I know I’ve been terrible at blogging recently, and the list just keeps growing of recipes, restaurants, and food excitement that I want to share! We moved in mid-April, so life was a bit crazy around that time with building dressers, stringing out getting our things over to the new place, etc. I also started and finished my first grad school class, which was very exciting — though I had forgotten how much time homework takes out of life!
Yes, it is true. While we do still live in Arlington, we no longer live on an eleventh floor. Some have asked what this means for the blog name, and my answer is that I’m planning to keep the same title for now! I think it still does a good job of capturing the high rise nature of Arlington… and maybe I don’t have to be fearful of any blog-haters tracking me down now that they won’t know what floor we live on. :)
Summer is beginning, which means it is hard to coordinate schedules when people have vacation plans and exceptionally thriving social lives during this time of year. One great solution I’ve found is to have friends over for brunch instead of dinner! It’s a lovely way to start the day, and I’m going to share with you some ways to make it lazy for the host too–mostly thanks to smitten kitchen.
1.) Appetizer – Freshly popped popcorn (from kernels) with olive oil and sea salt
2.) Drinks – OJ, Champagne (for Mimosas), Tequila (for Tequila Sunrises), Coffee, Creamer, Bailey’s
3.) Main Course – Spinach and Cheese Strata
4.) Main Course – Baked French Toast
5.) Side – Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus
6.) Side – Yogurt & Fruit (can also be used as topping for french toast)
First, you need a sign… for your friends to laugh at and say “did you do that for us?” It might be cheesy, but we all love it. I also like to prominently display all of the glasses, champagne, and OJ. Pretty and functional. For the OJ, I just sliced up oranges to put decoratively in a pitcher filled with store-bought juice.
As I mentioned, I made ALL of this food the night before! You can wrap the asparagus in bacon, put the toothpicks in, and cover the pan in plastic wrap to refrigerate overnight.
The recipes for the two main courses can be found at smitten kitchen: Spinach and Cheese Strata and Boozy Baked French Toast. I used Bailey’s in the French toast, along with dried cranberries, dried apricots, and nuts. I made so much French toast that I actually brought a large platter to a grill-out party later that night. Though I was a bit insecure about how well French toast would fit in with hot dogs and hamburgers, it was all gone by the end of the night! These recipes are seriously incredible.
The yogurt bar was an easy spread to throw together too. I even washed the fruit and put everything in bowls ahead of time–though I sliced the bananas right before everyone came. This served as a light accompaniment to the heavy dishes on the rest of everyone’s plates. I did not especially love Dannon’s Greek yogurt, I must say. Trader Joe’s actually has very delicious Greek yogurt at a reasonable price! Alas, I shopped for this party at Giant.