfast and Lunch

RN: The beauty of brunch is that it includes both breakfast and lunch items. So why not give classic breakfast items more of a lunch twist? For example, bacon can work as a side to an omelet or offer it as part of a “DIY BLT” station. Have fun with your offerings and play with how you present them to guests.

PM: Brunch is great because it gives you an opportunity to be more creative. Really anything is game for brunch.

EA: You can be creative by adding blintz with strawberry compote. Sausage can be something other than your everyday pork sausage, such as chicken apple sausage. Unique toppings for French toast.

Three Drink Pairings That Are Perfect For Any Brunch

RN: You can’t go wrong with Champagne or sparkling wine, especially when you enhance it with an array of fresh juice offerings such as orange, pineapple, cranberry, guava or kiwi. These juices also add a unique twist to the standard mimosa. That said, one sparkling wine you won’t want to mix is a crisp rosé. Its perfect served slightly chilled. Another fun idea is to pick a theme, like a Mexican fiesta brunch, and serve margaritas, or create a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar with tons of toppings and garnishes.

PM: I like to mix things up. Do creative takes on the usual Bloody Mary or mimosa, incorporating interesting garnishes or different juices. I also love making a pitcher of fruity sangria – or anything with Pimm’s, like a great punch with fresh herbs and spices.

EA: Champagne and mimosas, spicy Bloody Mary—garnished with brown sugar-coated bacon and fresh shrimp—and prickly pear margarita.

 

A Taste of Devoured 2014

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We are still full. The Fifth Annual Devoured Food + Wine Classic in Phoenix was decidedly the best yet. Four thousand food lovers ate and drank their way through a maze of some of the Valley's finest food and drink producers—culinary heaven. More than 100 restaurant owners, chefs, wine makers, distillers and craft beer makers wined and dined the crowd. They didn't disappoint.

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How to Create Latte Art

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Lately, it seems as though the frothy foam atop your favorite latte or cappuccino has made your morning caffeine go from a plain cup of joe to a work of art. Latte art has become a popular trend being served up in local coffee houses as well as gourmet restaurants. Barista competitions introduced this eye-catching coffee trend, and although elaborate latte art is complicated, the basics are simple. Charles Babinski, KRUPS Brand Ambassador, offered AFM his technique for simple latte art with a KRUPS XL2000 Milk Frother.

 

 Step 1: Pour enough cold milk for one cup into the steaming pitcher. Steam milk with the wand deep in the pitcher, then directing the milk in a counterclockwise fashion until the liquid heats to 150⁰F. For a foolproof way to create a smooth, velvety milk, use a KRUPS XL2000 Milk Frother, which makes rich, long lasting meringue-like milk at the touch of a button.

 

Step 2: Allow the milk to sit while you add one or two shots of freshly brewed espresso to a coffee mug – one with curved sides will work better than a squared off glass.

 

Step 3: Swirl the milk vigorously. If you see any bubbles, tap the pitcher on the counter several times and go back to swirling the milk for 20 to 30 seconds.

 

Step 4: Slowly start pouring the milk into the espresso. First in a circular pattern around the edge of the cup, slowly moving toward the center as the foam rises.

 

To create a leaf pattern: When your cup reaches half full, the foam will start to rise. Move your pitcher backwards as you pour while moving it from side to side using the motion of your hand to create a leaf pattern in the top of your latte. When you reach the end of the cup, pour a stream of milk right through the middle of your leaf pattern. Just be careful to use a small amount of milk so the design is not affected.


To create a heart pattern: Shake your hand as you would in making leaf. However, instead of moving backwards, keep your hand in the same general area, focusing on making a ringed circle.

For more information on the KRUPS XL2000 Milk Frother, go to www.krupsusa.com

 

The Greene House to Host Final Installment of Summer Wine Dinner Series

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The Greene House Exterior Front1

Fox Restaurant Concept’s The Greene House at Kierland Commons invites you to enjoy its last three-course wine and dinner pairing on Wednesday, Aug. 21, at 6:30 p.m.

 

The Arrogant Butcher to Host 'Brews and Banter'

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Looking for the perfect place to kick back with some friends while you enjoy some scrumptious food and quality draft beer?  This summer, Fox Restaurants Concepts’ The Arrogant Butcher is hosting a Brews and Banter Dinner Series where your desire to catch up over beer and a nice meal will surely be satisfied.

 
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