Get Ready for 2020! Start the New Year..with brunch!

Updated: Dec 13, 2019

With a house full of guests I figure I will need to plan for some breakfast and lunch on New Years day so I have opted to just "open the house" up! I'm planning an easy buffet of cold salads, bagels, salmon and other items that are easy to display and replenish and will not need a lot of attention.

One thing is for sure ...I am planning on a fantastic Bloody Mary Bar!

Whether you need a little kick the morning after New Years Eve or you just love the brunch concept... this is a winner.

It is so easy and looks great!


I am so lucky to have so many talented friends in the catering and hospitality business.

I am surrounded by so many creative people with great ideas!

When I decided to plan a Bloody Mary bar I called on my friend, Andrea Correale, the owner of Elegant Affairs Catering.

She shared her fantastic Bloody Mary recipe with me so that I can share it with you!

This is no joke. Not basic and sure to impress your guests!!

It starts with a "spiced" up tomato base. Has a wicked salt rim and you are gonna die when you taste the candied bacon!!@#$%^

This is serious business and ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!!



I am so grateful to Andrea for sharing her secret recipe here.

If you don't feel like a do it yourself Elegant Affairs is an amazing full scale catering operation and they not only have delicious food but present it beautifully. Check them out at www.elegantaffairscaterers.com .

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. Thanks, Andrea!!!

The candied bacon and spicy rim are SOOO good!



Smoky Bloody Mary's with Candied Bacon Recipe from Andrea Correale, owner of Elegant Affairs Catering

CANDIED BACON

3/4 cup light brown sugar 1/4 cup  maple syrup 3 tablespoons bourbon 8 slices thick cut bacon SALT RIM ( SERVES 1) 2 tablespoons coarse salt 1 teaspoon old bay seasoning 1/2 teaspoon celery seed BLOODY MARY MIX ( SERVES 1) 2 1/2 ounces Tomato juice 1 1/2 ounces vodka 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish ½ teaspoon smoky or chipotle Tabasco A dash of celery salt A dash of salt and pepper the bacon for garnish Olive, Onion Toothpick skewer for Garnish Celery for Garnish CANDIED BACON In a small pot combine the brown sugar, bourbon, and maple syrup. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture has reduced to a thick syrup. Brush the bacon slices on both sides with the mixture, then bake on a sheet pan  for 10 minutes in a 375 degree oven, brush one side again, bake for another 10 minutes, flip, brush the other side, and bake for another 10 minutes. Repeat this process until bacon is crispy and to your desired crispiness use with a salty old bay rim on your bloody Mary glass. BLOODY MARY Wet the rim of the glass with a lemon wedge and rim in the old bay seasoning salt rim mixture. . Add  ice to the glass and all the Bloody Mary ingredients above. Garnish with Bacon, Olives, or your choice of Garnish



So for my brunch I will fill up a cart with all the fixins' and make it "do it yourself". Unfortunately, we have to let Sergey have the day off sometimes, but he has

has created the perfect list of items to "mix in or top off" your Bloody Mary!

What would we do without Sergey!!???

Not only does everyone love him, but he makes the best drinks all around!

Here is a list of fixin's for a fun Bloody Mary bar we have done at quite a few events.

We used Andrea's recipe from Elegant Affairs for the mix and Sergey crafted an array of toppings and mix ins for the bar.

He gets a little help from Miguel setting up and serving at the last party!:)


A fun little entertaining bonus tip....

We found these tiny little mason jars and pre- filled them with assorted Bloody Marys and passed to guests when they arrived.

When I decided to #GOHUNTING at Home Goods I found these and I also bought these cute mini copper cups.

We warmed apple cider and garnished with a cinnamon stick for those who wanted a warm toddy.

Serve hot and spike if you like!



Signature Bloody Mary Bar




Created and "dictated" by Sergey Kiselev

LIQUORS

Vodka & Tequila


ADD INS and Toppings

Tomatoes/Celery

Lemon/Lime

Worcestershire /Pickle juice/Horseradish

Old Bay Seasoning/Tobasco

Dill pickles/Green Olives/Cocktail Onions

Jalapeños /Radishes/Cucumber

Banana Peppers/Cherry tomatoes

Baby Corn Skewers

Cajun Shrimp/Bacon


Pro tip: McClure's Bloody Mary Mix


If you are not in the mood for crafting a homemade batch of Bloody Mary mix this is Sergey's special pick for a "ready to go" mix.

We have tried it many times and agree!

The pickles are really delicious too!:)




A short rocks glass works well for your drink or give it a fun look with these mason jars with with handles. We found these Ashland Mason Jar at Michael's

Another option is this Half Gallon Mason Jar from Michael's




Along with salmon, bagels, tuna and a few salad dishes we will certainly have dessert!

