When people find out that you run a food blog, they often ask me who my favorite chef on Food Network is. I really dislike this question as half of them are not actually chefs, and second because no one seems to know my favorite sadly. Gale Gand had a show called Sweet Dreams, it was my favorite show. It’s not on anymore (or so I think) to make room for people to show me how to mix Cool Whip with Jello and set it in to an all orange kitchen. Bitter? Perhaps I am a tad. ;) All I have left on the Foodnetwork now is my eye candy, Tyler Florence.
If you never got to see the show, too bad. Great desserts were shown how to be made by a woman who has worked at two of my all time favorites, Gotham Bar & Grill and Charlie Trotters. She has several cookbooks with Butter Sugar Flour Eggs being my favorite, but they all are good. So when I was asked if I would want to receive her Brunch book I was intrigued. Brunch? Up until now, I had only known her as the dessert woman, or guru. But heck yeah, I wanted to see what she did with brunch.
Gale did Brunch proud. And let me just say, this book made me want to eat brunch more than just on Mother’s Day and Easter. It covers everything from beverages, eggs, pancakes, coffeecakes, toppings and much, much more.
This being a baking and sweets blog, I thought I would stick with that. I made three things from the book; the Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake Muffins, the Chocolate Waffles, and the Banana Fosters topping to go on top of my Chocolate Waffles. Let me just say that Chocolate Waffles with Banana Fosters topping is definitely the way to start your day! And for you on the go people, the muffins were yummy. I liked them because they were more sweet than a regular muffin, and you know I am all about the sugar. Next I am needing to make the Almond Ciabatta French Toast and my husband some Peanut Butter and Jelly Turnovers.
The sad thing is, no recipes. But I can highly suggest that you buy the cookbook. I mean, come on, Arbor Day will soon be here, and surely you deserve to buy yourself an Arbor Day gift. Right?

Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake Muffins

Chocolate Waffles with Banana Fosters Topping


  1. oh that would be a nice brunch. These waffles look so so good and I d like to try the muffins too. Look so yummy :)

  2. Wow, that’s what I call a brunch! Scrumptious!



  3. Didn’t know that Gale Gand has a brunch book — thanks for the heads-up about that. I loved her Sweet Dreams show. She demystified dessert making in a way that made me feel that a bake-o-phobe like me could actually put together a respectable dessert. I’m going to look up her new book now.

  4. I feel like I have to go for a run just looking at these pictures. I can only imagine how amazing they would taste! Honestly, I’m sort of happy you didn’t post the recipes as I’d probably be in the kitchen right now frantically whipping them up.

  5. I miss Gale Gand so much!! “Sweet Dreams” was an excellent show; and her recipes are fabulous.

    And I know who you’re referring to, about the Jell-O and Cool Whip – her name rhymes with “Shamdra Fee,” right?? ;-)

    Scrrrumptious waffles and muffins!!

  6. I loved her. I always watched her when she was on.

    I miss her.

  7. I totally agree, why does the programming have to suck.. what kind of audience are they trying to attract?!

    The crumb on those muffins look great and the waffles…I need a waffle maker!

  8. Looks fantastic! And i agree about the FN programming as well–I have a couple more on my like list than just Tyler, but in general, I have more dislikes than likes…everytime i turn it on it’s some new show that isn’t good…and I TOTALLY agree with you on the person you were referring to…can’t stand it!!!

  9. I remember Gale Gand! She is one of the chefs that got me interested in baking. I loved her show. I just saw a rerun of her when she was on Baking With Julia. Also a great show.

    I hate the Food Network. There. I said it.

    Brunch at your place sounds great! :)

  10. I loved Sweet Dreams too! I wish it was still on.

  11. Ugh, Food Network. Just…ugh. Anyway, those waffles look incredible! I need to check out Gale’s books, I think.

  12. I loved Sweet Dreams and really miss the old Food Network programming… not sure who they’re marketing to these days, but they’re losing me fast.

    After this sneak peek (mmm… banana’s foster topping on chocolate pancakes!), this is going on my wish list!

  13. Thanks for the review Peabody. We never did get Sweet Dreams in Canada, but we have one called Sugar which was pretty good. The host, Ana Olsen, was incredibly awkward in front of the camera, but her desserts were amazing. Every single one of them I tried came out perfectly. Not much left in the Food Network these days… too much fluff! I’m a Jamie fan :)

  14. That was my favorite show too! I still have dreams of making the individual baked alaskas she made on the show. They had a half eggshell embedded in the top of the meringue that is filled with alcohol and lit on fire for an amazing presentation!

  15. A beautiful way to start the day, I am thinking!

  16. OMG, sugar rush brunch! Let me guess, you like chocolate?

    Thanks for the heads up on Gale Gand, I will have to check out some of her recipes!

  17. Thank you so much for this post! I second everything that you said and I miss the “old” Food Network, too. I loved Sweet Dreams and I have a couple of GG’s cookbooks that I need to use more often (but her Boston Cream Pie recipe is off the charts!).

  18. I’ve been eying that chocolate waffle too, but sadly I have no waffle maker. I really enjoyed the book, it made me want to make pretty much everything in it. My next project, when I have a leftover half a loaf of bread, is the baked bread pudding.

