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Help! Need ideas for a brunch..

Rhea's picture

OK, here goes...


I am under a pile of cookbooks and magazines in search of something wonderful and yummy !!!


As the owner of almost every FC mag, and over 250 cookbooks I am ready to explode and cannot seem to decide just what to prepare...I am making a brunch for about 20 of my Mom's dearest friends and am looking for any fab ideas. These are a special group of people that have been there for my Mom through so many good and bad times and when my Dad was ill, they were the shoulders that supported her...I  guess I just want her to feel special on her Birthday.


I am doing a French Cafe theme... checkered table cloths, music, flowers candles and would just love if anyone here could save me from myself before I lose my mind........heeeeeeeeeeeeeeelp!!!!  :)


 a wise woman once said you have to kiss alot of frogs before you find your prince.. my lips are sore...!

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

Judy/AZ's picture

(post #65745, reply #1 of 37)

You could stay in the French theme with quiche, croissants, fresh fruit - something on that vein.

butterscotch's picture

(post #65745, reply #2 of 37)

I agree with Judy--quiche is the most convenient food known to man for serving a crowd. Crepes stuffed with something yummy, covered with a nice sauce, and then gratineed at the last minute are nice, too.  And a very interesting salad, or assortment of cold marinated vegetables, in the French style, maybe?

Rhea's picture

(post #65745, reply #6 of 37)

oh , I just love that marinated veggie idea...thx!!!

 a wise woman once said you have to kiss alot of frogs before you find your prince.. my lips are sore...!

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

ICDOCEAN1's picture

(post #65745, reply #3 of 37)

Champagne and Crepes!  Seafood, crepes roasted asparagus crepes, chocolate crepes with fresh strawberries...any kind of crepes! 


A French cheese tray.  Fruit and French bread.  Recently, I found a Cambozola that is out of this world and it goes well with french bread and pears.


The Barefoot Contessa has the Barefoot in Paris book, you might find some inspiration there.  Endive, Pear, and Roquefort Salad.  Scallops Provencal.  Blini with Smoked Salmon,


Maybe check some French menus as well.

Rhea's picture

(post #65745, reply #7 of 37)

 please name that cheese...LOL!!!! My two fave foods-bread and cheese....:) thx!

 a wise woman once said you have to kiss alot of frogs before you find your prince.. my lips are sore...!

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

Wolvie's picture

(post #65745, reply #4 of 37)

madeleines, (of course)


 here is a nice appy (if your friends like liver) :  Chicken Liver Mousse


or a more substantial terrine:


Country Terrine


then there is always Coq Au Vin, which I find better if I make it a day or so ahead and reheat,  crepes of some sort, the ever popular :


Salade Nicoise


so many things - confit something, etc. What do your friends enjoy?


Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.


THOMAS HENRY HUXLEY,  September 23, 1860.


 

 

Gretchen's picture

(post #65745, reply #5 of 37)

A mesclun salad with warm chevre medallions?


I was looking at Ina's Barefoot in Paris last night and she has a croque monsieur sandwich that is done/finished  in the oven.


Gretchen
Gretchen
Rhea's picture

(post #65745, reply #9 of 37)

aaaaaaaaaaaaaah, I KNEW you would pop in...LOL!!!! How are you????????


I will definitely check out that recipe...had not thought of that. Now if only I had her house ...sigh...!!!


 a wise woman once said you have to kiss alot of frogs before you find your prince.. my lips are sore...!

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

Rhea's picture

(post #65745, reply #8 of 37)

Hey stranger! Thanks so much,...was already sure I was going to do the quiche thing....found a wonderful recipe from a William Sonoma mag and it is splendid, although I usually do a crust from scratch I will most likely use a pre-made lard one....I am limited to time because of my day job schedule.


My Mom does the traditional chopped liver(jewish style) but this recipe looks so easy and I am gearing up to do it!


