I love eating, cooking and especially reading about all different types of food. Every month I'll try recipes from some of my favorite culinary magazines and cook books, review restaurants and even share some of my own creations. I'll post pictures and let you know what works, how they taste and tips to make them better. I'll also enlist some friends around the country to tell you about some great food finds where they live.

Become a follower and check in each week for a new FOODIE TRIAL!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day Brunch in Brooklyn 2011

We had a beautiful Father's Day today.  The weather held up, clear skies and warm breezes. I had my folks and my brother and his family over for brunch and late day snacks. 
My parents, Violet and Skip
Adrian, Christopher, Max
It was my brothers first time at my place, and he and his family got to see our great view!  The kids were excited...and nervous at the same time looking out the window on the 41st Floor.  

 We listened to some great music (playlist at the end), played catch outside and, oh yeah, ate some great food. 
Time to eat! Mom cutting up Max's French Toast, Chris isn't waiting for anyone!  More syrup please!
The boys playing catch outside.
Uncle Clarence getting his throw on!
 On today's menu:




Late Day Snacks

Try baking the Bacon in the oven.  Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Wrap a cookie sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil and place the bacon on the sheet.  Place in the middle of the oven.  Bake until bacon is cooked through and crispy to your liking.  Depending on the bacon, you may need to drain the bacon grease at some point during the baking process.  Once finished, drain on paper towel.
Thick cut bacon

The Shrimp Cocktail is quite simple, 2 lbs of peeled and deveined shrimp, boiling water with salt.  Have an ice and water bath ready.  Don't over cook the shrimp!  Once the water comes back to a boil, they should be done.  Transfer the shrimp with a slotted spoon to the ice bath mixture to stop the cooking.  You can try adding Old Bay Seasoning to the water for a seasoned version.
Easy Shrimp Cocktail

Our Charcuterie 
  • Prosciutto
  • Sweet Coppa
  • Havarti
  • Gorgonzola
  • Brie
  • Slices of Toasted Baguette
  • Wheat Crackers
  • Gherkins
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Fig Jam

Pico de Gallo
The Pico de Gallo recipe is the same from 3/15/10 post, without the corn.  We're loving 
Xochitl chips.  They are light and crispy!

Below are recipes for the French Toast and Quiche.  

Serves 6-8 people

Banana Sauce ingredients
Spiced Banana Sauce
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 6 tbsp (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 4 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup light cream
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp dark rum
  • 3 small ripe bananas, peeled, cut on diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 overripe banana, mashed

In a heavy pan, stir in butter and brown sugar over medium heat until butter is melted, whisking occasionally. Whisk the sauce until it boils, then remove from heat. Whisk in lemon juice, nutmeg, cinnamon, rum and whisk to blend. Add all the bananas into the sauce, stir gently and set aside until French Toast is ready to be served.  Reheat on stove top, add water if it gets to thick.

French Toast w/ Powdered Sugar
French Toast
  • 1½ cups half-and-half
  • 1 ½ cups light cream
  • 10 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ of a vanilla pod scraped
  • 2 loaves of fresh challah bread, 1/2-inch slices (no ends)
  • 1 tsp powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine half and half, light cream, eggs, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and vanilla beans scraped from pod.  Blend or whisk briskly until frothy and thoroughly mixed.  Place vanilla bean pod back in mixture.

Heat an electric non-stick griddle to 300 degrees. There is no need to butter the griddle unless you want to.  Take 3 pieces of bread in a stack, place in bowl, turn over each slice to coat well, shake off excess.  Place on griddle.  Repeat.  Brown on each side, about 3-4 minutes on each side.  Place the browned slices on a cookie sheet and place in the oven to keep warm.

Once all the French Toast has been made, place on a platter and sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with Spiced Banana Sauce.

Delicious Quiche

Serves 6-8 people

  • 1 deep-dish frozen pie crust, thawed
  • 6 slices of bacon, chopped into1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • 2 cups arugula chopped
  • 2 cups spinach chopped
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 ½ oz shredded Gruyère cheese

Follow directions for pre-baking a frozen deep dish pie crust. 

Place bacon in heavy pan over medium-high heat until they get nice and crispy.  Try not to overcook or burn, about 7-8 minutes. Once crispy, remove bacon (save the drippings) and drain on paper towels. Add shallots to same pan, add some of the drippings and sauté about 2 minutes. Add spinach and arugula and sauté until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add balsamic vinegar, toss.

Add half of the greens mixture and bacon over pre-baked crust. Briskly whisk cream, eggs, salt and pepper in large bowl to blend. Stir in cheese and remaining greens and bacon and pour into crust.

Bake quiche about 35-40 minutes until filling is puffy and golden. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.


Here is the playlist from today's brunch:

  1. Rock With You - Michael Jackson
  2. Nights Over Egypt - The Jones Girls
  3. Running Away - Roy Ayers
  4. Green Onions - Booker T. & The MG's
  5. Could It Be I'm Falling in Love - The Spinners
  6. Misdemeanor - Foster Sylvers
  7. Hard to Handle - Patti Drew
  8. All I Do - Stevie Wonder
  9. Stolen Moments - Ahmad Jamal Trio
  10. Honky Tonk - Bill Doggett
  11. Evil Vibrations - The Mighty Ryders
  12. When She Made Me Promise - Funky
  13. It's My Thing - Marva Whitney
  14. Definition - Black Star           
  15. The Bottle - Gil Scott-Heron
  16. Forget Me Nots - Patrice Rushen
  17. Lovely Day - Bill Withers
  18. As - Stevie Wonder
  19. Swahililand - Ahmad
  20. Places and Spaces - Donald Byrd
  21. What Cha' Gonna Do For Me - Chaka Khan
  22. Things Are Getting Better - N*E*R*D
  23. Stakes Is High - De La Soul
  24. Beijo (Interlude) - Earth Wind & Fire
  25. Party Time - Roy Porter
  26. Different Strokes - Syl Johnson
  27. Summer in the City - Quincy Jones
  28. MoneyGrabber - Fitz & The Tantrums           
  29. If You Really Love Me - Stevie Wonder
  30. Proceed - The Roots
  31. Back Together Again - Donny Hathaway
  32. Move On Up - Curtis Mayfield           
  33. Harvest For The World - The Isley Brothers
  34. I Got The... - Labi Siffre
  35. California Soul - Marlena Shaw
  36. May - December - Mos Def