Sunday, May 03, 2009

User Error

Do you have things in life that you just know you are meant to do? Like huge life plans... goals and dreams? (sorry, I keep talking about goals - one day I will move on... or you guys will - one or the other)

I realized one of those yesterday. Pretty big time, right? Welllll, I should confess... my achievement wasn't exactly in the realm of what most people would call a life-long dream. It was more of a 6-month long goal - but gosh darn it, I did it.

And I am now here to celebrate the little things in life, including my ability to finally throw a brunch for some of my girlfriends.

Normally having some friends over wouldn't be such a big deal. You all are surely, in fact, rolling your eyes. For whatever reason, though, for as long as I'd been dying to host a brunch, each time we tried to pull it together, something stood in our way.

Enter this fateful weekend. The stars aligned and finally, "the" brunch was here. As far as the food was concerned, while tasty and enjoyable, I wouldn't dare call it the brunch to end all brunches. The company, on the other hand... will be hard to beat.

That's not to say the food wasn't worth mentioning - it just needs some perfecting. Though, let me be clear - this 'perfecting' has nothing to do with the recipes, but rather what I like to call "user error(s)".

Since every meal needs a main dish, though this wasn't necessarily the star of the show, we enjoyed a vegetarian version of my very own cheesy strata. Turns out if you add enough flavorful (and colorful) vegetables, you don't miss the sausage in the least! We thought the combination of asparagus, mushrooms, spinach, onions and roasted red peppers, were just right.

Along with coffee, in the morning another thing I can't do without is some fresh fruit. Filling that role for our brunch was this wonderful Cantaloupe Salad with lime, mint, and ginger.

In my efforts to prepare everything ahead of time, I chopped the mint and zested the lime the night before (good thinkin', right?) - only to return to a bowl of dark green (not yet brown - phew!) mint. I will make this again and (repeat this after me) I will not prepare anything except the cantaloupe early.

And last, but oh my gosh, certainly not least... the Cinnamon Rolls (all 7-8 pans of them). If you don't know which ones "those" are, get to know them immediately. I've been dreaming of making the Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls for almost as long as I've been planning this brunch, and they didn't disappoint (although my pictures sadly did).

*note to self - this dough will rise, it will, no doubt about it, so no need to get all over-excited and let it rise like 17 times

I'll keep you all posted on my second try at these - can't decide if it'll be the original again (the perfectionist in me wants mine to look like hers) or PW's newest creation Orange-Marmalade Rolls or Deb's version of Ranch Rugelach.

(Not even remotely) close to perfect food or not, this brunch was almost as fun planning as it was 'attending'. I should have known that Mr. Brunch and I were destined for ever-lasting friendship.

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