Stephanie and I initially bonded over brunch and we've been lucky enough to meet at least once a year over the last few -- always over brunch, so when relaunching Cookbook Spotlight, it wasn't hard to persuade us to begin with Gale Gand's new book: Gale Gand's Brunch. Featuring 100 recipes encompassing drinks, sweet and savory dishes, it also wasn't hard to round up twenty-five friends to join us in a collaborative cooking exercise. I'm always intrigued by what different foodies will choose to make when presented with the same book; and I'm always thrilled with the results. Our planned event on April 17 was delayed due to a snafu in mailing but everyone was more than patient. As one participant wrote, "I heart Gale Gand." And another said, "I loooooooooooooooove brunch," a sentiment echoed across the board.
Thank you to everyone who participated!
Gesine is my favorite macaroon maker at Confections of a (Closet) Master Baker. I have no idea how she has time to blog in the midst of baking, writing and starting new businesses but thank God she does -- it makes for some hilarious and mouth watering reading. Her contribution is Angel Food Muffins - in which she makes an effort to confront long standing demons with angel food...
Sara at I like to Cook says brunch is the best meal -- and no wonder when she's putting Coddled Eggs, Caramelized Apple Crepes and Homemade Pork and Maple Sausage Patties on the table. I have to try the coddled eggs soon; I've failed at the last five attempts to make soft boiled eggs and as Gale describes it, this is an easy alternative.
Breadchick Mary fell in love with Gale's book and wrote a Dear John letter to Waffle House. She not only made the Baked Eggs and Ham Cups but made four variations of them! And then there's the Bacon Waffle -- let's all acknowledge that few things in the world are as perfect as the savoriness of a strip of bacon -- but combined with a waffle? Mmmmmm... Mary also hosted a guest post from Sandra, one of her readers, who was one of the winners of the Invitation to Brunch.
Peabody loved a show Gale used to host on the Food Network called Sweet Dreams, and loves baking and sweets so it's no surprise that she focused on the sweets and pastry section of the book to make Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake Muffins and Chocolate Waffles with Bananas Foster.
Jamie lives her Adventures in SF and decided to make the super easy and super quick Pear Streusel Coffee Cake. But now she's regretting not making the huge spread and is already going through the list of all the dishes she can make...which might be good for me as I'm heading out there in a couple of weeks and it would be so nice to be the recipient of her brunch largesse...
Liliana from My Cookbook Addiction was one of our Invitation to Brunch winners and did her review for The Daring Kitchen. Liliana made the Pannetone French Toast using some leftover Italian Easter sweet bread and surprised her daughters by making this heavenly treat.
Jen at Use Real Butter says she's not a breakfast kind of gal, going for years without it because lunch was always more interesting. Still, she decided to expand her repertoire and made a beautiful Herbed Mini Popovers. I think it might be possible to convert her...
Tanna at My Kitchen in Half Cups went straight for the cover recipe and made the Baked Eggs in Ham Cup, but followed that with the Chai Tea and the French Bread. She's planning to cook her way through the book and I'm planning to see what she makes next.
Becke, our Columbus Foodie, was one of the Invitation to Brunch winners. She made the Torta Rustica and has me sold on trying this recipe too -- look at those gorgeous layers of pastry, eggs, cheese, and vegetables.
Heather, aka girliechef, was one of our winners for the Invitation to Brunch. Like all of us, she had a tough time picking a dish to make but settled on something even better: comfort! She made a White Hot Chocolate that the entire family loved (and there was enough left over to have over a book).
Irene at Confessions of a Tart says to give her brunch over flowers any day and is looking forward to more Sundays, Saturdays and even Mondays for brunches to come; she made a perfect Crepe with her own cinnamon apple filling.
Jasmine of the fragrant Cardamom Addict made three dishes, Baked Eggs in Ham Cups, the Torta Rustica, and this Cranberry Almond Granola. She offers her own take on the granola and is pretty certain that once you've had Gale's recipe for hot cocoa with brown sugar, you won't bother with Swiss Miss again...
Ivonne, my very favorite Cream Puff in Venice waited until Sunday to make her dishes because, as she notes, Sunday is the "king of brunch." She presents Buttermilk Pancakes, Cranberry-Almond Granola and Pear Streusel Quick Coffee Cake. As always is the case with Ivonne, everything looks effortless and elegant -- not to mention delicious!