Kate’s GF Brunch Extravaganza

Last Sunday I went to my friend, Kate’s, apartment in Piedmont Park for an incredible Sunday brunch.  I have known Kate for a long time.  In fact Kate and I lived together our freshman year of high school at boarding school.  Yes, that’s us, in September 1996 on the first day of school in our dorm room.


Fall 1996: First Day of High School

Even though Kate is a gluten-eater, she was not intimidated by the thought of gluten-free cooking.  Most people, when posed with the task of creating a gluten-free brunch, stick to eggs, bacon and maybe potatoes.  While I love all of those breakfast items, I must say that Kate’s brunch was by far the most “gluten-feeling” brunch I’ve eaten.  Not only did Kate make a ridiculously delicious blueberry crumb cake, but she also made a gluten-free version of a strata.  You might be thinking, “What’s a strata?”  A strata is that delicious egg, bread, sausage and cheese casserole that you often find at brunches or family get togethers.  The strata (or egg casserole) was a staple in my family growing up.   Whenever we had houseguests, Mom made the casserole a day ahead and would heat it for Sunday brunch.  Needless to say, I was eager to call my mother to let her know that the egg casserole can be done gluten-free.


As I’ve mentioned before, I’m always moved and amazed when friends make gluten-free food for me, and are eager to experiment in their own kitchen.  Kate took culinary risks to prepare this meal and was genuinely enthusiastic about the endeavor!  Since I’ve known Kate long enough, I didn’t mind being tacky and taking photos of her food.  She even shared her recipes with me so that you too, can make her gluten-free brunch dishes.  If you’re dreaming about the weekend (aah, Sunday brunch) on this Friday morning, and looking for some culinary inspiration, I suggest you read further.  Hopefully you won’t drool on your computer.

Fruit Salad with Poppyseed Dressing (serves 6-8)
This dressing is amazing!  I wanted to drink it out of the bowl with a straw.  I might use it for an arugula, strawberries and goat cheese salad this weekend.
Any combination of fresh fruit (1-2 cups of each fruit, sliced)
For poppyseed dressing:

  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

- In a blender of food processor, combine the vinegar, sugar, mustard, and salt
- While processing, slowly pour in vegetable oil in a steady stream
- Stir in poppy seeds
- Just before serving, combine all fruits in bowl and serve with poppy seed dressing


Turkey (or Chicken) Sausage Strata (serves 6-8)



  • 6 slices GF white sandwich bread, cut into cubes (Kate used Whole Foods GF Bakehouse)
  • 1/2 cup shredded low fat-part skim mozzerella cheese
  • 1/2 lb. of turkey (or chicken) breakfast sausage, cooked and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

-Lightly coat a 1.5 quart baking dish with GF oil / cooking spray
-Layer bread, mozzerella cheese, sausage in baking dish
-In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, salt, mustard; mix well
-Pour egg mixture over sausage mixture and sprinkle with parmesan cheese
-Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least for 6 hours
-Heat oven to 325 degrees; uncover and bake for 60-70 minutes
-Let stand 10 minutes before serving

Blueberry Crumb Coffee Cake (serves 6-8)

Anyone who hung out with me in college knows how much I love crumb cake.  I have not eaten any type of crumb cake in the last three years so I was eager to chow down.  The combination of blueberries, crunch pecans and the yummy, crumbly topping was delish.


  • 1 1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose gluten-free all-purpose baking flour + 3/4 tsp Xanthan gum
  • 2 1/4 tsp. GF baking powder
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • large pinch of nutmeg and cardamom
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

For the crumb topping:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free all-purpose baking flour + 1/8 tsp. Xanthan gum
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup pecans



- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Butter and flour an 8″ round cake tin, shaking out any floury excess. Set aside
- Prepare crumb topping by using fingers to work in the ingredients until you get pea-size crumbles.
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients for the cake (flour + xanthan gum, baking powder, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg + cardamom)
- In another bowl, blend the egg, yogurt, and canola oil
- Add the wet to dry ingredients and lightly blend (Be sure not to do this step too far in advance of placing the batter in the oven to  bake – the baking powder mixed with the wet ingredients will cause the batter to dry out if it sits too long)
-Stir in the blueberries until mixed through
- Pour batter into cake tin and sprinkle crumb topping over top.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted into center comes out clean.  Cool, slice, and serve.


A delicious, gluten-free brunch.  Kate’s another example of a friend who went above and beyond in order to accommodate her GF friends.  Always a treat!  Thank you, thank you.

  1. Kate says:

    Oh man, you pulled a zinger there with that incredible photo of us. Could we embody anymore the notion of teenage awkwardness? Standing like a mile apart, thinking “oh goodness, I’m living with this person for the next year of my life?” JK! Look at where we are now, 14 years later, and still great friends! Thanks for all the kind remarks – it really was fun making it all. And I’m going to make that crumb cake the gluten-free way from now on no matter who my brunch guests are!

  2. Thomas says:

    Yum! Brunch looks delicious–and that picture is too hilarious. We have a similar pic from WFS.

  3. David says:

    What a photo!

  4. Betsy says:

    Yes, we were so awkward. No idea what to do with ourselves. I thought it would be perfect to break out the old photo as we head back to “The High School” for our 10-year reunion next month. No longer awkward, just old. :)

  5. David says:

    Still a little awkward…

  6. moxie says:

    still a little awkward, but mostly awesome. That brunch was so amazing! I too want to slurp that dressing up!

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