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favorite brunch recipe

We have friends coming into town this weekend and they have very high expectations for brunch from us. I am not sure how to top what we have done in the past. (mac nut pancakes with coconut syrup & glazed bananas, cinammon swirl bread french toast)

I have an interesting recipe for Banana pecan french toast that I am thinking of.

Looking for good relatively easy ideas.

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  1. Those sound great! I love brunch ... it's the perfect meal, and you can serve almost anything. One of my favorite dishes to make is a roasted red pepper-cheddar strata from Epicurious. I use challah, which is light but rich, and have done all sorts of cheese and vegetable variations (spinach-feta, sundried tomato-brie etc). Plus, I put it together the night before, so all I have to do is pop it in the oven an hour ahead of time.


    1 Reply
    1. re: Chocolatechipkt

      This recipe is from the Stoneridge B&B in VA. My friend makes this for every brunch. It's always popular and very easy to make. Leftovers make a great breakfast at work the next day! Just pop in the micro and heat.

      Zippy Cheese Omelet
      1/2 cup salsa
      1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
      1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
      6 eggs
      1 cup dairy sour cream
      Pour the salsa into the bottom of a 10-inch pie plate. Sprinkle cheeses evenly over the sauce. In a blender container place eggs; cover and blend until smooth. Add sour cream and blend until smooth. Pour the egg mixture over the cheese. Bake, uncovered, in a 350-degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let rest a few minutes before cutting into 6 wedges. Top each piece with some heated salsa and some herb garnish.

      Serves: 6

    2. This may be too close to your cinnamon swirl french toast, which sounds great by the way, but this Paula Deen baked french toast is decadent. I've never made the raspberry sauce.


      1 Reply
      1. re: valerie

        i agree valerie i still have guests always speak about how wonderful this paula deen recipe is. Such an easy go to.

      2. I had the best brunch food recently- it was a variation of eggs benedict but instead of canadian bacon the restaurant used a crab cake. Otherwise it was the same... though in hindsight I would have skipped the english muffin on the bottom because their crab cakes were pretty big.

        1. As chocolatechipkt suggested, stratas are great for brunch. I like the sausage and sun dried tomatoes on at epicurious but make my own oven dried tomatoes instead of using sun dried. The best thing about stratas is that you can improvise and use whatever you want. Along the same lines is a baked crocques monsieur. Other favorites for brunch: cinnamon rolls (make them the night before, do the second proof overnight in the refrigerator, take it out of the refrigerator while the oven comes to temp and bake), biscuits and gravy w/ poached eggs, baked oatmeal, almond paste coffee cake, sour cream blueberry coffeecake. I can post links to recipes I like for any of the above.

          10 Replies
          1. re: chowser

            I have tried a couple of stratas. I think my problem is that I try to actually make them healthier, with whole grain breads and 2% milk, less cheese. can you opt out of the cream? They all seem to ask for cream or half and half.

            I LOVE the crab cake benedict idea! that would be delicious. maybe with a thin slice of some other bread rather than english muffin. What about a thin toasted ciabatta? was there a traditional hollandaise or a different sauce? How much of that do you think I could make ahead? definitely the crab cakes, what about the sauce? it would be nice with some pea shoots on top too.

            now the big question...savory or sweet!

            1. re: cleopatra999

              My favorite brunch restaurant uses the crab cake instead of the english muffic. I think it's perfect that way...

              1. re: cleopatra999

                FWIW, I always use the milk I have around -- so 1%, not cream. :)

                Crab cakes benedict sounds great, though ... what time should we arrive? :b

                1. re: cleopatra999

                  My favorite brunch place in Annapolis has a great Crab Benedict. They serve it on an English muffin with lump crab meat, Viriginia country ham, poached egg, traditional hollandaise and a side of asparagus and fruit. Ciabatta bread might be an interesting option but the hollandaise cannot be made too far ahead of time.

                  How about a frittata with some fall veg or put an ethnic spin on them by choosing some interesting sausage or cheese combinations? Crepes are always a big hit, especially when you offer a variety of savory & sweet fillings so everyone can customize their own like an omelet station. Cheers!

