The holiday season sure can be a hectic one! It seems like starting in October, the social calendar starts filling up with events and get-togethers between Thanksgiving and New Years faster than I can keep up with adding them to my calendar. With my weekend evenings filling up fast, I decided to take a little bit of an untraditional route for a party and hosted a holiday brunch yesterday for a small group of friends.
It was a nice change of pace having guests over during the daytime and it made for a nice and relaxed setting.
When everyone started trickling in around 10 a.m., I had a few small snacks waiting for them to nosh on while I finished preparing the rest of the food. On the appetizer list was sun-dried tomato olive tapenade…
…and chocolate peppermint pretzels (you’ve been warned: they are tasty and highly addictive).
Later on, a few more additions found their way onto the table including Lydia’s delicious Harvest Loaf…
…and cookies from Caitlin!
To accompany their little bites, everyone sipped on coffee (or tea) and mimosas that were prepared by my friend Lauren. This was my first time having a mimosa and they are so good!! I’m a little disappointed that I’ve been missing out on such a delicious drink for so many years. I would love to try and create a non-alcoholic version using some sort of fizzy drink instead of the champagne to drink on a daily basis.
For the main dish, I made two quiches – one veggie and one meat. The veggie one consisted of a layer of spinach pesto (made with walnuts, not pecans), steamed broccoli, sliced grape tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. The meat quiche was made up of turkey sausage, sliced red potatoes, green peppers, onion, and cheddar cheese. I used store-bought pie crusts and added about seven eggs whisked together with a small splash of heavy whipping cream to each quiche.
And on the side, we had croissants that Kyle had picked up from a local French bakery…
…delicious (and healthy!) blackberry-lemon and apple scones made by Jennifer…
…and a variety of bagels and yoga bread that I had set out.
To go along with all of the bread and pastry items, I set out regular butter, my cinnamon apple butter, and a cranberry orange cream cheese spread that I made following this recipe. I fell in love with cranberry orange cream cheese last year and several of you suggested that I tried making it myself. Since I couldn’t find it in stores this year, now seemed like the perfect time to give it a go.
Also on the side, I had a large bowl of mixed fruit served along with a yogurt dip made by combining 2% plain Greek yogurt, honey, and cinnamon.
You might have noticed that all of the food had little descriptions next to them written on holiday cards. This was a super easy project. For the cards, I used gift tags that I already had on hand from all of my present wrapping and just wrote a short description of each dish up top. For the stand, I used corks that were leftover from another project and cut a small slit in each one with a knife. I loved how the use of gift tags added to the holiday theme.
Oh, and here’s my plate loaded up with the broccoli and tomato quiche, fruit and yogurt dip, a chocolate croissant, half of a blackberry-lemon scone, and a small piece of bagel covered in apple butter.
It was so much fun hanging out with friends and I’m so happy that we could all find the time to get together in our busy schedules. Even though there wasn’t a lot of cooking or baking involved to prepare for the brunch, I still felt like I was in my kitchen for FOREVER preparing for it! After everyone left, Prince and I crashed hard. I didn’t get out of my bed until a few hours later to sneak some of Caitlin’s cookies and have another cup of coffee.
How cute is this mug that I got from Lydia for Christmas? My inner bookworm absolutely adores it.
Did you guys have any holiday festivities going on this weekend? Do you prefer getting together with friends during the daytime or in the evenings?