  19. I miss Gale too. You have no idea how excited I would get when her show came on. I would dream of sitting in that sweet shop on those chairs and just watch her. Help out if she wanted. It is sad that the food network makes room for those other dumb shows. I’m glad Ina is there though. And Mario is gone too, why?

  20. I live in Chicago and for some special occasion, my husband and I went to Tru, the restaurant that Gale Gand owns with her ex-husband Rick Tramanto. The desserts were, as you might imagine, fabulous. And they kept coming. And coming. I remember a cardamom lollipop and some pates de fruits and I remember that they not only served a little plate of chocolates, but they sent us home with a little box. All of this in addition to the actual dessert.

    If you ever come here, I think they still have reservations at Tru for dessert course only. It’s definitely worth it.

  21. I do really miss Gale Gand’s show on FN too… Along with Dessert Circus, it was one of the main reasons I would tune in! I’m sure her new book is lovely too.

  22. i love butter sugar flour eggs, too. i’ve seen some good looking recipes from this book around already. i’m going to have to check it out.

  23. ‘The sad thing is, no recipes.”

    The book has no recipes?

  24. Your brunch seems so tasteful! It would be a pleasure to get up in the morning savouring it all ;)

  25. I don’t even usually like waffles & find myself wanting a bite of these!

  26. I’m definitely giving myself this baking book for Arbor Day. I LOVE Gale Gand. I loved Sweet Dreams, and I’m super sad that it’s not on the air anymore. These waffles and muffins look totally incredible. I’m so glad you posted about these treats; you’ve totally convinced me to get the book :)

  27. Gale Gand was my favorite too. I have her book on order and can’t wait to get it. I have all of her other books too.

  28. An arbor day gift…well of course! This looks like one of those books that is worth every penny. Love the waffle-bannana foster combo. Great photo of the choc muffin, too.

  29. I totally understand what you are saying, and I know the show. Although “Sandra” may be a Godsent for those cooks who only knowing cooking from the FN, for me, she seems very boring…. although I do like her drinks (*hiccup*). If someone asked me who my favorite “cook” was on FN I’d say “Paula”. I think her love for butter is only matched by mine so I have to stand by my “sister in cream”

    Brunch looks wonderful!

  30. bummer! i wanted that recipe for the waffles they look grand.

  31. I am glad I found your blog. Blog-hopping does pay off. I used to love Gale’s show too. I used to love another show with Jacque Torres (chocolate something was the name ) and I miss them both.

  32. What a beautiful waffle, really rich and balanced at the same time well done. :) Rico

  33. Those chocolate banana waffles are calling my name.

  34. It’s the same for me. Because I have a food blog, folks expect me to watch the food network. Well, I don’t watch it. that chocolate waffle with banana fosters topping sound like a match made in heaven!

  35. Now that is a waffle topping!! I wonder how it would taste on the Bacon Waffles I made from the book. I mean rum and pork right?! What more could there be to love…

  36. I am sooo glad I did not drool over your brunch ideas over the week-end, since I was all alone. I would have had to have a brunch for one! Definite keeper to do for my next company feed. Your photos are awesome.

  37. jiminycub says:

    I miss Sweet Dreams, it was a great show. Gale is an awesome chef. I have been waiting to get my hands on her Brunch book. It is too bad that Food Network takes off all the chefs so now we get to watch silly blondes open cans and inane giggling women make a fortune by telling us we can cook dinner in half an hour. Sure wish they would dump these people and bring back the real cooks.

  38. Clearly Gale Gand hasn’t given up on sweets entirely! I would be very happy with those waffles as a breakfast, brunch, dessert, dinner…

  39. You did this brunch proud~ this is one recipe I would love to make!

  40. Chocolate Waffles with Banana Fosters Topping . . . so WOW! I want to try everything in this book.
    I can highly recommend the Almond Ciabatta French Toast!!

  41. If I could choose one meal to make for company it would be a brunch. I will have to check out Gand’s new book.
    Your blog is wonderful, not only can I tell you are an excellent cook, you are a very creative one. I am learning a lot from reading your posts.

  42. Bring on the treats for brunch!! Lots of sugary goodness going on, love it!

  43. It would be tough choosing between the yummy muffins and that heavenly looking chocolate waffle. I think….both.

  44. I miss Gale Gand, too. The color-coordinated kitchen lady (who will remain nameless because we all know who she is anyway) is no substitute. Those waffles looks great, Peabody!

  45. oooh…. these both look fab! I used to live near Gale Gand actually! I lived in Northbrook for a few years and Gale lives in the town over in Riverwoods. If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend her book, Chocolate & Vanilla!

  46. “Sweet Dreams” was my favorite show/only reason I watched FN as well! I used to rush home and catch it after school. It was an awesome show :)

  47. I love Gale Gand…but even more so, I love your sweet desserts, Peabody. I’ll come to one of your brunches ANY time!

  48. Oh yum, those waffles are going to have to be made. I got a waffle maker as a wedding gift and have been using it just about every day! These sound delicious! I know what you mean about the Food Network. I don’t want to watch showdowns, shortcut foods, and reality tv. I want good, old-fashioned, delicious recipes. Thanks for posting those pictures! I can’t wait to get the book!

  49. The bananas foster topping looks amazing! And paired with chocolate waffles – wow!

  50. Way to make a pregnant girl hungry! I could go for some waffles right now. :P

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