Get The Party Started Early
It's finally time to get out of the house and re-claim the deck and backyard. Spring has won back her throne and her humble subjects are dying for flowers, sunshine and a little spring-time fun. If you're lucky, you already have daffodils, hyacinths, and crocus blooming as built-in party decorations. What better way to celebrate their blooms than with a festive garden brunch? Here are a few tips to plan the perfect springtime party.
A couple weeks before the party, send your invitations. If you're feeling especially enthusiastic and brave, hand-make your invites and include dried flower petals.
One week before the party, be sure to start planning the menu. This is the perfect time of the year to take advantage of your local farmer's market. The fresher your ingredients, the tastier the meal, so make a shopping list and then pick up your ingredients the morning of your celebration if possible.
Odds are, a few guests aren't going to be down with day-drinking. Along with the alcoholic beverages (mmm... mimosas), provide a non-alcoholic option as well, and be sure to make your mocktail as yummy as the real thing. No matter what reason a guest decides not to drink alcohol, they'll be glad you made something extra special for them, too.
To keep things festive for spring, use blood oranges, pomegranates and fresh berries. Make a pitcher of freshly squeezed blood orange juice. Then, muddle together a few sprigs of fresh mint and thyme with the pomegrante and berries and add the concoction to the juice. Top it off with a little lime flavored sparkling water and some citrus vodka (or skip this for a virgin drink).
Quiche is always a popular brunch dish, but try making a frittata instead. It has the convenience of quiche with less fat and calories because there's no crust. It's still a perfect canvas for your finds at the market. Need some ideas? Try combining rainbow swiss chard, goat cheese and fresh basil, or spinach and sweet potato. Along with the frittata, make a fresh salad with baby greens, roasted beets, slivered almonds and golden raisins. Not feeling the greens? Try a fruit salad. A glass of fresh berries with homemade vanilla whipped cream is always a decadent addition.
You can also make a few side dishes and keep them warm in slow cookers. Try making a red flannel hash using cooked beets and potatoes or goat cheese grits with a drizzle of truffle oil. Oat raspberry mini muffins or orange cranberry bran muffins are great to round out the meal.
Decorate the table with your best Noritake dinnerware and silver. Adding a nice table cloth can dress up any table you have on your deck. Use tablecloth weights to make sure the wind doesn't ruin your perfectly set table. Put a clear glass pitcher full of ice water in the center, and add lemon slices and sprigs of fresh herbs to make it a beautiful centerpiece. Be sure to tie in the garden theme with lots of fresh flowers and herbs. Try a few of these spring decorations for less than $20. Now, let the springtime fun begin!
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