Was also thinking about that salad(would you reading my mind?LOL)..Thanks so much for the recipes!


 a wise woman once said you have to kiss alot of frogs before you find your prince.. my lips are sore...!

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

Rhea's picture

(post #65745, reply #10 of 37)

To everyone...thanks so much,...now not so fast will I let you leave me...LOL!!


DESSERT????


 I was thinking a decadent flourless choc tart,


a lemon tart,


 and something along a poached pear concoction.....no madelaine pan so as much as I would LOVE those, I will have to think of another cookie or treat...


as well as a fruit tray....


I am going aroung the pear theme and have found wonderful little pear soaps from a company in California( they are 1/2 price at the Chapters store near me) .Wrapped quite nice they have a little ribbon bow and a green little leaf on them...was thinking of making a lovely little tag with each couples name on it for them to take when they leave....any thoughts?


 a wise woman once said you have to kiss alot of frogs before you find your prince.. my lips are sore...!

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

Gretchen's picture

(post #65745, reply #11 of 37)

Cambazola "is" the name of the cheese. Wonderful. Also Roaring Forties Blue is good--different from the Cambazola. Sort of similar to the latter would be a gorgonzola dulce.


Yes, her house would be a definite plus.


Gretchen
Gretchen
Rhea's picture

(post #65745, reply #14 of 37)

aaaah, gotcha...is this a mild ,sort of spreadable or a firm cheese? I'm thinking this is a softer cheese...but is it considered a "blue" cheese or more along the lines of a brie? I love cheese and have never tried this...how can that be?LOL  



 a wise woman once said you have to kiss alot of frogs before you find your prince.. my lips are sore...!


Edited 7/20/2006 2:01 pm ET by Rhea

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

soccermom's picture

(post #65745, reply #15 of 37)

Not Gretchen, but the sample I tried at Loblaws was definitely a cross between blue and brie; more brie-like in texture. I thought I saw it at Costco, but don't quote me. If it's there, it'll definitely be cheaper.

 


 

 

 

Gretchen's picture

(post #65745, reply #16 of 37)

I haven't seen it at Costco in the US, unfortunately. They do have Saga Blue which is a brie/blue cross, but these other two are still better!

Gretchen

Gretchen
Rhea's picture

(post #65745, reply #18 of 37)

Gretchen, here is my question.....


if I am making the liver with baquettte,a marinated veggie assortment, quiches, the croques, nicoise, another leaf salad and the cheese and a nice assort. of crackers...I am wondering just how much of each would be sufficient.....there are 20 of us, including an Uncle who can eat like four men.... I know people like to take a little of everything, but I always seem to make way too much...tell me your thoughts plz...and thanks!


 a wise woman once said you have to kiss alot of frogs before you find your prince.. my lips are sore...!

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

Gretchen's picture

(post #65745, reply #19 of 37)

Whoa!! No expertise here. And I think editing the menu might be in order.  Simpler, one "type" per course, etc.  I just throw out the ideas!! I'd love to be there!


Gretchen
Gretchen
Rhea's picture

(post #65745, reply #20 of 37)

Gretchen, I so love to cook that when I finally get a chance to cook for a group I just go nuts!!! I scoped out the cheese tonight and it looks scrumptious. I may loose the quiche and only do the croque.


Trust me, after I hear about YOUR cooking I always wish I was out your way....the new guy in my life-his birth Mom and her husband are out your way and I hope to go soon to meet them. It would be great if you were there, but I promise to shovel in dessert in your honour...LOL 


 a wise woman once said you have to kiss alot of frogs before you find your prince.. my lips are sore...!

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

Wolvie's picture

(post #65745, reply #21 of 37)

you sound like me. :-)


for the mousse, I think I would at least triple it - if these folks have good appetites - IIRC, the recipe as written didn't make that much.


Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.


THOMAS HENRY HUXLEY,  September 23, 1860.


 

 

Rhea's picture

(post #65745, reply #25 of 37)

thanks for the advice......:)

 a wise woman once said you have to kiss alot of frogs before you find your prince.. my lips are sore...!

