Those Sunday morning hours of perfection.

IMG_1179Close your eyes and take a deep breath. As the air fills your lungs imagine it tasting of mountain balsams or a fresh, cool breeze off the ocean. Feel warm, not-yet-hot sun shining on your face, your eyes protected by impossibly fashionable sunglasses. As you exhale feel every care leaving your body as your shoulders settle down from where tension previously held them tight at your neck. In this moment all is right with the world.

IMG_0554That’s brunch: a diamond in the midst of each already wonderful weekend, nestled easily between the Saturday night’s Bacchanalia and Sunday afternoon’s comfortable preparation for the week ahead. This is when you stop, whether at home, still in your yoga pants with your favorite mug steaming in your hand, or out at a restaurant, sweet Mimosas and spicy Bloodies chasing easy laughter.

For this hour or three there are no cares in the world, no responsibilities, no chores, no lunches to pack or shirts to iron.

IMG_1181Those Sunday morning hours of perfection led me to the kitchen on a Tuesday night to plan for the weekend ahead. My #testkitchen guests Kimberly and Steve informed me that brunch required sweets and savories – potatoes and pork being essential. Three hours of cooking gave us two versions of eggs with smoked salmon, rich earthy potatoes with bacon and mushrooms, sweet, custardy, lemon+poppy seed+ricotta pancakes with warm maple syrup melting a thick pat of fennel, honey butter, and an herbal, sweet blueberry syrup perfect in everything from sparkling wine to vodka, gin and rum.

IMG_4482May this Sunday find you in the kitchen, the sounds of sizzling bacon, light Jazz and easy laughter holding life at bay for a few east hours spent with your family and friends – the people who make these moments truly matter. We can talk about the week ahead later. There’s Champagne to drink first.

Savory, sweet and farm-fresh for brunch:

Smoked Salmon Asparagus Chive Souffle

Savory Salmon Asparagus and Chive Kugel

Bacon-fried Mushrooms and Potatoes

Blueberry Ginger Cilantro Shrub (cocktail syrup)

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Fennel Honey Butter

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