Favorite Easter Brunch Recipes

Favorite Easter Brunch Recipes

I love Easter brunch. One thing about living far from family for so many years is that Easter weekend can sometimes bring together a group of people for a great weekend meal. Over the years we’ve had several different groups through for Easter brunch.

Every meal has included different receipes, but today I’m sharing my favorites. This first recipe is adapted from Averie Cooks.

Blueberry Oatmeal Bars

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 C gluten free oats blended
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free oats left as oats
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste

Blueberry Layer

  • 12 ounces (2 cups) blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside. Lining the pan helps with cleanup and is recommended.
  2. Crust and Crumble Topping – In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.
  3. Add the oats, sugars, optional salt, and stir to combine. Mixture will be dry and sandy with some larger, well-formed crumble pieces.
  4. Set 1 heaping cup mixture aside to be sprinkled on later as crumble topping.
  5. Transfer remaining mixture to prepared pan, and using a spatula or your fingers, hard-pack the mixture to create an even, smooth, flat crust; set aside.
  6. Blueberry Layer – In a large mixing bowl (same one used for crust and crumble is okay), add all ingredients and toss to combine. If sugar hasn’t dissolved fully that’s okay because it liquifies while baking.
  7. Evenly distribute blueberry mixture over the crust.
  8. Evenly sprinkle with the reserved heaping 1 cup crumble topping mixture. Before sprinkling, I squeeze the mixture in my palm to encourage bigger crumble pieces to form.
  9. Bake for about 55 minutes, or until edges are set and center has just set. Crumble topping should appear set and very pale golden. I used frozen berries without thawing and the pan was very cold going into the oven. If using fresh berries, baking time will be reduced, but I’m not sure by how much, I’d guess at least 10-15 minutes, possibly less. Bars may take longer than 55 minutes if blueberries are very juicy.

Baked Eggs

This recipe is awesome because you can make any variety you want. Don’t be afraid to add spinach, peppers and onions, chorizo, or sausage.

  • 8 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 lb. diced bacon, cooked and cooled
  • 1 c. shredded cheese
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. black pepper
  • 1/2 t. paprika
  • PAM cooking spray
  • Additional shredded cheese, if desired

1. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and milk until foamy. Stir in bacon, cheese and seasonings.

2. Grease a 13×9 casserole dish with New & Improved PAM cooking spray. Pour in egg mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until eggs are fully cooked. Sprinkle with additional cheese, if desired, and return to the oven for a few minutes, just to melt the cheese.

3. Cut baked eggs into squares and serve. While some serve these with English muffins, I think they are great on their own.

Fruit Salad

I love a great fruit salad. My favorite trick is to use a combination of fresh and frozen fruits to reduce my prep time and keep the fruit cool.

I use frozen mango and peaches and add in fresh blackberries, strawberries, and pineapple. Beautiful colors and so yummy!

5 Indications Your Man is Born to Coach

5 Indications Your Man is Born to Coach

I think that one of the most surprising things about coaching people learn is that it takes a lot more than a love for the sport to have a successful career as a coach. It’s obvious from assumptions that coaches only work one day a week or a few weeks a year that those who are unfamiliar with athletics don’t understand a coach’s job description. But former athletes are also often shocked to learn all that goes on behind the scenes to prepare for practice and games.

Most coaches spend 80% of their time doing things other than actually coaching. They are watching film, practice planning, in the weight room, tutoring, doing grade checks, dealing with behavior issues, fundraising, teaching, taking care of game day preparations such as meals or travel arrangements, or washing jerseys and repairing equipment.

Still, those that have long coaching careers are usually cut from a similar cloth. There are a few characteristics that stand out as indications your man is born to coach.

Here are 5 Indications Your Man is Born to Coach

They Love the Grind

This may not be a phrase you are familar with, but if you’ve been around coaches long enough you will understand what I mean. Even though it’s the middle of July, 100 degrees and 100% humidity, when it’s time to coach your man is up and out the door.

More than that, they are out there in the rain, snow, and freezing weather too because they understand that practice is a necessity. Coaches who are in the mix with their players sweating it out on the field and in the weight room are coaches who love the grind and born to coach.

They are Humble

The best coaches are constantly learning and growing. They are reviewing film and talking to other coaches to see if there are better ways to coach on a technical level amongst many other things.

The Washington Post summarizes humility in leadership well: “True humility, scientists have learned, is when someone has an accurate assessment of both his strengths and weaknesses, and he sees all this in the context of the larger whole.”

If someone isn’t willing to consider they may have weaknesses how can they better themselves? If they can’t improve themselves, how can their teams improve? Humility is key.

More Reading: Check out this article 10 Traits of Humble Leaders

They Understand it’s More than a Game

Billy Graham is often quoted as saying “One coach will impact more young people in a year than the average person does in a lifetime.” The instinct is to consider the positive impact that a coach makes, but it’s important to remember this goes both ways.

