Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Delightful Sunday Brunch

Earlier this week, Mr. G and I decided to have a lil brunch festival for a few friends we haven’t seen in a while and to celebrate daytime eating J I developed the menu on Friday and couldn’t wait to try out so many new things.  I was excited because I thought this would be post 200, but turns out I’m one short! Oh well, still a fantastical brunch and totally worth writing about.

I started out with the French Toast.  On Saturday night I mixed up a slightly altered version of this recipe I found on Epicurious.

4 large eggs
3/4 cup half and half
1/4 cup + 1 tbs orange juice or Grand Marnier or triple sec
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 potato bread slices

Whisk first 6 ingredients to blend in a wide medium bowl. 

Dip each bread slice into egg mixture and arrange in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish or cookie sheet. Pour the remaining egg mixture evenly over bread. Let stand until egg mixture is absorbed, at least 20 minutes. I prepped it on Saturday night and made it around 12:30 on Sunday morning.

When you’re ready to make it, place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 350F. Heat up a griddle to or medium sized frying pan. Add bread slices and sauté until cooked through and brown, about 3 minutes per side. Place on baking sheet in oven to keep warm. Repeat cooking until all pieces are done.  Cut each slice in half, transfer to a plate.  Sift powdered sugar over. Voila!

Looks good right? They were a big hit, but I think the Chocolate Chip Pancakes hangin out next to them were even better.  I fully intended on making this recipe, but realized I didn’t have any whole-wheat flour.  Instead I adapted this recipe for blueberry buttermilk pancakes.

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 250°F. Place baking sheet in oven. Whisk first 4 ingredients in large bowl.  Whisk buttermilk, eggs, and 2 tablespoons butter in medium bowl; stir into dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate chips.

Heat large nonstick griddle or skillet over medium heat. Drop batter by 1/3 cupfuls onto griddle. Cook pancakes until brown and hard around the edges about 2 minutes per side. 

Transfer to sheet in oven to keep warm. This was my first time eating chocolate chip pancakes and they were amazing! While I am very familiar with the power of chocolate, I didn’t know it could do just great things to pancakes. Yum yum yum!!!

While those two items turned out great, I had a little bit more difficulty with the Cranberry Scones I made from this blueberry scone recipe.

1/4 cup butter, cold and cut in pats
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 cup granulated sugar
1/8 cup light brown sugar
Pinch kosher salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and on low fan speed, if using a convection oven.  By hand in a large bowl, blend the butter pats with the flour, sugar, brown sugar, salt and baking powder until the butter has been combined. Add the cranberries and mix well.

In second bowl with a whisk, blend the cream, half-and-half, and the egg. Stir in the flour mixture and mix until the dough comes together. This is the scone dough.

Remove the scone dough from bowl and knead on floured counter, rolling 5 to 6 times, ensuring not to over blend; this will result in a tough dough. Unfortunately I added too much sugar to the mix so I had a really hard time because the dough was EXTREMELY sticky.  I kept adding flour to try to make it less sticky but it didn’t quite work out.  I managed and kept following the recipe.

Divide the dough into 12 even triangular shape portions.  These aren’t exactly even triangles but they’re triangular.

Arrange on a cookie sheet and bake until the tops are slightly browned, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer the scones to a serving platter.

In the end the scones got pretty good reviews even though they didn’t look as good as I wanted them to, they still tasted good.  You'll notice the mini blueberry muffins next to the scones.  These were courtesy of Betty Crocker.  I needed a backup plan ;-)

Based on the amount of leftovers (only 4 pieces!) the Apple Coffee Cake with Crumble Topping and Brown Sugar Glaze was by far the favorite!!  Hats off to Mr. Lagasse, another fantastic recipe.

1 stick plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups peeled, cored and chopped apples

Crumble Topping:
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Brown Sugar Glaze:
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with 2 teaspoons of the butter.

In a large bowl, cream together the remaining stick of butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  If you’ve never worked with brown sugar before, be warned that there’s a lot more splatter than white sugar.  I covered the bowl with a paper towel until the mixture was a little creamy.

Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating after the addition of each. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients, alternating with the sour cream and vanilla.  Sour cream is kind of hard to measure, so it’s possible I added a little more or less than a cup.  Fold in the apples. Pour into the prepared baking dish, spreading out to the edges.

To make the topping, in a bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter, and mix until it resembles coarse crumbs.  I used my hands to mix and that worked out pretty well.  

Sprinkle the topping over the cake and bake until golden brown and set, 35 to 40 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes.

To make the glaze, in a bowl, combine the sugar, vanilla, and water and mix until smooth. Drizzle the cake with the glaze and let harden slightly. Serve warm.

This cake was a HIT.  I served it as dessert and even though everyone was already stuffed, they were still all over it.

We also had some home fries which I made in the wok.  I shared this recipe earlier and I made it essentially in the same way.

Mr. G also made some incredible eggs with special cheese, onions, red and green peppers. 

Of course needed even more protein so some turkey sausage and turkey bacon was also served.

For the calorie counters I included yogurt, granola and fruit.

The cranberry-pomegranate punch was also very well received.

Although the plan was to have a little brunch, we definitely threw down in a big way.  Brunching on Sunday definitely helps ward off the Sunday night blues.  Hopefully Monday will have some inspiring eats as I edge towards my next milestone post 200.  

Hungry yet?


  1. I want to cook like you when I grow up.

  2. mmm brunch is my fave, and that looked amazing! I was really excited to see the pancakes because I have really been into these blueberry buckwheat pancakes I had at Eastern Market one Saturday morning (or blue bucks as they call them). I make them at home now with any buttermilk pancake recipe and just replace half of the flour with buckwheat flour. Give it a shot next time, the buckwheat is good for you!

  3. @ Cheryl you're too kind!!

    @ Paris I'll def try with the wheat soon and let you know how it goes!