Do you dream of hosting one of those gorgeously-styled brunches you see on shows like Barefoot Contessa and French Food at Home? This type of event is a great way to celebrate Mother’s Day and the perfect opportunity to gather all the women in the family to share laughs and memories. Below are some recipes, tips and advice for throwing a beautiful brunch like you see on TV without breaking the bank.
This particular brunch is based on oranges and pinks, bright colours that evoke happiness and the spring season. Here are some easy ways to bring this colour scheme into the décor of your table:
Lay a white table runner down and set with white plates and silver cutlery. Fill a large bowl with oranges and tuck a few sprigs of rosemary in between and place in the centre of the table.
On either side of the bowl, place a row of transparent drinking glasses and fill with water; top each with a short-stemmed blooming pink peonie. Toss a few more sprigs of rosemary around the glasses.
Next, photocopy pictures of mom and other women in the family in black and white and then glue on to white dollar store cardboard; place at each setting. Each guest can leave with a flower and a photo as a memento of the day.
You want to keep your centrepiece low to the table so as not to obscure the view of guests. Using fruit, herbs, and everyday items like drinking glasses will keep down the costs and allows you to splurge on more expensive flowers like the peonies (of which you only need a few of, anyway).
Hand each guest a flute of well-chilled prosecco when they walk in the door to sip on while you attend to last-minute finishing touches. Prosecco, a sparkling Italian white wine, is considerably cheaper than champagne, but still provides a sense of occasion—and the bubbles. Alternatives to this include Cava, a sparkling Spanish wine, or sparkling grape juice for those who don’t drink alcohol.
Throughout the meal, have pitchers of “spa water” on hand—flat water flavoured with citrus fruit and vegetables like cucumber. Try orange and tangerine slices to keep with the colour theme.
For a signature drink, make white sangria in a large punch bowl instead of a pitcher. Christine Cushing’s recipe calls for Vinho Verde, a young Portuguese wine, but you can also substitute with your favourite Sauvignon Blanc.
Many people opt for a buffet-style brunch for ease, but you can also host a sit-down event without stress. The secret lies in the coordination of your dish options—create a menu of items that include those that can be served at room temperature and those that can be made ahead and simply reheated right before serving.
Start the meal with halved grapefruits that you broil for a few minutes and then top with a sprinkling of brown sugar (a traditional breakfast fruit made extra special and sweet). Next, try serving one of each from the suggestions below:
Round out your meal with homemade or fresh-from-the-bakery biscuits served with an assortment of quality preserves and jams, and lots of good, strong coffee.