I have always loved baking and have a variety of tea breads and coffee cakes that are on my usual rotation. Whenever I have leftover fruit, sour cream and other ingredients I whip up one of my usual recipes and pop in the freezer so I always have something on hand. It also makes the party prep easier to have something done in advance and I find these freeze very well.



I seem to buy bananas every week and literally always have most of them go bad. Does that happen to you?!?? I sometimes freeze them when I don't have the time for baking or make a smoothie, but often I make this banana bread recipe. I have made it for many years now. It is always a favorite. I usually double the batch and put chocolate chips in half.


Banana Bread

Makes 1 large loaf or 4 small loaves

Ingredients

1/4 pound (1 stick) salted butter at room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 cup mashed very ripe bananas

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup chocolate chips- optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan or several smaller pans. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, beating well. Sift the dry ingredients together and combine with the butter mixture. Blend well. Add the bananas, sour cream, and vanilla. Stir well. Stir in the chocolate chips if using into the prepared pan. Bake 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean. Turn onto a rack to cool.


A cinnamon streusel coffee cake is a must for brunch.

This recipe also freezes great so you can make it in advance.

This is one of my tried and true recipes.


Sour Cream Coffee Cake

INGREDIENTS

12 tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks) at room temperature

3 Extra large eggs at room temperature

1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups sour cream

2 1/2 cups cake flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 tbsp cocoa powder

3 tbsp currants


FOR THE STREUSEL

3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp kosher salt

3 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


FOR THE GLAZE

1/2 cup confectioner's sugar

2 tbsp milk


Preheat oven to 350 Degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

Bake 45-55 minutes


I love the look of these linens I found at Home Goods for the holidays. They have a cheery yet festive holiday look. They look fantastic with my Mackenzie Childs dishes.





I found the perfect cake plate at CB2.

I know I can use this for so many things when entertaining.









While I'm hosting New Years brunch in New York, I'm not thrilled with the weather here. I'm heading to LA soon and in case you are not in the entertaining mood I've got some top picks for brunch on both coasts for you.


East Coast bites...brunch in New York City

I recently went to Au Cheval .

I heard it was the best burger and well, that was certainly accurate!

It was SOO good. They also have an array of other thing.


A favorite Chelsea spot is Cook Shop

If you don't reserve the wait can be quite long, but it is soo worth it. I am not an egg person but all of the eggs dishes seem to be a favorite of many of my friends and family. The french toast is really yummy and the burger is VERY good too. Honestly, one of my favorite dishes is the salad with warm roast chciken. know it's not that brunch like, but I order it every time!

If you are looking for salmon and a bagel and a chic spot try Sadelle's in SoHo.

This is also a spot that reservations are really necessary, but quite a place to be seen and be seen as well as some really good eats.







Another spot downtown where there is always a crowd for brunch is Bubby's

Casual and comfortable. They have an array of delicious pancakes, many egg dishes and much more.









If you want that smorgasbord of items look no further than Brasserie 8 1/2 . The spread is amazing and you literally will find anything under the sun on their buffet.





Luckily I get to spend quite a bit of time in sunny Los Angeles. The weather is always incredible and nothing is more enjoyable than getting to have brunch in an outdoor cafe...year round.


I tend to gravitate to Urth Caffe quite often.

They have many egg dishes and lots of salads to choose from as well as many sandwich choices. The patio is always crowded, make sure to get there early or be prepared to patiently wit if you want a nice seat on sunny Melrose Avenue. The lattes are delicious and I always bring home a bag of homemade granola.



The Griddle is known for the craziest stack of pancakes. Go early the lines are long.





Du Pars another amazing breakfast spot.






John O'Groats does have long lines but if you like an omlette or pancakes this place has some serious eats. They are known for light and fluffy biscuits.




Another spot with quite a big patio and a little less of a line at times is Toast in West Hollywood

They have a HUGE selection of egg dishes. They happen to have a number of soups every day and all have always been delicious. Salad and sandwiches round out the menu.







Just down the street is Joan's on 3rd. I imagine many don't consider that a brunch spot. It is a gourmet take out comissary where they have eat in and patio seats. I have loved it for a long time I like being able to order from the counter a "trio" of salads so I can taste a few different things for munch/brunch. I always get the chicken salad and add a few other specials of the day.




Last but not least you have to set the mood when entertaining and nothing can do that better than music!

I have created quite a few playlists for your various entertaining needs.

Click Here to see my Brunchin' playlist on Tidal.

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Tidal has the best sound of all of the streaming services out there, as their music is all high definition.

Check out Tidal and listen to the playlist I created for the perfect brunch background music.


Hope all your days for this holiday season are sweet!

Eat, Drink & Enjoy!




Wishing you the happiest of holidays and a really sweet New Year!!!







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Carolyn Bender 
info@cbealifestyle.com

914-722-9094