A Year of Holidays: Easter Brunch (Part 2)

A review of three Easter Brunch recipes from the “The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays” cookbook. Recipe reviews include: Eggs in Hash Brown Nests, Asparagus with Dill Hollandaise, and Sigrid’s Carrot Cake.

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Easter Brunch (Part 1)

20190421_120534Click here for Part 1.

Last year I made Glazed Easter Ham, Cheddar-Chive Biscuits and Orange-Vanilla Fruit Salad for Easter.  This year I’m making the rest of the “Easter Brunch” recipes: Eggs in Hash Brown Nests, Asparagus with Dill Hollandaise, and Sigrid’s Carrot Cake.

Truth be told, I didn’t bring the Asparagus to our annual Easter Brunch.  I would have had to make it at the host’s house, and I was already taking over her oven with the Eggs in Hash Brown Nests.  Instead, my husband and I taste-tested it yesterday morning for breakfast, along with a side of bacon.


20190419_084357I started the day off with the Asparagus with Dill Hollandaise sauce.  The asparagus is steamed, and the hollandaise is very easy – it’s made in a blender!

Mine didn’t turn out the right consistency, but I think I was supposed to blend it for longer than I did.  It was to runny, and not thick enough.  It might have helped if I hadn’t quartered the recipe, too!


Then it was time for carrot cake.  This one could be completely prepared in advance, which is nice!  It calls for a bundt cake pan, but I didn’t have one so I used two 8″ round pans instead and cooked for less time.


The dry ingredients were combined in one bowl, and then the wet in another before they are mixed together.  The final step is adding the grated carrot before pouring into cake molds and baking.


Once the cake is cooked and completely cooled, the icing is made.  The icing just involved combining ingredients thoroughly before icing the cake.  I left mine as two separate cakes, since we have 20 people to feed.  The final step is sprinkling with extra chopped pecans.


The last thing I did was prepare the hash brown nests for the eggs.  The potatoes were scrubbed and cooked for a short period of time.  Once cooled, they are peeled, grated, and tossed with salt and pepper before being shaped into “nests” within muffin pans.  They are cooked a little bit before being wrapped and stored in the fridge overnight, along with the cake.


All I had to do this morning was add an egg into each of the hash brown nests and cook in the oven for 15 minutes before serving!


Taste: 9/10 for the Asparagus and Eggs in Hash Browns, 10/10 for Carrot Cake

20190421_120542The hollandaise sauce for the asparagus was amazing, even though it didn’t thicken correctly.  But we’re not really big fans of asparagus in general, so it’s hard to give this a 10.  And the eggs in hash browns were good, but they weren’t anything special to be honest…just eggs and hash browns.

The carrot cake was fantastic, though!  I really enjoyed this a lot, and so did everyone else!

Difficulty: Easy for Asparagus, Average for Eggs in Hash Browns & Carrot Cake20190421_120546

The Asparagus with Hollandaise is nice and easy because you just need to steam it and mix ingredients in the blender for the sauce.

For the Eggs & Hash Browns, there is some time and effort when preparing the hash brown nests.  The Carrot Cake also requires some effort in the preparation, though it’s helpful if you have an electric mixer

Cost: Cheap / Average

Overall, most of the ingredients for these recipes are relatively cheap and many would be found in your pantry or fridge already.  You’ll probably need to purchase carrot, cream cheese, pecans, asparagus, dill, and extra eggs..  You may need to buy powdered sugar, lemons, and a few additional items as well.

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