Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Brunch Reflections and a Recipe

Two weeks ago, I hosted a brunch for my eight closest girlfriends to celebrate the arrival of spring. Though the heat forced us to relocate to a shadier spot in my backyard (imagine all nine of us lifting and transporting a giant, marble-top table 20 paces to the left), we were still able to enjoy the warm breeze, smell of orange blossoms in the air and the massive cheese plate that I had laid out for my dairy-loving friends. As the sun moved westward and we digested the copious mimosas we consumed, we laid out blankets on the grass and got started assembling flower crowns out of the blooms and tools set up for my guests.

The only picture of the day. I suck.




But while I love hostessing and providing a nice spread for my favorite people, I learned a valuable lesson: nothing is more important than being present at your own party. Between running to-and-from the kitchen to check on my spinach and feta frittata to making sure the champagne wasn't getting warm in the sun, I feel like I missed out on all of the good conversations and fellowship that took place at the table. After feeling like a failure for the next week, I came to the conclusion that you can't please everyone as a hostess. Next time, I promise to place more value on enjoying my guests and actually tasting the food I prepared. Have you ever been disappointed after an event you had been planning for a while? How did you deal with it? I hope my next event (currently planning a backyard movie night for the upcoming summer nights) will prove to be more successful for both me and my guests.

One of my favorite recipes of the day was the orange marmalade-glazed baked French toast that I decided to recreate this past weekend. I mean. Drool. I combined the best parts of two recipes and baked what was possibly the best brunch dish ever.

Orange Marmalade-glazed Baked French Toast



Ingredients
  • 1 French baguette, day old
  • Butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • Pinch of salt
  • Orange marmalade
Recipe
  1. Trim ends off of baguette and slice remaining loaf in half lengthwise.
  2. Cut into 4-inch slices and place cut-side up in casserole dish (do not overlap). Butter each piece.
  3. Whisk the eggs. Add milk, vanilla extract, orange juice/zest, and salt until foamy.
  4. Pour over bread. Flip pieces around every 10 minutes to make sure both sides have soaked up the liquid.
  5. Leave in liquid for about 30 minutes total. You want the bread to be wet, but not soggy. 
  6. Bake until the bread is puffed up and golden (30-40 minutes).
  7. Remove from oven and spread with orange marmalade. I heated it up in the microwave for 30 seconds and spread a thin layer for a hint of sweet citrus.
  8. Return to oven and broil until caramelized and sticky.
  9. Serve warm.









1 comment:

Merci beaucoup!