Whew! We broke in the new home last weekend with a surprise brunch party for my parent’s birthday. It was so fun and there was so much food! I’m going to break down the menu while it is fresh in my mind mainly so I can remember it the next time I have a brunch party. I tried to snap some pictures during the party for visuals and while they aren’t all great… you get the idea.
Most of this was done ahead of time to make the day of the party low stress. We even staged the table out a few days ahead to make sure we had all the serving pieces we would need.
We did a bloody mary/mimosa situation with olives, celery, berries, etc. We also had coffee which we picked up from Starbucks that morning (easy enough).
Lemon Baked French Toast- awesome because you can make it the night before and just bake if off the morning of. Have the lemon juice and powdered sugar pre-portioned and ready for the glaze so you can just whisk it together when the time comes. I made three of these 9X13 french toasts and it was one too many (for a party of 35)… only needed two. Overall, a huge hit though.
Bagel and Lox Spread- I ordered the bagels and cream cheese from a nearby place. They actually delivered it the morning of which was awesome. The bagels were already sliced/toasted so I just set those out. I put the cream cheese (I got plain and veggie- veggie was definitely the bigger hit) in two big bowls and garnished with some fresh chives. I told the bagel people I was having a party for 30 and I ended up with about a dozen too many bagels which is fine with me, just threw them in the freezer for future carb intake. To go with the bagels I had smoked salmon (pre-sliced), sliced tomatoes/cucumbers/radishes, fresh dill, lemons and capers. I sliced those all up morning of, placed in baggies, and replenished as needed. Overall, I had too much of everything but what can you do.
Kale Tahini Salad– this is one of my favorite salads. I prepped the kale the night before and placed in baggies (normally I use brussels sprouts too but not this time). I made the dressing, grated the cheese and toasted the almonds the night before. The morning of, I threw some dressing in the baggies, shook it up, and had it ready when the salad needed to be replenished. The kale is so hardcore it can handle being dressed for a while. When serving, just top with parmesan and almonds. Again, I made too much so I’m on a kale tahini diet all week.
Fresh Fruit- I did a big platter with berries and grapes. What is key about this is one 1- everyone loves berries and 2- you don’t have to slice/peel/chop anything. Just arrange the morning of…. Surprise surprise I bought too much so berries for days for me.
Cheese and Charcuterie- I did salami, prosciutto, brie, cheddar and goat cheese. I also had walnuts, pistachio, mustard, olives, dried pears and dried cherries on the board. The meat was pre-sliced as was the cheddar although I sliced the cheese a little smaller. The goat cheese was a hard cheese that I broke into chunks. The brie I sliced. Everything was sliced and assembled the morning of the party. Instead of dealing with slicing bread I just did an array of crackers (some wheat, some water crackers, some with dried fruits and nuts in them).
Carrot Cake- Recipe coming to the blog soon. This carrot sheet cake is so key because you can make it several days before the party and it stays moist/awesome. Again… more to come.
Chocolate Bark – I posted this recently, it is awesome for a party like this because you can make it in advance. It also offers up something to the chocolate lovers that might not want carrot cake.
Okay that was the party! As you can see most of it was made in advance so it was pretty easy to manage the day of (having some slicing helpers the morning of was huge). I also had my sister here the days leading up to the party which makes everything easier/more enjoyable. Like I said- carrot cake recipe coming soon!