Yesterday my mom invited a bunch of friends over for brunch. I had the fun of art directing the serving table and making part of the food.
Here is what we served:
First I baked a carrot cake. Let me take a moment to talk about the greatness of this cake. It is perfection. There is no other way of putting it. It's a little longer to make than other cakes because of the washing, peeling and grating of the carrots first, but it's totally worth it! It's made with olive oil, not butter, and that must be what makes it so moist, fruity, and chewy on the outside. It is the same recipe my mom's been using for the last ten years. It's our all time favorite. The recipe calls for pecans or walnuts (I used pecans) and it is covered in mascarpone icing.
Then I baked three-berry muffins: blueberry, blackberry and raspberry,
and a french onion tart (caramelized onions and thyme over a "pâte brisée").
I have to say, I was pretty proud of myself for producing those three things! Especially the carrot cake and the onion tart.
The brunch was a great success. We also served mini vegetable brochettes (cherry tomatoes, peppers and cucumber),
a fruit salad,
an egg salad,
and finally, to top it off, a green salad, an abundant bread basket, a bottle of the market's fresh apple juice, and the dessert one of our friends brought (an "amandine aux framboises." Basically it's a buttery ground-almond based cake baked with fruits inside. Yum.) This is what the serving table looked like:
Isn't the stand the muffins are sitting on adorable? I got it at Ikea. When I spotted it from the other end of the room crowded with shoppers I was like I. WANT. THIS. It was cheap as hell!
That onion tart was THE BEST TART YOU EVER TASTED. It smelled fabulous, looked fabulous, and most importantly, tasted (more than) fabulous! I'll have to post the recipe soon. I am still not over that tart!
The presence of salads and all the fresh fruit and veg made this a fantastic spring brunch. It matched the spring-like atmosphere perfectly. The sun pouring down onto our balcony was just lovely.
The weather here in Lyon has been beautiful these days. I hope the weather stays this way and doesn't get all wintery again. An early spring is all I really want right now, truthfully. It is so uplifting. :)
Another fun brunch idea is a yogurt bar. Imagine three or four different types of yogurt available and all sorts of toppings: fresh berries, chopped bananas, peaches... Nuts, granola, chocolate chips... Doesn't that sound appealing? Maybe I'll try that next time. What do you think?