Long weekends are always enjoyable and a welcome break from the usual routine. In an effort to use my kitchen and see a few friends, I used the opportunity to host a brunch. About half of the guests didn’t have work on Monday in observance of MLK Jr. Day so we spent the chilly winter afternoon in long conversations with new acquaintances, old friends and flowing mimosas.
I sent out invitations from paperless post a week before the party. I love paperless post and I think the invitations, while sent through e-mail are casual, appropriately set the tone of the event.
I used Saturday evening to prepare the muffins and jam, arrange flowers and get what I could set up to make Sunday morning a bit easier. I asked friends to bring a bottle of champagne to contribute to the mimosa bar and instead of decor, I stuck to winter scented candles, fresh flowers and a clean presentation. I picked up simple vases and tom collins-esq glasses at the Dollar Store for under $15 and I used neutral baskets I had on hand to hold pastries, garnishes and utensils.
The casual setting was cozy and allowed people to roam between the two floors, although we all ended up crammed together at the dining table which certainly brought together the conversation! The menu was simple but delicious with most recipes using fresh ingredients right from the local farmer’s market. It was a perfect way to spend a lazy winter day!
- Martha Stewart’s Blueberry Muffins with Milk Jam
- Family Recipe – Breakfast Casserole
- Goat Cheese and Hazelnut Tartines*
- Fruit & Yogurt
- Crumpets & Jam
- Bloody Mary Bar with McClure’s Spicy Bloody Mary Mix & Ugly Dog Vodka
- Coffee (Baileys optional)
- Earl Grey Lavender Tea
The brunch lasted until dinner time, which I think is quite a success! The menu went over well and there were hardly any leftovers. Just enough to snack on during Downton Abbey!
I found the recipes for the milk jam and Goat Cheese & Hazelnut Tartines in the French Women Don’t Get Fat cook book. I adjusted the tartine recipe a bit, which is below, as I made it.
Recipe: Goat Cheese & Hazelnut Tartines
- 5 oz. Goat Cheese
- 1/4 lb hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
- Fresh Rosemary
- Slice baguette into small slices, like you would for bruschetta
- Spread Goat Cheese on top of bread
- Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts
- Drizzle honey over each piece
- Garnish with a sprig or two of fresh Rosemary
What are your favorite items to serve at brunch? Perfect Bloody Mary garnishes? Twists on the original mimosa? I’m always looking for new ideas!