                  1. re: oldbaycupcake

                    Oldbay ... I love the idea of differently filled crepes. Yum.

                    OT, but which restaurant is that? I'm not too far from there. :)

                    1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                      Riordan's Saloon which I apparently refuse to believe closed last year. Still think about going there for brunch regularly. The Wild Orchid in Eastport has a good version called Eggs Chesapeake. Made with lump crab rather than a crabcake but sadly no Va. ham.

                    2. re: oldbaycupcake

                      Crepes are my go-to brunch dish. I use the Joy of Cooking recipe, with a touch more vanilla extract than they call for. Cooked apples are delicious on top (sliced peeled apples, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, & an optional dash of cloves, cooked until the apples are soft but not apple-saucy). Also berries & whipped cream.

                      1. re: Emmmily

                        My Hungarian grandmother would fill crepes with cottage cheese mixed with dill, for savory. Always jam for the sweet. Nice to have both kinds.

                    3. re: cleopatra999

                      Strata is my go-to for brunches as well. Here is my recipe, I usually use 2% milk and really good parm, it always comes out great...

                      1. re: cleopatra999

                        The version I had included traditional hollandaise.

                    4. Your cinnamon swirl bread french toast got me thinking about Cinnamon Bun French Toast... sounds like the most decadent way to enjoy french toast to me: http://dinnerwithjulie.com/2008/04/20... (I've also made the chocolate cake on this page/day as cupcakes - absolutely wonderful!)

                      1. Love this recipe for when I have overnight guests because you can do it the night before and just pop it in the oven the morning of.


                        2 Replies
                        1. re: JoanN

                          i think paula deen's is much better :)

                          1. re: drewb123

                            Thanks. Found it online (I think). Not quite entirely do the night before and pop in the oven, but I look forward to trying it.

                        2. This is on my list to try for a "sweet" brunch dish.....angel food cake french toast.....berry coulis and chantilly cream....sound good.......www.foodtv.ca/recipes/recipedetails.a...

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: LoN

                            There a few things that I love to see at brunch and they also happen to give me the warmest of memories of my mother. Land of Nod (cinnamon buns), which you throw together at night in a bundt pan and you can be up and eating delicious pull apart sticky buns in no time! As well, on special occasions she would whip together fresh strawberries and butter. I grew up around real maple syrup, but would never hesitate to skip on it when strawberry butter was on the table! Delicious!

                            1. re: raidar

                              Would you please post the recipe, it sounds really good.

                          2. Again maybe too close but Paula Deen's Baked French Toast Casserole with Praline Topping is always a hit

                            Check out The Griddle Cafe's menu just for over-the-top inspiration

                            Actually, my favorite idea if you really want to impress [and stuff] is to do a tasting menu with small portions of course...
                            maybe a mini scone with jam and some fruit
                            some sort of mini egg dish - maybe an over easy with hollandaise
                            perhaps a little meat based something - maybe a mini breakfast burrito or a specialty ham or sausage take; or even a little lobster or crab dish
                            a multi-colored hash - white, red, and sweet potatoes grated together and hashed
                            a pancake/waffle/french toast dish - a place for decadence to shine
                            a specialty coffee drink

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Emme

                              Serious Eats has a recipe today for a breakfast strata made with frozen waffles, sausage, and maple syrup. I gave it a quick glance and thought it was worth giving a try next time I need a breakfast casserole.

                              1. re: Emme

                                Emme...sounds fantastic, when are we all invited over for brunch? you must have missed the relatively 'easy' part of my OP. ;)

                                1. re: cleopatra999

                                  oh right... easy... my bad :) i totally forgot once i started writing, and was thinking about the "wow" factor... actually, you could do a really easy version of tasting menu... prep muffin batter the night before and bake off mini muffins in the morn; also prep, then fry potatoes in the morn while the muffins cook... or bake the night before then crisp the next morning.. fry the eggs... then while eating the first bits allow some french toast casserole to bake... eat, and perhaps pass around some fruit salad...

                                  im thinking im going to do a brunch tasting menu sometime in november... perhaps after election day... anyone in LA?

