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A Sweet Valentine’s Breakfast

February 11, 2009

How lucky are we that Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday this year?? (Lucky!!!) That means plenty of time for relaxing with your loved ones, no rushing to get out the door in the morning, no rushing to get home from work for a Valentine’s dinner, and plenty of time for good eating.

Honeyed Citrus Cranberry Scones * Chard, Bacon & Cheddar Quiche * Citrus Salad with Mint Sugar

Honeyed Citrus Cranberry Scones * Chard, Bacon & Cheddar Quiche * Citrus Salad with Mint Sugar

Blood Orange Mimosas

Blood Orange Mimosas

Like this breakfast menu you could make for your sweetie–or family, or friends, or loved ones (I think Valentine’s Day is for everyone that means something in your life!) Much of it you can prep the night before, leaving you time in the morning to lounge in pjs, sip your caffeinated beverage of choice, and enjoy a lazy Saturday. On the menu:

Heart-Shaped Honeyed Citrus Cranberry Scones
Swiss Chard, Bacon and Cheddar Crustless Quiche
Citrus Salad with Mint Sugar
Blood Orange Mimosas

And because Valentine’s Day is all about spreading the love, Tiffany and Grace also have some scrumptious dishes and treats to share for Valentine’s Day: you should check them out, too!
Over at The Garden Apartment, Tiffany brings you a tapas menu inspired by her honeymoon to Spain. What better to make for a romantic dinner than little plates of tapas?

Apple, Manchego & Jamon Toasts

Apple, Manchego & Jamon Toasts

Warm Olives with Garlic & Citrus Zest

Warm Olives with Garlic & Citrus Zest

And over at A Southern Grace, Grace has done up dessert with Pink Velvet Cupcakes – how appropriate for the holiday!

Grace's Pink Velvet Cupcakes

Grace's Pink Velvet Cupcakes

Between all these dishes, you could have your whole Valentine’s day menu planned!

A few notes about breakfast: I wanted to do a breakfast/brunch menu because it’s really my favorite meal to make for entertaining. You can prep many parts of it the day before, leaving you free to visit and relax with your loved ones, and you have the whole day ahead when you’re done.

The scones are bright, citrusy, and just-sweet-enough from a touch of honey. I happened upon some dried cranberries in our local natural foods store that are only sweetened with fruit juice, so I jumped on those and stocked up. You can make the scones the night before, freeze them in a single layer on a cookie sheet, drop them in a ziptop bag and then bake them, directly from the freezer, the next morning (I do this with scones all the time!) If you have heart-shaped cookie cutters, you can cut the dough into hearts, but they’d be just as great cut into wedges, too.

Sweet Scones

Sweet Scones

The crustless quiche is a take-off on Mark Bittman’s basic quiche recipe, with some sauteed swiss chard and browned bacon in the custard, along with some grated sharp cheddar. You can prep the custard the night before, then bake the quiche in the morning. It is GOOOOOD, and also tasty for lunch and dinner, if you have any leftovers!

Swiss Chard, Bacon and Cheddar Crustless Quiche. Mmm....

Swiss Chard, Bacon and Cheddar Crustless Quiche. Mmm....

I used blood oranges, ruby red grapefruit, and navel oranges for the citrus salad with mint sugar. You can supreme all the citrus the day before, keep it in a bowl in the fridge, and toss it with the mint sugar (just mint leaves chopped with sugar in the food processor) just before serving. It’s just sweetened enough to cut a bit of the grapefruits’ bitterness, but not enough to be cloyingly sugary. I loved it.

Minty Fresh Citrus

Minty Fresh Citrus

And finally, blood orange mimosas! Rosy, fruity, sparkly, and festive — you can juice the blood oranges the day before, keep the juice in the fridge, and mix it with champagne (or other sparkling wine) right before serving. If you wanted to make a non-alcoholic version, you could use sparkling cider or just seltzer. I am in love with blood oranges, by the way. How can you not love something with that gorgeously vibrant color, drippingly juicy flesh, and floral undertones in its taste? Impossible.

Blood Orange Mimosas

Blood Orange Mimosas

Happy (early) Valentine’s day to all, and be sure to visit Tiffany and Grace’s sites, too, for their recipes!

Heart-Shaped Honeyed Citrus Cranberry Scones

An Eggs on Sunday original

View printable recipe

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup honey
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Toss in the orange zest and dried cranberries until well combined.

In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together 1/4 cup of honey and 1 cup of heavy cream. Pour this mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients, and lightly stir with a fork until the mixture comes together in moist clumps (try not to overmix.) Gather the dough with your hands in the bowl and knead it against the side of the bowl a few times to gather any loose crumbs.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat into a 1-inch thick disk. You can either cut it into wedges, or use a 2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out hearts. Whichever way you do it, place the cut scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (you can put the baking sheet in the freezer until the scones are frozen, then store them in a ziptop bag. Bake directly from the freezer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.)

When ready to bake, brush the tops of the scones with a little cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 15 minutes (17 minutes if frozen), until golden brown and puffed.

Makes 8 scones.

Swiss Chard, Bacon and Cheddar Crustless Quiche

Adapted from Mark Bittman’s recipe

View printable recipe

2 cups cream, half and half, milk, or a combination of those — gently warmed
6 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
small pinch grated nutmeg or cayenne
1 small bunch (about 1/4 pound) swiss chard, leaves removed from ribs, torn into pieces
1 shallot, minced
4 strips good-quality bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a pie dish.

Cook the bacon pieces in a large pot over medium heat until they’re browned and crispy. Remove from the pot and set aside (leave the bacon fat in the pot.) Saute the minced shallot in the bacon fat until softened, then add the torn pieces of swiss chard and continue cooking until the chard has wilted down. Remove from the pot and let cool slightly, then chop the chard into small pieces.

