What I appreciated about Gale Gand’s Brunch cookbook are the wonderful menus she put at the end of the book. Not only are there lots of interesting recipes in her book, but she included ideas for pulling them all together for the host/hostess. Regardless of how I eventually choose to put menus together, I love all the added suggestions I can get.
One of the great things about brunch (the meal) is that it totally encompasses two meals. You can get away with serving pancakes and gazpacho or donuts with macaroni & cheese. I often get so caught up in the mainstream ideas of what foods are proper for what meals, that I lose the creativity that brunch allows. Is there a such thing as “dinfast?” How about “lunner?”
Okay, back to this book. Brunch starts out with great drinks; fancy ones for kids and adults. She includes coffees, teas, cocoas, smoothies, juices and “acceptable” alcoholic drinks. (As a non-drinker, I have often wondered why champagne is okay in the morning, but wine isn’t…aren’t they almost the same thing? What about a Bloody Mary versus a Cosmopolitan?)
Back to the book….again. After the drinks, comes egg dishes which including a couple variations after each one. For instance, Ms. Gand included a basic strata recipe followed by five options: bacon-cheddar-mushroom-tomato, chicken-corn-chile-broccoli-jack, veggie-bleu cheese, ham-swiss-asparagus, and fontina-spinach-roasted garlic-salami. What great choices!! She did the same thing for her omelets, fritatta, crepes and quiche.
The rest of the breakfast half of Brunch includes pancakes, waffles, muffins and other basic breakfast fare. Thrown in for good measure are some not-so-normal items like Pineapple noodle kugel, Blackberry bread pudding, Spiced apple-raisin turnovers, Peanut butter and jelly turnovers and Goat cheese cake with slow-cooking quince. I didn’t quite know how to think of Fried quail eggs on eggnog French toast. There is definitely something for all palates.
I think now is about the time to tell you I think lunch is pretty boring. The last part of Brunch didn’t catch my attention as much as the first. Perhaps Ms. Gand knew that would be the case for most people as she only included one chapter of “lunchy” foods. Tuna salad, potato salad, gazpacho. The only thing that kept me turning the pages until the end of the book were the gorgeous photos. They are most definitely worth looking at.
I received no compensation for this review and all opinions are mine alone.