                              2. I think kedgeree is a fantastic brunch dish. It's traditionally made with smoked haddock, which I understand is hard to get in the States, but you can also use smoked trout or hot smoked salmon, or even fresh salmon. It's a British Indian dish which you often find on brunch menus in gastropubs - I'm sure your friends would love it and it's probably quite unusual....

                                1. A good plate of biscuits with gravy is hard to beat. I haven't tried this recipe -- I just eyeball amounts when I make it -- but actually looks fairly close to what I do:


                                  Definitely DO use white lilly flour if you can find it; try to use a mixture of high quality lard and butter in the biscuits; and use bacon grease in the gravy.

                                  The results in indescribably good, but you may want to have your guests sign a liability waiver before they sit down to eat. It's pretty much an instant heart attack.

                                  1. I love a savory bread pudding. Just make a custard with eggs and cream, season it with a little salt and pepper and you can add what ever you want to your bread cubes. I like cheese (whatever I have on hand) cookd bacon and sauteed onions. If the bread you are using is very stale you can add the custard the night before and let it soak in the fridge overnight. Then just bake it like a regular bread pudding. It's a little different and a little rustic.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: jpc8015

                                      I went with the banana pecan french toast. It was a big hit! sweet & sticky, the bread moist and delicious. This was a make ahead meal too. In the morning all I had to do was slice bananas and melt some butter/sugar together then cook. very simple dish that got lots of ooo's and awe's.

                                      I could not find the recipe on line anywhere, if anyone wants me to post it let me know so I can work at paraphrasing it.

                                      1. re: cleopatra999

                                        Where's the recipe from? I'm just thinking maybe it's a book we already have & you wouldn't have to go to the work of paraphrasing for us :)

                                        1. re: maplesugar

                                          The recipe was from a book that we bought in the states from an Inn that we stayed at called the Four Sisters Inn. that is the name of the cookbook too.

                                    2. P.S. to my earlier post- Paula Deen had Katie Lee Joel on her show Sunday and they made crab benedict- crab salad instead of a crab cake. katies was on a biscuit and Paula used a muffin. Looked good!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: lhb78

                                        hmm - that would be good served in a popover.

                                      2. I'm a savory brunch eater...I love two recipes. Cornbread waffles with a seafood newburg on top...or a delicious salmon hash with thyme and tomatoes. If you are interested...I would be happy to post the recipes (after digging through my files)

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

                                          Wow, those both sound great! I'd love the recipes, when you get a chance.

                                          1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                            I'll be happy to post when I get home from work tonight. :)

                                          2. re: LA Buckeye Fan

                                            Corn waffles with Seafood Sauce

                                            for the waffles:

                                            1 cup flour
                                            1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
                                            2 tablespoons sugar
                                            2 teaspoons baking powder
                                            1/4 teaspoon salt
                                            1 egg
                                            2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
                                            1/2 cup water
                                            1 cup corn (fresh or frozen defrosted)
                                            1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley chopped
                                            1 teaspoon each of chopped fresh sage and thyme

                                            In a large bowl mix together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl whip together the egg, melted butter, water, corn and herbs. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Heat the waffle iron and oil it...and use according to manufacturer's instruction. Makes about 4 waffles.

                                            For seafood sauce:
                                            1/4 cup each of chopped onions and celery
                                            1/4 cup butter
                                            3 tablespoons flour
                                            1 cup chicken broth
                                            1 cup milk
                                            1 lb cooked fresh seafood (shrimp, crab, salmon or combo)
                                            1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
                                            Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

                                            Saute the onion and celery in the butter. Stir in the flour, then the broth and milk. Cook stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Add the seafood and lemon juice, stirring constantly. Garnish with parsley. (sometimes I add a splash of sherry, if I have it.)

                                            Serve on top of the corn waffles.

                                            I'm still looking for the salmon hash recipe....will post shortly.

                                          3. Popovers! Easy as falling off a log. I use the Joy of Cooking recipe, and make enough for 24 popovers, which will feed a crowd. Everyone loves them, and you don't need to tell them how simple they are.