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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cookbook Review: Brunch

Gale Gand's Brunch!: 100 Fantastic Recipes for the Weekend's Best Meal

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.

15 comments:

Christie said...

OH! I've had this book on my list of "cookbooks to get very soon". I've made a few of the recipes from memory, most notably the ham cups with the eggs from the front cover. I loved the fact that the recipes are customizable. Having a lactose intolerant and a garlic and onion intolerant in the family, this makes some traditional cookbooks difficult for our family. (Yep, I said garlic and onion. It's a good thing I'm not Italian, I might be drummed out of the family!)

Love this cookbook, and will have it soon~! :)

whatsfordinner-acrossstatelines said...

I haven't seen this book yet, next time I'm at the bookstore I'll look through it. My family loves breakfast, but I must confess, I'm a piece of toast girl and that's it!
-Gina-

Jason Phelps said...

Brunch has to be one of the best ways to get a group together for a true blend of different foods.

Jason

Drick said...

always enjoy a good Sunday jazz brunch, nibbling away with endless choices and listening to music... it's the cooking of all the many combinations that makes eating out for brunch rewarding, not to mention affordable - I could never prepare so many things for the cost of a meal.... well, that's what I think of brunch, lots of varying foods...

thespicegarden said...

I love your cook book reviews! This book looks to be a winner ... brunches, for me, are always a pot-luck affair. A bunch of friends coming together before a beach day, after church, or before a football game. The food is always a huge variety and the coffee and tea plentiful ... fancy drinks optional. I'm always looking for new ideas for dishes to share ...

Jill Colonna said...

Sounds great book. Good review. Particularly if there are menus at the end since that can come in handy. Thanks for sharing!

happywhennothungry said...

Thanks for the feedback on Gale Gand's cookbook. I don't have it, but I do love brunch!

online-recipe-box said...

Thanks for sharing. I really enjoy your blog very much. I love finding new recipes.

Feel free to check out my recipes also I’m sure you will enjoy.

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said...

This sounds excellent! We like food like this for dinner so this would an awesome choice, thanks!

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said...

This sounds excellent! We like food like this for dinner so this would an awesome choice, thanks!

Amy Bakes Everything said...

This sounds great! I love Gale Gand, the photos look awesome!

Sue said...

I love brunch, though I usually just think of it as having a late breakfast with more choices! :) Thanks for the review, Kristen.

Magic of Spice said...

Great review, but sounds like the best part of the book overall are the photos with a few goodies early on...
I do love brunch itself though :)

Mateja ^_^ said...

Interesting post! Now I want to know more about brunch; I wonder if I can find this book in a library?

LookyTasty said...

I'm such a fan of brunch. Thanks for the great review.

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