Combine the eggs, cream (or milk or half and half), cheeses and salt and whisk until well blended. Stir in the chopped chard/shallot mixture, and the cooked bacon. Pour into the buttered pie dish (you can cover the dish and refrigerate it overnight at this point.)

Bake for about 30-40 minutes, until puffed and still ever so slightly jiggly in the center. Cool on a rack briefly, then serve wedges of the quiche warm or at room temperature.

Citrus Salad with Mint Sugar

Adapted from Bon Appetit, December 2003

View printable recipe

4 ruby-red grapefruits, supremed
4 navel oranges, supremed
4 blood oranges, supremed
1/2 cup mint leaves, packed
1/4 cup sugar

Place all the citrus supremes in a bowl (you can do this the day before.) Before serving, process the mint leaves and sugar together in the food processor to make the mint sugar. Toss the citrus segments with the mint sugar, and serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Blood Orange Mimosas

from Anthony Bourdain via New York Magazine

View printable recipe

2 cups freshly squeezed blood orange juice
1 bottle champagne or sparkling wine
8 blood orange slices, for garnish

Juice the oranges (can be done the day before.) Pour the champagne into a large pitcher, and mix in the blood orange juice. Serve in glasses garnished with blood orange slices, if you like.

Serves 8.

25 Comments leave one →
  1. Victoria permalink
    February 11, 2009 9:52 pm

    Oooo… I am a sucker for mimosas. They’re our Christmas morning tradition, but maybe we should extend that to Valentine’s Day too.

  2. February 11, 2009 10:08 pm

    I am totally stealing the heart shaped scones, Amy! Those are awesome and will be perfect for my long weekend.
    Also, all your planning ahead tips remind me of the Barefoot Contessa. 🙂
    A wonderful spread, as always!

  3. February 11, 2009 10:37 pm

    Um wow…I want all of this. I think I might make the scones as well.

    BTW…how do you do your collage pictures? What program do you use before uploading into Flickr?


  4. February 11, 2009 10:44 pm

    Victoria – enjoy the mimosas; they were such a festive pink color!

    Tiffany – thanks! enjoy the scones; I froze some and will be baking a fresh batch this Saturday AM, too. 🙂

    whitneyinchicago – I actually flip back and forth between a few programs. I’m on a Mac, and the ones I use most often are Gimp and Seashore…both are free downloads.

  5. February 12, 2009 10:00 am

    Amy: What an incredible winter brunch menu! Every single item sounds delicious. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  6. February 12, 2009 10:54 am

    Everything looks amazingly delicious as usual. Love the scone idea.

  7. Betsy permalink
    February 12, 2009 12:00 pm

    YUM!!! Delicious menu! I’m planning to make those scones this weekend – I love that they’re just sweetened with honey, and it will be my first time making scones. Do you think they’ll fare well with white whole wheat flour? I’m always excited to try your original recipes. Happy Valentine’s Day Amy!

  8. Emily permalink
    February 12, 2009 5:21 pm

    You’re killing me! Every single thing about this menu looks fantastic. I think I’ll make it in its entirety when my mom comes and visits soon!

    Can’t wait to catch up on Monday!

  9. February 12, 2009 5:33 pm

    That kind of breakfast would make anybody feel special.

  10. February 13, 2009 6:58 am

    Beautiful menu Amy – I love the idea of Valentine’s Day brunch, what a nice and relaxing way to celebrate.
    I’m going to put together the quiche today, it sounds delicious.
    Best wishes on a happy Valentine’s day!

  11. February 13, 2009 8:24 am

    here i am, finally getting a chance to look at your wonderful post! the colors are sensational–your significant other is a lucky duck. 🙂

  12. February 13, 2009 8:55 am

    Love the heart shaped treats! I am going to try and make something fun today for v-day, but not sure what yet… this has been inspirational though – as usual.

  13. February 13, 2009 10:52 am

    Just when I was feeling self-satisfied that I had the Valentine’s dinner all figured out, grocery list in hand and ready to head out the door … I stopped by your blog. Uh oh.
    Gorgeous meal. Just stunning.

  14. February 14, 2009 4:21 pm

    Love the heart shaped scones but I’d be all over these: Apple, Manchego & Jamon Toasts

    Good eats!!!!!

  15. February 14, 2009 5:20 pm

    I made the scones this morning. Let me just say that they were AMAZING. Thank you so much for sharing.

  16. February 15, 2009 8:35 pm

    Those mimosas…drooool.

  17. February 15, 2009 9:00 pm

    what a lovely breakfast–thanks for sharing!

  18. Vanessa permalink
    February 17, 2009 11:53 am

    Vday bfast was a hit, you have some amazing recipes and I am a big fan. The quiche was absurdly delicious and we definately dug the mimosas 😉

  19. Sweetie Pie permalink
    February 17, 2009 3:29 pm

    That looks soooo good! We had blood orange mimosas on New Years Day, and I’m hooked on them. I really think that there should be more fuschia drinks– so festive and so delicious!

  20. February 21, 2009 9:27 am

    Love the quiche recipe!

  21. Cindy permalink
    May 20, 2009 7:14 pm

    Discovered your blog last week. Made the crustless quiche tonight. Flavor was great, but how in the world did you get such beautiful slices? And did you pour some of the custard in first, then add the chard & bacon to the rest?

    • Jendal permalink
      February 2, 2012 7:23 pm

      I’m going to be making this menu this weekend – any helpful hints?

    • February 7, 2012 11:16 am

      Hi Cindy,
      Let it cool a bit before slicing to get cleaner slices. And no, I mixed the chard and bacon into the custard mixture and then poured the whole thing into the pan. -Amy


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