So this is REALLY overdue but I wanted to share some photos from our housewarming celebration in November! We had a lovely, small gathering of about 12 friends for brunch on a Sunday. It was really an awesome day! I never entertained more than about 2 – 4 people at a time at my old apartment. It was really small and the kitchen was rough for cooking large meals. With the new apartment being bigger (with a super boss kitchen) I couldn’t wait to get a bigger group together for an afternoon of eating, drinking, football watching, and chatting 🙂
Let’s talk about the most important part though… the food! I wanted to make a “fall inspired salad” so I went hunting around the internet. Interestingly enough, I found this great recipe on the Weight Watchers website. I made several tweaks but used their recipe as my base. I splurged a little and bought pre-cut butternut squash because there are few things that are MORE worth it. Butternut squash is delicious but it is like the demon vegetable. I have almost sliced off a finger, stabbed my cat, and broken up with Mike while attempting to cut / peel a butternut squash. Pre-cut is the way to go! I roasted it in the oven with a ton of rosemary and some olive oil and salt.
I added some additional vegetables to the salad because we had them on hand and I love salads that are loaded with lots of veggies. I included cherry tomatoes, broccoli, and cucumber. Fig spent the majority of the morning in the sink. I’m not really sure why, he’s totally fascinated with the sink. How cute does he look here???
The dressing in the recipe called for apricot preserves but I decided against them. I had to buy a whole jar of something, might as well make it something we’ll actually use (apricot preserves… seriously? bleh) TJ’s honey apple butter had a similar sweet / fruity taste, and it’s delicious on toast with peanut butter or stirred into oatmeal. I had to add a lot more apple butter and rice vinegar to the recipe to make enough dressing for all the shallots in there. Instead of adding walnuts, I used a pre-mixed bag of rosemary seasoned pecans and cranberries. Kept with the theme of the salad very well and it was WAY cheaper than buying a bag of walnuts.
All mixed up and ready to go w/ dressing on the side!
I also wanted to include some kind of egg dish because, to me, brunch is not complete without eggs. I decided on a veggie egg casserole. I used this recipe for inspiration. but made some changes. I used TJ’s mini sweet peppers, vidalia onion, a bad of frozen broccoli, and a bag of frozen spinach.
I also added a couple sweet basil pesto chicken sausages we had in the refrigerator.
And OF course a healthy serving of cheese on top! This recipe was a huge success. I used a TON of eggs (like 18 eggs) but it was a super easy way to make eggs for a big group.
Anddd at Mike’s request we also served TJ’s pumpkin pancakes. This mix is so good… we are stockpiling it like it’s the freaking apocalypse. I think we currently have 3 boxes of it. Making pancakes for this many people was definitely hard, but Mike was a master pancake flipper.
Perhaps my favorite part of the day was that I FINALLY got a chance to use my Grandmother’s china. I have had for the past 2.5 years and I have never used it. It just sits in my china cabinet! I was thrilled to have an opportunity to use it.
Then it came time to set up the drink bar! We served bloody marys and mimosas, which ended up looking great! Plus, we got to use all this stuff we never use… like pitchers and an ice bucket! I should totally use pitchers more… they rock. We made the bloodys make-you-0wn style so people could control the heat. Mike basically dumped half a bottle of hot sauce in his 🙂
Food was served buffet style, which was perfect! We all just sat around eating, drinking… and well… being merry! My friend Haley was kind enough to bring Cake Love cupcakes which were a HUGE hit.
I loved having the chance to have friends at our house! When can we do it again??