Stampede Parade Brunch in Bed
It’s that time of year – the time when many Calgarians decide our visitors from many lands can have the city for a couple of weeks while we do some quiet vacationing somewhere else. Don’t get me wrong, Stampede’s a good time (but we who live here usually take it in smaller sips). There are also a LOT of opportunities to get ahold of a wide range of pancakes, sausage, sausage and pancakes in town, reflecting a generous spirit around here that never ceases to amaze me – a transplant who arrived nearly 20 years ago. So – how does one celebrate the end of the school year, the beginning of the greatest outdoor show on earth, and the arrival of summer all in one fell swoop? Sure, you could head downtown at zero dark thirty and secure a prime spot on the curb for the Stampede parade, but this year, I think I’d rather have a relaxing and celebratory event at home – one that can be done in your PJ’s, watching CTV’s impeccable coverage – a Stampede Parade Brunch in Bed.
The ingredients for a successful Stampede Parade Brunch in Bed can be made ahead and simply reheated the morning of, but if you are ambitious, and especially if you have the day off like everyone else does for the parade, you could get up early and make these goodies. They who wait for the results will appreciate it either way… This year, the Stampede Parade Brunch in Bed will feature Fresh Mango and Yogurt Parfait with Almonds, Vanilla-Craisin Cornbread Cake, and Cheesy Ham & Bacon Egg Cups with Fresh Basil. And orange juice, with or without champagne and fresh raspberries, if you want it. You’ll get plenty of pancakes over the next ten days.
For the Parfait –
- 2 ripe mangoes. The organic ones at Safeway somehow manage to be at the peak of sweetness, perfection, and smoothness every time I try them.
- 1 cup vanilla or coconut-flavored fat free yogurt, Greek or otherwise.
- 1 tbsp slivered or sliced almonds
For the Craisin Cake –
- 1¼ cup corn grits or corn flour. (I like the grits better).
- ¾ cup Cup4cup gluten-free flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup sugar, Splenda or Stevia
- ½ cup Craisins dried cranberries. You could also use raisins, but Craisins have a pleasing tartness.
- 1 cup vanilla-flavored fat-free yogurt (I used iogo)
- ½ cup Cashew milk (or other nut milk, or regular dairy product)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp butter – to grease your cake pan
For the Egg Cups –
- 6 slices Black Forest or Honey Ham
- 6 eggs
- 6 tsp. bacon bits
- 6 tbsp shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
- Cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk dry ingredients for the Craisin cake together.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together.
- Grease an 8×8-inch square class or metal cake pan well, with butter.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix well with a spoon, just enough to get everything uniformly wet.
- Using a spatula, pour the batter into the cake pan.
- Put in the oven for 25-28 minutes, until nice and golden-brown, and a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.
- While the cake is baking, coat a muffin tin with cooking spray.
- Push a slice of ham into each of the muffin spaces, folding it a bit along the sides if you need to.
- Put 1 tbsp of cheddar cheese into each ham space.
- Add a teaspoon of bacon bits to each.
- Carefully crack one egg into each space. You may break the yolks, but I like them whole.
- Sprinkle with kosher salt, and pepper.
- Add 1 tsp of chopped fresh basil to the top.
- Once your cake is out and cooling, put the eggs in the oven. If you like the yolks runny, bake for 15 minutes or so. If you like them hard-cooked, bake for up to 22 minutes. (Hint – runny yolks will work better if made and served the morning of your brunch, rather than made-ahead).
- While the eggs are baking, peel and cut the mangos into 1-cm pieces.
- Alternately spoon layers of yogurt and mango pieces into a parfait glass, and if you don’t have one, a martini glass, wineglass, or a bowl will do. Nobody’s getting graded on this.
- End with a layer of yogurt on top.
- Garnish with a sprinkle of almonds.
- Remove the egg cups from the muffin tin, and plate them. Some would swear by the power of a choice Mexican hot sauce to accompany these. I say Cholula is always a good bet!
- Cut the Craisin cornbread cake into 3-inch squares, split them and add a dollop of butter. (Actually, the yogurt and milk in the cake makes it so deliciously moist on its own, you could even skip the butter. You could also serve with jam – although the Craisins fill that role admirably as well).
- Serve with the mango parfait and choice of brunch-like beverage. Enjoy the Parade!