October 27, 2010

Brunch With The Girls


Sometimes a girl just wants to have her friends over for brunch. And I did just that! It’s been awhile since I just relaxed with a few friends and enjoyed great conversation and lots of laughs.

Each week I do the Smart & Final grocery matchups. The deals have been so great recently, I was challenged to throw a Wine & Cheese party by only shopping at Smart & Final. But I wasn’t feeling up to the traditional wine & cheese wingding. I wanted something more intimate and where my girlfriends could feel like they were able to just chill out with some good food and good company. So I decided to do a brunch, complete with a very tasty Sangria. Smart & Final has so many choices and price ranges for wine it was easy to find a brand I like at a price that wouldn’t break the bank. So with 2 bottles of Berenger and a bottle of Barefoot vineyards, I created a refreshing and fruity Sangria that was enjoyed by all. There’s no recipe for the Sangria, really. Just 3 bottles of wine, some peach brandy and cut up fruit.

But rather than traditional ‘girl brunch’ food, I wanted to be able to incorporate the cheese theme I was given. I already had the wine part taken care of with the Sangria. So I kinda went with the Spanish theme and made Quesadillas con Camarones (Shrimp quesadillas).

But then I wanted some girly food so I made a turkey, spinach and swiss quiche. It was perfect for a brunch but was light enough so we could enjoy the other things. The quiche was served with a field greens salad with strawberries and goat cheese and a white balsamic vinaigrette. Again, light but oh so good!

I wanted some finger foods too so I prepared brie stuffed mushrooms, which are super easy to make and have that scampi-ish taste due to the butter and white wine. Yes, butter! I didn’t say this was a low-fast feast. I also made sausage stuffed mushrooms. I used turkey sausage to keep it light, and because Smart & Final had a great deal on the Jennie-O turkey sausage.

I know it doesn’t look like a lot of food, but I had plenty that I was keeping warm. The brie stuffed mushrooms and the Quesadillas con Camarones should be served warm. The quiche is actually better at room temperature or slightly cooled so the eggs can set up.

For dessert I made the classic mini cheesecakes with vanilla wafer crust. I topped them with a homemade strawberry sauce. I used the traditional vanilla wafer/cream cheese recipe and fancified it up by making my own strawberry sauce. Delish! So delish in fact that some were actually spooning extra sauce just to have sauce with every. single. bite.

If you’re wondering how to make some, or all, of these tasty dishes, that’s where I say I’m sorry. None of these had recipes. I just made them up. Sure, there was inspiration but other than the cheesecakes, I was wingin’ it. Most of them start with a basic recipe and then I doctor it up and add some of this and some of that until it tastes the way I want. And now you know why this isn’t a food blog. I learned to cook from my grandmother. And while she had shelf and shelf full of cookbooks, she rarely ever followed a recipe other than for baking. If there is really something you’re interested in, let me know and I’ll try to put together a recipe or at least give you an idea of what I did.

And how was my wine & cheese inspired brunch? It was fantastic! Not only did we have plenty of food, I had left overs for a few days. And incase you want to know, quiche tastes even better the next day. The Sangria was a hit and we all enjoyed it quite well. I had purchased some champagne should anyone wanted a mimosa, but we’ll save that for another get together. I sent guests home with the mini cheesecakes, and I still have quite a few in my refrigerator. They’re just the perfect size (even if you have 2 or 3, but who’s counting!).

I was compensated by Collective Bias for my time. All opinions are my own and were not influenced by any third party.

Image Source: Saving For Someday


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