Start the day with hearty foods and a fresh, colorful palette
Recipes for This Story
Why wait until the end of the day to enjoy an exceptional meal in a beautiful setting? If breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day, celebrate by giving it prominence. In creating this breath-of-spring setting—replete with a fresh, upscale take on breakfast classics—Traditional Home senior style editor Krissa Rossbund wanted the tablescape and the food to go beyond—far beyond—the usual morning muffins and coffee in paper cups.
The menu created by chef Mary Payne Moran—whose namesake catering firm is Hail Mary Food of Grace in L.A.—heralds spring with mini blinis served with Lavender-Honey Syrup for a delicate floral flavor. Creamy Dreamsicle-style mimosas imbue the morning with a celebratory air, while Smoked Salmon Benedict on a Potato Pancake is served with capers and pancetta to add notes of salt and tang.
Memorable? Yes. Stuffy? No. Hence Krissa’s choice of tableware was suggested by the garden colors of the draperies: purple, fuchsia, and green. Purple placemats ground the place settings. Adding texture, rattan chargers are topped with stoneware plates in a purple glaze whose variance creates that artisanal, touched-by-hand look. A grandmotherly milk-glass cake stand gives height to a bouquet spilling exuberantly from a friendly woven basket. Instead of placecards, nostalgic egg cups at each guest’s place are filled with wheat grass and tucked with an inspirational quote.
“It’s never too early to make something look polished,” Krissa says. “We start each morning focusing on a put-together personal appearance, and the same should be true for the environment around us.”
A springtime table and a beautiful meal presentation—what better way to inspire guests to seize the day?
Photography: Peter Krumhardt
Produced by Krissa Rossbund
The distressed finishes of Somerset Bay’s  “Killington” table, “Carmel” chairs, and “Lake Norman” breakfront are springboards to varying textures, including Kravet’s  “Cavallo” linen drapery panels; C.R. Laine’s  “Copley” linen host chairs; Currey & Company’s  wood “Simplicity” chandeliers; “Roxie” crystal tumblers from William Yeoward Crystal ; and Replacements’  hobnail cake pedestal. Ceramics in the display cabinet are from Chelsea House .
Recipes begin here.  
Orange Dream Mimosas
• 8 cups chilled Champagne
• 2 cups orange sherbet
• 1 cup whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks
• 8 mint sprigs
• 2 tangerines or Clementines, sliced
In large pitcher combine champagne and orange sherbet. Spoon mixture into 8 glasses. Spoon 2 tablespoons whipping cream over top of champagne mixture. Garnish with a mint spring and tangerine slice. Makes 8 servings.
Blinis with Lavender-Honey Syrup
This lavender-honey syrup has a hint of spring from the lavender extract. After you’ve made the blinis once, you’ll find this is a go-to recipe for a special breakfast treat.
• 1/2 cup maple syrup
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 or 2 drops lavender extract*
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons sugar
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• 1 cup milk
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• Powdered sugar
• Slivered almonds, toasted
• Lavender sprigs, optional garnish
In small saucepan combine maple syrup, honey, vanilla, and lavender oil or extract. Cook and stir over low heat just until heated through. Cover; keep warm.
Meanwhile, in medium mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl use fork to combine egg, milk, and vegetable oil. Add liquid mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened.
For blinis, pour about 1 tablespoon pancake batter onto hot, lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet. Cook over medium heat 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until pancakes are golden brown. Turn over when surfaces are bubbly and edges are slightly dry (keep blinis warm in 200°F oven while cooking remaining blinis).
To serve, place blinis on serving plates. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and slivered almonds. Drizzle with Lavender Honey Syrup. Garnish with lavender sprigs. Serve immediately. Makes 8 servings (about 5 to 6 pancakes each).
*Find lavender extract at a specialty grocery store. It is very strong so use sparingly.
Smoked Salmon Benedict on a Potato Pancake
Call in your favorite sous chef when you prepare this recipe. It’s much simpler when one person is preparing the Hollandaise and another is making the poached eggs. Plating also becomes a less complicated affair. The potato pancakes can be made ahead, and the spinach kept warm while you prepare the sauce and eggs.
• 2 (6-ounce) packages fresh baby spinach
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled (8 ounces)
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
• Salt and ground black pepper
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 4 cups water
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 8 pasteurized eggs
• 3 pasteurized egg yolks, lightly beaten
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon water
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into thirds, softened
• Salt and ground white or black pepper
• 1 (4-ounce) piece smoked salmon, flaked, with skin and bones removed
• 2 tablespoons capers, drained
• 1 tablespoon chopped red onion
• 1 tablespoon snipped fresh dill weed
• 8 slices crisp cooked pancetta*
In large skillet cook half the spinach in 1 tablespoon hot oil over medium high heat 1 to 3 minutes or until just wilted. Remove from
skillet; repeat with remaining spinach and oil. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Cover; keep warm until ready to serve.
