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Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Decadent "Savor the Moment" Birthday Brunch: Bellinis, Bloody Marys & Eggs Benedict - Oh My!

Recently, I hosted another "Savor the Moment" Brunch to continue cooking my way through the deliciously decadent "Bread & Breakfasts" Chapter and to celebrate my friend Stacey's birthday!

Farmhouse Benedict
On the mouth-watering menu was Farmhouse Eggs Benedict (pg. 105 ), Toffee Coffee Cake (pg. 98 ), fresh fruit and, for the birthday girl, the Decadent Ice Cream Cake Dessert (pg. 248). To drink, Bellinis and Bloody Marys ensured a festive and fun morning! A Bellini is a delicious mixture of Prosecco (Italian sparkling wine) and peach puree invented by Giuseppe Cipriani, founder of Harry's Bar in Venice, Italy. Harry's Bar is legendary and was a favorite haunt of Ernest Hemingway, Sinclair Lewis and Orson Welles. While there are a few variations of this classic drink recipe, I opted for a mixture of Prosecco, peach nectar and peach schnapps. Bubbly, fruity and fragrant they went down very smoothly!

Toffee Coffee Cake
The Bloody Marys were graciously provided by my friend Emily and, let me just tell you, if you think you've had the best Bloody Mary, think again! This is a fabulous family recipe that has taken years to perfect and  - boy is it! In addition to tomato juice, I can share with you the recipe also calls for vodka, beer and, prepare yourself - Jägermeister! The end result is positively delicious - Cheers, Emily.

Regarding the recipes, if you haven't made Eggs Benedict before, this is the recipe to try! The Farmhouse Benedict is made with a cornbread that's an improvement on the classic Eggs Benedict - yes, it is possible! The recipe is a bit labor intensive but is well worth the effort and definitely has that "WOW" factor. I followed the recipe as is, keeping the pre-poached eggs in a bowl of water until ready to plate the dish. I recommend preparing the eggs in advance rather than trying to poach them on the spot - it can get a little messy and time consuming if you are cooking for a group! The recipe for the Rosemary Hollandaise in the sidebar of the cookbook sounded a bit "involved" so I found a fabulous recipe for a quick and delicious Blender Hollandaise that I just added the rosemary to (click link for the recipe). It worked beautifully and was creamy, rich and flavorful - I definitely recommend doubling the recipe!

Decadent Ice Cream Cake Dessert
The Toffee Coffee Cake was delicious, nutty and sweet and as the tagline reads in the cookbook, I think it did help me make some "friends for life!" The recipe was also very straightforward and easy to follow - gotta love that! The Decadent Ice Cream Cake Dessert is a frozen assortment of flavors including macaroons, Heath bars, Kahlua, chocolate syrup and both chocolate and vanilla ice cream. It is guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth and was a hit with the birthday girl as were a gorgeous selection of cupcakes brought by my friend Lee Ann Ryan.

The Birthday Girl!
After we were sufficiently stuffed, the birthday girl opened some fabulous gifts and we sat around talking and laughing and brunching right on into the late afternoon! I have included the recipe for the Toffee Coffee Cake below and hope you enjoy it with some of your fabulous friends. Don't forget, tickets for our "Savor the Moment" 10th Anniversary Celebration on Friday, November 12th are selling fast! Click here to purchase yours or for more information - hope to see you there.

Bon Appétit,

Toffee Coffee Cake (pg. 98)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups flour
7 1/2 ounces brickle pieces
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Cream the butter, sugar and brown sugar in a bowl until light. Stir in the flour and 1/2 cup of the brickle pieces. Remove 1/2 cup of the mixture and set aside. Add the baking soda, egg, vanilla and buttermilk to the remaining mixture and stir well.
Pour into a greased and floured 9x13-inch baking pan. Top with the reserved brown sugar mixture, remaining brickle pieces and pecans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Note: If buttermilk is not available, add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of whole milk and let stand for 10 minutes before using.
Serves twenty-four


  1. Great friends and wonderful food. What else do we need? Looks like you all had a lovely time.

  2. Stacey (The birthday girl)October 18, 2010 at 7:48 AM

    It was a wonderful birthday party! What a great day. Thanks again! I love the photos.

  3. Lovely Birthday party.
    It looks like, you girls had a great time together ♥

  4. wow Stephanie you know how to eat wow looks amazing

  5. Wow! You really know how to throw a decadent birthday brunch.

  6. That sounds like a wonderful theme for a party! How fun.


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