Other than a BBQ, brunch probably is the easiest gathering to put together. You can mix any combination of food items (its breakfast and lunch). Eggs - the obvious centerpiece - are cheap, easy, and beloved by all. It's a great excuse to eat a lot of fruit, and things wrapped in bacon. And at brunch, nobody judges you for day-drinking. Hell, it's almost mandatory. So I was pumped when I found out we were hosting a brunch, and volunteered to supply the bloody mary bar.
I initially thought it would just involve throwing a bunch of store-bought items into a bag on my way over to Rachel's house. Then I read the ingredients in a bottle of Zing Zang: tomato puree, vegetable juice (yup, good!), vinegar (fine), hydrolyzed vegetable protein (um...), soy (yuck!), wheat gluten (what?!), msg (heeelllll no!)... And that canceled that. There was no way I could ruin a Sunday morning with my CrossFit beauties by bringing wheat gluten and msg to the party.
So, I set out to re-create the zing without all the bull-crap. And I decided if I was going so far as to home brew the Bloody Mary Mix, I needed to step up my game in the toppings department as well. I got everything cooked, cut, skewered, and chilled the night before, and packed it all for easy transport.
When I got to Rachel's, all I had to do was arrange the containers neatly on the kitchen counter, and the bar was open for business.
|From left to right: Bloody Mary Mix, Three Olives Vodka, hot sauce, olives, celery,|
lime wedges, fried garlic, grilled shrimp, and horse radish (not pictured)
Rachel pulled together the rest of the spread: scrambled eggs, bacon wrapped dates (she used chicken chorizo), berries, watermelon with mint, and brussels sprouts with bacon. I made a special treat for dessert (more on that later). Everything tasted amazingly delicious. We got to see Tiff! And the Bloody Mary Mix received rave reviews.
Bloody Mary Mix
|I like mine with one of everything, an extra dash of|
hot sauce, and 1/4 teaspoon of horse radish.
8 cups vegetable juice
1 can tomato paste
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon coconut amenos
1 tablespoon dried onion
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients in a large pan. Place over medium heat and stir continually until just before boiling. Remove from heat. Let cool before transferring into a pitcher.