Day 85: A Midweek (Almost-Spring) Brunch Party!
It's not (quite) spring yet, but I'm definitely already in the mood. I've been buying myself bunches of tulips every week from my local bodega to help me make it through these last frigid, slushy days of winter. But recently I did something especially fun to help shake off the midwinter blues: I threw a girly midweek brunch party!
The occasion was my dear friend Chrissy's birthday. When I asked her what sort of party she wanted to have, she said she wanted 3 things: "brunch, babies, and bubbly." (Classic Chrissy response!) Given that her birthday was on a weekday, I knew that finding a restaurant that served brunch – not to mention one that was baby-friendly – would be challenging. So I decided to just have it at my place. Which, of course, I loved.
A little back-story: Chrissy and I went to college together in the tiny town of Grove City, Pennsylvania, but we both had our sights set on New York City. My senior year (her junior), we met for lunch once a week to dream together and plan out our future careers in NYC. She's always loved fashion, so she decided she'd move to the city and work for Ralph Lauren, and I decided I'd write for food and travel magazines. We dreamed about the apartments we'd have and the exciting things we'd do. It's crazy that 12 years later, here we are, both in NYC, living our dreams. (She no longer works for RL, but she did for many years, just as she predicted.) Funny enough, several of our good friends from college now live in NYC as well – I feel blessed to have such long-term friendships in my life, even in a transient place like New York City.
So back to brunch. I wanted the feel to be casual, but elegant, so I made a simple bouquet of cream roses and green hydrangeas for the table, and my requisite pink-and-white striped tulips on the bar. I put out my Champagne flutes and a few bottles of bubbly on ice, along with a small pitcher of fresh-squeezed blood orange juice, so everyone could make blood orange mimosas (my favorite!). I also made a carafe of coffee.
For food, I had everything prepped pretty well ahead: I made a flourless chocolate cake with raspberry coulis the day before, prepped all the ingredients for mini goat cheese frittatas with spinach and roasted tomatoes, and measured out the ingredients for Parmesan-rosemary biscuits. The morning of, I baked the biscuits and the frittatas, made sandwiches out of the biscuits with fig jam and Prosciutto, and tossed together an arugula salad with blood oranges, fennel, and ricotta salata. The music? Jazz, obviously!
Everyone arrived around 1 pm, babies in tow, and we spent the next few hours just eating, drinking, and catching up (as girls love to do!). It was such a fun afternoon - even more for the fact that it happened to be midweek. (Crazy that everyone has flexible enough work schedules to be able to pull this off...) Seeing my apartment full of people is one of my favorite things in the world, so my heart was overflowing after this special day. And getting to celebrate my dear friend was icing on the cake.
*Stay tuned tomorrow for all of the brunch recipes!!