For potato pancakes, using large box grater coarsely shred peeled potato into large bowl filled with water (you should have about 2 cups shredded potatoes). Drain potatoes. Rinse with cold water; drain very well. Using paper towels, squeeze out any excess liquid in potatoes. Meanwhile, place egg in medium bowl. Stir in flour, Parmesan cheese, green onions, salt and pepper. Stir in potatoes.
Heat large griddle or heavy nonstick skillet with 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Drop potato mixture by well-rounded measure tablespoonfuls onto griddle, leaving about 1 inch between pancakes. Press to flatten slightly (about 2-1/2 to 3-inch rounds). Reduce heat to medium. Cook 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown and crisp, turning once. Place cooked pancakes on wire rack set in shallow baking pan; place in 200°F oven to keep warm while remaining pancakes cook. Repeat with remaining potato mixture and oil.
For poached eggs, add water to large saucepan; add lemon juice. Bring to boiling; reduce heat to simmering (bubbles should begin to break surface of water). Starting with four eggs, break eggs, one at a time, into cup; slip egg into simmering water, allowing each egg equal amount of space in water-lemon juice mixture. Simmer eggs, uncovered, 3 to 5 minutes or until whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken, but are not hard. Remove eggs with slotted spoon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining four eggs.
For Hollandaise Sauce, in top of double boiler combine egg yolks, lemon juice, and water. Add one piece butter. Place over gently boiling water (upper pan should not touch water). Cook, stirring rapidly with whisk, until butter melts and sauce begins to thicken. (Sauce may appear to curdle at this point but will smooth out when remaining butter is added). Add remaining butter, one piece at a time, stirring constantly until melted. Continue to cook and stir 2 to 2-1/2 minutes more or until sauce thickens. Immediately remove from heat. If sauce is too thick or curdles, immediately whisk in 1 to 2 tablespoons hot water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve, arrange one potato pancake on plate. Add some sautéed spinach next to potato pancake. Add few pieces of smoked salmon to the spinach. Place poached egg on top of smoked salmon and drizzle Hollandaise Sauce over egg. Garnish Smoked Salmon Benedict with capers, red onion, dill, and pancetta. Makes 8 servings.
*Tip: To crisp cook pancetta, place half the pancetta in single layer in extra-large skillet. Cook over medium heat 10 to 12 minutes, turning once, until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Place on baking sheet and keep warm in oven. Repeat with remaining pancetta.
Spring Fruits with Sabayon
A light, elegant dessert finishes off this spring-inspired breakfast.
• 1 egg white
• 3 tablespoons butter
• Nonstick cooking spray
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 2 cups assorted fresh fruit (such as sliced strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc.)
• Sabayon Sauce:
• 3 egg yolks
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1/3 cup whipping cream
For tuille cookies, place egg white in small mixing bowl. Let egg white and butter stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line cookie sheet with foil or silicone baking mat (Silpat). Lightly coat foil or mat with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. In another small bowl combine flour and cardamom; set aside.
In small bowl beat butter with electric mixer on high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add 1/3 cup sugar. Beat 2 minutes or until mixture is light and creamy. Add egg white, beating until just combined. Fold in about half the flour mixture. Fold in remaining flour mixture until thoroughly combined.
For each cookie, drop about 1 tablespoon batter onto prepared cookie sheet, leaving about 6 inches between each mound. Using back of a spoon, spread batter into 4-inch circles.
Bake about 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are crisp and golden brown around edges. Let cookies stand about 1 minute. Using wide spatula, remove cookies from the baking sheet and place over backs of greased 6-ounce custard or coffee cups. (You’ll have enough batter for about 12 tuilles. Let cool. To serve, turn 8 tuilles over; fill with fresh fruit. Spoon Sabayon Sauce over fruit. Makes 8 servings (reserve remaining tuilles for another use).
For Sabayon Sauce, bring medium saucepan filled halfway with water to boil; reduce heat to simmer. In medium metal bowl, whisk together egg yolks, 1/4 cup sugar, and vanilla until combined. Place bowl over saucepan of simmering water (making sure bottom of bowl does not touch water). With a wire whisk beat yolk mixture until very thick and an instant-read thermometer registers 140° F (about 2 minutes). Whisk and cook 3 minutes more, keeping temperature at 140° F. Scrape mixture into clean bowl. Place bowl in larger bowl filled with ice and water. Let cool completely, stirring occasionally with rubber spatula. In medium bowl beat whipping cream just until it holds stiff peaks. Gently fold whipped cream into yolk mixture. Cover; refrigerate (sabayon can be prepared up to 6 hours ahead).