spring brunch

With the first day of spring this week, I’m sure I (Lauren) am not the only one ready to turn over a new leaf. A fresh season seems like a fitting time to get out of winter hibernation mode and welcome a few girlfriends over for a sunny Saturday brunch. Or maybe with Easter just around the corner, you’re planning on hosting a Sunday morning meal for family? Either way, I’m back today with an outfit that’s perfect for the occasion.

spring brunch

Vibrant, saturated colors abound in spring fashion this year, and the color-blocking trend is far easier to master than you might think. In this case, I paired blueberry, emerald and marigold hues–all on the same side of the color wheel. Whenever I wear this much color, I always stick to solid pieces and tone down the accessories.

spring brunch

spring brunch

For fun, I did throw on some vintage rhinestone accessories that picked up the colors I was wearing but didn’t compete for attention. Together, it’s a playful, cheerful look for hosting friends that is still completely comfortable and easy going at the same time.

spring brunch

spring brunch

I dressed up the table in our kitchen nook with a big bunch of chamomile flowers–all the green of the stems and leaves and the tiny daisy-like flowers screamed spring to me. And if you’re looking for a full-proof brunch menu, I’ve got you covered, too. My favorite plan:

spring brunch

Get the look: J.Crew topJ.Crew skirt, Modern Vintage heels (similar), Elma Blint bracelet, vintage earrings and ring

Shutterbean's-Sour-Cream-Coffee-Cake-on-Channeling-Contessa

I realize this decadent sour cream coffee is probably the last thing you want to see after all the holiday cookies and cakes, but I couldn’t help but share. The photo just came out so well! That and when you are ready to take a break from your post holiday detox, this cake is a phenomenal way to start. Just make sure you have 10+ people around because this thing is downright huge.

Now, moving on to more important matters. I want to talk about you. Up until recently I had this funny idea in my head that if I put it to you guys- ie asked you what you wanted to see around these parts, that the question would in some way suggest I was unable to come up with content on my own. I know, really silly. And maybe kind of selfish? In any event, now I’m asking. So the first part of your assignment is to tell me the following: What makes you come to CC everyday? What do you want to see more or less of? And most importantly, what do you want to see that’s not here right now? For those of you who have left comments and questions- no worries I’ve got you covered, but if you haven’t shared your opinion before, hop to!

Number two! Yep, I’m feeling pretty demanding today. Can you tell me who you are? I know some of you, but there are thousands- and well, I want to know more! What’s your name? Where are you from? What do you love to eat? Did you see Les Mis? Or anything else you’d like to share!

I appreciate you all so much and without you, well, CC wouldn’t even be possible. So in 2013 I want to make sure I know you all better- and we’re covering what you want to read! Sound like a plan? Let’s do it.

Oh! And coffee cake recipe below.

Shutterbean's-Sour-Cream-Coffee-Cake-on-Channeling-Contessa-1

Mom’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake from Shutterbean
makes 12-16 servings

For the Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups butter
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons each vanilla & water

Maple Frosting/Glaze

  • 1 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325°.

Beat butter and granulated sugar together until light & fluffy. Add the 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, then beat in the eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition. Stir in the sour cream. Sift flour, baking powder, soda and salt together and blend into mixture.

Combine nuts, cinnamon, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Spoon 1/3 of the batter into a grease, flour-dusted 10 inch tube pan or bundt pan. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the nut mixture. Continue layering to make three layers of each, ending with the nut mixture. Blend vanilla and water in a bowl and drizzle it over top.

Bake cake for about 80 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool 20 mintues on a wire rack, then remove from the pan.

In a small bowl, mix the confectioners sugar, maple syrup & vanilla together to make the glaze.

With a spoon drizzle glaze on top of the cooled cake and serve.

channeling contessa brunch

Happy New Year to you! Can you believe it’s 2013!? I think it’s going to be a great year- I can just feel it. I hope you spent last night celebrating in whatever way makes you the happiest. Now, onto brunch!

You really can’t discuss New Year’s day without mentioning brunch. Don’t you even worry about your well-intentioned resolutions. According to me (a highly reputable source, I assure you), all resolutions should go into effect only after brunch on New Year’s day. How else will you be able to enjoy Hibiscus Mimosas and Lemon Almond Waffles? (And you really must try those waffles- they’re my new favorite.)

I’ve known for a while that I would do a Chinoiserie-inspired theme for this post. I think the rich colors- blue, navy, green, pink- paired with the mixed patterns and florals come together beautifully for a morning celebration. Cheers to a happy 2013!

channeling contessa brunch products

1. chair, 2. plate, 3. napkins, 4. server, 5. tea jars

Image Credits: wallpaper, waffle, dress, vase

 

Hi guys! I’m back from the beach and feeling incredibly rested and excited to be rocking a nice beachy glow. I’ll be sharing photos from the trip later this week but in the mean time, wanted to pull together a few recipe ideas for you for Labor Day. I mean, it’s all about the eating, isn’t it?

Hosting a brunch? I’d definitely make some of Ina’s Blueberry Coffee Cake, paired with this Asparagus and Shiitake Mushroom Quiche, and washed down with my killer iced coffee. Yum!

Having friends for a midday feast? Your guests will go gaga for these spicy Fried Green Tomato BLTs. You could make mini ones and then serve them alongside a pile of these Summer Squash and Feta Cakes (you can make them ahead!). Serve a salad of mixed greens with my irresistible Balsamic Vinaigrette, and polish off the meal with some Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Hosting an afternoon or evening BBQ? These Buttermilk Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches would be insane on the grill. Serve this Roasted Tomato Panzanella on the side and round out the meal with some Oreo Lover’s Cookies and Cream Ice Cream or Brown Butter Rice Crispy Treats if you’re without an ice cream maker.

Enjoy the long weekend guys, see you on Tuesday! xx Clara

This past weekend, the fact that fall is coming finally hit me. The cool breezes, extra leaves on the ground, and even tiniest hint of color are all too much to ignore. Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you to embrace the changing seasons. If anything, I’m all for doing the opposite. It’s my first year not heading back to school at the end of August, which conveniently makes it that much easier to blissfully disregard what the calendar is implying. So, go on and start planning your next outdoor party, and cross a few more items off your summer bucket list, while you’re at it.

I love that brunch is the perfect low-stress way to entertain, and it comes with the best food and drinks. A dutch baby pancake with orange sugar is easy and impressive- all you need in a brunch dish. Grapefruit cocktails extend the citrus theme, and are a touch more original than the predictable mimosa. At least you can pretend that you’re dining in the middle of an orange grove.

1. chair, 2. plate, 3. pot, 4. glass, 5. votive holder

Image Credits: table, flowers, cocktail, pancake