Wednesday, December 18, 2013

New Friendship Brunch

Firas and Thom

After we found out we were moving across the country and I realized there were some acquaintances I probably wouldn’t see again, I filled with regret about not pursuing friendships with them-I got the feeling some felt the same.  I think this lack of momentum happens when we get too caught up in our busy, daily lives to make the leap from acquaintance to friend or perhaps when we don’t want to face possible rejection if the other wasn’t ready to make that leap.  I decided this situation wasn’t going happen again.    

So, when we immediately took to realtor Thom McGair and couture designer Firas Yousif and thought they felt the same, we arranged to get together.  Because it’s a busy time of year and because I like to cook for friends, we invited them to our home for brunch.  It was a smashing success-Firas and Thom liked our meal, and more importantly, a new friendship was established.


Homemade English Muffins with Butter and Peach Jam
Mixed Berries (Strawberries, Raspberries and Blueberries)
Creme Brûlée French Toast (recipe follows)

Creme Brûlée French Toast
1/4 C.  unsalted butter
1 C.  brown sugar, packed
1 Tbsp.  corn syrup
3 medium or 2 large croissants
3 large eggs
3/4 C.  half and half
1/2 tsp.  vanilla
1/2 tsp.  Cointreau
1 pinch  Kosher salt


In a small heavy saucepan, melt butter, brown sugar and corn syrup over moderate heat, stirring, until smooth and pour into an 8-inch by 8-inch by 2-inch baking dish.  Cut the croissants in half and arrange slices in one layer in baking dish (cut side up), squeezing them slightly to fit.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, vanilla, Cointreau and salt until well combined and pour evenly over bread.  Chill bread mixture, covered, at least 8 hours or up to 1 day.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and bring bread mixture to room temperature.  Bake uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are golden, 25 to 30 minutes.  Serve with the caramelized sugar facing up.

Adapted from Courtney Weiner's recipe

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