An Epic Brunch of Minis (Part III): The Gathering of Great People!

April 2012

The fickle skies threatened gray, gloom and even little flecks of snow in spite of the calendar, but I had visions of reds and burst of berries.  The dining room was set for a summer festival of friends and fruits and an Epic Brunch of Minis!

I admit it.  I was very nervous when Nina asked me for honey and a chopstick, but she crafted us a beautiful brunch time beverage!  A sip past the honey-sweetened rim revealed a mixture of organic cherry juice, some bubbly and the gift Erica bestowed upon us- Forks of Cheat Winery Raspberry Wine.

Just in time!  A magical appearing act…

Why was this brunch so epic?  I can answer that from left to right!  Aside from completely filling my dining room, these friends fill a good portion of my personal timeline!

Nikkie!  I was so lucky to share many a stoop session with a wonderful neighbor who became such a significant presence in my life!  Nikkie is such a strong, confident, charismatic and loyal, loving friend!  I miss her, but I’m so happy for her new Atlanta life.  I couldn’t believe the great fortune of hosting her at my brunching table during her Pittsburgh visit!

When we were little “nerd birds” in Suburbia, Pa, Erica and I used to pretend to sip fancy white wine [water] at fancy bars [as if we knew what to imagine a bar to be].  We may be farther apart than our Main Street days, but we’re pretty lucky to live in bordering states. It’s a special time whenever she makes the journey from her adopted state of West Virginia!

[That’s me…the lucky one in red!!!]

I once dated a man who didn’t make much sense for me in the long run.  When it comes to the ups and downs of the heart, I focus on what I have gained, and in that case, I gained a friend named Dana.  She’s more than a friend!  She’s like my Pittsburgh big sister, and she’s one inspirational tough cookie!

Nina and I suffered and celebrated many an all nighter in Carnegie Mellon’s architecture program.  After graduating, I would make us coffee, like an old fashioned wifey, before sending her to work.  She’s generally a blur of activity!  No one knows how she does it all! I usually try to lure her with brunch, so she’ll slow down for a spell.

That charmer on the end?  He’s the best boyfriend a girl could ask for, so I try to find as many ways as possible to tell him that!

And they’re all a bit crazy too!

And there were still a few more friends to come!

You see?  Epic!

Mini Cherry & Almond Baked French Toast Cups

The phrase, “I baked these just for you” is all the more real when handing over an individually portioned brunch treat (even if the bruncher has more than one- that’s perfectly encouraged and acceptable)!

Beets + Blue Cheese + Broccoli + Black Forest Bacon

You remember those Alliterative Mini Frittatas, don’t you?

Someone was quite the hungry, hungry hippo and started right into those marbles!

More faces!

One of those watermelon faces is Deanna’s.  She’s an animated bundle of talent and wit and lends such a patient, listening ear when needed.  Thanks to Deanna, I now know Kira and Mike!  They’re sincere and gracious- the kind of friends who take the time to sit and appreciate the finer moments in life.  They also know quite a bit about coffee and shared a special brew with the end of brunch crew!  Someday soon they’ll teach me all about vacuum brewing, and I can’t wait!

Every Sunday should be filled with such friends and fun!

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