ideas and inspiration: brunch is the new black!

{ how to plan a brunch party }

Looking for a refreshing party theme? One that is unconventional without being too over-the-top? Fit for all sorts of parties, guests and venues? Easy to pull off, though exceeding expectations? One that requires low-key hosting and yet sets an upbeat mood? Throw a brunch!
You will find precisely null reasons brunches should be saved for baby showers or limited to sleepy hungover chatting with the girls. I like brunches so badly that I'll sleep in on the weekends just to merge breakfast and lunch together. So badly, that I decided to throw one for my birthday. Booze included - of course!


have a christmassy tea time treat!

{ gluten-free mini cinnamon rice gugels }

'Bolo de Arroz', the portuguese rice muffin, ocasional replacement for a Pastel de Nata as a side for an espresso or a meia-de-leite, was the inspiration behind these mini gugels. I have spiced up the original recipe up and made it totally gluten and lactose free! Mini lemony cakes, with a texture similar to that of madeleines, they are the perfect as a coffee or tea-time treat and for sharing with friends!


dancing in the clouds.

{ cream filled berry pavlova }

Named after russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, this beautiful dessert is a sure crowd stunner. The ideal pavlova meringue has a crispy shell and a fluffy marshmallow-like interior. Don't panic if your meringue cracks - there really is something perfect about such imperfection. Sublimity can be easily achieved with a thick layer of lemon twisted whipped cream and an overload of fresh berries. I finished mine by pouring over a little port wine reduction and, inspired by the happenstance of the first snowfall of the season, I dusted it all with confectioner's sugar.


autumn aura.

{ gluten-free spiced pumpkin-carrot cupcakes with vanilla cream cheese frosting }

Miniature sized cupcakes are a whole lot of cute. I called these mini stunners 'autumn aura' because if autumn were a pallet of flavours, that of this cupcakes would be there, side by side with roasted chestnuts and pear compote. Behold the beauty of these tiny things, the dash of coconut on top lending them a snowish appeal. Bite into the delicious balance between a moist peppery pumpkin cake and a thick vanilla cream cheese frosting. And you wanna know what...? They are also gluten-free.


ouvi dizer que há por aí abóboras...

{ ginger saffron pumpkin soup }

Let's not go in denial here. October is World's Pumpkin Month and that the way it is. After accepting it and finally resigning - with an unexpectedly fierce enthusiasm! - to the ongoing 'pumpkin rush', we may find ourselves burried in stocked with excessive amounts of pumpkin leftovers. This soup is the perfect excuse for either getting rid of them... or to buy more pumpkin! The addition of potato brings substance to the cream, while zucchini plays along its squash counterpart for freshness. Infused with real saffron and a hint of ginger, this soup hits a sweet spot between the traditional and the exotic, the savoury and the sweet, and is hence sure to please even the pickiest palate. True flavourful comfort food.