101 in 1001 #51: Throw a dinner (BRUNCH) party.

Doesn't throwing a dinner party sound all grown-up and lovely? I thought so, so I added it to the brunch list. Then I realized that I'm not a stellar cook, at least not of the traditional "meat and potatoes and a side dish" variety. Then I further realized that most of my friends aren't, either...we're much more along the lines of a "takeout and Bitesquad and quick-and-easy meals for one" type crowd. 

Then...I realized that I am EXCELLENT at brunch. (See: Eva's bridal shower, this summer) And my friends? They looooove brunch. So when Notre Dame played Syracuse with an 11am kickoff on October 1st, I decided, along with Hal, that we should turn that oh-so-grown-up dinner party into a good old-fashioned gamebrunch rager. 

And we did! Starting with the bar: 

Iced coffee, plus major champagne with three different mixers for mimosas (pomegranate, blood orange, and peach Bellini)...or harder options in the back for those who preferred it. Please note the stylish presentation in Hal's beverage bucket along with the football napkins and fall-appropriate pumpkins and mums, because we believe in aesthetics at the House of Hal and Lizzie. 

I went a little nuts at Party City on blue, green, and gold serveware...although with a crew of 17 coming, we couldn't really class it up beyond paper plates and napkins and plastic utensils. We just don't have enough dishes! Something to aspire to, I suppose. 

On the menu, clockwise from top left: 

-Hillary, a friend of Hal's and a new friend of mine, brought absolutely precious "breakfast pigs in a blanket" and they were as delicious as they were adorable. 

-spinach-and-artichoke egg bake, as served at Eva's shower, recipe here

-Gruyere-and-sausage egg bake, also as served at Eva's shower, recipe here. I stuck with tried-and-true crowd pleasers for the main dishes...nothing like playing it safe with a crew this size!

-pumpkin coffee cake with brown sugar glaze, recipe here. You guys. THIS WAS SO GOOD. It was gone before the party was over, and I made it again for a brunch at work where it similarly vanished insanely fast. It is absolutely decadent. Make it. Everyone will be impressed and you won't be sorry. 

I'm still impressed we managed to cram the crew we did into our space. The couch and every chair in our apartment (including Hal's piano bench!) ended up doing duty during the game. I'm not sorry. 

Creeper shots abounded. 

My favorite bros in action discussing Iowa losses and Notre Dame victories! 

And finally, most of the crew assembled! (There are a few more miscreants off to the side that I couldn't fit in the frame!) Hal and I had so much fun hosting...and, if the 12+ bottles of champagne we went through are any indication, hopefully our guests had fun too. 

Here's to being better at hosting brunches than we are at looking normal in photos! 

For more 101 in 1001, head here. And if you want to come over for brunch, let me know! I'll baaaaake!