Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Fall Brunch

Ma soeur cadette is in town this weekend with her family, from Minneapolis.  And our family says….let’s have a party!!!  Well, schedules were difficult to coordinate in the end, so we settled on Saturday Brunch hosted by yours truly.  Given my own busy schedule lately, it was more low-key than usual, but that didn’t mean it couldn’t be nice. 

I set the table with a fistful of fall-colored leaves gathered on this morning’s walk with the dogs, evocative, and saving me the small expense of flowers from Hector at this morning’s farmers market~


In the center of both main tables, I used a single hurricane shade and a burlap-wrapped pillar candle from the Romantic Homes shoot.  I set out one chair here for effect, but waited for my sisters & hubbies and kids to come and make themselves useful by hauling out all of the other iron chairs~


On the tables, my usual white and gold Limoges; can’t go wrong; I have little variety among my dishes; they are mostly white with gold, French; all purchased on Ebay over the years; these Greek Key plates came from a Palm Springs estate and they are still my favorite, purchased for a song; you can’t even find this kind of stuff in France; buy it here, and wash it carefully~


A pair of washed burlap runners and cotton sheeting from Metis were the base, to which I added French sterling and vermeil flatware, but any kind of flatware- be it silver or stainless steel, plated or of natural materials will be set off by the burlap.  As my family are sloppers, especially for breakfast, I saved the linen and used vintage French  dish towels also from our Metis line; rolled the long ways, folded over at the top and spilling over the edge of the table; this had a very casual look and functioned as a real lap-napkin for kids & adults alike~


To finish, I used vintage French curtain rings.  I snap these up when I find them for like, $1 each; we are private-ordering these through Metis~


Each one is unique, and I love the gold tones of the brass; it plays off the gold rim butter dish seen in the rear-plan~


…as well as the gold rim of the plates; the napkin rings are as found and are all slightly dinged and not polished, so they are bright but not “fancy”…this is a great summary shot of the setting today; very casual, slightly rumply, good taste and very French~


The texture of each of the towels is different; I have stopped ironing these for dishtowels or napkins; they all come straight from a short tumble and then line dry and are wonderfully tactile~


Especially offset with the rustic burlap; in a pinch, and for a little variety, any dishtowels can be great substitutes for napkins~


And now for the food….I didn’t start cooking until 8pm last night, so everything was pretty easy to make.  I decided to go for lots of mini-muffins and heavy on the blueberry, which was a hit with the kids; my nephews Michael & Steven gave me thumbs up on the food~


Looking for a few new recipes, I found a great resources in the website Annie’s Eats.  Thank you, Annie, you helped me pull off this brunch! I used her pumpkin muffin recipe in minis, but used tangy local goat cheese from Soledad Farms instead of cream cheese. 


I wasn’t so sure my pumpkin muffins looked so good, but they were delicious, and all were eaten; I used the rest of the batter to make four loaves, which my sisters took home; Jacquie is on her way home to Minneapolis right now, and feeding this to the kids for a snack~


We also had Annie’s Eats blueberry muffins, though I am having a hard time finding the link now; it has swirl-in blueberry compote; very very good!~


I modified Annie’s baked granola a few ways, using peaches and blueberries and extra oats; here is her master recipe…this was hugely popular today~


And we had Annie’s Waffles of Insane Greatness, and I must say there were insanely good~

IMG_9061We topped our waffles with cheaters Syrup, off the shelf maple enhanced with Blackberry; that is, boil maple syrup with fruit and let sit for 10 minutes, then strain~


The winner was the blueberry syrup, topped with more fresh blueberries~


And lots of love to spread around; it’s so fun to all be together~


After brunch, Lauren and I made butter cookies; first batch on show to Grampy~


next batch better, showcasing initials…..and very yummy!!


