Over the holiday season, we had a lot of family in town from Ireland, and while their trip seemed to fly by, we had a few fun get-togethers while they were here. We were most excited to have everyone over our new house for sledding. We live behind a park that kids come from all over to sled in. We bought our own sled when we moved in, and we were very excited when we nailed down an afternoon for our nieces and nephew to come over to sled.
First, there were a few runs down the hill. Running up was a bit more difficult, but I swear I am going to get back in shape someday soon. . .
Then there was brunch! Brunch is one of my favorite meals, but it’s not a thing in Ireland. I explained that Americans love it because booze + breakfast. It just makes sense.
On our brunch menu:
Cinnamon Brioche Baked French Toast
Canadian bacon, regular bacon, and sausage patties
Jam-Filled Sugar Cookies
Irish Whiskey Chocolate Cake
Carrots with Hummus and Pesto Cream
Hot Chocolate, Sparkling Wine, Orange Juice, White Wine, Red Wine, Beer
Brunch is a great meal because there is so much you can prep in advance. I got the Baked French Toast ready the night before. This is such a simple recipe, and one I sort of eyeball: brioche, cinnamon, vanilla, cream, and eggs. They soak overnight, and when it’s time to bake, they bake at 325 until the egg mixture is set.
The biggest plus? Our home smelled wonderful and cinnamon-y while it was baking.
The spread included cookies from our new neighborhood bakery, Sweet Life Bakery, which we absolutely love. Great coffee, decadent cupcakes, and fresh bread!
My Irish Whiskey Chocolate Cake was also part of the spread, along with fresh whipped cream. Shots of whiskey on the side were optional. Hey, it’s brunch.
The family is definitely made up of carnivores, so a pile of meat was necessary. The kids especially went for the bacon.
And, of course, there was sparkling wine. I know mimosas are brunch staples, and I did have them available, but for me a glass of bubbly all alone is best. We bought a ton of Freixenet Carta Nevada on sale at Bin Ends, and we LOVE this wine. We got it for $6 a bottle, yet it is full of fine persistent bubbles, citrus and stone fruit flavor, and a nice bit of body. It’s a delicious, fresh great value wine. I would highly recommend it for brunch or any other time of day. For some reason, snowy days and bubbly just work together.
Everyone really seemed to enjoy brunch, and it made us extremely happy to have a full house for the first time in our new home. I tend to get anxious about cooking for large groups, but this success made me want to do it more.
Do you like to entertain at home? What’s your favorite/go-to meal or menu?