by Rachael White, Hosting Expert for the Menuism.com Hosting and Entertaining Blog
Photo by Rachael White
Spring is full of so much beauty; the tulips peaking through the dirt and the fresh rainfalls bring a feeling of renewal. This is reason alone to celebrate, and hosting an elegant, simple brunch seems like the perfect solution. From food and drinks to decorations, hosting a spring brunch is a wonderful way to greet the changing season. The great thing about hosting a brunch is that it can be as laid back and casual or as elegant as you like. The tips below are a happy medium. The dishes suggested are low-maintenance but deviate from the standard casserole-themed spread.
For an elegant and surprisingly easy menu, put together a crêpe buffet for your guests. Make the crêpes before your guests arrive so you aren't stuck making them to order while your guests wait. To make it easy for everyone, layer the crêpes between sheets of parchment paper so they don't stick together. Lay out sweet and savory ingredients for guests to choose from to fill the delicate crêpes. Devonshire cream and fresh berries, smoked salmon with cream cheese and capers, or Nutella and sliced bananas are all delicious and easy to put together. This way, you can spend time socializing with your friends rather than slaving away over the stove.
Bloody Mary Bar
No brunch is complete without the presence of a Bloody Mary. There are a surprising number of recipes out there that lend themselves perfectly to a Bloody Mary bar. If you're feeling extra creative, make recipe cards with suggestions for the best ingredient combinations. Otherwise, just set out the ingredients and let your guests have fun creating their favorite combination. Include wasabi, horseradish, green olives stuffed with blue cheese or jalapenos, pickle spears, gherkins, celery salt, lemon and lime wedges, bacon, Sriracha, Tabasco sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Feature spring vegetables for garnishes like scallions or chives, carrots (peeled, with greens attached for a dramatic effect), celery stalks and red radishes (again, leave the greens attached). Use your imagination and bring your own twist to the selection! Another plus? Guests who aren't interested in the alcohol can make theirs without.
There are so many egg dishes out there. How does one pick the very best? Eggs don't have to be limited to casseroles when it comes to brunch. An elegant option is making a batch of soft boiled eggs. They are easy to make in bulk (I once made 25 of them at one time) and can be kept in the refrigerator overnight. The eggs are delicious served with some nice toasted, buttered bread and a little bacon. Or serve them over salads, grits, or asparagus. Not sure how to make them? Bring the eggs to room temperature, then gently add to boiling water. After four minutes, remove them with a slotted spoon and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Remove the eggs from the water after two or three minutes. Place them, with the shell on, in a large bowl in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Fruits and Vegetables
Brunch can be a heavy meal. It's a smart idea to have lighter options for guests to enjoy alongside their plates of maple syrup-drenched pancakes. Simply provide bowls full of grapes, strawberries, sugar snap peas, and other finger food-friendly choices.
Since we are heading toward growing season, small potted plants like herbs and daisies are a nice idea for table decor. Choose four or five small pots to put in the center of a long table, or, depending on the number of guests you have, use them as place settings that each person can take home. Another idea is to have one stunning arrangement of tulips or another spring flower as the focal point. If you stick to one color and type of flower, the arrangement will be dramatic yet simple. If flowers are not your thing, there some great DIY decoration ideas like these tissue paper pom-pons, or these cupcake liner garlands.
No matter where you live, it is easy to bring a little spring to the table. So enjoy the sunshine or make the most of the rainy Sunday by using these hosting tips for your next brunch. What are your favorite brunch dishes? We'd love to hear your suggestions!
Related links from the Menuism Hosting and Entertaining Blog:
• How to Throw a Fondue Party
• Secrets to a Successful Group Restaurant Experience
• How to Throw the Best Party of the Summer
Rachael White is an American foodie living in Tokyo. For two years, she and her husband have been exploring the ins and outs of the fascinating food culture of Japan. Rachael's blog "Tokyo Terrace" chronicles her experiences creating dishes and drinks that use new and exciting flavors in accessible ways. She has been published in Tokyo's Daily Yomiuri Newspaper and contributes to JapanEats.tv. Originally from Minnesota, Rachael creates recipes that reflect Midwestern comfort food with a modern, Asian twist.