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Winter Brunch Summary

07-Feb-2005

I love having people over for brunch!  It seems it’s such a relaxed way to start the day and the weekend.  And the great thing about it is that most of the prep work can be done the night before so you don’t have to rush around too much in the morning. 

Now, I have to say that I also have great friends in that I nearly always try new recipes at these little gatherings and they always are great sports.  Most of the time I have a pretty good feel for how a recipe will work but I have had a few bombs in my life.  :-( 

I had a total of six people, which was a nice cozy number to start out with champagne or coffee in the living room and then to sit around the table and swap stories during the actual meal.  Everyone knew at least one other person very well, but had only met the others on a casual basis in the past.  And there were some common threads between those who didn’t know each other that well.  So they had someone to catch up with and people to learn about.  It was a good mix.  I did a good job! :-)

I am happy to report that overall this brunch was great – there was just one slight exception.  Now, if you’ve been following my blog you’ll know that in one entry I discussed cooking resolutions for this new year.  One of those resolutions was to make a new recipe from each of my cookbooks.  Of course, that was before I had compiled my list and realized that I had 88 cookbooks!  (Actually, it’s 89 now…)  I’m still going to try to make my resolution but a more realistic goal is probably to make one new thing from 50 of the them.  Anyway, back to brunch…. So I actually made five new recipes for this brunch, however they were only from two cookbooks.  (I’m going to need to plan a little better if I’m going to meet that goal!)

All the of the crepe recipes were new for me.  (The Baked Egg Cup is also a crepe.) And the Cheddar-Dill Scones were new, too.  The Asparagus and Prosciutto recipe was pretty good, although I was surprised that I couldn’t taste the asparagus that much.  I had made a few modifications to the recipe and I’m going to need to check those out to see if it was something I did or if, maybe, it’s just as the recipe was intended to be.  Anyway, they were good but just not as asparagus-y as I would have liked. 

The Sausage and Mushroom Crepes were outstanding!  I used Aidell’s Chicken-Apple sausage and a mixture of mushrooms (see recipe) and the flavors both blended well and complemented each other.  Yum!  The Baked Egg Cups were the one exception.  They were actually good, but the eggs were not cooked as well as most people would like them.  Three of us didn’t mind a slighty runny egg, but three weren’t keen on it.  Also, this recipe called for uncooked white mushrooms, which released quite a bit of water while baking.  I would make this recipe again, but I’d sauté the mushrooms and onions before placing them in the crepe and I’d cook the cups at a little higher temperature for about 5 minutes longer so that the eggs were a bit more cooked. 

The last crepe was the Caramelized Apple Crepe and they were also very good, although we were all pretty stuffed by the time we got to dessert.  The Cheddar-Dill scones were from Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook.  They were outstanding!  My only complaint is that the recipe makes 16 to 18 large scones.  Which isn’t a bad complaint, I just need to cut the recipe in half or freeze all the leftovers like I did this weekend. 

Speaking of leftovers, I always make too much food.  It’s my trademark. :-)  This is another reason I like making crepes: first, you can assemble them the night before so all you have to do is pop them in the oven in the morning; secondly, the leftovers freeze beautifully and can provide a quick future meal. 

The potatoes, sausage and fruit filled out the meal very nicely.  The pineapple, watermelon and kiwi were especially good.  The Portobello Sausage was also from Aidell’s and is one of my favorites. 

It happened to be a sunny winter day here in Seattle and my dining room is on the south side of my house so Mother Nature provided a perfect setting for the meal.  Between eating and lingering at the table we spent a fun-filled two and a half hours discussing topics of high and no importance.  Then my friends were off to run errands or do chores and I did dishes.  :-)

Brunch Menu and Recipes

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