Easter is around the corner and I was more than happy to participate in a styled Easter shoot with Kari from LOVILEE.
The colour scheme was pantone colour of the year #ULTRA VIOLET we added MUSTARD because it is wonderfully complimenting. The beautiful cementware from WJCollection added an earthy, modern feel to the table setting. Thank you, Melanie Wessels, for capturing it all so beautifully. Hope this brings you some inspiration for your Easter table. It is not a traditional table or menu but it is o so beautiful and something different!
Brunch is my absolute favourite meal of the day, you get best of both worlds and you can sit around the table for hours with friends and family. I will be sharing all the recipes I cooked up for this shoot and hope you will try some of them for your Easter brunch while celebrating what is most important; that Christ died on the cross for us.
Blueberry and lavender lemonade on arrival
Cheese and fruit platter
Bacon & eggplant mini choux pastries
Pineapple, Mango & Turmeric smoothies
Lebanese Turmeric knots
Posh avo and poached egg brekkie
Blueberry and granola lollies
To add some greenery to your table start adding some foilage of different textures and colours. Kari used fig leaves, privett berries and proteas
Make your guests feel welcome with their own handmade Easter egg tag. Cleverly made by Kari with airdryed clay. See the DIY tutorial on LOVILEE,
For a touch of mustard, we added a macaron to each plate and a stripe of silver edible paint for a touch of glamour. For extra pops of colour Kari made these clever crotchet eggs.
Lavender and blueberry lemonade
Lavender and blueberry lemonade
140g melted honey or sugar (add to taste)
1 punnet of blueberries
bunch of lavender for jug and glasses
Squeeze out the lemon juice with a juicer.
Mix lemon juice and honey together and add cold water. Mix until dissolved.
Serve with ice, lemon slices, blueberries, and lavender.
You can also add the lavender in and leave it to infuse.
Bacon and eggplant mini choux pastry
I absolutely love these pastries, you will need some practice in making choux pastry but if you follow the instructions carefully you will succeed. I first learned this recipe from Leiths school of food and wine, 10 years ago when I did a course there. And it remains a hit.
85 g butter
105g flour sifted
pinch of salt
3 eggs whisked seperatley
1/2tsp dried mustard
1 batch choux pastry
1 small aubergine chopped into small dices
1 tbs olive oil
85g bacon fried
1 tsp basil chopped
4 tbsp double cream
salt and black pepper
lightly grease 4 ramekins
Preheat the oven to 200’C
Fry bacon and the eggplant mix until cripsy and soft. Mix with cream and basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Leave aside
Make the choux pastry:
Sieve flour and salt onto a baking paper or small bowl.
Put the butter and water into a saucepan.Bring slowly to the boil so that by the time the water boils the butter has completely melted.
Immediately when the water is boiling, take off the heat and shoot in the flour stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. Working as fast you can beat the mixture hard with the wooden spoon, it will soon become thick and smooth and leave the sides of the pan.
Leave the pastry to cool down, but should still be warm add the whisked eggs one at a time. Beat in the egg completely before adding the next one. The mixture should drop off a spoon. So if the eggs are large it might not be necessary to add all of them.
Beat the parmesan and mustard into the choux pastry. Use a spoon and divide the choux pastry into 4 ramekins. Make a hole in the middle of each pastry.
Spoon the eggplant filling into the centre of the ramekins. Sprinkle with 1 tbs of parmesan cheese. Bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes at 20o’C and then another 15 minutes on 220’C
Turmeric, pineapple and mango smoothie
If you hurry you might still be able to catch mango season. This smoothie is delicious, vibrant and anti-inflammatory. The best tip I can give you is to use frozen fruit. That way the smoothie will be chilled and thick. And that is the best way to have smoothies. Your guests will feel nourished after having this wonderful drink.
Turmeric, pineapple and mango smoothie
1 frozen mango chopped
1 frozen pineapple chopped
1 frozen banana
1 thumb size fresh ginger
3/4cups choice of milk (rice, almond, coconut milk, dairy milk)
Make sure to freeze all your fruits in advance and chill the milk you are going to use,
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve straight away. Enjoy!
Top tips for a fruit and cheese platter
I love making platters for any occasion. If I run out of time to make extra food it is always super quick to put a platter together. Here are my tips:
- A wooden board or any other flat surface that will compliment your food.
