Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I just had the best weekend. In fact, it was so good, I'm still recovering from all the goodness. Erin finally came from San Francisco, and not only that, but Erica came from Chicago, Penny and David from Portland (albeit separately), old and new friends came from Seattle, and together they came as a wonderful brunch-consuming whirlwind through my sunny Saturday apartment. I'm exhausted, but oh so happy.
In her last post, Erin wrote a little about how she and I met. I'll elaborate a little on how we took our relationship to the next level. One day, as Linda was working (read: flipping through Facebook photos), she came across a photo of Erin standing next to a large, large cake. Linda immediately G-chatted Erin:
Linda: Erin, you know that picture of you and the cake?
Linda: Did you make that cake?
The rest is, as they say, history.
We started talking about this brunch as soon as Erin booked her ticket, but the real planning didn't start until last week. It was the first time I would be making food for over 15 people, so I was nervous and unsure how much we would need. I'm not saying stressed, but yeah, some other people might be saying that. To add to the food quantity (and quality), Erin baked an amazing challah and brought it with her from San Francisco. I don't think life can get much better than friends bearing freshly baked bread flying in to visit you.
I started baking in earnest on Friday night, but then, as Erica and I were mixing cookie batter, the unthinkable happened: my electric hand mixer broke. I still had plans to make frosting, cupcakes, and about a million other things, but without an electric mixer, I was lost. Luckily, Erin and David arrived soon after and we were forced to leave the apartment and have fun. But come Saturday morning, I ran to Sur la Table, came out clutching a new parsley green hand mixer, and rushed passed on-lookers with a look of determination that said, Yes, indeed my oven is still going upstairs.
Here's my new mixer in action.
You might be wondering why I don't have a stand mixer. You wouldn't be the only one. This weekend, I had the good fortune to invite fellow food blogger, Judy, of the fabulous Domestic Goddess Adventures blog. She came and gave me a good talking-to about the merits of a stand mixer. And she has the credentials to back it up: she makes swiss meringue buttercream like some people boil eggs, and I shamelessly stole one of her recipes for this brunch. And yes, my arm was getting a little sore from the hand mixer.
What am I waiting for? Well, it could be that I'm just waiting to meet a music composing food loving New Yorker who falls in love with me through my blog and then mails me a vintage KitchenAid mixer he found in Manhattan as a courtship gift. Or it could be my new found fear of accumulating more and more stuff (seriously what is the upper limit here?). Or it could be that I'm waiting for the moment I find $300 to coincide with a Macy's home sale. We will have to see.
After a lovely Saturday morning of cooking and baking, people started filtering in around 11, and the last left after five. We, of the apartment, ate through it all. Karman had the first crack at the french toast, and the image of him, clutching his plate of french toast, sputtering to find words with which to compliment Erin in between big joyful bites still cracks me up. Some people claim to have gotten a little tipsy from four+ mimosas. I was so busy eating and forcing everyone else to eat that I utterly forgot to take enough pictures. But even without picture proof, I think everyone had a good time.
Anyway, because of the mixer hiccup, I didn't get to make as much food as I initially intended. But as it turns out, as much food as I initially intended would have been utterly ridiculous, so it must be that all things happen for a reason.
Here's the menu we ended up with:
red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
brown butter pumpkin cupcakes with salted caramel swiss meringue buttercream
apple spice cupcakes with salted caramel swiss meringue buttercream
cinnamon french toast made from homemade challah
salmon cream cheese handpies
toffee apple upsidedown cake
leek and purple potato pie
orzo salad with arugula, basil and cherries
zucchini bread, courtesy of Holly
cheddar scones, courtesy of Penny
fruit salad, courtesy of Erika
two quiches, courtesy of Nick
fresh whipped cream
mimosas, courtesy of Holly and Zach
Erica and I counted, and it seems that with all the comings and goings, the food ended up feeding 18 people. But after everyone left, there was still plenty! We ended up munching on it throughout the evening festivities and it still served as the base for a large breakfast spread the following morning.
It was a lot of food. And people seemed to like it enough. The french toast was incredible, and I can't wait to try the challah myself. The salmon handpies were popular, but I personally loved the brown butter in the pumpkin cupcakes. The apple galette recipe is one I stole from smitten kitchen, and the leek and potato pie a sort of last minute invention to use up some purple potatoes Penny gave me.
After everyone left Sunday, I got hit by a big bout of lazy that must have been lurking in my closet. Good thing I still have leftovers. But I promise to emerge from my listless couch-bound state soon to post some of these recipes!
There's talk of a San Francisco weekend in the future. I can't imagine anything better.
Posted by Linda at 11:15 AM