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V2 Soirées: A Father’s Day Brunch By Victoria Ingenito For Middleburg Life No matter how many soirées I have under my apron, nothing matches the thrill of a new project. As a young soiréepreneur, I constantly look for inspiration that will bring a creative and fresh approach to every occasion. Some of my all-time favorites are summer porch parties at stately Victorian-era homes in Saratoga, private business dinners in Georgetown, themed birthday celebrations in Middleburg, ladies garden brunches in Upperville and sophisticated Virginia tailgates. For June, I’m doing a display of white chocolate-coated lemon cream cheese cake pops for a lavish Father’s Day brunch for 30 guests. This stylish and

entertaining event is in honor of a sportsobsessed dad who has a particular knack for golf. The cake pop dessert presentation is my piece de resistance and will be nothing short of extraordinary. Sticking with

the golf theme, the white pops will go into a foam wedge covered in moss so that they resemble golf balls on a freshly mowed putting green. With great care and lots of finesse, I’ll wedge a few real Master’s golf balls and tees in between the cake pops and voila, done! Cooking is in my genes. My kitchen endeavors began more than 20 years ago, sitting propped up on a pillow at the kitchen table with my grandmother, Nonie, carefully hand making cappelletti into their traditional hat shapes. She imparted generations of culinary wisdom through daily lessons in shaping pastas, infusing broth and prepping meats or vegetables. My mother, a kitchen apprentice of her grandmother, also tutored me in the art of entertaining and more refined baking techniques. So, I literally grew up in the kitchen honing my soirée expertise. For Father’s Day I will be up at 6 a.m. Two hours later, a freshly baked brown butter Bundt and a chocolate tweed pound cake will be situated on wire racks to cool. The polished sterling silverware will be neatly rolled inside pressed white linen napkins and arranged on the dining room table next to the china plates. This will mark the beginning of the brunch procession with greens next, followed by baked goods, then egg dishes, and finally dessert on a separate side table. To whet guests’ appetites, I’ve planned for refreshing yogurt parfaits to be served as people arrive, mingle and say their hellos. These little delights are layered with my own blend of homemade granola, strained honeyalmond yogurt for extra creaminess, orange segments bursting with juice, and freshly chopped mint. To jazz them up even more, I

put them together in crystal goblets to see all those beautiful layers of deliciousness. The salads and respective dressings just needed tossing together within five minutes of the 12:20 p.m. serving time. Although the custom coordinated brunch invitations said the soirée would begin at noon, slightly delaying the serving time lets people get settled, relax with a cocktail or two and chat for a bit. It also gives those inevitably late stragglers a little cushion. About the cocktails. I plan a whimsical Bloody Mary bar around a stylish silver ice bucket and geometrically arranged highball

Victoria Ingenito creates a Father’s Day Soirée.

glasses rimmed with a zippy sweet-salty blend of goodies from the spice cabinet. (This is achieved by dipping the rim of glass in lemon juice first and then into the spices.) Now, any mouth-watering Bloody Mary bar requires serious accouterments because the peppery fresh tomato mixture triggers taste buds to seek texture and complementary flavors. I’ll have a

pile of tall crunchy celery stalk stirrers ready and four-inch skewers of think cut pepperoni, wedged sharp cheddar, peperoncini, mozzarella stuffed green olives and mini gherkins. The final brunch items will be timed to make sure they are piping hot straight out of the oven for the brunch procession. Dozens of eggs and cream are whipped for three fluffy quiches. The egg mixture combined with various fillings such as caramelized balsamic onions and Andouille sausage or fire roasted asparagus and white cheddar reveals beautiful hints of these ingredients in the cooked quiches. These will be placed on glass pedestal stands to add an element of height and lightness to the brunch display in contrast to the polished pine dining room table. The layered and soaked cinnamon French toast is generously stuffed with macerated apples baked to a lovely golden hue. Knowing it would be impossible to remove and plate this without ruining the perfectly aligned rows of toast points, I will prepare it in elegant white ceramic baking dishes appropriate for serving. A drizzled a caramel glaze over the top with praline pecan crumbles and a wisp of sifted powdered sugar will complete this confection. The table décor will include column beeswax candles in shades reminiscent of oatmeal, dark chocolate and vanilla. The other elements of accents will include bronze trivets and brushed gold placemats peeking out from underneath the various platters and serving bowls, as it would have been a shame to hide that lovely pine drop leaf table. The guests will be dazzled. Every soirée begins as a challenge, but I’ve nailed down a meticulous system in planning and preparation that always delivers. This Father’s Day brunch promises to be yet another successful soirée: seamlessly smooth; highly professional; and smiling faces all around, especially for all fathers. See also, vsquaredsoirees/photos_stream/.

Throw a different kind of party… At Hunt Country Parties,

we don’t rent Chiavari chairs and gold chargers. But we do rent —



Cake pops to remind a special father of his beloved game of golf.

54th Annual Hunt Country Stable Tour 2013

May 2013

M i d d l e b u r g

L i f e



MAY 25 & 26, 2013

Stables Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Training Track Open 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Sat. Only A Self Driven Tour of Stables in Middleburg and Upperville, Virginia Presented by Trinity Episcopal Church


(540) 592-3711

Order Online! Proceeds benefit the ministry of Trinity Episcopal Church

v Reclaimed barn wood farm tables and benches v Charming coops with exotic chickens v Plants of all varieties, and v Everything else you need to give your guests a wonderful day in the country

Call 703-927-5998, or visit

Middelburg Life May 2013