When you buy a new house, everyone wants to see it. It’s great until you realize most of your friends end up seeing your house spontaneously when they just happen to be in the neighborhood and AFTER you realize your underwear is on the floor.
I’m a planner, so I declared that we would brunch. An open house brunch seemed like the best way to have (somewhat) organized tours of our new abode, while also giving me a date to aim for to have the house in order. I’d say it was a success. One of the spare bedrooms was the catch-all-room that we kept closed, but other than that, the house is getting there.
Our dining room went from a lovely pea green / yellow combo to navy and white. The kitchen now has white walls and the cabinets will soon be a dark gray. It’s amazing how paint can instantly transform a room.
For the brunch, I decided to do my take on Wildwood Market’s infamous breakfast sandwiches. I provided all the fixings, but I am not sure the sandwich making actually happened. As a host, you are constantly juggling multiple roles. I have very few pictures of the actual food because I would much rather enjoy the company and not be on photography duty. Also, there should be no set rules. If you want to slather your biscuit with jam and call it a day, fine by me. The idea was to re-create a Wildwood sandwich that Nick had a few weeks ago – glazed ham, brie, and cherry jam on a biscuit (I buttered the tops and added rosemary).
The rest of the spread included house party potatoes, an egg spinach feta casserole, pumpkin donuts, fruit, and a mimosa / bloody Mary bar. I felt a little off my A game because I can’t put anything away until the cabinets are painted, but it didn’t matter because we had all our favorite people in one place.
I had never made bloody Mary mix before, but this one is a keeper. The ingredients are simple and I think the key was to let it sit in the fridge overnight. I made the donuts and the biscuits the day before and prepped the egg casserole to bake the day of the brunch. The donuts were the most requested recipe, so I’d say they were a hit. I’d make the egg casserole again and it was a healthy option to balance out the sweets.
Now, I did not own swoveralls at the time of the open house brunch, but I am obsessed with them and they make for a perfect brunch ensemble. Nick surprised me with a pair for my birthday because it’s exactly what every 31 year old wants. Or at least what I wanted. I rarely provide reviews on Amazon, but I made an exception with these.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends! I have a lot to be thankful for this year.
BLOODY MARY MIX
3 cups (24 ounces) tomato juice
1 1/2 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 1 medium lemon)
1 1/2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 2 medium limes)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons peeled and finely grated fresh horseradish
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco
1 teaspoon celery salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups vodka
For the mix: Place all of the ingredients in a nonreactive 1-quart container and whisk until well combined. Cover and refrigerate until the flavors meld and the mix is chilled, at least 2 hours or preferably overnight. The mix will keep refrigerated in a container with a tightfitting lid for up to 24 hours.
For serving: Fill 8 highball glasses halfway with ice. Pour 2 ounces of the vodka and 4 ounces of the mix into each glass and stir to combine. Garnish each with a celery stalk or dill pickle spear and a pickled green tomato, if using.
Spinach and Feta Egg Casserole
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1/2 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
6 ounces baby spinach
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
12 large eggs
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 375°F. Coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with olive oil.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and garlic, and toss until wilted and almost all of the liquid is evaporated, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the dill. Transfer to the baking dish and spread in an even layer.
Place the eggs, milk, mustard, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a large bowl and whisk until the eggs are completely broken up and incorporated. Pour over the spinach mixture in the baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with the feta.
Bake until the top is light golden-brown and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing.
Make ahead: The casserole can be assembled, covered tightly with aluminum foil, and refrigerated overnight before baking. Uncover before baking.
Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Donuts
1 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour (measure 2 cups remove 2 Tbsp)
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the donut wells.
In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger for 20 seconds, set aside. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together granulated sugar and brown sugar until well combined (break up clumps of brown sugar with fingertips as necessary. You don’t want any clumps). Add canola oil, eggs, pumpkin puree and vanilla extract and using an electric hand mixer, blend until mixture is well blended. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and mix with electric mixer until well combined. Spoon or pipe batter into doughnut wells, filling each about 3/4 full (a scant 1/4 cup in each).
Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 13 – 16 minutes. Cool doughnuts slightly. Meanwhile in a large Ziploc bag shake together 1/3 cup sugar and 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon until well combined. Add one warm doughnut to bag at a time, seal and shake with sugar mixture to coat. Place on wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.