Top Ten Pastries for Brunch — because whoever said to save dessert for last

Let’s face it, everyone has a sweet tooth. And even though brunch is known for the delicacy of combining breakfast and lunch (duh!), many people also know that brunch is  an excuse to dive into the ooey-gooey goodness of some delicious pastries. After going to house-hold brunches and venturing to restaurants for brunch, I have came across some of the best pastries to feature on your next menu or try at your next outing. So drum roll please… here are the top ten pastries for brunch.

1) Monkey Bread

monkey bread

Monkey bread is possibly my favorite brunch pastry. Originating from the US, it is a combination of soft pieces of bread, cinnamon, and some even throw in pecans. It is served hot so it can easily be pulled apart by hand, and who doesn’t love licking the gooey, sugary sweetness off their fingers.  Click here for an easy recipe.

2) Beignet

Beignets

Originated in France, the beignet is made from deep-fried ‘choux’ (light, airy French) pastry. The pastry includes variations of fried dough and powdered sugar. To make things interesting, many people stuff the beignet with fruit, like bananas, apples and peaches. They are light, fruitful, and sweet! Click here for bite-size banana beignet recipe…say that three-times fast.

3) Kolach

Kolach

Funny enough, at almost every holiday party my big Italian family serves these. I though it was an Italian cookie, but sure enough this small pastry originates from Czechoslovakia. These pastries are light, puffy pillows of dough, stuffed with smashed fruit (usually jam). And of course to make it look fancy, topped with powdered sugar. Click here for some ‘jammin’ recipes.

4) Bear Claw

Bearclaw

So besides monkeys, we have  bears. Bear claws originated in the US during the mid 1920’s. Bear claws are known for their shape — a bear claw·y look. It is a thicker pastry consisting of an almond paste and baked almonds inside. Some even throw in raisins for additional taste. Click here for a ‘beary’ exciting recipe.

5) Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Roll

I may have an obsession with cinnamon rolls, but they are just that good. Originating from Sweden, the cinnamon roll is more commonly known for being served in Northern Europe and North America for breakfast. Besides the flour, cinnamon, and sugar, the real signature ingredient is the cream cheese icing. It is sticky, sweet, and delicious! Although Pillsbury offers pretty good pre-made cinnamon rolls, click here for a homemade recipe.

6) Nutella Puffs

Nutella Pastry

Nutella is an Italian sweetened hazelnut chocolate spread, and even though the product has been around since 1964, I feel as though the spread reached its peak within the last couple years. People put Nutella on everything! But hey, there’s no shame. So of course, some one already created a Nutella puff pastry. It consists of a light, airy pastry and exploding with delicious Nutella spread. Click here for the recipe.

7) Coffee Cake

Coffee Cake

Coffee cake has a variety of meanings because the name was first coined whenever people offered guests the treat as a gesture of hospitality. Actually, many coffee cakes do not have coffee in them. Today, the US’s coffee cake consists of a yellow cake topped with walnuts, pecans, and cinnamon. It sure goes great with coffee though. Click here for the deluxe coffee cake.

8) Tart

Tart

The tart, originating from France, is a baked dish consisting of a filling over a pastry base.The shortcrust pastry serves as a nice base for the meatier filling on top — usually fruit. The pastry consists of either a jam, jelly, cream cheese, or thicker substance baked inside the pastry’s crust and to hold the fruit. Mom always said to make your plate colorful, so here’s a nice change for a pastry. Click here for a mixed-berry cream tart.

9) Scone

Scone

The scone’s origin is Scotland and consists of either wheat, barley, or oatmeal. It is often lightly sweetened and occasionally glazed. It has a much more grittier texture than other pastries, but still has a sweet taste. Many people throw in fruits for a sweeter taste and consistency. Click here for the cranberry scones.

10) Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffin

Although I don’t really like blueberries, once they are baked inside a muffin, my opinion changes drastically. Muffins originate from Wales, but America has modified the original muffin. Muffins were much more flat-shaped, similar to an English muffin as we know. American muffins are cupcake-shaped and includes a variety of flavors like blueberry, banana, chocolate, butter pecan, and the list goes on and on. For an awesome blueberry muffin recipe, click here.

Essentials for any brunch

Brunch does not have rules and regulations; however, if you were to attend a brunch, there a few items you would expect to see. If I went to a brunch and did not see an array of muffins or a hot pot of coffee, I would be highly disappointed. No one wants to be let down nor does anyone want to be embarrassed of hosting a poor brunch. Click here to see the essentials of a ‘talked-about’ soiree.

