I love throwing parties. I love filling my home with friends. I love gathering my favorite people together and spending entire days with them. I love filling my tables with fresh baked cupcakes and dishes hot from the oven. I love mixing cocktails, icing down a keg, and inviting my peers to partake. I love celebrating another day of life with people I care about. I love throwing parties.
Roommate and I invite friends over frequently for everything from super brunch to Sunday dinner to nights watching The Bachelorette to we-don’t-need-an-excuse-to-have-a-party kind of nights. We try to keep the entertaining as simple as possible, but twice a year we like to pull out all the stops. Once in the winter and once in the summer, we throw a bash so big that our little apartment is bursting at the seams. Just as talk of last year’s (dare I say) epic Christmas party began to fizzle out, it was time for our summer shindig.
Just as certain as Christmas rolls around each year, so does the Philadelphia International Cycling Competition, better known to the locals simply as Bike Race. And sure enough, just like our annual Christmas party, our Bike Race party has grown with each passing year. As cyclists from around the world converge on Philadelphia to vie for the $30,000 grand prize, my neighborhood all but shuts down as the residents pour into the streets celebrate and spectate. We scream and cheer to champion the riders during each of the 10 laps up the infamous “Manyunk Wall,” a hill so long and so steep that even I get winded walking up it. The only thing that can possibly rival the athletic prowess of the cyclist, is the massive house parties that rock the neighborhood on bike race day.
Anyone can stock up at the beer distributor and liquor store, but nobody puts on a brunch like Roomate and I ; )
- Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins
- Monkey Bread
- Sausage, Caramelized Onion, and Goat Cheese Quiche
- Cheesy Potatoes
- Huevos Rancheros Taquitos (recipe coming soon)
- Fruit Tart
- Fruit Tray with Homemade Strawberry Fluff
- Lemon Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
- Zucchini, Leek, and Mushroom Quiche (recipe coming soon)
- Breakfast Braids (not photoed)
- Bacon Tomato Cups (not photoed)
- Ambassador’s Cocktail (not photoed)
The key to throwing a great brunch party that you, the host, gets to enjoy as much as your guests is planning. Unlike an evening party, a 10AM start time doesn’t give the host a whole lot of time to cook, clean, and decorate the morning of. We spent most of the day before the party working our tails off to prep as many of the dishes as possible. Baked goods, for the most part, can be made a day ahead of time, as they will stay fresh overnight if tightly covered. We made the cheesy potatoes two days early and one day before we prepared the fillings for all of the savory dishes and stored them in containers in the refrigerator. An hour before guests arrived, we assembled the breakfast braids, quiche, bacon tomato cups, and taquitos. I preheated the oven and started popping the hot foods in as soon our friends began trickling through the door. With a warming tray ready to go on the table it was easy peasy to get the food from the oven to the table to my friends’ bellies in no time.
Remember, its your party, so you deserve to have fun too! Party hosting rule #1: Never let the hosting get in the way of your good time.
It was a scorching hot day for Bike Race this year, but thankfully the street was shut down, so we were able to move the party out in front of my apartment as well. With only two window AC units, the apartment was getting h-o-t. Nothing like some fun in the sun with friends to get the summer started off the right way!
The race itself wrapped up around 4PM, but do you really think we were ready for the party to end? Of course not!
Roommate and I invited everyone back to our place, and moved things out to the roof. It turns out all you need is some drinks, some snacks, and some tunes, to turn a measly 6 foot by 20 foot space from a grimy storage area into a bumpin roof party.
Check back over the next week for some more of my favorite brunch recipes! In the meantime… go have fun with your friends! That’s what summer is all about, right?