A cookbook with a memoir at its heart—about breakfast, the joy of a father and son cooking together, and how we show love through food.
Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but it’s also the most intimate and personal. It’s when we’re in our pyjamas and with our families, not quite ready to face the world. It’s what we crave when we want comfort and it’s the easiest way to turn us back into kids again.
Mark Pupo got into the habit of preparing big breakfasts every Sunday with his neurodivergent kindergartener, Sam. Everything else in life was tough and complicated, but making breakfast together was weirdly easy. (It turned out Sam loved to crack eggs, and he was really good at it.) In the kitchen, the pressure was off and they had all the time in the world to goof around. This book is a record of that first year of a father and son cooking together—of what became their weekend ritual.
Filled with playful illustrations and 52 recipes for a full year of weekend breakfasts, Sundays is a journey through Mark and Sam’s morning adventures. Starting with simpler challenges, like Toast Soldiers and Almond Butter Overnight Oats, it builds to Mark’s favourite inspired dishes, including Eggnog French Toast Bake, Pumpkin Spice Pancakes, Cheddar Polenta Cakes, and Saucy Poached Eggs with Feta. Mark also revisits his own childhood breakfast obsessions (Pop-Tarts, egg sandwiches, and the elusive perfect bagel, to name a few), and along the way explores the surprising origins of breakfast staples.
By turns witty, charming, frank, and filled with delicious breakfast ideas, this book is for anyone who wishes every morning began with a stack of pancakes. Sundays is an infectious celebration of the most important meal of the day and the most important people in our lives.
Sundays: A Celebration of Breakfast and Family in 52 Essential Recipes: A Cookbook Hardcover by
Banana Bread with Brandy Butter Icing
There are Sundays when the usual breakfast staples—eggs, meat, griddled this and that—just aren’t appealing. Or when you’ve got people coming over who don’t eat meat or object to the scent of cooking eggs, or are otherwise impossible to please. In those circumstances, it’s good to have a backup. That backup should be banana bread. Even the lightest banana breads are heftier and more filling than most other baked goods. Add some icing (our household is fond of a butter icing with a touch of brandy) and serve it with a big bowl of fruit salad or fresh berries, plus a fresh pot of coffee, and you’re set.
It goes without saying that you can’t make banana bread unless you’ve got ripe bananas, so for all my talk of a “backup,” this recipe still requires some forethought. It’s also heavy on the bananas—four, compared to the typical two- or three-banana loaf—and is best made in a Bundt pan. So, if we’re being strict about it, this is technically a cake, but so is any “bread” that you make by creaming sugar and butter. Nuts are optional, but if your visitors aren’t allergic, I recommend mixing some chopped toasted pecans into the batter and then, after you’ve iced the top of the cake (bread!), placing a half-dozen pecan halves on top. The nuts say, “Hey, I made some effort, and pay attention because this isn’t your average banana bread.”
SERVES 8 TO 10
For the banana bread
2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
4 ripe bananas
3 eggs, separated into yolks and whites
½ cup milk
½ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
½ cup chopped and toasted pecans (optional)
For the brandy butter icing
½ cup plus
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1½ cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons brandy
12 pecan halves, for topping (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter every nook and cranny of the inside of a Bundt pan, then dust with flour to help prevent the cake from sticking.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, mash the bananas with a fork, then mix well with the egg yolks, milk, oil, and vanilla. Pour into the dry mixture and mix until just combined. If you’re including the nuts, stir them into the batter. Now, in a dry mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites until they turn solid white and form peaks. This will take some extra muscle, and you may want to take turns with an eager kid. Alternatively, use an electric mixer, which will later come in handy if you’re making the brandy butter.
Fold the whites into the batter, being careful not to overmix (you want to keep that extra volume from the whites). Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 45 minutes. Test by inserting a toothpick or wood skewer into the cake—if it comes out clean, it’s done.
While the cake is cooling, make the brandy butter icing. It’s simple: in a medium mixing bowl, cream the butter and then add the powdered sugar, trying your best to avoid it blowing everywhere. Mix until smooth, then add the brandy to taste. You’ll have enough icing to spread over the very top of the cooled cake—any more would be too rich, especially at breakfast. Decorate the top with pecan halves.
Excerpted from Sundays: A Celebration of Breakfast and Family in 52 Essential Recipes by Mark Pupo. Copyright © 2023 Mark Pupo. Illustration copyright © 2023 Christopher Rouleau. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.