STOP! have you entered my Maybelline giveaway yet? And have you seen my cookies on Part 1 of the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap Recipe Roundup? OK, now you can move on 🙂
‘Tis the season for holiday events – and I love it! Family, friends, food, drink, music, decor…I could go on and on. So far this holiday, I’ve been lucky enough to attend both a fancy Winter Festival at a banquet hall and a cozy, intimate holiday brunch at a blogger buddy‘s apartment!
My fellow marketing/fitness/foodie nerd friend, Alexis, and I.
My mom and I accompanied my dad to his holiday work party as his “+1s”. I was more than happy to oblige! I started the evening off with a couple glasses of Cabernet. There were apps set out, but I was too busy chatting and wine-ing to really notice them! By the time it was our turn to approach the Italian buffet line, I was totally starved (we were one of the last tables sent up). The food was worth the wait, though. For a banquet hall, Maneeley’s of South Windsor did a pretty good job!
Your basic salad.
Steamed veggies (not too much butter either!)
Mmm potato starch.
My plate! The meat is Chicken Marsala, but it looked too ugly in the tray for a pic.
I enjoyed hanging out with Alexis, my parents, and their friends. I met a lot of great people and even handed out a few cards – hello to any new readers from Winter Fest!
The mom and I.
In the same weekend (I know, right, how lucky am I?) I got to attend a holiday Sunday brunch hosted by Bethany of More Fruit Please. I walked into her apartment and was immediately in awe of how well-decorated and organized it is.
A coordinated Christmas tree greeted me when I stepped inside.
Fabulous coffee and tea "station"!
Adorable foyer table arrangement.
I spy Jennifer!
Bethany draws her decor inspiration from Pinterest, of course! And no, I have not yet caved and signed up.
In love with this concept. Each heart is a place she's lived!
As a cinnamon freak, I have much love for this candle.
To continue the cinnamon love, I had the best tea I’ve ever had. No joke – thank you Trader Joe’s for making this cinnamon and vanilla black tea! I made two teabags last through about three mugfuls of hot water. Has anyone else tried this?
Bethany and some of her awesome friends worked away in the kitchen. I swear I offered some help! 😛 Bethany was running all over the place, and I was and still am in awe of her hostess skills!
Potatoes and veggies for quiche getting some saute action.
A quiche setting, just after coming out of the oven.
Some appetizers were set out for munching. I eventually could wait no longer and had to dive into Bethany’s to-die-for sun-dried tomato olive tapenade with Stacy’s pita chips. Make this for your next party. Immediately.
Also available to tide us over until meal time: assorted cookies and pretzels, some of which I contributed from my Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap stash, and a beautiful Harvest Loaf baked by an amazing, spunky fashion blogger I met at the brunch, Lydia. Check out her fashion blog – it’s awesome!
My mug is too the left – I loved all of Bethany's mugs! My plate of cookies is the red one.
Harvest Loaf ready for slicing!
Soon, brunch was ready! Mimosas were poured, but I sat out since I was still feeling the half bottle of wine I’d had the night before…
Oops, looks like pouring led to a little spillage.
Bethany’s dining table was transformed into a Sunday smorgasbord (I needed spellcheck on that one).
The tree is just too much – I LOVE IT.
A little tour of the table for you…
Fruit salad (with kiwi – YES) and honey yogurt dip.
Broc, tomato, and pesto quiche.
Turkey sausage and potato quiche.
Whole wheat blackberry-lemon and apple scones from Jennifer.
Plain, chocolate, and almond croissants from La Petit France of West Hartford.
"Carb tower" all together (bagels and yoga bread from Bethany on bottom).
Apple butter and cranberry orange cream cheese spreads for bread. How cute are the spreaders?!
I wanted to try as much as possible! I filled my first plate with a plain croissant, half an apple scone, slice of veggie quiche with reduced sugar ketchup, and fruit salad with yogurt dip.
Plate one of two. Very hard to be patient enough to take pics before diving in.
The scone was wonderful (I don’t care what you say Jennifer!) and so was the dip. But the real stars were the croissant, which was so authentic-tasting, and the quiche, which was MADE thanks to the pesto.
Dying over the plate. Dying of cuteness the entire brunch.
After finishing this plate, I went back for a slice of the turkey sausage and potato quiche. The veggie quiche was still my favorite because the pesto biases me, but the meat and potato quiche was fantastic as well. Perfectly cooked!
After writing this post, I am now ready to eat my entire fridge. I want to go back and re-taste everything! Thank you Bethany for being an amazing hostess, cook, and home decorator 😉
Which component of the brunch would you most want to try? What would you have seconds of?