Last weekend, I hosted the brilliant and beautiful women in my book club for brunch. I wanted to go as girly as possible. Pink roses, floral napkins (that I made! The hems are atrocious!), fancy tropical juices in prosecco, the whole nine yards. My menu was girly as well:
Mini pesto frittatas: fluffy, cheesy, and tiny met my feminine criteria.
Cream currant scones: evocative of a tea party which, girly.
Lavender butter: butter + flowers = girliness.
Grape tomato & basil salad: girls love salad.
I started with the butter. It sounds fancy and it looked fancy and it tasted fancy and it required about 5 minutes of hands-on time. You pour heavy whipping cream into your stand mixer and you turn it on. You continue to check on it until you think it's ready - nope, it's whipped cream. Keep going. You keep mixing until the fats start to solidify and the buttermilk pools at the bottom.
Now, you get your hands all buttery. Squeeze all of the solids together into a lump and press any additional liquid out. Then, you start rinsing the butter. This basically entails pouring a small amount of very cold ice water over the butter and continuing to squeeze liquid out until all liquid from the butter runs clear. You'll end up with a lump.
I split the butter into two different ramekins - one got a pinch of big crunchy flakes of salt and the other got about 1/4 teaspoon of dried lavender flowers.
Then I moved on to the eggs. Martha inspired me with a pesto and tomato frittata, but I decided that mini frittatas were easier for a group and made a tomato salad on the side. I simply halved a box and a half of red grape tomatoes and a box of yellow grape tomatoes. I tossed them with a little olive oil drizzle, a little salt, and some ribbons of fresh basil.
For the frittatas, I scrambled a dozen eggs with some grated fresh mozzarella and half a cup of pesto. I also had to mix it with my little piglet whisk, a gift from our book club's Secret Santa back in December. Thanks, B - I continue to love this little pre-baconous dude.
I poured the mix into a greased cupcake pan (one with 12 cupcake holes). I baked these last after the scones came out of the oven. And the scones were super tasty. I am very particular about scones. I don't want too much grease and I certainly don't want any frosting on top or any additional Starbucks-esque bastardizations. They are perfect in their driest, crumbliest form, which is how the baking gods intended it to be. This scone recipe (also Martha) is absolutely perfect. They're a cinch to prepare and I followed her recipe (almost) to the letter. She has you cut the dough into six wedges, but I had seven attendees, so I went with eight wedges. If I were to do this recipe over, I'd still go with the eight wedges - I think six would have netted too much scone at once.
While the scones cooled a bit, I popped the mini frittatas into the same 400 degree oven and baked for a little over 10 minutes. Basically test the middle for doneness with a toothpick, cool them on a rack for a couple of minutes, and then pop out onto your serving dish.
I snapped one last picture once all the food (and a few of the tropical fruit bellinis) was on the table and then we got down to business.
I don't have any fancy pictures of the drinks area, but I did have these phenomenal (and 100% true) cocktail napkins.
The food was all delicious. The frittatas needed a little work - mostly, additional salt and pepper - but there was only one left at the end of our noshing. The scones, as mentioned, were exactly what I wanted scones to be and they were perfect with the lavender butter. All in all, our dainty yet delicious menu balanced out our insightful yet raucous afternoon, very little of which centered on the book!