Casual entertaining: Challah, Cookies, Mimosas & Vietnamese Coffee with friends

Happy Friday, everyone!

I'm so looking forward to the weekend: I'll be painting my kitchen, going dancing, getting together wish some friends for fun and food, and of course cooking.

Since this is the holiday season, there is a lot of entertaining taking place. I am not a huge fan of throwing big dinner parties: they  stress me out, and how much fun is that?

Instead, I like getting together with a few friends for a casual brunch, tea, or in this case Challah, Cookies, Mimosas & Vietnamese Coffee.

Last Saturday, after I said good bye to my brother and sent him off to an amazing ten day trip to Israel, I had just enough time to attempt a nap, clean up a bit and set the table for a chill afternoon with Stacey, Sylvie and Jenna. Oh, and let's not forget Stacey's adorable 6 month old son, Myer, who shamelessly flirted with all of us ;)

I set the table with casual every day dishes, blue wine glasses from Crate & Barrel, a pitcher of orange juice, a bottle of sparkling wine, lemon pear marmalade and Nutella. I chose not to take the marmalade and Nutella out of the jars: this was not High Tea.

As far as decorations, I placed a square vase on the table filled with ornaments: festive, and you can still see your guests without having to avoid a giant flower arrangement.

Stacey brought her incredibly delicious challah: I loved it with Nutella and sliced apples.

Sylvie brought Vietnamese coffee, which she brewed in my place and sweetened condense milk. This stuff is crack, I tell you.

Jenna made banana chocolate cookies.

We ate, drank, chatted, and took turns holding Myer. At the end, everyone helped to clean up, took leftover cookies home, and I ended up having an impromptu cooking dinner date with Sylvie and her boyfriend Marshall: we made Beef Stroganoff. This was such a relaxing and enjoyable time with friends.

The next day, I thought I'd use some of the leftover sweetened condensed milk to make cherries drizzled with condensed milk and Nutella. Alas, the idea itself was better than the final product. Condensed milk did not really stick to the cherries even when I double dipped them and held them in the freezer. So I just ate them as is.

What are your ideas for casual entertaining?


DeliciousDish said...

I love the ornament centerpiece. Such a cute idea! I might always go a little overboard when it comes to entertaining. I need lessons from you on keeping things more simple and chill. P.S. Is that pitcher from C&B too? I think I registered for the same one.

Olga @ MangoTomato said...

Yes, it is! From their outlet. Took me forever to find one that I actually liked. It’s not as refined as I’d ultimately want, but it does the work. For me, these potluck get togethers are the best.

Glad you liked the ornament idea: it’s a vase from a friend’s wedding: so even more special!

Lorna Walker said...

Vietnamese coffee is awesome! We were first introduced to this at our favorite veitnamese restaurant and loved it so much we bought little filters and the ingredients to make it at home. Love it a lot!
I had my first Mimosa about a month ago as well. How did I go this long without trying those.

Olga @ MangoTomato said...

You should try adding grapefruit juice instead of orange, or mix it up with peach or mango nectars: it's a new world ;)

The Duo Dishes said...

Homemade challah is a fave, fave, fave. As a sandwich, that's delicious. (It's also delicious in bread pudding!) That's a super sweet brunch.