Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Breakfast at Wimbledon - and celebrating the 4th

Most tennis fans know that the Wimbledon fortnight usually ends on Independence Day weekend. Not that the Brits care - in fact they probably planned it that way so that they could take their minds off of the fact that America is celebrating its independence from England :)

Anyway, I am English by birth, American by nature :) Also a big tennis fan. I've been lucky enough to attend Wimbledon twice as a kid, and I enjoy watching the tournament every year. After the last two mens championship matches, Jim and I thought it would fun to host "Breakfast at Wimbledon" in the hopes that we would have another amazing 5 set match to watch.

Turns out that wasn't the case. Well done to Nadal, but I was hoping that Berdych could have put up a better fight. Oh well. The food was good, the company was great, and overall we had a wonderful day.

The Menu:
Featherbed Eggs
Vegetable Strata
Baked French Toast
Quiche Lorraine with Pancetta
Make-your-own-waffle bar
Chocolate chip muffins
Grilled Pork Roll
Grilled Scrapple
Grilled Bacon
Mixed berries
Strawberries, shortcakes, and Devonshire cream
Mimosas, tea, coffee, juces

Anywhere on the Wimbledon grounds, you can get the best strawberries and cream you have ever tasted. I like them fresh with a little heavy cream drizzled over them, and a little sugar sprinkled on top. I was too busy devouring mine to take a cute photo.

I baked these shortcakes in the morning (so easy and delicious) and had some fresh whipped cream in the fridge to make some amazing strawberry shortcakes.

The chocolate chip muffins are to-die for. Jim asks that I make them more often, but if I did, we'd both be at least 20lbs heavier! So I make them on special occasions :) It is a simple muffin recipe from Everyday Food, and you can add whatever mix-ins you like. I haven't found a mix-in yet that we didn't like with this recipe. I'll post it one day :)

The breakfast buffet was great. Most of the food was prepared the night before and kept in the fridge, and then I just popped it in the oven in the mornig. Everything was ready from the oven pretty early, but stayed hot forever! Jim cooked up all the meat on the grill as the first guests arrived, and the rest was no-hassle entertaining!

The Featherbed Eggs are a recipe my aunt shared with me several years ago - I think she got it in the food section of the LA Times. Prepared the night before.

The Vegetable Strata was a recipe that I found in Gourmet Magazine - very easy, and again, prepared the night before. It's a lot like the Savory Bread Pudding I've made in the past, which means that it is great as leftovers for dinner!

The Baked French Toast was a recipe found in The Joy of Cooking. I used challah bread and soaked the bread in the egg mixture overnight. Delicious.

I made a traditional Quiche Lorraine with homemade pastry from The Joy of Cooking and added some cooked pancetta. Amazing.

As I mentioned, Jim put the scrapple on the grill. Everyone loved it. All the guys who ate it did at least. I cannot bring myself to eat it - I think you have to be a true Philadelphian :) He did the pork roll on the grill also, and for the bacon we put the griddle on the grill and cooked it that way. Nice and crispy.

I tried to get a little patriotic with the decor. Red, white and blue, and some festive flower arrangements. Nothing too fancy. I set up three separate small tables - like a bistro - so people could sit where they liked, and have multiple seatings for multiple rounds of food :)

After several rounds of eating and three sets of tennis (on tv), we spent some time outside playing baggo, followed by some relaxing time on the couches. We had a late lunch/early dinner, and then packed up some things to take with us on our next adventure...

...Our brother-in-law works in center city on the 40th floor of a building that overlooks the Ben Franklin Parkway. Steps away from the cathedral where we were married :)

(That's the cathedral in the bottom right corner) The Philadelphia Museum of Art is in the top left. 

Philadelphia was hosting a free concert and fireworks display on the Parkway, so Matt and Alison came up with the great idea to watch them from his conference room on the 40th floor. Amazing! We took some food and drinks, set up the TV so we could watch the concert, and enjoyed the show!

Hope everyone had a safe and happy Independence Day!

I'll post the recipes from this event later this week.


Kathleen said...

Abby I love looking at all the fun things you plan and cook up! It has inspired me to be a little more creative! Keep up the good ideas!