Everyone has a place they go that makes them happy. For some people, that is the gym, church, work, and so on. I love these things, too. However, there is one thing in this world that can always, without fail, pick me up when I’m down. It also helps me close out the weekend, ending it on a happy note. AND it gets me ready for the next work week. What is this event, you ask? SUNDAY BRUNCH!!!
Ok so I’m really excited about this post. Like, really REALLY excited!!! Sunday brunch has always been a Percle family tradition. Years ago, when I lived in Plaquemine with my parents and my brother, friends came over all the time for a good meal. Literally, friends would show up unannounced to see what was cooking. Sunday brunch eventually became a tradition, and hungover friends of my brother and mine would (slowly) arrive on Sundays to see what the Percles were cooking. There were a few things that everyone could expect: mimosas, bloody marys, and jazz music! I have found that those three things, in combination, are the cure to any Sunday hangover.
Since that time, my family has carried on the Sunday brunch tradition in different ways. Now that my mom lives in Thibodaux, my brother in Baton Rouge, and I in Abbeville, we often brunch separately. But, we always share pictures and sentiments in texts, and sometimes it feels like we are all together.
For a few years, I used to get the “Sunday blues”. Do any of you get that? This was a dark time in my life, and the only time in my life where one big thing in my life was absent: SUNDAY BRUNCH! It’s true, I went a few years brunchless. It was a time I never want to return to. Anyway, I’d get the Sunday blues…I was bummed out by the end of a weekend. I was bummed out about returning to work. I spent my day on Sunday filled with anxiety about the upcoming week. Looking back now, I realize, it was truly all due to my lack of Sunday fun.
Recently, my husband and I dubbed Sundays as “Sunday Funday”. We attend mass as a family, in which we chase around an insane toddler for an hour and constantly apologize to others (we are currently permanent residents of the “cry room” at St. Mary Magdalene). After mass, we get in the car, look at each other and smile, and make the 20 minute drive to Lafayette where Sunday Funday commences. We hit a different brunch spot every week, and we just sit, enjoy each other’s company, and have a few brunch cocktails while we try to feed our sweet Shelby different foods. When we have my stepkids with us, they now as “What are doing for Sunday Funday?” Even they love our new family tradition! When they are with us, we go eat at Agave. Agave is a Mexican restaurant in Lafayette with a fun atmosphere, outdoor seating, huge TVs, affordable Mexican food, and delicious drinks. The kids love it and so do we! Other favorite brunch spots in Lafayette are Social, Dark Roux, The Blue Dog Café, and of course the French Press. The French Press has a creative, legendary brunch menu. There, you can order The Cajun Eggs benedict, which is a twist on traditional eggs benedict—and involves gumbo. It is really the way to this Cajun Queen’s heart! Located in the heart of Downtown Lafayette, it’s the perfect place for Sunday brunch. After eating, you can walk over to the Children’s Museum, or the gelato shop for a sweet treat. My mom lives in Thibodaux, and our brunch spot there is Flanagan’s. When we are visiting my brother in Baton Rouge, we brunch at either Beausoleil or Jubans. No matter where we are, we be brunchin’.
Ok so now that I have shared with you my love for Sunday Brunch, I’ll tell you about a new take I have on Sunday Brunch: Brunch at home. Like I said earlier, we grew up eating Brunch at home on Sundays. Growing up in Plaquemine, we had to cross the river to Baton Rouge to go out to eat most of the time. And though we did that often, Sundays were a day for us to hang out at home, in our comfy clothes, and have friends over. Now that I live in Abbeville, I feel the same way. I love going out to eat in Lafayette, especially on Sundays, but I’ve recently decided to have brunch at home and I absolutely love it. It’s a relaxing day where I get to be creative in the kitchen, have a few mimosas, listen to jazz music, and regroup before a busy week. I’ve been doing this the last few weeks and let me tell you, I LOVE IT! In addition to preparing brunch, I am able to do some meal prepping for the week, get some housework done, and be with my hubby and kids. Sunday brunch at home is now a Percle-Broussard tradition, and we all know how much I love carrying on tradition.