Coaches who shame athletes, only value their on-field success and care little about the character of the team also impact people. But are those the people you want influencing the next generation?

A key indication that your man is born to coach is that they have vision for how to use athletics to develop character in the players they coach. They understand that there are opportunities to teach discipline, finishing what you start, committing even when things are hard, teamwork, healthy communication, and leadership principles in addition to X’s and O’s and they look for ways to make an impact in a positive way in their athlete’s lives.

They Value their Staff and Volunteers

Rarely does a coach work alone. Whether they are partnering with boosters, athletic trainers, administrators or other coaches, coaches who are born to coach love to be part of a team.

Athletes will note how a coach treats those he works with, as will co-workers. Of course, the golden rule is a great one to live by, but it goes further in coaching. When a coach values those around him he is investing in his future career potential as well.

They Can’t See Themselves Doing Anything Else

On paper, coaching is a ridiculious career choice. The hourly committment breakdown for 99% of coaches is $1 or less earned per hour. The lack of gratitude, the physical exhaustion, the time away from family. And that doesn’t even take into account that coaches are fired with minimal notice.

“Anonymous” Monday morning quarterbacks online, waking up to For Sale signs helpfully placed in your front yard for you, and strangers informing your children that their father is horrible at his job are all reasons to avoid coaching at all cost and yet, thousands of men willingly subject themselves to this craziness for one reason. They were born to coach.

So, if you are reading this and realize you are married to a coach whose likely in his career for the long haul congratulations! This doesn’t mean your man will never consider any other job, but it’s likely the energy and joy he has around his job right now won’t automatically replicate itself in another career, so as long as coaching is an option.

Athletes and Social Media

Athletes and Social Media - Lessons From The Sidelines

Have you read any of the stories surrounding the NBA and social media? In many ways, it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that basketball players are finding themselves hooked to Instagram and Facebook. But then again, when someone is earning millions of dollars doing anything doesn’t it seem odd that they would suffer from FOMO due to social media shout outs?

I think it’s safe to say that we all understand how harmful some aspects of social media are these days. Whether it’s the studies on increased stress, the jury who conviced the girl who encouraged her “friend” to kill himself, or the school policies that now include online bullying, it’s not all great.

Setting all that aside, take a minute and scroll through Twitter. Go ahead, I’ll wait here.

Ok, so now that we all agree there is a lot of cruel stuff out there on social, it makes sense that even NBA stars making millions of dollars would find themselves battling the harsh psychological aspects of social media.

Here’s the thing, how much harder is it for our high school and college athletes to handle criticism on social media?

After a tough loss the last thing a child, a student under the age of 18, needs to see is a barrage of shaming commentary criticizing them for being imperfect.

It is hard enough to receive correction from a teammate or coach. But to also have strangers feel the freedom to add their two cents (usually incorrectly) is not only unnecessary, but often harmful.

At the college level athletes are adults in the eyes of the law (barely) but with the pressures of college I ask again, is it reasonable to expect that student-athletes should handle the criticisms on social media better than that of NBA players?

What Can We Do to Support Our Athletes on Social Media?

Obviously we can’t drown out all the negativity. But there are several things we can do to help reduce the impact.

  • Don’t be afraid to report an especially aggressive harasser. While each social platform is slightly different, when a minor is involved they are quick to suspend an account.
  • Highlight the positives. Cheer on good grades, community service, hard work, amazing teamwork, and of course wins.
  • Make sure to tell kids in person how proud you are of them as well. Looking someone in the eye and making sure it sinks in will go a long way.
  • Make sure there is a team social media policy for students and parents. Post reminders as needed through the season.
  • Since it’s unlikely you will be able to keep athletes off social, remind them that cowards say things on social media instead of straight to someone’s face.
  • Focus on people trying to use their public profile for positive change. There is a reason why Stephen Curry received a lot of attention for his interactions with Riley Morrison
  • Teach your children to be wise discerners of the content they consume. Instead of listening to a short snippet of content help them to understand the importance of taking the time to research the true CONTEXT of the content BEFORE they share anything.

Setting Social Boundaries

As parents, we have a little more leverage over our student-athletes. The wrong posts could cost a student scholarship money at some colleges. Taking the time to have a clear conversation about what is appropriate to post and what should stay off of social media is important.

It’s also a great idea to make sure all accounts are private and settings prevent strangers from commenting or tagging your child.

While it may be tempting to also comment on your child’s behalf, I promise you this will go no where. Unless it is to remind an adult that they are harrasing a child, it’s better to just stay silent.

Ultimately, social media isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. There are signs of Generation Z stepping away from the platforms, but for now, it’s important we recognize that if millionaire NBA stars are struggling with social media, it’s likely younger athletes are too.