Monday, February 17, 2014

Girls Valentine's Day Brunch

Yesterday, I hosted a Valentine's brunch for ten or so friends that was so jam-packed with girly goodness that I had to share it here, despite only snapping a few less-than-dazzling photos with my iPhone. I decided to have a brunch to get in some girl time at the tail end of the holiday weekend; plus, it was an excuse to make some pretty adorable decorations.

The hard part of entertaining for a large group is coming up with food ideas that can be made ahead of time, and assembled easily on the day of the party. I decided to try my hand at a massive four layer cake as the centerpiece of the buffet, but the rest of the food was pretty simple. Even though the photos don't say much for the libations, I've decided to include my menu and some recipes I made here anyways, because they were all so great for entertaining. It was a really fun day spent with old and new friends, and all around awesome ladies.

Girls Valentine's Brunch Menu
  • Blood Orange Pomosas
  • Ruby Red Crushes
  • Butternut Squash, Goat Cheese & Pancetta Mini Quiches
  • Spinach, Mushroom & Caramelized Onion Mini Quiches
  • Brown Sugar Bacon
  • Turkey Sausages (store bought)
  • Pastry Pups (store bought, Trader Joe's)
  • Vanilla Yogurt with Raspberries, Granola & Honey
  • White Chocolate Covered Strawberries
  • Watermelon and Strawberries, cut with a heart-shaped cookie cutter

Blood Orange Pomosas

     Orange juice
     Blood orange juice
     Pomegranate juice
     Champagne, Brut, or Prosecco

Note: I did not exactly measure the ingredients for this drink, and trust me, you really do not have to; it all depends on personal taste. My approximate measurements for a crowd were two 92 oz. jugs of OJ, one quart of blood orange juice, 3/4 cup of pomegranate juice, and four bottles of champagne.

Directions for making one day ahead:  Combine the three juices in a large beverage dispenser or pitcher, and allow to sit overnight. Just before guests arrive, add champagne. 

Ruby Red Crushes

    Grapefruit juice, preferably fresh squeezed
    Absolut Ruby Red
    Grapefruit La Croix
    Kosher salt and sugar rim

Note: I did not exactly measure the ingredients for this drink, and trust me, you really do not have to; it all depends on personal taste.

Directions for making one day ahead
  1. Combine grapefruit juice, Absolute Ruby Red, and several sprigs of mint in a pitcher. This mixture should be tasty, but quite potent. You'll be diluting it later. Refrigerate overnight, if desired. 
  2. Combine Kosher salt and sugar in a pile on a small plate. Wet the rim of several cups or glasses with water, and dip in the salt and sugar mixture. Add a sprig of mint to each cup.
  3. Just before guests arrive, fill cups 2/3 full with grapefruit and vodka mixture. Fill remaining 1/3 with La Croix. 

Basic Mini Quiche Recipe

  • Ingredients
  • 2 T. butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup panko
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Coat the insides of 24-cup miniature muffin pan with butter, and sprinkle with panko. It does not have to stick to all of the walls, or be perfectly even.
  3. Beat 4 eggs until bubbles start to form. Add in heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
  4. Pour mixture into mini muffin wells, filling 2/3 full.
  5. Add desired add-in ingredients (see below for ideas) to each well, distributing evenly among quiches. You can pack a fair amount of "stuff" into each one, but they should be fully immersed in the egg mixture.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.

  • Butternut Squash, Goat Cheese & Pancetta Mini Quiches
  • Add-Ins
1 cup butternut squash, cut into small cubes and roasted until soft
3-4 slices pancetta, chopped and sauteed until just slightly crispy
2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

  • Spinach, Mushroom & Caramelized Onion Mini Quiches

1 cup mushrooms, sauteed and chopped
1/3 cup caramelized onions, chopped
1/4 cup spinach, sauteed and chopped

Brown Sugar Bacon

    Good quality thick-cut bacon
    Brown sugar

  1. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with a layer of aluminum foil. Spread bacon out in a single layer over foil.
  2. Drop a large spoonful of brown sugar on top of the bacon. Using your fingers, rub the brown sugar evenly into one side of the bacon (no need to coat the bottom side). 
  3. Place baking sheet into a cold oven, and turn oven on to 400 degrees. After about 15 minutes, start checking on bacon regularly until bacon is golden brown, and just slightly crispy.
  4. Remove bacon and place on several paper towels to soak up grease. 

1 comment:

  1. Such a great afternoon. I'm definitely saving these recipes. Thanks for hosting us!