Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Sweet Life

It was quite possibly one of the most fully beautiful weekends I can remember. Low humidity, hovering around 72 and sunny. When I woke up Saturday morning, I may have done a little shimmy shimmy shake in bed because I had big outdoor plans.

Hosting brunch in the garden for girlfriends. And not just any girlfriends...blogfriends. That's right loves, Alexa from Cleveland's A Plumb was in town and never was there ever a better reason to get some of the femmes d'internet around the picnic table!

Elle Michelle came around first with a bouquet of dahlias so beautiful that we changed the table setting at the last minute to coordinate. I should also probably mention that Elle and her almost-Mister are regulars in my kitchen. And thus, she seems to intentionally show up early knowing that I will need her help. And I always do. Because entertaining is one of my very favorite things and I'm still a scatterbrain about it.

Rebecca then walked over bearing a cupcake carrier full of cream cheese frosted cinnamon rolls. Made from scratch. I'll let you absorb that one for a moment.
And she did something that I still haven't quite figured out that gave each one a completely caramelized bottom. No muffin top stealing here...for the first time eating anything out of a muffin tin I was saving the lower half for last. Having never had a homemade cinnamon roll till now, I just don't think I can go back to the can.

Tempering that sweetness, we had Nilsa with herb-roasted potatoes and sauteed onions. Full sprigs of sage and rosemary mixed in with new potatoes and garlic and the kind of potatoes that are so good that eventually you had six rather put-together girls standing around and eating them straight out of the bowl rather than see any go to waste!!

And then there was Ang who was charged with...bubbles. And she provided two-fold with two bottles of champagne and pineapple juice which it turns our makes a lovely additive to a classic mimosa in the garden. Angie is also the only person in camera-love and thus is the only one with real photos of our afternoon in the sunshine!! Also made me realize that I neeed to get on this camera thing.

Alexa probably had one of my favorite lines of the afternoon when she showed up with chocolates and flowers (top) and goes, "I brought flowers because you always talk about them on your blog and I think you really like them." Yes. Yes, I really really do. Fresh flowers are one of my all-time favorite indulgences and now I have a house with two separate and gorgeous bouquets! She also served as an unofficial but hilarious moderator through all kinds of offline conversation. We know she loves Cleveland and all but more frequent visits wouldn't kill a girl...

I know you would think we had enough food for an army at this point but I did make a contribution. My favorite make-ahead brunch casserole from Cooking Light (plus baby spinach leaves) and a Barefoot Contessa Blueberry Crumb Cake. I'm still full.

So that is the food rundown and honestly, that's about as much as you'll get out of me because brunch started at 11:30am. We ate outside and ran inside to watch ridiculous YouTube videos. Twice. We went back outside and everyone thought we might be wrapping up but no. We talked about every facet of our lives outside of our laptops and then, of course, the lives within them.

Do you want to know what time the ladies left? I didn't so much as look at the time but it was 4pm before people started noticing missed calls from loved ones, worried they'd been abducted after "brunch." Brunch is a bit of a joke because it was a day. It was a delicious day with women who made the transition from computers to comrades with an eerie, seamless amount of grace. Nothing much sweeter than that.


nicoleantoinette said...

I want to come over for brunch! Ah!

Jenn said...

I think another brunch is needed since I unfortunately missed this one :(

Nilsa S. said...

AWESOME recap. I couldn't have said it better myself. You were the perfect hostess with the perfect garden on a perfect day. Seriously, I'll give up wedding errands for an afternoon like that. We most definitely need to do it again. And again and again and again!!! Thanks again for hosting!

Alexa said...

oh this was a great recap too! you and nilsa got everything spot on! thanks for your kind words.

but mostly thanks for opening up your home to us, that was fabulous.

we had such a good time, and we must do it again.

who wants to come to cleveland! haha

elle michelle said...

Perfect day, perfect food, perfect company. Thank you SO much J!

That one day put me in a great mood all weekend. I was totally bitch-free, which is a miracle considering how close the wedding is. Dave wants to ship me over to your place more often. :-)

Alexa, if we go to Cleveland next, I demand to be taken to Cedar Point.

Susie said...

Awww, reason #68372 why I need to move to Chicago!! I want brunches in the garden with blog friends.

Loved our Midnight Saturday chat...made the night a lot less lame!

Cheryl said...

It really was a spectacular weekend, wasn't it? Glad you all enjoyed yourselves! There is nothing like a long, leisurely ladies' brunch.

ANG* said...

perfect recap (of course). i will try to do one myself later...but you'll most certainly be linked back to since i doubt i can compare. think that will up your Technorati score? hahaha. i still dont know what that is :)

RebeccaC said...

I 'twas such fun! Thanks for inviting me along. I enjoyed meeting all of you ladies...not to mention positively stuffing myself with yummies and champagne. Thanks again Jessi -- you're a fab hostess!

Bayjb said...

Wow what a great table setting and all the food sounds nummy. So jealous i missed it :(

L Sass said...

Next time I will be there, as Chi blogger brunch sounds absolutely divine!