We here at TBSC like to have a family brunch on special holidays and birthdays. We like it because it’s more casual than dinner and you have an excuse to eat lots of sweets, which is really why we all eat anyway, right? For those who are more fans of the savory stuff (this author’s husband is one of those crazy people), there are good choices, too. It’s the best of both taste-bud worlds. The best thing about brunch is that if you suck at cooking, you can always buy everything you need pre-prepared at your local grocery store and bakery. If you just sort of suck at cooking, you can try one of the recipes below and then get the rest at the store. If you are a good cook, or are just adventurous (or your wife/mother/step-mother/grandmother has threatened to stop cooking entirely if you don’t at least try to cook on her special day), check out the spread below and get cooking. Some of the recipes have a lot of flexibility built into them so you can use ingredients that you already have or are easy to find. All of the recipes are pretty much fool-proof, so if you’re not sure, give it a shot. She’ll still love you. We promise. And, if it turns out that you’re an awful cook, as the song says, maybe she’ll make you stop.
Fruit! Chop it all up and mix it up in a bowl. Serve with yogurt and granola if you want a heartier dish. Some ideas: strawberries, grapes, orange slices, watermelon, kiwi, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries.
This recipe is one of our favorites. Crepes are one of those things that seem fancier and harder to make than they actually are. The following recipe is modified from the Fannie Farmer cookbook, which is a good basic cookbook to have in your collection. You might want to double the recipe ingredients, as this doesn’t make that many crepes (maybe 10 - 12). They freeze well if you end up with leftovers.
1 cup Milk
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Flour
2 tbsp Butter; melted (or oil)
Beat the eggs well, then beat in the milk, salt, flour, and butter till smooth. Lumps tend to taste kind of yucky, so try to get them out if you can. (Or mix all the ingredients in a blender until smooth.) Cover and let stand for at least 30 minutes. We have let it stand for less than this and they come out just fine. Heat a 7-inch or 5-inch skillet or crepe pan until moderately hot (we like to use a cast iron pan), then add a small amount of oil. You can spread it around with a spatula or brush if you’d like. Using ladle or small cup, pour in several tablespoons of batter, then quickly tilt the pan this way and that so that the batter spreads evenly in the thinnest possible layer. (If there is too much batter in the pan, pour it back into the bowl of batter and use less for the next crepe.) You’ll be surprised about how little batter you need. Cook for a few more minutes, until the bottom is lightly browned and the edges lift easily from the pan. Turn it with a spatula or by catching an edge with your fingers and flipping it over. Cook the second side for a few minutes (or less); it will brown in spots, not cooked as evenly as the first side, but it doesn't matter because this side should be used inside when the crepes are rolled and because she’ll just be so glad she didn’t have to cook she won’t care what it looks like. Remove to a plate and add more butter or shortening before cooking the next crepe. If the batter seems to be getting too thick as you get toward the end of it, add a little milk to thin it out. We have found it is easiest to do this with a cooking partner. One person to pour the batter in and one person to quickly tilt the pan around. Makes it more fun, too!
Crepe Filling Ideas:
Yogurt – plain or flavored, sour cream or ricotta cheese
Fruit from the fruit salad you made
Chocolate syrup, maple syrup, honeyPowdered sugar and cinnamon
Prosecco is Italy’s version of French Champagne. Makes a very tasty mimosa!
Some good quality orange juice. Don’t skimp on this part. We have found that Simply Orange is pretty good if you can’t afford or can’t find Naked OJ or some other brand of flash pasteurized OJ.
a bottle of Prosecco
Pour 2 ounces of orange juice in a champagne flute (or water glass or coffee mug). Add 4 ounces of the prosecco. No need to stir. Enjoy!
Like an omelet, but easier. The great thing about this dish is that any combination of veggies work well. We’ve listed some suggestions here, but use whatever your tummy desires.
Ingredients:Eggs 1 – 1.5 per person (there’s so much other food that there’s no need to make a lot)
Milk (cow’s, soy, almond or rice)
Veggies (some ideas: mushrooms, green onions, bell peppers, zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, spinach or swiss chard
Seasonings (some ideas: salt and pepper, Old Bay Seasoning, cumin, Italian seasoning)
OilChop the veggies in small pieces. Scramble the eggs together in a bowl with a splash of milk. Heat a small amount of oil in a large skillet. Cook the veggies until tender. You want to cook out a lot of their water. Otherwise, the scramble gets really wet and runny and will taste bland. If you add spinach or chard, cook the other veggies first and then add these towards the end. They don’t need much time in the pan and the longer you cook them, the more nutrients are lost. After the veggies are done, add the eggs. Let it stand for a few minutes and then push the eggs around a bit in the pan. Let stand again and do this until the eggs are cooked to how you like them. Make this right before you eat because nothing’s yuckier than cold eggs.
Get keys. Get in car. Drive to nearest locally owned bakery. Buy enough pastries for each person to eat ½ to 1 full pastry. Go home and be merry.
Some kind of baked bread or muffins – zucchini bread or banana bread are both relatively easy.
Oysters on the half shell.
Sparkling water and juice.
French toast or pancakes.
Bagels with cream cheese and lox.
Mozzarella, basil and tomato salad.