I am going to tell you a secret, a big secret. I am a southern girl through and through. I love entertaining, I believe in well kept homes, and I can't even describe how much I love a thank you note. Although I am a pretty domestic lady, I don't love cooking. There, I said it.
I am not saying that I CAN"T cook (The Mister might disagree), but it doesn't come naturally to me. Honestly, it stresses me out. I am in awe of women like Emily, who can waltz into their kitchens and whip up something delicious, while making it look like a breeze. Multi-tasking is not my strong suit, and when I am putting together a meal, it is almost humorous. Fires have started on multiple occasions (I don't understand flash point), and we haven't gone through a full week without a pot boiling over onto the floor.
The worst thing for me is trying to multi-task in the kitchen when we have company. I'm an extravert and I can't ever seem to find the balance between talking to people and getting a meal done. When we entertain, It's usually 9 PM by the time my meal gets set on the table.
The problem is that I enjoy food, and I love breaking bread with friends. Because I love entertaining and having people at my house, I have had to figure out some solutions to help me in the kitchen. One thing that I have come to accept is that people really love to bring something when they are invited to a meal. It feels weird for people to come to dinner empty handed, and I have actually had friends and family beg me to tell them what they can bring. It has helped me greatly to create the main course, and rely on my guests to brings sides. It takes the edge off, and I find myself able to enjoy my company, rather than multi-tasking between different dishes on my stovetop.
A couple of week's ago, I decided to have a brunch with the ladies at my house. Knowing my deficit in the kitchen, I turned it into a recipe sharing brunch. Each of the girls created a side dish or drink to go with my main dish. It worked out perfectly, and I found myself able to enjoy our time together, rather than stressing in the kitchen.
When I told the gals my idea, I secretly hoped that Claire would bring her famous bloody mary cocktail. We actually had blood mary night in college, and her concoction was amazing.
No brunch is complete without mimosas...
Here are the recipes from our special time together:
Claire's Bloody Mary's:
- Clamato, 32 Oz. Jar
- Vodka (we love Chilled Dill's Pickled Vodka)
- 1 Tsp. Celery Salt
- 2 Tsp. Celery Seed
- 1/2 Tsp. Coarse Black Pepper
- 1 Tsp. Horseradish
- 8-10 Drops of Tabasco
- 2 Splashes of Worcestershire Sauce
- Fun Extras: Bacon, Celery, Pickles, Pickled Ocra, Lemon, Lime
- Pour out Clamato to the shoulder of the jar.
- Add celery, salt, celery seed, black pepper, horseradish, Tabasco, and Worcestershire to jar
- Top off the jar with Vodka of choice
- Shake and refrigerate
- Serve on the rocks with a stick of celery in the glass. If you really want to wow everyone add stick and serve in the glass. A wedge of lemon or lime is also a great addition.
Emily's Endive Boats:
- 4 endives, cleaned, leaves placed on plate
- handful shredded carrot
- jicama shredded (same amount as carrot)
- beet, sliced same size as carrot
- cilantro leaves
- 2 Tbs. honey
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 Tbs. soy sauce
- 1/2 Tsp. grated ginger
- Toss carrot and jicama with dressing, let marinade for at least 20 minutes. Place carrot and jicama mix in individual endive boats, top with beets, and cilantro leaf.
Abigail's Sausage, Egg, and Croissant Casserole with Gruyere Cheese:
- 1 lb. Hot Ground Pork Sausage
1 Tsp. Salt
- 6 Green Onions, Minced
- 1 Pack Mini Croissants (24), torn
- Cooking Spray
- 3 Cups Milk
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 5 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 Cups (8 oz.) Shredded Gruyere Cheese
- 1 1/4 Cups (5 oz.) Shredded Parmesan Cheese
- Cook sausage 8 minutes in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring to crumble. Toss together sausage, Parmesan, salt, green onions, and torn croissants; arrange in a 13x9 baking dish coated with cooking spray.
- Whisk together milk, heavy cream, and eggs; pour over sausage mixture. Cover and chill 8 hours.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Uncover casserole and sprinkle with Gruyere. Bake 45 minutes or until golden. Let stand for 10 minutes
Alicia's Raspberry Cream Cheese Danish
- 1 puff pastry sheet, thawed (10 minutes on counter)
- 4 oz. cream cheese
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 Tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 Tbs. heavy cream
- 2 Tbs. raspberry jam
- 1 egg + 1 Tbs. water
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 cups milk
- 1/4 Tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- In a bow, use an electric mixer to beat the sugar and cream cheese. Add heavy cream and vanilla and mix until smooth.
- Unfold pastry and cut on creases (3 pieces), then cut those in half (6 pieces), then cut those into 4's (24 pieces).
- With a sharp knife, score an inner rectangle (be careful not to cut through the dough). Add a teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture. Top with a little jam and swirl together.
- Take egg and water and make an egg wash. Rub on the outside of the pastry.
- Bake 13-14 minutes or until golden.
- Whisk powdered sugar and milk. Use whisk to sprinkle or a Ziplock bag to drizzle.