When shopping, look for a ham with the lowest possible percentage of water. Choose an unglazed ham, and if your ham comes with a glaze packet, discard it. While you can choose either the butt half or the shank half, the butt half will give more succulent texture and a more distinct flavor.
Brushed with mustard and coated with garlicky breadcrumbs, these petite chops are a quick alternative to a classic leg of lamb. The recipe comes from Andy Schudlich of Epicure Catering and Cherry Basket Farm in Michigan.
For Easter-egg rolls, thaw frozen dinner rolls (such as Rhode’s) according to package directions. Gently form rolls into egg shapes; let rise 1 hour. For each color, in a small bowl, whisk 1 egg yolk,
2 teaspoons water and food coloring. Brush “paint” on rolls. (For stronger color, do a second coat.) Bake as directed. Serve nestled in a basket.
Egg bread, extra egg yolks and half-and-half take a trusty diner classic to new levels of splurge. (Trust us, you won’t regret going along for the ride.) Both the French toast and berries need to rest overnight, so this is an ideal make-ahead brunch dish. The recipe comes from The Birchwood Cafe Cookbook (University of Minnesota Press, $29.95).
Inexpensive chai tea bags infuse Chai-Spiced Compote with the tongue-tingling flavors of ginger, cloves and cardamom. Because the recipe calls for frozen peaches and cherries, you can make this colorful fruit dessert year-round. If you're watching fat or calories, leave off the pecans and coconut and just enjoy the flavorful fruit.
Roast whole apples to go with your rack of lamb, served with a simple apple cider glaze. The recipe comes from L'Etoile in Madison, Wisconsin, known for its menu that highlights locally grown ingredients.
These breakfast rolls are a family tradition with Jean Haviland of Carroll, Iowa. "My mom made these rolls with a maple-cream filling—and still does!" she says. "Mom always makes extra and freezes them for later. They're great for breakfast or any time of day!"
Rise and shine with these special-occasion pancakes from chef Mindy Segal of Mindy’s HotChocolate Restaurant and Dessert Bar in Chicago. Ricotta makes them moist and rich; lemon curd gives sweet-tart punch.
This creamy, crazy-delicious lasagna is simple, too, thanks to jarred Alfredo sauce and no-boil noodles. If you're lucky enough to have a specialty grocery store or Italian deli that sells all-natural refrigerated Alfredo sauce without preservatives, this is a great way to use it.
Talk about easy! You can prep these delicious little quiches the night before, or make them in the morning while the oven preheats. They're perfect for brunch parties, and you can use whatever meat, cheese and veggies you have on hand.
The classic French dessert is absurdly simple; soak crepes in buttery, boozy, orange-flavor syrup, then serve with whipped cream. Although unflavored Sweet Crepes are traditional in this dish, you could make a delicious orange-chocolate variation by substituting Cocoa Crepes.
Treat all your little bunnies (and the big ones, too) to a short stack of veggie-flecked flapjacks.
Whip up your favorite plain, buttermilk or whole wheat pancake batter. Stir finely grated carrot and pumpkin pie spice into the batter. If you like, add golden raisins. Griddle pancakes as usual. Combine an 8-ounce can of crushed pineapple (partially drained) and an 8-ounce tub of cream cheese. Sweeten with brown sugar; top with nuts.
David Dahlman of Chatsworth, California, says this yeasty coffee cake reminds him of the old-fashioned, down-to-earth treats on his grandmother's farm table. It takes time because it's a yeast-leavened dough, but there's no kneading required.
Geri Boesen credits her mother-in-law, Patsy, for creating this easy sausage-and-cheese brunch recipe, a popular food at family holiday gatherings. "It's nice because you can make it the day ahead and put it in the fridge overnight," Geri says.