- Savoury biscuits like oatcakes or wafers, they are great for transporting the toppings
- Fruits: grapes, passion fruit, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, figs
- Vegetables: Roasted eggplants, peppers, cherry tomatoes, baby carrots and corn, mini jacket potatoes with blue cheese filling, raw broccoli, sugar snap peas, artichokes, olives
- Good quality assortment of cold meats like salami and parma ham
- An assortment of cheeses like camembert, brie, and blue cheese
- Fresh herbs like rosemary to add colour to your platter
- I love to use Pauli’s sauces, they are packed full of vegetables and flavour
- Various types of nuts like almonds and pistachios,
- Start by placing your larger items like cheese, sauces, biscuits and meats on the platter. Now start filling it in with fruits and vegetables to give a pop of colour. Finish it with fresh herbs and fill in all the holes with nuts and blueberries.
Blueberry and granola breakfast lollies
Ice cream for brunch, why not, these lollies are just so fun and something different. Your kids can even have them for breakfast. The granola recipe you can find on my blog. The smoothie base is the same as the strawberry ice cream on my blog but instead, I replaced the strawberries with blueberries.
Blueberry and Granola lollies
250g greek jogurt
2 ripe bananas
1 lemon’s juice or to taste
2 tbs honey
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbs melted honey
Mix granola with honey, make sure there are no large pieces of nuts in the granola. Firmly press into lolly mould with the back of a spoon, only a 1/4 full.Place all the ingredients in a blender or nutribullet. Blend until smooth. Pour into lolly moulds and freeze for at least 4-5 hours.When you want to serve the lollies, rinse the moulds under warm water so they can easily slip out. To make them last a bit longer before they start melting serve them on ice.
Lebanese Turmeric knots – Alternative to Hot cross buns
When I was researching recipes for our styled shoot these beautiful buns by Karen’s kitchen stories popped up. I pretty much followed the recipe but made a few changes along the way. I just loved the idea of adding turmeric and the beautiful vibrant colour of these buns. I know Easter are all about Hot cross buns but who makes the rules anyway about what you can serve at your brunch. These buns are just gorgeous and adding anti-inflammatory turmeric to them is just an added bonus.
Lebanese Turmeric knots
500 g (4 cups) Eureka mills plain flour
3g instant yeast.
80 g granulated sugar
250ml milk, heated and cooled to room temperature
1 tbs anise seeds
2 tsp ground turmeric
85 grams butter, softened
1 orange zest
For the glaze:
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon water
pinch each of sugar and salt
A handful of pistachios shelled and roughly chopped
Add flour, yeast, sugar, salt, anise, turmeric, orange zest in mixing bowl stir through with a whisk.
Heat milk and butter in a saucepan and cool down.
Make a well in the center and add the cooled milk, use a wooden spoon and start incorporating the flour. Once the dough is starting to form use your hands and press dough together. Squeeze and turn dough in the bowl. If the dough is to sticky just add more flour. It is really hard to judge how much liquid to add, what is important when making dough is to rather add a little more liquid so you have a softer dough.
Knead the dough until it is smooth and form a round ball.
Wet hands with olive oil and spread over the dough. Cover with clingfilm and a blanket. Place in a warm place. Leave to rise for two hours or doubled in size.
Line a baking tray with non-stick paper or just oil tray.
Gently move the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and divide it into 24 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 20cm long rope. Take two pieces of dough, and coil them around each other, and then form them into a round, and place the shaped dough onto the lined baking sheet. Keep covered with oiled plastic wrap or a dry tea towel while shaping the rest of the buns. Let rise, covered, for one hour. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 180’C
Just before baking, whisk together the glaze and lightly brush it over the buns. Sprinkle with the pistachios.
Bake the buns, one sheet at a time, for 14 to 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Super simple posh breakfast or just for a lazy Saturday. I love this, it taste so good! Add some extra sauerkraut for gut health and colour.
Posh avo brekkie
6 slices of sourdough
2 avocado’s mashed with salt, pepper and lemon juice
purple cabbage sauerkraut
6 poached eggs
Topping:chilli flakes, black sesame seeds, micro herbs
Mash avocado’s, add a little lemon juice, salt, and pepper
Toast sourdough bread
How to make perfect poached eggs:
Use fresh eggs at room temperature.
Add water to a saucepan, at least 5cm deep.
Bring to a gentle simmer, add 1tbs vinegar to the water.
Crack an egg in a small pot, now stir the water to form a whirlpool to help the egg white wrap around the yolk. Gently drop the egg into the centre of the water and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the white is set.
Lift the egg out with a slotted spoon and drain it on kitchen paper.
Poached eggs are a little bit of a hit and miss. So if it is not quite working out try this easy technique by Jamie Oliver