Sunday Brunch

My sisters and I try to get together to have brunch once a month. Generally we all agree on an ingredient or theme so the foods that we bring will "go" together. It had been a while since our last brunch — what with me being sick all summer, my younger sister being busy with work and school and my older sister taking off to Ecuador in January — so we were a bit out of practice this time around.

I received an email from Liz last Thursday, briefly outlining that brunch was going to be on Sunday at Vic’s house and the three of us were attending. I was to put together something sweet and the two of them were going to bring savory dishes. It was settled. I scoured my cookbooks and searched online for something delicious that they would enjoy and that I can eat (I have a few dietary restrictions due to my illness…namely that I can’t eat much chocolate…ack!). I figured that between the two of them (amazing cooks each) we’d have a really rich, luscious lunch on our hands so I wanted something to cap that off nicely. I settled eventually on a chai-flavoured cheesecake. It was going to be a bit labour-intensive but I had all day Saturday to make it so I wasn’t worried.

Then S. called me on Friday afternoon. The NBA all-star game was this weekend and we were having his friend Lincoln over to watch the Slam-Dunk competition… and could I possibly whip something up for "the boys"? Hmm. Okay I can do that. Why not? I had an idea for Stromboli (basically rolled-up pizzas) that would be good for a sports night. Those paired with some Caesar salad and stuffed mushroom caps would be enough food for the three of us and it all could be eaten while seated in front of the television, cheering on our favourites.

So I spent all day Saturday in the kitchen. Making pizza dough, roasting red peppers and whipping up marinara sauce for dipping the Stromboli in. Making a gorgeously decadent chocolate pudding pie for dessert and putting together some really delicious stuffed mushrooms for an appetizer. By the time Lincoln arrived I was tuckered out…I had barely enough energy to eat and make a bit of small-talk about basketball with the boys and I was headed to bed. I had intended to make the cheesecake for my sisters after dinner but I simply couldn’t drag myself from the arm chair I was lounging in. I figured I’d get up early and do it Sunday morning.

When I woke up Sunday morning I was, believe it or not, more tired than when I’d gone to bed. It certainly didn’t look good for the cheesecake. I was just about to start making it when S. suggested I change my plans and make something a little more simple, but just as delicious. He reminded me of the delectable dessert I had eaten more than a few times while we were in Kuwait. We searched around the ‘net for a recipe and came up with a few that suited me just fine. Simple, scrumptious and something I could make in less than 20 minutes, pop in the oven and then transport easily (even in the nasty weather we had on Sunday) to my sister’s house.

I highly recommend this recipe if you need a simple dessert these days. It’s more like comfort food than any other dessert I’ve ever had.

And that "theme" for this past brunch? It turned out by coincidence to be bread…since the three of us brought bread-laden courses for each other. Both of my sisters intended to make delicious, gourmet sandwiches (one switched her course to a salad instead at the last minute) and me with this croissant/bread pudding.