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Brunch Housewarming Party

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A year ago, I made the huge leap into adulthood and bought a condo. It was a terrifying experience, having to make such a snap decision on something so important and so expensive (damn you, crazy-fast D.C. real estate market; bless you, my lovely, calming, brilliant realtor).

A month into glorious homeownership, with a housewarming party on friends’ Google calendars and planning fully in the works, I quickly discovered the very worst part of owning a place: When everything freaking breaks. And you have to fix it yourself.

Ah, yes. Those of you who know me at all certainly know of the Great Air Conditioning Disaster of 2012: When my air conditioner practically exploded during, of course, the hottest month of the summer. Leaving post-purchase penniless Becca stuck in the heat for months. Yes, months.

Housewarming party promptly canceled. Pennies scrimped and saved. HVAC replaced when the snow was threatening (I don’t care about sweating, but I’m not going to freeze to death, people). Traded in useless car for kitchen appliances. Painted a bit.

OK, now we’re ready to party. So, finally, a year after moving in, I was ready to celebrate my housewarming. I invited my dearest loves who had been with me through the worst of it (and a few Babies Who Brunch) over for a Saturday boozy brunch. I was going to cook (shocker!), with a bit of help from my bestie, Brooke.

Brunch Party

On the menu? Strawberry bruschetta, dijon ham and asparagus croissants, mini frittatas, brown-sugar bacon, and the piece de resistance—baked egg boats. Plus, plenty of champagne with frozen fruit.

When people arrived, they told me they could smell bacon as soon as they walked into my building. And that, my friends, is simply glorious—a much better smell than burning, leaking HVAC or wet paint.

Here are the recipes for your very own brunch party.

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Strawberry Bruschetta

Brunch Party

Ingredients:
– 1 cup strawberries, hulled and diced
– 1 tbsp. sugar
– 1 French baguette, sliced on a bias
– 4 oz. goat cheese
– 1 tbsp. olive oil
– 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
– ¼ cup minced basil leaves
– freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:
1. Combine the strawberries and sugar in a small bowl; toss to combine.

2. Let the berries macerate for about 30 minutes so that they begin to release their juices.

3. Spread a thin layer of goat cheese on top of each baguette slice.

4. Top each slice with spoonfuls of the strawberry mixture.

5. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

6. Top each slice with the basil leaves and cracked pepper to taste.

Dijon Ham & Asparagus Croissants

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Ingredients
– 16 asparagus spears, cut down to about 3 1/2-inches with the head
– 1 (8 oz.) package refrigerated crescent rolls
– 1-2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
– 16 thin slices of ham

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Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone liner.

2. Place the asparagus in a covered casserole dish. Add water until just covering the asparagus. Cover and microwave on high for 2 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, separate the crescent roll dough into 8 triangles and lay flat on the baking sheet. Spread a thin layer of the mustard on each triangle.

4. Drain the asparagus. Wrap two spears together in two slices of ham, then place at the wide end of a dough triangle and roll up the dough. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until slightly golden brown. Serve warm.

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Mini Frittatas

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Ingredients:
10 large eggs
– 1/2 cup cooked Mexican chorizo
– 1 cup spinach, finely chopped
– 1 leek, sliced lengthwise (green parts discarded) and thinly sliced into half moons
– 1 cup shredded mozzarella
– 1 pinch coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
– 1 tbsp. fresh oregano

Instructions:
1. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

2. Heat a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil in a medium skillet and add the leeks.

3. Season lightly with salt and pepper and saute until slightly browned, 3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

4. To the pan, add the chorizo and cook until until it’s softened, 5 minutes.

5. Pour the eggs into a non-stick muffin tin.

6. Sprinkle the leeks evenly into each eggy mixture.

7. Followed by a good dollop of the chorizo.

8. Go ahead and throw that spinach in there too.

9. It would be wise to sprinkle some cheese and oregano on top of each frittata.

10. Throw the whole thing into an oven, preheated to 375.

11. Bake for about 10 minutes, checking at the 8-minute mark. They should be puffed up and set in the middle.

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Baked Egg Boats

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Ingredients:
4 demi sourdough baguettes (I used ciabatta!)
– 5 eggs
– 1/3 cup heavy cream
– 4 oz. pancetta, finely chopped and fried until crisp
– 3 oz. gruyere cheese, grated
– 2 green onions, thinly sliced
– salt and pepper to taste

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Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
2. Cut a deep “V” through the tops of each baguette until about a 1/2 inch to the bottom. Partially unstuff the baguettes. Set aside.
3. Place the eggs and cream into a mixing bowl and lightly beat together. Whisk in the remaining ingredients and lightly season with salt and pepper.
4. Divide and pour the mixture into each baguette boat and place onto a baking sheet.
5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown, puffed and set in the center. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes, cut and serve.

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Brunch Party

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