A few weeks back, we held a GOTG brunch so the ladies could all catch up, get to know each other better and strategize fun events and articles for the rest of 2013.
Beyond fellowship, the best part about brunch is the food and beverages, obvi.
So here are a few tips and our menu that day – bon appétit!
- Invest in fresh flowers – they brighten up any space and just make people smile. We have farmer’s markets almost daily, and you can get beautiful lilies and sunflowers (pictured above) for $6.99/bunch at Raley’s.
- Buy fun juices for mimosas. Yep, that’s not a typo. Instead of OJ for our mimosas, we bought cuh-razy juices from Taylor’s Market like Blood Orange and Mango/Passionfruit OJ.
- Develop a food base. As hostess, you should know your audience and have the basic infrastructure covered to help ensure that everyone is satisfied regardless of who brings what dish. For our crew, that means a fuckload of bacon, fresh fruit and fancy bagels/smears.
- Clean the night before, but vacuum the morning of. Especially if you have pups – no one needs to see hairy tumbleweeds floating across your otherwise immaculate hardwood floors.
On the Menu (Click the item for the full recipe)
B-A-C-O-N (Kira Rasmussen): We have a few lovely veggies in our crew, but there were no boos when Kira walked in with a giant platter of thick and juicy bacon. No fancy ingredients required.
ARUGULA, BACON AND GRUYERE BREAD PUDDING (Jamie Romas): Only one change to the recipe … it calls for 6 strips of bacon, so naturally I added the entire package.
FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE (Alanna Bradley): This was ridiculously good and easy to make. Nice compliment to all the savory items on the table.
SMOKED SALMON, DILL AND GOAT CHEESE QUICHE (Aimee Darville): The quiche “recipe” I took inspiration from is above in the link. Basically, I’m obsessed with quiche at the moment because you can throw whatever leftover veggies and meat you have in with some cheese and eggs and voila – delicious quiche!
CHAMPAGNE CUPCAKES (Ashley Robinson): This is the easiest, yet most impressive recipe ever … champagne cupcakes.
1. Go to your local grocery store and buy Betty Crocker’s “Moist White Cake” mix, and subsequent ingredients. (I like this one because it calls for egg whites and therefore makes it fluffier and less fattening.)
2. Make the cake.
Here’s the twist: when the recipe says to use a cup and a quarter of water, don’t. Use champagne or sparkling wine in that same dose. So the general rule when cooking with alcohol is to use something you would be happy drinking, and I would say this definitely applies. I mean, you can easily make it with a crappy sparkling wine that you can buy at CVS for $4.99, it will taste just the same. But I say go for a nice Brut or Cremant because a cup and a quarter means you have a lot of the bottle left over, and you should enjoy that wine while waiting for the cake to finish baking. (Most recipes call for using a sweet sparkling wine, like an Asti spumante or a Blanc de Blancs. But I hate drinking wine that sweet.)
3. Bake the cake. Let it get a nice golden brown on top.
4. Decorate! Because I’ve mostly made this cake in mini cupcake tins for parties/showers/potlucks, I’ve had some fun making this dessert as girly as possible. I usually use pink icing, or a cream cheese frosting with berries on top, or mountains of powdered sugar. When I’ve made the cake in a regular baking tin for romantic occasions, I’ve served it with a sweet berry “soup,” which also calls for champagne.
They were absolutely delicious – tasted like fancy, comfort food.So you tell us – what’s your favorite dish or tip to help create the perfect at-home brunch?