Winter White Elephant Brunch

This past weekend my good friends Flo and Stephanie Zavala hosted a beautiful brunch for a small group of friends.

They prepared an elaborate and delicious feast of Baked Eggs with Short Rib Sugo, Baked Banana Brioche French Toast, a refreshing Citrus Salad with Frisee and Fennel, Rosemary Cornmeal Scones (I'm a scone lover), Gruyere Mac and Cheese and Muesli studded with almonds and dried fruit and sweetened with condensed milk. My small contribution was a loaf of crustry bread from a local Swedish bakery and a Buche de Noel, an homage to Stephanie's French roots.

Seeing the photos below, makes me want to fill my plate all again and again.

What holiday spread is complete without Candy Canes?

The table laden with all the lovingly prepared deliciousness!

Banana Brioche French Toast with Creme Anglaise - like dessert, but for breakfast!

Muesli - I've never had a proper bowl until this party and I understand why it is a European staple.

Le Bar: The Best Bloody Marys and Mimosas.
(Not featured: a yet to be opened bottle of heart warming bourbon that was opened during, and consumed soon after, the gift exchange.)

A Buche de Noel with sugar mushrooms and poinsettias, inside: chocolate cake with chocolate mousse.

Stephanie, our stylish and tireless host.
Thank you for your hospitality and unforgettable dishes -XO.

Marissa donning her white elephant gift: de riguer moustached mittens!
(At first I thought they were little whales.)

A dead ringer for Louise Brooks - Ms. Jeanette Watson, who was also part of the blogger dinner Sunday night! We were both rollie pollies after not one, but two delicious meals. Oh well - non, je ne regrette rien!

Girl talk ensued inside, which meant the men had to find refuge in the cold, outside. They used natural means to warm themselves, with coats, hats and bamboo plants, oh! and eachother.

I felt like I won the gift lotto! This handmade character by Nancy (one in a set of two) was my white elephant pick.

A lovely time had by all - Flo and Steph, thank you for opening your home, kitchen and hearts to us! XO