A brunch buffet
Janet is the queen of decadent breakfast treats and you can get your day to a fabulous start with her protein-rich quinoa porridge with sauteed pears, baked pumpkin cranberry oatmeal breakfast pudding which showcases the best flavors of the season, or fluffy oatmeal pancakes served with juicy berries. If you prefer fruit embedded inside your pancake so you can taste some in every bite, try some strawberry pancakes brought over by Megha. Or perhaps you want some toast spread with fresh butternut squash butter made by the Radioactive Vegan.
If a savory breakfast is more your thing, PJ has made a couple of dosa options- Chettinad dosai which is spiked with a dozen fragrant spices and soybean dosa, a delicious way to use up legumes from the pantry. Dip the crisp dosas into some spicy lentil spice powder.
To round off the brunch, enjoy a cup of your favorite hot beverage- coffee, chai or cocoa- with a thick slice of Tahemeem's mocha banana cake or a handful of Usha's savory onion crackers.
Now that you have eaten your fill, you have a few hours to go off and read a book, do some shopping, go for a walk in the snow or catch your favorite movie on TV. By 6 PM, we're getting hungry again and the table is set for the festive evening holiday buffet.
Herb-cheese rolls form a Christmas tree; I made these for the holidays inspired by this post from Sweetnicks.
Many of us (I won't name names) could happily live on snacks alone and I dare you to resist the appetizer options we have here. Grab a mug of mulled cider and and munch on Veena's stuffed crescent rolls, hot pakodis from Masala Magic, deep fried eggplant balls (!) from the Radioactive Vegan, irresistible paneer tikka shared by Kanchan or Preeti's Kutchi dabeli.
If you really want to warm up from the inside out, you need a bowl of PJ's bonda soup, with lentil dumplings soaking in spicy rasam.
On the other table is the main course, starting with plenty of fresh baked breads: Supriya's stuffed braided bread could be a meal in itself. Denny shows her love for garlic (I understand; I love garlic too!) with garlic rolls and garlic naan. Use the warm breads to sop up any or all of these curries and stews: Turkish cranberry beans from Taste Space, PJ's soybean kurma, Su's palak paneer or Krithi's paneer tawa masala.
If you like rice, you have a choice of Tahemeem's capsicum masala rice and Denny's sprouts bell pepper pulao, with a side of any of these wonderful vegetables: eggplant in tomato sauce by Miri, PJ's stir-fried yardlong beans, Tahemeem's bottle gourd pachadi and PJ's gobi kasuri.
Radhika showcases seasonal produce with her roasted butternut squash. For a special winter treat, dig into Aqua's casserole of baked vegetables in white sauce.
From Asan Khana, we have a wonderful combination: Kerala egg curry with aloo palak paratha. For the pasta lovers among us, Su has a platter of kale mushroom spaghetti.
You'll be wishing that you saved plenty of room for dessert. If bite size desserts are your thing, choose from besan ladoos by Indosungod or another version of besan ladoos from SS, and Sonia's rava ladoos. PJ brought along a few simple sweets- banana nut cake, custard powder snack cake and maida burfi. SS also made Hello Dolly bars, a cute name for a tasty treat.
Monika made a beautiful marbled brownie cheesecake and Tanvi made red velvet cupcake with a rich frosting. Bong Mom made chocolate cupcakes that she says are better than anything, and I believe it. Bala brought two lovely mango desserts- mango ricotta cookies and white chocolate mango pie adorned with delicate snowflakes.
Sarah tried her hand (and succeeded!) at a classic Indian dessert, rasmalai. Soma made a show-stopper of a dessert with these gorgeous spiced poached pears with chocolate sauce. Finally, try a slice of my warm chocolate espresso pecan pie.
Pavani made a whole buffet of her own, with everything from granola as holiday gifts, mini-quiches and dip, a generations-old recipe of stuffed bitter melon and decadent desserts of tiramisu and fruit cake.
Thanks to all who carried beautiful platters of food to this potluck buffet- and here's hoping that in the new year we continue to see inspiring posts on our favorite food blogs, new recipes to bookmark, new techniques to learn and new ideas to share. Cheers, and thanks and hugs to my fellow food bloggers!