Enjoy your weekend, and be sure to stop by the Giveaway hosted by my friend Rachel of French Farmhouse 425!!  You can win the pillows from the Romantic Homes layout that is now on the newsstand!  Wishing everyone a great weekend~


  1. Beautiful setting Andrea~ The kiddos are so cute too! :) Hugs, Rachel

  2. It all looks lovely, Andrea! You wouldn't believe all the gold and white I inherited from my grandmother and mother. I think I have three patterns worth! Good thing since I have three daughters! You make it look so pretty with the burlap.

    Thanks for introducing me to Annie's Eats. What a great site... your baked granola looks like a real treat!

  3. Thanks to Rachel, I found your gorgeous blog and became a new follower. This looks like a party extraordinaire. I'm off to look at the rest of blog and see what I have been missing! I'm going to enjoy visiting here very, very much!

  4. Visiting from French Farmhouse 425...and just became a follower of your lovely blog! BTW, that granola looks amazing!

  5. Wow! What a lovely brunch. The setting and the food look fabulous. I love that you use real napkins and china.

  6. Hi. I'm over from french farmhouse..looking forward to looking around the rest of your blog..
    Have a great afternoon!!

  7. Andrea a most beautiful brunch. I can actually taste all of your yummy selections, they look so good.

    The table setting; I will use it as a template with the linen towels as napkins. I too have gold rimmed china, not anything like the fabulous Greek Key setting though! I hope to order some pieces from Metis soon..

    Oh and wonderful photos of some of your family Andrea!!


    Art By Karena

  8. Lovely!! Very elegant yet comfortable and welcoming. it's almost bedtime, as I read your post .. the yummy waffles have me wanting some... but I better wait till morning, if I can...HHL

  9. Lovely, well I have several serving covered dishes like yours, very old and the same goblets wit gold trim. I see them in alot of old movies. hard to replace.. What a lovely courtyard too. yvonne

  10. Hi- I just became your latest follower. I found you over at French Farmhouse. I love your blog and now I am hungry after looking at all these delicious pictures:)
    Have a great day!


  11. Loved your simple table setting especially the leaves. Such raw, beautiful colours to compliment the day. Fiona

  12. I'm visiting (and following!) from Rachel's sweet blog! I'm loving my time here! Between your awesome linens - which made me drool - and the photos of the yummy food - which made my tummy growl - I'll be back for more more! lol! Thanks for offering your awesome crafts on Rachel's giveaway, too!

    xoxo laurie

  13. Hi there! I'm hopping over from French Farmhouse 425 to introduce myself and say hello. I'm a new follower & off to peek around your blog. Xoxo tracie

  14. I got your blog through your friendly French Farmhouse I am happy to meet you .. I will follow with great pleasure your blog:)
    These delicious butter cookies have been ..

  15. Love the idea of using curtain rings and the casual look of your napkins. The setting is perfect..............your family must love how you bring them all together so stylishly Andrea. XO

  16. How special I feel to have admired those lovely vermeil in person.

    I brought someone in to look at the images of all the gorgeous blueberries. He said, "Miss Andrea is torturing me." :)

  17. What a gorgeous setting! I love all of the French details, so beautiful. The food looks amazing, the blueberry one especially. Love your blog, Rachel sent me over!


  18. What a lovely brunch! I am entering the giveaway for the gorgeous burlap items!! Thanks so much!

  19. Love the beautiful table setting. Great idea to use local goat cheese vs. cream cheese in the pumpkin muffins. Visiting from French Farmhouse 425. Congrats on your latest mag feature. Following you now.

  20. Thank you for your very nice comment on my Balboa Park post! It is a pleasure to visit your lovely blog.

    Your brunch table is so beautifully elegant yet casual. I like the clever idea of using linen towels as napkins with curtain rings.

    I will definitely visit Annie eats to see her recipes. I can see by the boys happy smiles that everything you prepared was delicious!

  21. I'm visiting from French Farmhouse 425. Your brunch looks so lovely and yummy! Thanks for the link to Annie's Eats..I'm off to check her recipes.