Excursions: Brunch Boot Camp with Whole Foods Market and Sur La Table
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Mother's Day is quickly approaching! Since I'm always eager to spend a day celebrating the amazing women in my life, I was excited to attend a Mother's Day Brunch Boot Camp by Whole Foods Market and Sur La Table in Kirkland. On a sunny Sunday afternoon, I joined other local bloggers to learn how to mix two different cocktails, how to whip up a dreamy eggs Benedict with hollandaise and the basics of throwing together a beautiful flower bouquet. Talk about #BrunchGoals! 

The event kicked off with each of us finding a spot in Sur La Table's culinary classroom and filling our plates with a delectable assortment of brunch goodies like shrimp and fennel filled croissants, colorful fruits and mini scones. The only thing I was missing was a drink! Luckily, it wasn't long before one of Whole Food's professional chefs, Chef Hayden, welcomed our group and began teaching us how to make the featured cocktails. 

The first drink recipe, a Mango Thai Basil Spritzer, calls for:

2 ounces of mango purée

1 ounce of fresh-squeezed lime juice

Sparkling wine (we used Cava but Prosecco works as well)

and crushed Thai basil to garnish 

The recipe for the second drink, an Aperol Spritzer, requires:

1 ounce of Aperol

1 ounce of club soda

more sparkling wine (Cava or Prosecco)

and 1 orange slice

Both cocktails are easy to make. Simply combine the liquid ingredients and top them off with the garnishes. Once our glasses were full, Chef Hayden brought out the ingredients for the Benedict. 

Image via @WFMSeattle

Image via @WFMSeattle

To assemble the Bloody Mary Benedict with hollandaise sauce you'll need:

Bloody Mary Benedict:

4 large eggs, poached

12 asparagus spears, poached

2 crumpets or English muffins, cut into halves

4 picked green beans to garnish

and smoked paprika

For the hollandaise:

4 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon of vodka

1 tablespoon of tomato paste

1 stick of melted, salted butter

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

a dash of Tabasco sauce

and a pinch of salt and pepper

To start, fill a pot halfway with water and bring to a simmer.

To prepare the sauce, use a metal mixing bowl to combine a tablespoon of the simmering water with the eggs yolks, vodka, and tomato paste. Begin vigorously whisking the ingredients, making sure to hold the mixing bowl over the simmering water, while slowly drizzling the melted butter into the yolk mixture. Then add the lemon juice, Tabasco, salt and pepper. 

To assemble, lay the poached eggs on top of the crumpets or English muffins and add the asparagus spears. Pour your fresh hollandaise sauce over it and top it off with the pickled green bean and smoked paprika. 

And when it all comes together, it looks just as good as it tastes! 

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Once our stomachs were full, we moved into the next portion of our boot camp which was all about flower power! I was happy to learn that Whole Foods works to provide their customers with earth-friendly floral options. In addition to meeting the national standards for sustainability, their Veriflora flowers help support equitable hiring and employment practices, safe workplace and housing conditions, access to health care, education, transportation, and the prevention of child labor.

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While it doesn't really matter which flowers you decide to put in your bouquet, the florist recommended pairing flowers whose colors work well together. She also said we should keep in mind how high or low we wanted the flowers to sit in your bouquet when we were cutting the stems. Did you know that tulips will continue to grow even after you've cut them? Or that you should cut the stems of hydrangeas vertically because they absorb water differently than other flowers? Since I'm still far from a flower expert, I was relieved to find out that Whole Foods has a full service floral department ready to answer any and all of my questions. 

Beyond teaching us some arrangement basics, we were also given the opportunity to put our newfound floral knowledge to use by making our our mini bouquets. Take a look at what I threw together! It includes a few white dahlias, a single rose, small peonies and some leafy green fillers. 

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How are you planning on making the mothers in your life feel special?