This photo you are about to see is pure joy to me. Pure. Joy. It is a photo of myself (yes, very huge and very pregnant) with two girls that hold the most special place in my heart. They are the girls I’ve been fortunate enough to grow up with (or at least we try to pretend like we’ve grown up). No, I have not known them since childhood, but every ounce of my real growing up years has been shared with them. We’ve gone through every adult milestone together and have shared every detail within our hearts with one another. They understand me so incredibly well and I am so lucky to ALWAYS have their unsolicited advice, guidance, encouragement and support in absolutely everything I do. They are exactly what I hope my daughter gets to experience some day in a friend. They are unbeatable. The best. The strongest. We’ve dated together, switched careers together, we’ve gotten engaged together (literally), married together, pregnant together. We’ve given birth together, had plenty of 3 AM text conversations while nursing the newborns together, watched our kids play together, complained and cried together, and laughed harder than you would imagine is humanly possible together. I love them and their families deeply…and that is an understatement.
Last year right around this time, right as I was expecting my second child, two of us threw a shower for that cute little lady in the middle to celebrate the birth of her first child, sweet baby Harper. Now I have to admit, I am no pro at this stuff. I LOVE to entertain, love it. But my problem is that I focus all the emphasis on the food and don’t pay too much attention to decor and games and what not. When we decided to have this shower, my brain immediately went into menu planning mode. We chose to do a brunch for a couple of reasons:
1) The time of day makes it nice for the guests to have the rest of their precious weekend day to spend with their family
2) The menu does not need to be heavy or extensive. Just colorful, light and bright.
3) It is very cost effective. We were hosting quite a few guests so we wanted to do something very nice but we also were not able to spend a fortune. Brunch food is great for this. You can do elegant and classy without breaking your bank, without a doubt.
So, here is the menu and plan I came up with. I’ve utilized this menu several times since then for holidays and different gatherings…it’s a sure thing that has something for everyone. And the best part? All of the food is make-ahead friendly…so all that’s left for you to do is enjoy your guests and celebrate the heck out of that dear friend of yours. After all, if your friends are anything like mine, there is so SO very much to celebrate.
The Perfect Brunch Shower Menu
* This is a great filler and is always a crowd pleaser. You can toast the crostinis and make the goat cheese spread (just store the crostini at room temperature in an airtight container and the goat cheese spread in the fridge-bring it to room temperature before spreading onto the crostini) a day ahead of time. Top them and let them sit out for up to 2 hours before the shower.
An Assortment of Store Bought Breads (we did poppyseed, banana and pumpkin)
* Byerlys has wonderful, affordable options for this.
Salad of Mixed Greens, Sliced Apple, Bleu Cheese, Maple Walnuts, Balsamic Vinagirette
* The Walnuts can be made up to two days ahead of time-just store them in an air tight container. Put the salad together about 30 minutes before guests arrive and leave the vinaigrette on the side for guests to add themselves-otherwise the salad could turn soggy.
Fresh Fruit Skewers
* Portioning these out into skewers saves on portions, waste, and money. Put these together the day before and store in an air tight container.
* Make the meat mixture the day before so all you have to do is add the egg mixture right before baking. Bake in the oven 2 hours prior to guests arriving and store in a warm oven until they arrive.
* Make the entire dish the night before and bake in the oven 2 hours prior to guests arriving. I bake this at the same time as the Sausage and Sun Dried Tomato Egg Bake-the recipe calls for it to be baked at 350, but I cook them both at 375 and they turn out great. Once its done baking, store it in the warm oven with the other Egg Bake until guests arrive.
Mimosas, Coffee, Tea, Lemon Water
* A nice thing about brunch is that you don’t need too many drink options…I like to keep it simple.
Store Bought Cupcakes/Cake
* Byerlys and Wuollets are two of my favorite bakery options for cupcakes/cake.
Happy brunching! xo