How often do you use the phrase “We have to get together soon!”? More often than we can follow through on, right?
Life is moving at such a grueling pace these days. Months and years go by and you realize you have not had “face” time (as in REAL face time) with beloved friends that may only live a few miles from you.
A perfect solution to reconnecting with those you do not see often enough is to host an open-house. What I love about an open-house is the flexibility in the arrival time. Those that have other obligations on that particular day may be able to still stop in for a few moments without feeling rude or interrupting a more formal meal.
Since your house will be a revolving door for a few hours, I find putting out a spread that does not need to be tended to is the best way to go. You can refresh items as needed. Keep the vibe relaxed and let the focus be on catching up and visiting.
And hosting one of these shindigs around the holidays allows for a festive spin…which is always a plus!
I created a build-your-own-biscuit-bar brunch with the flakiest buttermilk biscuits, a variety of spreads, meats and cheese. A simple fruit salad and egg salad cups (opposed to an egg dish that needs to be served warm) can be prepared ahead of time and refreshed when need be.
A spiked spiced coffee drink complements the brunch spread and fits in with the festive flair. Mimosas are expected, but during the colder months a hot toddy is a welcomed change of pace.
The biscuits can be made ahead and frozen until the day of the brunch. Bake off first thing in the morning and you have no mess to deal with and can serve the freshest, fluffiest, flakiest…well you get the idea!
I hope this lends some inspiration and motivation to reconnect with those you have gone far too long without spending time with. It doesn’t have to be fancy – it just has to be fun. And your friends will thank you for thinking of them, especially during the busiest time of the year.
- 7 cups flour
- 5 teaspoons baking powder
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 4 sticks cold butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons melted butter for brushing
- 2–2½ cups cold buttermilk
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter in until the pieces are pea-sized. Drizzle in the buttermilk, stirring as you pour. Knead the dough until a shaggy dough forms (it will look a little dry). Turn the dough onto a clean work surface and pat it into a 1-inch thick square.
Cut the square into four pieces. Stack the pieces on top of one another. Press down to flatten. Roll into a 1-½ inch thick rectangle. Cut the dough into squares (about 2 x 2-inches) and place on two parchment-lined baking sheets.
Place the baking sheets in the freezer for 10 minutes and preheat the oven to 425°F.
Brush the biscuits with the melted butter and place them in the preheated oven. Lower the temperature to 400°F and bake for 20-25 minutes until the biscuits are golden brown.
Unbaked biscuits can be frozen for up to one month. Freeze biscuits uncovered until they frozen through and then transfer them to a plastic bag. Do not thaw before baking, but add a few minutes to the baking time.
- 1 dozen eggs, hard-boiled, cooled and peeled
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon dill pickle relish
- ¼ cup finely chopped celery
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped dill
- Radicchio lettuce leaves
- Dill for garnish
Chop the hard-boiled eggs and place them in a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, except the radicchio. Mix well.
Break off twelve radicchio leaves, trying to keep them as intact as best as you can. Fill each leaf with a portion of the egg salad and garnish with additional dill. Serve immediately.