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

Gretchen's picture

(post #65745, reply #22 of 37)

Yes, an occasion is always fun to "splurge" out of your element!!

Gretchen

Gretchen
pamilyn's picture

(post #65745, reply #24 of 37)

JMO but I think you need to edit that menu down.You don't need all that stuff. Keep it simple. If you make quiche for example and you want different things, make a few different quiches. FWIW.....Pamilyn

The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

Rhea's picture

(post #65745, reply #26 of 37)

I have decided to lose the quiche and make a baked pasta and cheese dish,...not very French but it is scrumptious to say the least, and easy to make for a bunch of people....:)

 a wise woman once said you have to kiss alot of frogs before you find your prince.. my lips are sore...!

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

Rhea's picture

(post #65745, reply #17 of 37)

sounds yuuuuuuuuuuummy! Thanks so much!

 a wise woman once said you have to kiss alot of frogs before you find your prince.. my lips are sore...!

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

ashleyd's picture

(post #65745, reply #23 of 37)

Cambozola is a hybrid between Camembert and Gorgonzola, developed in Germany around 30 years by introducing the Gorgonzola blue mold to Camembert. It is milder that both its "parents" so Gorgonzola dulce would be an excellent sub.


Always take a good look at what you're about to eat. It's not so important to know what it is, but it's critical to know what it was.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Gretchen's picture

(post #65745, reply #12 of 37)

I was looking for my chocolate mousse cake recipe--a flourless chocolate cake that is TDF.
Julia's original recipe for chocolate mousse (no whipped cream in the mousse, just as garnish) is SO good.


 


Here is a nice dessert, served in a large trifle dish.


Chocolate mousse masquerade


1 12 oz. package chocolate chips
4 eggs, separated
2 TBS sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1C chopped pecans
1 pt. heavy cream, whipped to stiff peaks
1 angel food cake


Melt chocolate in double boiler. Beat egg yolks and add to chocolate along with sugar, vanilla and a dash of salt.
Beat egg whites until stiff peaks. Fold into chocolate mixture.
Fold in pecans and whipped cream.
Tear angel food cake into bite size pieces. Layer cake and chocolate mixture in a 2 qt. clear serving dish.
Cover and chill at least 5 hours.


Gretchen
Gretchen
Rhea's picture

(post #65745, reply #13 of 37)

Oh my,..........now THIS is something I could marry!!!LOL :) 


p.s. I think our issues come by donkey...hehehe...


 a wise woman once said you have to kiss alot of frogs before you find your prince.. my lips are sore...!

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

Chef Sonya's picture

(post #65745, reply #27 of 37)

cream puffs!

Rhea's picture

(post #65745, reply #28 of 37)

oh god, would they be good, but i would eat them before they make it to the table...LOL.


 Dessert is a choc. tart,squares of lemon  pound cake with raspberries and lemon glaze, and a fruit tray....


 a wise woman once said you have to kiss alot of frogs before you find your prince.. my lips are sore...!

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

Rhea's picture

(post #65745, reply #29 of 37)

Just wanted to thank everyone who gave me some great ideas and advice....the party was a great success and if my Brother gets his stuff together I may have some photos...The only dish that it seemed the guests did not eat was Ina Garten's avacado and grapefruit salad...it was quite yummy, but was not a hit with the crowd.


I did make Ina's Lemon Pound cake(recipe on the (Oprah site) and it was soooooooooooooo good!!!


All of my Mom's friends came up to me and told me that my Mom was almost in tears with joy when she walked in and saw the set up in the dining room....many, many thanks to all of you...you are the BEST!!!


 a wise woman once said you have to kiss alot of frogs before you find your prince.. my lips are sore...!

I can't even afford the lifestyle I don't want...

helena's picture

(post #65745, reply #30 of 37)

Wonderful that it was such a succes :o). Congrats!