Brunch

I find brunch to be a most magical occasion.  There are an endless amount of possibilities for menus and justifications for serving almost anything for the first meal of the day.  Breakfast burgers? Sure.  Breakfast pizza? Why not?  Pastries and casseroles and cocktails and bacon.  Always bacon.

Brunch is the most glamorous of all the meals.  I believe this wholeheartedly.

Last weekend, I co-hosted a brunch with my boyfriend for some of our dear friends.  Ever since we had decided to arrange this get together, I had been daydreaming and nightdreaming and nightmaring about what I should make.  You see, I’m a bit of a planner.  Combine that quality with my food obsession and you get an explosion of research on food blogs, pinterest, and my sacred collection of cookbooks.  Twas all in good fun.  I finally settled on two savory dishes and two sweet pastries.

Our only requirement of our guests was for them to bring themselves and a cocktail to share.  We were delighted with the selection of beverages that arrived:  Beermosas, mimosas, and a sweet tea cocktail with rum.  YUM!

Below are some pictures from the brunch along with links to the recipes that I used.  I didn’t take any pictures of people because my friends are ugly and I am embarrassed of them.

ACTUALLY– I am just a fool and the thought to take pictures of the BEAUTIFUL, amazing people in my life whom I love dearly, never crossed my mind.  I’m the worst.  I assure you that people attended and that fun was had.  (Although my boyfriend and I are not above making a feast of this nature just for the two of us)

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Recipes from top to bottom:

Caramelized Onion and Bacon Quiche (I added bacon to the recipe linked here)- http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/caramelized_onion_quiche/

Chorizo and Roasted Red Pepper Strata (I switched up the flavors, but used this recipe for inspiration)-http://www.marthastewart.com/339874/strata-with-sausage-and-sun-dried-tomato

Pains au chocolathttp://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Petits-Pains-au-Chocolat-109374

Lemon Poppyseed Shortcakes- http://www.takeamegabite.com/lemon-poppy-seed-shortcakes/

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I built something…

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So, this one time, I thought it would be cool to mention how much I’ve always wanted to build something.  I made the mistake of saying this out loud to my boyfriend who actually DOES build things.  Cut to him finding projects and various tutorials for us to make over the summer.  Um… I can barely figure out what a Philip’s head screwdriver is in a crisis.  Needless to say, I was nervous.  Anyways, we settled on a really reasonable first project:

Building a bed.

You know, those things you sleep on every night and rely on for rest and comfort and is a necessity to your life.

Yeah, we built one.  With our hands.

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Day one:  We woke up early and went to Home Depot.  Now, I’m not too much of a girly girl to claim that I’ve never been inside a Home Depot before, but apparently I never noticed the THOUSANDS of square feet devoted to different types of wood that you can purchase to build things.  In case you didn’t know:  THEY HAVE WOOD THERE FOR BUILDING STUFF.  Color me surprised.

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This is me using a tool.

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After we stained the frame, I got really jazzed about this whole “building” thing.  It finally started to look like something awesome.

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This is the handsome fool who got us into this mess.

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LOOK! It is a real bed!  We slept on it and nothing collapsed!! To be completely honest, I am extremely proud of this project.  It was incredibly rewarding to start with some 4x4s and end up with a beautiful piece of furniture that we will use for years to come.  Special shout out to my man’s papa for allowing us to use his shop and tools.  We would not have been able to complete this without your help!!  A final shout out to my main squeeze for pushing us to do this.  Although your main motivation was probably to hear me squeal while using a staple gun, I thank you and love you for it.

Parson’s Chicken and Fish

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A few weeks ago, my best gals and I went to try a new restaurant in the city (Chicago).  Parson’s Chicken and  Fish is its name…can you guess what their specialty is?  You did it!  Fried Chicken and fried fish.  Now, I must warn you that it is certainly a hipster hotspot at the moment and guarantees a long wait to get in.  To put things in perspective, we were told it would be a 45 minute wait to be seated and ended up waiting over an hour for a table and an additional hour before we saw any food.  Needless to say, we were crabby, hungry, and more than a little bit drunk before any greasy goodness touched our lips.  Not the best way to start a meal at a new place.  Luckily, the food rocked our socks off and (along with the booze consumption) cleared up any ill feelings we were having at that point.  Here’s what we ate:

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Baccala Cakes (Salted cod) and Shaved vegetable salad

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Their famous fried chicken with Texas Toast and coleslaw

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Funnel cake with sweet brittle topping and vanilla cream

Parson’s is located at 2952 W. Armitage Chicago, IL 60647.

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Crab Cakes

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Ah, the crab cake.  Arguably my favorite kind of cake.  You know, until last week, I considered the crab cake to be a “restaurant food”.  Restaurant food: The kind of thing you always see on a menu and always order, but never considered making at home.  Well, I just opened Pandora’s Box because I made them at home and they were easy and freakin’ delicious.  They were not, however, easy on my pocketbook.  I guess I need to live on the East Coast and be a seafood glutton.

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My boyfriend and I justified our purchase by telling ourselves the following:

We are hungry.  Hungry for crab cakes.  Also, we deserve these crab cakes.  Why? Well, quite frankly we were really good the last time we went to JCrew and resisted buying a lot of things that looked freakin’ amazing on us.

If that’s not a reason, I don’t know what is.  YOU also deserve these crab cakes.  You would love them.  I just know it.  These babies are also versatile as they are equally as delicious in between a whole wheat bun as they are on their own.  I went the low carb route (this is literally SHOCKING news) and ate mine on its own with a side salad.  Now that I’ve provided you with enough temptation… go make these bad boys.  I promise you’ll take them out of the “restaurant food” category and put them straight into your regular meal rotation.

Here’s the recipe I used:

http://www.projectfoodie.com/spotlights/cookbooks/real-cajun.html

Enjoy!

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