Monday, December 19, 2011

Annual Holiday Brunch

Two weekends ago, I reluctantly hosted my annual "Preppy in the Pantry" holiday brunch, an event that started looooong before Preppy in the Pantry ever became a blog. In fact, I've been doing it for so long I've had too many mimosas to count the years this party has been happening. 

My former roommate and I lived in a duplex apartment in Hoboken, NJ with an awesome banister staircase that came into the center of our living room, which was naturally the perfect place to hang evergreen garland and twinkle lights. To cut costs, we decided to buy a bunch of pink grosgrain ribbon to tie around the garland, rather than purchase ornaments which we would then have to find a place to store. And thus, our preppy-themed Christmas was born. 

In order to showcase our decorative talents, we decide to host the preppiest holiday party we could think of: brunch. We mixed bloody mary's and mimosas. Fried lots and lots of bacon. And baked these egg cups which, ahem, some people may have eaten more than there fair share of (I won't name names but you know who you are). My roommate and I have since parted ways, but still remain close. She bought a place of her own and adopted a pup and I moved myself (okay, my parents and movers helped) across the river to the big city but decided to continue the holiday brunch tradition. The menu has changed over the years, along with the guest list, and I'm sure in the future the location will change once again. But to think that I almost didn't throw the party due to the busy nature of this particular holiday season is something, well...I just don't even want to think about! 

I decided to host this party on a Sunday rather than my usual Saturday affairs. This ensured that people wouldn't stay so long that they slept over (yes, it's happened before. At a BRUNCH party no less) and also gave me a little more time to prep. However, hosting it on a Sunday meant I would have to pull it off while weathering the effects of the holiday party hopping I had done the night before. Aside from a nasty burn on my stomach (don't cook in your underpinnings or this will happen. I, uh, heard this from a friend) the careful planning I had done beforehand ensured an enjoyable and successful party for both me and my guests. Here are a few snapshots from the affair:

I used my sink to set up a bloody Mary and mimosa bar. In tiny NYC apartments, you have to get creative with your use of space.

A "make you own" coffee and liqueur bar, a necessary evil for those feeling equally as weary as I was that morning. I actually bought a Starbucks traveler pouch of coffee from my neighborhood Starbs since I don't drink all that much coffee and I don't keep anything more than a small French press in my home. The traveler pouch kept the coffee hot for almost the entire party. Starbucks didn't ask me to say that, I just thought you'd want to know. 

I served the brunch buffet style from pink and green serving dishes. Here you see rum-spiked fruit salad and these little beauties from the Pioneer Woman. Which are so tasty I will probably make them for Christmas. And then again for New Year's. And then again for...the Ides of March? No? Well, you get the idea. The poinsettia was a hostess gift from The W's. Surprisingly, I've managed to keep it alive for over a week now. 

I'm pretty sure the smile on (the real) Ari Gold(en)'s face indicates he knows the Giants are going to beat the Cowboys later that evening. Either that or he just enjoyed some bacon-wrapped sausage. Tough to tell. 

Mrs. W is busy grilling Ari for great guy gift ideas for Mr. W, who is not pictured and just happens to be sitting across from them. And people say there are no surprises anymore!

My high school pals who traveled in from the suburbs (and one from Scotland!) and never pass up the chance for egg cups!

Sidebar: These photos have made me realize that maybe after three years of living in the same apartment it might be time to stop living like a gypsy and hang a picture or two on the walls. It's just an idea I'm going to throw out there. Not going to make any big commitments just yet. 

Many of the recipes I didn't link to came from Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication "Holiday Recipes: 202 New & Traditional Recipes". If you see one on your newsstand be sure to snatch it up. It has some many wonderful holiday recipes and tips! Hopefully I'll have time in the next day or two to post the recipe for my Rum-Raisin Cinnamon Roll Bake just in time for the holidays!


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  2. The ice in the sink is such an awesome idea!! I'll have to keep that in mind :)

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  4. Pleased to know about this information on annual holiday brunch. Couple of months ago, arranged a brunch party on my birthday at one of amazing Los Angeles event venues. The caterer we had hired prepared delicious food and all savored it.