Reviewing a Review: Meat and Potatoes Edition

Nowadays, everyone is a critic. Many people love to review restaurants on their blog; to share their insights and opinions of what to order and what not to, along with pros and cons of the dining experience. I would like to take a minute to review a review, funny huh? 

First up is The Red Headed Traveler blog on brunch at Meat and Potatoes.

Now I may be a little bias because I use to work at Meat and Potatoes as a hostess, but this review does a great job discussing Meat and Potatoes’ delicacy of brunch.

The review begins with the comparison of dinner and brunch at Meat and Potatoes. The Red Headed Traveler is spot on with the atmosphere. Saturday and Sunday brunch has a more relaxed vibe with a reduction in noise than a crazy Friday night during happy hour.


Starting off with the Snacks and Sides section, the reviewer complained of the Fried Taters and Truffle Mayonnaise. She was expecting the American style ‘tater tots’ and not french fries. Although I can see where this could be misleading, Meat and Potatoes’ french fries are so delicious that you could never be disappointed, even if you were expecting something else. She also mentions that the mayo was surprisingly good but did not need to be included because the fries were seasoned enough. All I got to say is… You’re crazy! The truffle mayo is what makes the dish! If I could, I would buy a mass amount of the truffle mayo to put in every meal I could ever eat. It is that good.

The reviewer then tried the French Toast for her main course. I too have had their French Toast and it may be one of my favorite I have ever had. The French Toast includes bananas, bacon, almond brittle, all served on sourdough. The Red Headed Traveler and I happen to strongly agree on the richness of this dish. The portion is plenty too, resulting in the reviewer only eating half. Who could blame her? Meat and Potatoes loves to make their customers walk about with to-go boxes.

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In all, The Red Headed Traveler and I both gave Meat and Potatoes a thumbs-up.

Check out more about Meat and Potatoes brunch.

Brunch on Wheels

Look out Pittsburgh! Square Cafe and Uncle Charley’s are creating a new game for ‘brunching.’ The two businesses collaborated to create the Uncle Charley’s + Square Cafe Brunch Truck. Food trucks have been a new sensation for the past few years, as it is a much quicker and convenient way to dine. As Square Cafe is known for their vegan and vegetarian breakfast options, Uncle Charley’s approached them with the idea.

Uncle Charley’s, king of sausages, felt as though Square Cafe would be the perfect match of creating a diverse brunch menu. The business is ran by Uncle Charley’s supplying the truck and meats, and Square Cafe developing the meals. The menu features the Sweet Sausage Dawg, made of Uncle Charley’s sausage dipped in buttermilk pancake batter; the Square Cafe Burrito, with eggs, onions, peppers, mushrooms, cheddar cheese, black beans and hominy; a hot sausage or chicken sandwich; and tater tots. Also available are cookies and coffee.

The menu showcases creative ways to use Uncle Charley’s sausages, “Sherree Goldstein (Square Cafe owner) does a great job with the menu,” Len Caric, Uncle Charley’s president, says. “It’s not your typical breakfast spot. We wanted to get somebody like that and not just do the everyday sausage-on-a-bun, but show our consumers different ways to use our sausage.”

The black truck is designed with brightly colored words like ‘Delicious’ and ‘Fresh.’ It is usually spotted in Lawrenceville and the North Side, but hopes of being seen more regularly once the weather breaks.

To find out more of the whereabouts of the food truck, follow Uncle Charley’s and Square Cafe’s Twitter accounts (@UncleCharleysCo or @TheSquareCafe)

The Era of the Brunch

Brunch is on the rise and although many people partake in the activity, not too many people know of its origin. Although brunch is a mystery, people have their assumptions of where this delicious practice came from. Some believe that the meal was brought over from England—England’s hunt breakfasts which consists of lavish multi-course meals that featured a heap of goodies such as chicken livers, eggs, meats, bacon, fresh fruit and sweets. Another idea was that Sunday brunch derived from Catholics fasting before mass and then sitting down for a large midday meal. A more recent conclusion is that the cause of brunch came from New York’s abundance of dining spots.

As brunch continues to grow, understanding the culture is imperative. There are certain routines, attire, and mannerisms that are unspoken of but are very useful to know. This blog will cover those topics plus amazing dining spots, savory recipes, recent blog news, and more! So let’s start defining what is so brunch·y 

At Three Rivers Casino

At Three Rivers Casino