A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a brunch with a number of fellow Lexington area bloggers. From food bloggers to fashion bloggers, it was a wonderful opportunity for me to meet people that I often only interact with digitally, which is such an odd thing to think about! As a very introverted person, I enjoy blogging because it allows me to present myself at my comfort level, and from the perceived safety of a digital facade, but sometimes its nice to break out of my comfort zone.
The brunch was held at The Barn at Springhouse Gardens, in Nicholasville, Kentucky. This venue is located just minutes from Lexington, and was a serene garden retreat that would make any couple an incredible wedding venue. We were spoiled though and had it all set up just for us for brunch, and it was truly lovely. As you can see form the pictures from the talented Kirstie Dunston Photography, we had a beautifully rustic brunch set up in the gardens just outside of the historic tobacco barn.
Because there are few things I love more than a good meal, I was very excited to contribute what I could to the gathering, and to eat my way thorough other bloggers’ hard work as well! I made a tart that I remember my mother making for lots brunches and pot lucks, and that I always loved so much.
This caramelized onion tart is somewhere between a tart and a quiche, and has the time saving advantage of using store bought puff pastry instead of homemade pastry. Normally I prefer my go-to pastry recipe, but since the fillings in this tart are quite savory and on the heavy side, the puff pastry lends it a lightness it needs.
As usual, most of my recipes on my blog are not for those who are conconcered with low fat or low calorie counts, as I embrace all things cheese, dairy, and fat in our house. This tart recipe calls for eggs, heavy cream, butter, and some amazing Gruyere cheese, and is worth every bite. The Gruyere cheese pairs perfectly with the caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms, and topped with fresh herbs, makes a wonderful contribution to any brunch (in my very biased opinion).
The recipe for this tart will be at the very bottom of the post, so keep scrolling to find out how to make it yourself! If you have never caramelized onions before, I really recommend trying it out. It takes some time and patience, but the taste is so worth it, and once you know how to make them, you will want to top everything with caramelized onions…
My cake stand is from Williams-Sonoma, but they no longer carry it. I found a similar style here though.
The decor and place settings of this venue were beautiful, and was so happy to be a part of such a lovely event.
The Lexington area bloggers all ready to eat and mingle!
Since I was about 8 months pregnant at the time of the brunch, I also had my usual struggle of trying to find a cute maternity friendly outfit. I searched and searched my go-to maternity shops and sites, and couldn’t find anything I liked, fit well, or didn’t already own (yes I have a problem…).
I thankfully found a dress last minute (on sale nevertheless) from Anthropologie. It is not a maternity dress, but is cut roomy and flowy enough that it worked! I had been eying this dress for a while, and when it went on sale, stopped by my local Anthropologie store and they thankfully had a size that fit my bump! This Eyelet Swing Dress is normally $158, then went on sale for $99, and I was fortunate enough to get it for an addition 30% off. For reference, I am wearing a size 4. It runs very large, as not pregnant I would normally be a size 6.
The sandals I wore are the cutest little slides that have pearls on them. Very girly, but I couldn’t resist!
The cross body bag is an ancient one from Cole Haan, but I found similar styles here and here.
This dress is definitely one I plan on keeping in my closet, pregnant or not!
The biggest of thanks to The Barn at Springhouse Gardens, as well all of the amazing vendors and shops that contributed to the brunch, and to the amazing goodie bags we received! All of the other bloggers in attendance are listed below, along with links to their blogs so you can see their posts about the event. Also listed below is information on all of the vendors.
Taylor Camacho | The Stylish Tales of Tay
Kelsey Bauer | KabKitchen
Emily Ho | Authentically Emmie
Sarah Caton | Space, Place & Southern Grace
Courtney Hastings | Kentucky Girl Ramblings
Tif Fannin | Bright on a Budget
Katie Mullen & Anna Towle | Hartley Social
Francis Lee Baker | Lee’s Lookbook
Kayla Nord | Kayla Weber Art
Whitney Scheibel | Fabulous in Fayette
Ella Rutledge | Girl Meets Lex
Bronwyn Butler | Basically Bronwyn
Stephanie Hargis | This Lexington Life
Leela Foley | Lex Eats
Emily Riddle | Miss Molly Vintage
Amanda Zopp | Salt & Life Blog
Special thanks to all the vendors who contributed to our special goodie bags: Shop Local KY, Miss Molly Vintage, AJ Apothecary, Shop Twenty, Morton James, Springhouse Gardens, Whole Foods Lexington, and Kentucky Yarnbirds. Our brunch was held at The Barn at Springhouse in Nicholasville, Kentucky. All photos taken by Kirstie Dunston Photography unless noted otherwise.
- 3 sweet onions, peeled and sliced
- 5 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 4 – 6 medium to large shitake mushrooms, sliced
- 4 – 6 chanterelle mushroom, sliced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry
- 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese, divided into 1/2 cup portions
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk
- Pinch of fresh herbs (basil or tarragon or oregano, whatever smells good and is fresh)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sauté the onions in butter, until caramelized, about 40 minutes. During this process, add the brown sugar at about the half way point, and the vinegar towards the end. This can be done early and set aside; if done more than 2 hours early, refrigerate.
- Sauté the mushrooms together in butter until browned. This can also be done early and set aside; if done more than 2 hours early, refrigerate.
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the sheet of puff pastry to a 14 inch circle. Place into a 12 – 13 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Use your fingers to press up the sides.
- Place half of cheese into the bottom of the tart pan. Layer the onions next and place the mushrooms on top. Cover with the remaining cheese.
- Mix egg, egg yolk, and whipping cream and pour over top of tart.
- Sprinkle with your choice of herbs, and the salt and pepper.
- Bake 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned.
- Serve or set aside and reheat when ready to eat.