A New York-style Brunch

20140728-161156-58316566.jpgThis afternoon I threw a small New York-style brunch party for some girlfriends. Now, you must be wondering what’s the difference between mine and an ordinary brunch? Bagels and Lox. According to Time Out New York, the two stands out as one of New York City’s emblematic culinary titans.” 

It has been forever since I last hosted a party. July was supposed to be my month of austerity drive. It failed. Just one dormant month and I was going cold turkey. And when a Public Holiday popped up on my calendar, I jumped at the chance, and quickly sent out some invites. Luckily my girlfriends were equally as excited as me!

This afternoon, I laid out some seat cushions to eat like the Japanese.

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Planning the party wasn’t difficult. There were tons of guides from good food websites like: The BBC Good Food, and Bon Appetit. DailyMail’s delicious Toasted bagels with smoked salmon and pickled cucumber recipe was helpful too! I adopted the pickled cucumber idea. So apparently for an NYC-style brunch, all I needed were assorted bagels, cream cheese, tomato, red onion and cold-smoked Nova lox. Lox was going to be hard to find in Singapore so I used Smoked Salmon. No one noticed a difference.

My Mum let me use her vintage ice-cream crystals cups. They were perfect for serving the pickled cucumbers and dill cream cheese. Slices of sweet Honey Cherry Tomatoes, Capers, Shallots, Lemon wedges and fresh dill completed the NYC brunch spread.

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But things never go according to plan. I got greedy. I knew bagels and smoked salmon weren’t going to be enough. Eggs. Brunch always needs eggs. On Google, I came across the most interesting recipe ever: Oven-baked Scrambled Eggs. As they were so damn simple to make, I was sold. However do note that the eggs will continue to cook when out of the oven. Take them out even if they look a whee bit runny.

Then I thought of fries. Don’t ask me what’s the link there. Thank goodness there was a bag of Alexia Sweet Potato Fries in my freezer. I prepared them according to instructions and sprinkled on some delicious Parmesan. It was a hit! Everyone LOVES fries.

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I thought of baking the bagels. But a quick calculation showed it was more worth it to get six bagels than buy bags of flour, sugar and yeast. Another time. The supermarket-bought bagels were not too bad. My girlfriends had a good time fixing their own bagel sandwiches.

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For dessert, I kept it light and healthy; Blueberry Parfait and Fresh Strawberries. Nothing beats fresh sweet strawberries. My Blueberry Parfaits was akin to a Tiramisu albeit a less calorific version. I layered Savoiardi Finger Biscuits

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with Vanilla Greek Yoghurt and fresh Roasted Blueberry Compote.

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More biscuits

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topped with more yoghurt and blueberry compote. It was meant to look like this:

20140728-162500-59100974.jpgBut I ain’t Daniel Boulud so it looked like that.

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Hey, they were still great!

Whilst grocery shopping yesterday, I could not resist picking up a pack of these Orange Madeleines.

20140728-154904-56944763.jpgAll the way from France, super pricey but fantastic! Each huge madeleine was amazingly tender and moist with a rich orange-y flavour. Thanks to these babies, I can finally get those nasty dense puny ones from Delifrance out of my mind.

20140728-154905-56945541.jpgIt was a relaxing afternoon filled with laughter and good conversations.

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And a treat for the host:

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Thank you!

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