Saturday, April 18, 2009

Cookbook Spotlight: Gale Gand's Brunch! and Why I Don't Need Waffle House Any Longer

It's already well established here at The Sour Dough that I love brunch and breakfast. I could eat breakfast and brunch food every day, all day possibly for the rest of my life.

So, it was pretty easy to say yes to Cathy at A Blithe Palate and Stephanie at Dispensing Happiness when they asked me to participate in a Cookbook Spotlight of Gale Gand's latest cookbook, Brunch!

Gale Gand Brunch!

When I travel, the first thing I search out is where can I have breakfast and, if that travel takes place over the weekend, where is the best place for brunch. If that travel takes me South, that means at least one visit to Waffle House.

Now, after spending almost two weeks with Brunch! cooking several recipes, enjoying the lovely photos, and the stories about the recipes,

I find that I have to be honest with my breakfast and lunch love, Waffle House. After all when an affair of the heart cools, you owe it to break it gently but firmly.

So, it is with a heavy heart, I write this "Dear John" letter...

Dear Waffle House,

You know I have loved you ever since that day in 1993 when I stepped off the tour bus in Macon, GA, into your fluorescent sea of light, and sat down at your formica counter to taste my first pecan waffle, side of country ham, and hash browns.

But the time has come for me to confess I have finally found a replacement for your waffles, your eggs and your ham, your hash browns. They are found in my own kitchen.

You see, Waffle House, Gale Gand has your number. She has your number and more!

It started when the book arrived and I saw the cover. I knew right away I would have to make the Baked Egg and Ham cup. They look so elegant when they are done, even when getting packed to take to breakfast this week.

Gale Gand Ham and Egg Cups: After

but when I read that Gale had eaten them with her fingers while she was testing them, I knew they would fit right in at your counter too.

I made four different ones: per the recipe, one with black olive tapenade, garlic and Parmesan Reggiano, one with herbed goat cheese, and one with swiss and mustard.

Gale Gand Ham and Egg Cups: 4 types

But it was her recipe for Bacon Waffles that turned me from your yellow and black sign. The batter was thick and rich with buttermilk

gale gand buttermilk pancake recipe

and turned golden brown on my waffle iron.

gale gand bacon waffle

After drizzling some maple syrup on the piping hot waffle and just one bite, and I knew I had found a piece of heaven on earth. Before I knew it, the whole waffle was gone and I began to imagine the bacon goodness under a helping of southern fried chicken.

This morning, I tried the same batter but this time added pecans. My dear Waffle House, I have found a replacement for my beloved pecan waffles.

gale gand pecan waffle

These were better and fluffier. They had a sweeter taste and I could add as many pecans as I wanted. Best of all I don't have to wait until I am down South to enjoy them because thanks to Gale Gand, I can make them any time I want.

Oh, Waffle House. I hope we can still be friends. I will still see you now and then, like when I stop in Staunton, VA to get gas on my way down to Bristol, TN but, Waffle House, the love affair is over.


Thank you so much Gale Gand for writing such a wonderful book that I am most happy to add to my collection. Thank you so much Cathy and Stephanie for asking me to participate in this Cookbook Spotlight. It was wonderful to be part of the group. I can't wait to check out the round up on Wednesday!

My guest Blogger and winner of the Sour Dough reader copy of Brunch!, Sandra on Sunday evening. I hope she inspires you to run right out and buy yourself a copy of this cookbook.