Just Because Brunch

As I sat at the table thoroughly enjoying my chile verde and chorizo sausage while sipping a mimosa, I looked around the garage taking in the warmth, laughter, and love.

That sounds so incredibly cheesy but it’s absolutely true.  I love to entertain because it’s a way to join people together in a loving way.

Ron and Danelle came over around 9:30 this morning to prep for our 11:00 brunch.  But in truth, what was prep was just friends hanging out setting up for something that would be awesome or not.  We didn’t care.

That’s the best kind about good entertaining… a nonchalant attitude with a touch of cockiness.

Ron created a homemade chile verde dish that literally filled the entire house with the most amazing aroma.  I told him I want him to cook in my kitchen, always.  He also made chorizo.  Now when I say he made it, I mean he actually made Portuguese chorizo, himself.  As I said in an earlier blog, Ron is a kick arse cook.  Seriously, crazy good!

Our brunch menu consisted of chile verde (served with sweet onion, cilantro, fresh guacamole, queso fresco cheese, and Ron’s homemade salsa), Italian sausage, chorizo, Spanish rice, roasted potatoes, fresh strawberries and blueberries, and a Mexican chocolate coffee cake.  I have to say, we rocked it!

When Paul and I woke up this morning the entire backyard was drenched.  Damn the May Grey!  Considering the fact that our cozy/small house can’t hold a party of 12, we had to hold the brunch outside.  This was a tad bit of a set back.  Now, we regularly entertain in the backyard with much of the festivities happening in the garage, which is more like an outdoor living room.  But knowing that the chilly garage was the only dry place to hold our brunch, we were in a bit of a conundrum.  Luckily Ron, Danelle, Paul, and I know Santa Barbara’s May weather and banked on the fog thinning out a touch while the ground dried up.  It worked out swimmingly.

All of our guests enjoyed mimosas and Ron’s homemade bloody Mary’s, as Ron cooked eggs and I broiled potatoes.  The Amy Winehouse station serenaded people as they eagerly anticipated brunch.  We knocked it out of the park!

Oh, and Sherman feasted on ice from the cooler.  Yes, that’s how the Dargas roll.

Side Note:  I didn’t think the coffee cake had enough of the magical Mexican chocolate flavor, so after it cooled completely I  shaved more on top of all of the pieces individually.  I also used Ibarra and Abuelita Mexican chocolate.  They are both the best!

Mexican Chocolate Coffee Cake (care of La Cocina de Leslie)

INGREDIENTS: 1 cup milk, 1 teaspoon white vinegar, 2 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup light brown sugar, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened), 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 large egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped pecans, 1 disk Mexican Chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 9-inch square baking dish with butter. Combine the milk and vinegar; set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and salt with an electric mixer on medium speed until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Remove 3/4 cup of the crumb mixture and set aside. Stir in the Mexican chocolate and pecans in the 3/4 cup of crumb mixture; set aside until ready to use. Add the baking soda, milk, egg, and vanilla to the remaining crumb mixture beating on medium speed until just combined.  Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle the reserved crumb topping on top of batter. Bake at 350°F for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for atleast 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Here’s Sherman’s Brunch…


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