7.07.2010

Epic Brunch

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Brunch can be a beautiful thing when done right. But I have to say, I don't like going out to brunch. As much as I like to try butchered versions of a Bloody Mary, with each restaurant trying to coin their own, for me this long, slow and boozy meal needs to take place on the home turf, on my own terms. With easy access to napping. And good company.

A few Sundays ago, when Southern California still had sunshine, a couple of our friends came over, and we brunched under a big umbrella on our balcony; surrounded by bird sounds, smells of Jasmin and fresh herbs, and a table of delicious food.

I made several of my favorite dishes. But seeing as to how I'm still typing with my left hand, and am in a Vicodin haze, I will keep things short, and assure you these are all common sense recipes.
The first dish I made was a French-style potato salad. I boiled little white potatoes (red works well here too), let them cool, and sliced them. I dressed the potatoes with a Dijon mustard, champagne vinegar and olive oil vinaigrette (salt and pepper too!). Then added lots of fresh herbs -- purple and sweet basil, dill, and thyme. Simple and light in taste. Make sure you let this sit in the fridge for a few hours. And you can even add lemon juice to the vinaigrette to brighten it up.
Next, I made two types if tea sandwiches. Both had a base of cream and goat cheese blended together with mint and chives. One was filled with cucumbers and radishes, the other, cucumbers and watercress. They were cute and refreshing. The goat cheese was nice touch.
I also made one of my new favorite recipes, a smoked salmon pizza. The recipe for which I have posted here. I guess it's more of a list of ingredients, but I did say earlier these are mostly common sense recipes. Besides, I have faith in you. And my left hand is starting to hurt.

I really like the combination of the smoked fish, sour cream and briny capers.
We also had homemade pickles, and I made a Moscow mule. I have to say, the drink was good. Different, but good. But, for our second pitcher, we made it better. Better how? By replacing vodka with bourbon. The flavor become more complex and rich. But if you've never tasted the vodka version, I suggest you try that first.

After our three-hour meal, we headed to a nearby open house. It was in our neighborhood and the husband and I wanted to check it out. The friends came along. The house was not for us, but our friends were excited and demanded I drive them around town looking for more open houses. What happened next deserves its own HGTV show, "Drunken Open Housing: In Search for a Good Time, and Maybe a House." We saw a scary Victorian house, from 1910, that was literally falling apart. A custom-built Asian palace, with marble floors throughout. And many strange houses in between. It was exhausting, and we decided to this more often.

Moscow Mule
1 serving

2 shots vodka
juice from 1/2 a fresh lime
Ginger Beer (to taste)

Squeeze the lime into a tall glass filled with ice, and then add the vodka; finally, add Ginger Beer to taste, remembering that this is meant to be a long drink (thanks for that insight wikitendender.com). I also added some mint just for fun.

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