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Archi Reunion Brunch

BrunchWe invited some friends over for brunch while Wen was visiting. It basically turned into a mini archi reunion with lots of food and a summery cocktail. Such fun! I have, unfortunately, lost the little scrap of paper that I scribbled the menu on. Hopefully I’m not forgetting any of the yum yums from brunch. Oh, this was when my new hair made its debut!

A light, refreshing Israeli Salad from a recent issue of Vegetarian Times. Cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, parsley and green onions. Such beautiful, bright colors. Unfortunately, it requires a lot of chopping and dicing. Wen spent about 3 hours washing and chopping! If it wasn’t such a pain to dice the veggies, I would make this all the time. (The strawberries in the photo below were for the cocktail, not the salad.)Salad IngredientsClassic Israeli SaladWe also made Spinach Croquettes based on a recipe for Zucchini Croquettes in Vegetarian Times. Using spinach instead of zucchini resulted in an unappealing color. The croquettes also didn’t hold together well, and I had to overcook them to get them to retain their shape. The Greek yogurt dip was delicious though. A nice substitute to sour cream.

One of my favorites to make for any kind of gathering: Buttery Butter Biscuits! Even though I’ve made these biscuits many times and followed the recipe very closely, I accidentally forgot to add salt. Ugh. I attempted to rescue the recipe by adding salt after the dough came out of the freezer, but that didn’t work out well. Tasted okay though. Buttery BiscuitsAngela brought a delicious Plum Tart! For some reason, it kept getting mistaken for a rhubarb tart. Mmm, tart! Plum TartSmitten Kitchen has a great blueberry muffin recipe that works with both fresh and frozen berries. Strawberry Cinnamon Muffins: fresh strawberries, vanilla yogurt and a lot of cinnamon. Uhh, the foil muffin liners were terrible with this recipe. When I arranged the muffins on the cupcake stand, I hid the ugly ones in the back. Hah.Strawberry Cinnamon MuffinsBecca and Leon brought a Tomato & Watermelon Salad. It never would have occurred to me to combine both of those ingredients to make a salad. There you go, a refreshing and very red summer salad! I believe this recipe was from Epicurious. Tomato, Watermelon SaladCrustless Vegetarian Quiche, heavy on the veggies. Half an onion, 1 tomato and 12oz of broccoli, only used 3 eggs. I didn’t bother chopping the broccoli. Mmm, big pieces of broccoli always make me happy. Crustless Veggie QuicheHmm, Open Face Breakfast Sandwiches. Half an English muffin (whole wheat, I think), slice of cheddar cheese, seared tomatoes, topped with a poached egg. Meh, the sandwiches were so so, but the poached eggs were great. I made the eggs the night before and reheated them before assembly. I have a few tricks for perfectly poached eggs: use a shallow wok/paella pan instead of a large pot, add some vinegar to the water, crack each egg into a separate mug, cook for 4 minutes. Perfect whites, perfect yolks. Win! Open Face Breakfast SandwichesMac & Cheese! Not really a brunch food, but who cares. Super rich, super creamy, super fatty. Mmm, yes. I like very much. This recipe has come a long way. Putting it in the broiler for 5 – 10 minutes was the perfect finishing touch. Mac & CheeseLast, but not least, the Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade Cocktail. We used a mixture of frozen and fresh berries. If you microwave frozen berries for a minute or two, they’ll release delicious juices, which is ideal for a fruity cocktail. We let the lemonade, berries, berry juices, lemon slices, sugar and rum (half a liter!) sit overnight in a punch bowl. Added more sugar and an entire bottle of sparkling wine before serving. Delicious and deadly. Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade Rum Cocktail

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