Brunching at Home Stephanie's reviews

Brunching at home: Rooftop brunch

By on September 23, 2011

Brunch Gang loves exploring different brunch spots and trying new dishes, but there is a lot to be said for hosting brunch at home. With the summer winding down and the crisp fall air blowing in, we couldn’t think of a better time to brunch al fresco.

I’ll admit that I don’t enjoy cooking as much as I do baking, but I do like making breakfast. In the past year, I’ve made brunch dishes for my roommate and boyfriend numerous times for what we like to call Brunch and Basketball, where we watch Villanova basketball games and have brunch. From lemon ricotta pancakes to breakfast burritos, I switch up the menu so we get a taste of different kinds of breakfast foods.

For Brunch Gang’s get-together, I decided to make something sweet and something eggy: baked french toast with blueberries, and spinach, mushroom and onion quiche.

Baked French toast with blueberries
As you know, I love French toast, and if you’re pressed for time and don’t want to stand in front of the stove coating and flipping individual pieces of bread, this French toast casserole is the way to go.

The recipe is courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis from Food Network. A lot of reviewers on the recipe page warned that there was too much liquid for the amount of bread in the recipe. Instead of using only three slices of bread (as the recipe states), I used an entire Challah loaf. I made a couple of other adjustments — I didn’t include lemon zest, cut down on the maple syrup and milk, used two less eggs and added a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the mixture.

If you lessen the amount of liquid, make sure you don’t leave the casserole in the oven for the full 40 minutes or your French toast will be crunchy and dry. Mine came out well, but I shouldn’t have omitted so much liquid since I used more bread. Sprinkle a little powedered sugar on the French toast with some strawberries and bananas on the side, and you’ll have yourself a crowd pleaser!

Spinach, mushroom and onion quiche
This quiche is one of my absolute favorite brunching-at-home dishes! It’s something anyone can make, and the end result is delicious.

This recipe also comes from Food Network, but from Paula Deen (it doesn’t include butter!). You can substitue the quiche fillings with anything you desire. Instead of bacon, I used half of an onion (chopped) and 1 1/2 cups of chopped mushrooms. I also substituted Swiss cheese with a lite Mexican blend of four cheeses. After about 35-40 minutes in the oven, you’ll have a fluffy, veggie-filled quiche — a perfect brunch dish to serve your guests!

Cheers to homemade brunch!
You got to have something to wash down all that yummy food, right? Enter bellinis. Target’s Archer Farms Italian soda is the perfect mixer for brunch cocktails. They sell a variety flavors so you’re sure to find one to satisfy your tastes.

We filled our glasses about 3/4 quarters with prosecco and topped the drinks off with orange passion mango or peach pear soda. The orange passion mango was super refreshing and tasted fruity and tropical, making it a great substitute for a regular mimosa. I found the peach pear to be a bit lighter and had a more subtle taste, with the pear flavor standing out more than the peach.

I encourage everyone to make brunch at home whenever you get the opportunity. There are a lot of wonderful, simple recipes to choose from on cooking websites and blogs, and brunch drinks are very easy to concoct. You can even host a potluck brunch with friends!

Written by: Stephanie

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Erica
NYC

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