I wanted to start off the new year with my closest friends and what better reason to host a party! It’s been quite a while since I’ve planned any sort of get together and lately, I’ve been re-inspired to plan. Usually I wait for a special occasion but I’ve learned that sometimes there’s no reason to celebrate but life itself and that’s my motto for 2015 – to celebrate every day.
I kicked off brunch with an omelette bar. Everyone chose their ingredients and omelettes their way. It was a quick and easy way to whip something up hot and fresh off the grill. We had onions, mushrooms and peppers. You could add as many or as little toppings as you’d like. I kept mine simple since there were only four of us. To drink, we had mimosas, hence the bubbly bar banner. I didn’t get to set them up so I kept the drinks in the fridge to keep them cold. If you have an ice bucket, you can easily leave the drinks out and serve. I also had a non-alcoholic alternative to the champagne for the light drinkers – Perrier water mixed with cranberry juice and a slice of lime. Yum!
I put together my first cheese platter with a few of my favorites – Barely Buzzed, Gruyere, Drunken Goat Cheese and Honey Baked Brie (just drizzle honey over your brie of choice and pop it in the oven for 10 minutes, it’s well worth it!). To garnish the spread I added some items for color and texture: – Green Seedless Grapes – Crackers – Vosges Chocolates (Hickory Smoked Uncured Bacon & Hickory Smoked Almonds and Sea Salt) – Mixed Nuts – Jams (Strawberry Balsamic & Fig) – Apple Slices drizzled with lemon juice (one of my favorite ways to eat apples, the lemon adds a bit of tartness but it’s refreshing and also keeps the apple from browning too quickly). – On the side, I had strawberries and bananas to add some fruits to our “diet”. And no party is complete with some sweets, I got raspberry filled treats from WholeFoods that look and taste great. They’re also not too sweet, so they’re perfect for snacking too.
We chatted over mimosas and the cheese platter. Then it was time to bring out the bruschetta. I pre-made the tomato mix and had it stored and marinating in the fridge. Having fresh bread and heating it over butter makes a delicious difference, so if you have a baguette/French bread on hand, USE it. It smells great too. And try these on your tomato naysayers – it might just change their mind about tomatoes because that just happened to one of my friends!
Christmas was last week but when I planned the brunch, I knew we’d still have our tree up so I thought, why not start a tradition? And who better to start it with than my closest friends. I had my friends each bring an ornament to add to our tree – anything that represented them or something that reminded them of my husband and I. This first year was a success! I am absolutely swooning over the ornaments we received – a handmade snowman and a glass camera. My friend that made the snowman also made that beautiful handmade card next to it. And the camera symbolizes my husband and I perfectly – we’re always snapping photos at events. It’s only the start to the stories we’ll tell with each ornament we receive.
I can’t wait to get friends together again for next year’s holiday party! Cheers to an exciting 2015 and hosting more get togethers!