After my 36 hour stint in San Francisco last week, it has literally taken me until now to get caught up and back to the net. This probably had something to do with my having the house painted, throwing a huge party and scheduling a furniture delivery just days before departing. Forgive my lack of content.

But how are you?

San Francisco was incredible! We ate dinner on Monday night at a lovely little Italian Bistro in Burlingame call Il Fornaio. I had Bolognese, which tasted almost as incredible as it does when eating it in Bologna.

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This was looking at me when I got home from the airport at midnight.

This was looking at me when I got home from the airport at midnight.

So I know it has been over a week, but I can’t wait to tell you about the Witch’s Brunch! We had a wonderful time! My first guest arrived at 11:02 AM and the last one left at 6:30 PM…needless to say I loved having all of my favorite witches in one place!

I can’t believe this is my 5th Witch’s Bruch! A few pictures from years past:

Wearing striped tights and a witches nose in 2011. I was 7 months pregnant with Caleb!

Stirring my cauldron in 2012

2013

This was the last WB at my old house in 2013.

2014

Last year! 2014

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Witch’s Brunch 2015

To ready about last year’s brunch click here.

My menu every year is exactly the same: Pumpkin Soup and Grown Up Grilled Cheese–which is a regular grilled cheese but using sourdough, Havarti and Sadie’s Pesto. This year, I made the Pumpkin Soup the night before and waited until the next morning to puree it with the immersion blender…and I’ll tell you, I really believe doing this bumped up the flavor a notch. I’ll definitely do it this way from now on.

sandwiches

For party favors this year my lovely friend Amy personalized wine glasses for each guest which also acted as a place card. These could NOT have been any more fun…plus the spider web portion actually glows in the dark!!!!

wineglasses

Dessert is something I have struggled with for the past several years. I always have a ton of candy corn in little dishes all over the house, but something more “special” always seemed more appropriate for an occasion where I celebrate my most favorite of favorite witches. This year, I called my friend Suzy and ordered some of her delicious pudding shots.

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Now I know this sounds crazy, but y’all these are incredible! They are not the kind of shot you (sort of) remember taking at college parties. These are delicious, gourmet little desserts that happen to be spiked. Suzy made Pumpkin and Caramel Apple and they were AMAZING! Everybody LOVED them! Here’s why:

  • they are small portions–which is appreciated after a big meal. Guests enjoy something sweet but don’t necessarily want a giant piece of chocolate cake.
  • they are unexpected–whoever heard of serving a pudding shot (or a shot in general!!) as a dessert at a ladies brunch. Well get ready girls…the pudding shot is here to stay!
  • they are adorable–I mean really. How bad do you want to try one of these?
  • they come in every flavor imaginable: Cheesecake, S’mores, Oreo, Mint Oreo, Banana Cream Pie, Orange Dreamsicle, Chocolate Covered Strawberries to name a few…
  • they are spiked.

It is definitely a new addition to the Witch’s Brunch Menu that will never change from now on! For more info about Suzy’s pudding shots you can email her at suzannestergios@gmail.com.

The tables turned out really fun this year. A Fall colored table runner (that was a wedding gift!) ran the length of the kitchen table as did a version of my go-to centerpiece. Copper buckets with jack-o-lantern faces held white hydrangea and alternated with pumpkin scented votives. I used my very first set of dishes (purchased prior to my engagement or wedding) because they are bright, and festive and look a little bit to me like a crazy witch’s eyeball. Am I the only one who sees that?

And of course, the precious pumpkin bowls from Pier 1 were the perfect vessel for pumpkin soup.

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Black and white was the definite color theme for my formal dining room. Giant black spider webs acted as the runner and held the same pumpkin buckets as in the kitchen table, however these were black instead of copper. White square plates, back napkin and white pumpkin bowls sat atop black and white placemats that were originally from Pottery Barn but are probably about 100 years old now. If you don’t have a set of black and white placemats/napkins I would consider investing in some. You will be surprised how many directions they can go.

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For the first time this year I didn’t use my china, crystal and sterling…(gasp!) Are you shocked? I kind of am still.

Knowing that I was leaving town a few days later gave me the desire to make clean up as simple as possible which quickly led me to the decision to only use pieces that could go in the dishwasher. I even used fun little plastic cups for water glasses on the table. (plastic cups?? double gasp!!)

As usual, I cried during the blessing which is super embarrassing because really, why is that necessary? I thought about it later that night while recapping the day for Brian, and I think the reason is because the blessing of having incredible witches in my life brings forth such emotion. Seriously, mine are the best witches around. There were 16 witches total this year. We laughed, sipped wine, told stories, dealt with a surprise “gift” —those who were there know what I’m talking about!–ate pumpkin soup, ate candy corn, ate grown up grilled cheese, ate pudding shots, met new friends, inquired after old ones, went around the circle to see if anyone is pregnant–only Rebecca who’s due in December!–checked to see if anyone had had a vasectomy–is this really our life????!!!, called Brian to bring home some more wine and laughed a ton more.

girls

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Love to all my witches!!!!

-ciao for now-

lauren

 

 

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