I’ve prepared a few things for brunch so far, but the clear stand out was my shrimp and grits. Every time we go out for brunch, my husband orders shrimp and grits, so I was dying to make my own. Luckily, it was super simple!! While buying my shrimp at Rouses, I found a brand of spices called River Road Seasoning, and they had a seasoning packet for BBQ shrimp that looked amazing. I grabbed it and decided to make a BBQ shrimp twist for my shrimp and grits—and it came out great. While at Rouses, I also picked up some smoked salmon and some of their fresh baked artisan bread which I served as an appetizer while I worked on my shrimp and grits. After a few mimosas, a little jazz music, and some delicious brunch, we did what we always do on Sunday afternoons: we nap. Man, if that’s not the perfect Sunday, I don’t know what is.
Before I share the recipe for shrimp and grits, I’d like to tell you that I truly think Sunday Brunch is not just a meal, it’s a state of mind. Sunday is a day to worship, be with family, and just enjoy yourself. We all work so hard all week, and many of our weekends are full of obligations as well. I encourage you to let your hair down, put on some stretchy pants, and start the tradition of Sunday Brunch for your family because, well, Sunday Funday has done some amazing things for mine! We know that Sundays are for family, and nothing can get in the way of that. Sundays are now a day that we bond, make memories, and just be together. I hope Sunday Funday does the same for you and yours.
Here we go!
Music pairing: Smooth Jazz. Yes, Jazz is MANDATORY!! I love the smooth jazz Pandora station.
Champagne: I recently went to Marcello’s in Lafayette where my wine expert, Pete, introduced me to L’Conti Brut Champagne. It was only $10 a bottle and it was fabulous. He told me his wife drinks 1 glass of champagne a night to preserve her health. She’s my kind of lady. However, if you can’t find L’Conti, I love Korbel Brut champagne. No sweet stuff here, guys. Fill your glass with champagne, put a splash of orange juice, and enjoy! To make it really fun, make a mimosa bar. Put a few types of juices out with some fresh fruit. Pomegranate juice, cranberry juice, or even grapefruit juice are all lovely additions to a mimosa. Put a fresh strawberry in there and voila—you be brunchin’.
Shrimp and Grits
BBQ shrimp topping:
1 lb shrimp, marinated in Johnny Jambalaya’s Herb Dressing and Marinade
1 lb smoked sausage, chopped or diced
River road seasoning- BBQ Shrimp (I used half the packet and saved the other half for the following Sunday)
3 tablespoons of butter
¼ cup white wine (I used a dry chardonnay)
a few splashes of Worcestershire
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
½ onion, chopped
Quaker quick 5-minute grits
¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 cloves garlic, chopped and sautéed in a small pan with a little oil until soft and fragrant
In a large pot, cook chopped sausage over medium heat until fat renders. Reserve the sausage in a bowl and set aside. In the pot, still over medium heat, melt the butter. Once melted, add chopped onion and cook until soft and translucent. Season with a little salt, pepper, and dry parsley if you have it. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add white wine, and stir this mixture and let it reduce. One reduced, bubbly, and fragrant, add shrimp and River Road BBQ shrimp seasoning. Stir and cook until shrimp are pink and cooked through.
Cook grits according to package instructions. Once cooked, add cheese and cooked garlic. Stir to let the cheese melt and to let the garlic marry the grits. Garlic and grits is one marriage I know will never end in divorce.
Plate up your meal by putting your grits in a shallow bowl and topping with the BBQ shrimp and sauce. Top with a few fresh, green onions. Wash down with a mimosa. Try not to smile….I dare you.
I’m also adding a little lagniappe “recipe” for smoked salmon appetizer. I put “recipe” in quotes because there is no cooking involved. YAY! You can purchase Smoked Salmon at most grocery stores (I know even WalMart has it). However, I purchased mine at Rouses and I bought the one seasoned with fresh dill. I also bought Fresh Artisan bread from Rouses and surrounded my tray with garnish for the salmon.
Artisan bread (found in Rouses bakery section. I love their 7 grain)
Philadelphia cream cheese- I bought the one with green onion mixed in
Chopped red onion
Chopped green onion
Boiled eggs, chopped up
Get a serving tray, I used my cheese board, and lay out the beautiful smoked salmon. Toast the fresh bread to make it nice and crunchy, and surround the salmon with the bread, and the salmon accouterment. It looks so fancy and impressive and you virtually did nothing but put pretty food on a plate.
I hope you all liked my first edition of Sunday Brunch on the blog. Please leave some feedback if you’d like me to continue sharing brunch recipes. Or, leave feedback on the blog about future posts you’d like to see.
I love you all and hope you find some Sunday love in your life very soon.