Thursday, September 1, 2016

components for the perfect at-home brunch ++ labor day champagne brunch planning

You may have guessed anything having to do with champagne + brunch is my favorite!!! We're hosting brunch this Saturday for a group of 10-12 at our house, and I'm working on all the last minute details and sourcing / shopping today -- hooray!!!

Ham Biscuits
Sausage Balls
Veggie & Pancetta Frittatas
Yogurt & Granola Parfaits
Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Espresso Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Limoncello Sparklers
Sparkling Lemonade
Sparkling French Berry Lemonade

I'm planning to do some rearranging in our living room -- move the couch 90 degrees so it's situated in front of the picture window, then bring our outdoor long table and wicker chairs inside to make one long table everyone can sit at. I may put the settee on one short side of it to maximize room and utilize some of our round-back chairs too. We'll see how much room we're looking at once we get it moved around.

I plan to leave the faux wood table top exposed, but put a yellow seersucker runner down the center (which I need to sew and probably monogram before tomorrow). I might pull out the white hemstitch napkins, but I did buy some yellow striped luncheon napkins that'll do the trick and fit with my sunny color scheme -- sometimes simpler is best! (Not sure I have time to press all those hemstitch ones!)

We'll be using our green & gold rimmed china, as well as our crystal, but some pretty Lillian brand faux gold cutlery. It may feel odd for everyone to eat on china plates with plastic cutlery, but I love the look (they're so real looking!!) and sometimes you just have to mix and match. One day I'd love to own a set of gold utensils and maybe rose gold, too!

While there will be no topper (definitely not one that says "baby") and probably not even an actual cake, I do plan to make chocolate chip cupcakes with espresso buttercream, like I did for Drew's birthday last month. They were such a hit -- scrumptious recipe, and divine with the swiss meringue buttercream variation -- and I love incorporating flavors from our wedding day into our everyday entertaining now. I'd love to use the gold edible paint I have, but somehow it doesn't translate too great with cupcakes. :/

I planned to get a lot of flowers at Trader Joe's to decorate, but the yellow pickins there were slim to none and just didn't seem like they'd last an extra two days. I may see if our local Publix has anything good looking by the weekend, and if not, I'll just deal without a legit centerpiece. I took home some flowers from last week's wedding but the lilies are dying and George (the cat) keeps eating the greenery! AGH!

My ULTRA over-enthusiastic plans included getting a huge piece of artwork to replace the three frames situated above our couch, paint the dining room Sea Salt (it's a boring orange-tan now and I'm over it), and paint / switch over the office to a somewhat functioning guest room, since we're going to have houseguests the next two weekends in a row. None of that's happening, of course, but a girl can dream!

So, what am I missing?
- Sew or iron "hem" on seersucker runner
- Monogram runner
- Prep & cook / bake / assemble food items
- Make pot of coffee
- Get out china & glassware
- Set table
- Rearrange furniture
- Blow up & tie balloons onto mailbox
- Get cupcake liners
- Bake, fill, & frost cupcakes
- Chill champagne & lemonades
- Update seasonal mantle display
- Get flowers?

Components for a Perfect At-Home Brunch

A time frame that makes sense.
For me, 11am sounds like a sensible brunch party timeline. Late enough for your guests to sleep in, ample time to finish prepping food and getting those hot items in the oven just in time, but not too late to ruin anyone's appetite. I make it a little earlier for holiday gatherings like Christmas or New Year's.

Simple, elegant, tasty menu. 
Not too complicated -- I recommend two meat options, one bread/pastry, fruit (and/or yogurt) - can be a self-serve station, and something sweet. Don't forget coffee & mimosas or a signature drink!

A party without a cake is just a meeting, didn't you know???

Ample seating for your guests.
Since our kitchen table is a little small (fits about 8 tops), we utilize our outdoor furniture by bringing it inside to maximize space. Feel free to mix and match chairs.

A few simple decorations.
A pretty table runner or printed napkins, a floral centerpiece (or some configuration of candles -- I love clear vessels and colored tapers for a fun, inexpensive look!), and a pretty food display is all you need.

An intimate but fun guest list!
Your guests make the party, so choose wisely!


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