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Gale Gand’s Brunch!

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I think it was the Almond Ciabatta French Toast that first sold me on this book. Well, that, and the fact that I had several other Gale Gand books that I loved. But the picture of this French Toast, heavily littered with sliced almonds, just sums up the twists and turns that this cookbook takes you through. Of course, when I turn the page, it’s the Baked Cinnamon-Apple French Toast . . .and 98 other recipes for what this former TV host calls “the weekend’s best meal.”

I’ve always enjoyed brunch. For holidays I’m the family member who says, “Let’s all sleep in, then come over to our house for brunch!” I’m the one who enjoys taking a hot egg casserole to our class at church when it’s our turn to bring the donuts. I’m the one who buys French or ciabatta bread with the express purpose of making French toast, not for serving as a side.

Those who were followers of “Sweet Dreams” on The Food Network, where Gale Gand demonstrated her skills as a pastry chef, know that she’s a pro at mixing sweet and savory. Gale Gand’s Brunch cookbook takes it to the next level. There’s a recipe for Crepes that can be filled with banana and Nutella, or warm mashed sweet potatoes. There’s Coddled Eggs and Pineapple Noodle Kugel and Ginger Scones with Peaches and Cream.

In other words, brunch is so much more than a delayed breakfast. It’s a chance to step back, enjoy an Iced Coffee with Cinnamon-Coffee Ice Cubes, pair it with Bacon Waffles or Bacon-Scallion Scones, step it up with Poached Salmon with Cucumber Yogurt, finish it off with a Quick Pear Streusel Coffee Cake, or dress it all up with Goat Cheese and Chive Hash Browns.

Want to mimic a New Orleans brunch? Make the Bananas Foster. Want to make your own version of Nutella? Try her Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread. It’s all here in one book—inspiration and imagination enough to create a memorable morning. Or afternoon. Your choice.

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