May 8, 2012

Baby Shower Brunch Menu

Lemon tartlette with a graham cracker crust.
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say brunch is my favorite meal. It's an excuse to eat a huge breakfast (which would probably take my favorite meal award if not for the brunch option); it can include sweet and savory items; there's often a way to sneak in a dessert on top of other sweet breakfast breads; and usually, there's an adult beverage to be had. Seriously, what's not to love about brunch?

Happily, I had the best excuse ever to throw a brunch: a baby shower!

Pennants and pom-poms and gifts, oh my!
Our new baby nephew will be here before we know it, and I can barely contain my excitement. Last weekend, I hosted a baby shower for my lovely sister-in-law, and didn't fool anyone. I heard from many of the attendees, "I saw that on Pinterest!"

I've been found out! Pinterest is a great party-planning tool. As soon as I'd offered to host the shower, I began pinning party ideas. The tissue paper flowers, party favors, recipes... I found my inspiration with pins. In putting together the brunch menu, it helped me with my lengthy list of brunch requirements.

The menu had to:
• Feed 12 people a nice, well-rounded brunch
• Have something for everyone
• Offer foods that were easy to pick up or bite-size, and also kid-friendly
• Make everything from scratch, and as organic/local/sustainable as possible
• Prep most of the food the day before
• Include some of the mom-to-be's favorites, like cinnamon rolls and cucumbers

After consulting my co-hostess (and my sister, and my mom, and pretty much anyone who would listen), I put together this menu:

Breakfast Strata with Sausage, baked in a muffin tin for individual servings
Vegetarian Frittatas with Zucchini and Basil, adapted from this recipe
Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing, adapted from this recipe
Cucumber Tartines, adapted from this recipe
Lemon Tartlettes, adapted into mini tarts with graham crusts from this recipe
Rainbow Fruit Kabobs
Punch (half and half mix of pomegranate Italian soda and orange juice)
Cupcakes (from a local bakery)

The strata, cinnamon rolls, tartlettes, and fruit kabobs were all prepped and in the fridge by Friday night. Saturday morning, all I had to do was prepare the fritatta, and then set the oven to 350 to shuffle things in and out. This made for a fairly stress-free morning. Of course, when planning a party it's always wise to delegate a few things (I'll admit to being a control freak; but was so thankful to have a wonderful co-hostess and mother-in-law who swooped in and saved me, despite my best planning efforts!).

All the ingredients I used were organic, and the zucchini and basil for the fritattas, and the cucumber for the sandwiches, came from our gardens. The lemon tartlettes were the most surprising addition; the recipe could not have been simpler, and the end result (bite-size morsels topped with fresh whipped cream) was delectable. Sweet, but not overly so. The cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting were a big hit; cool-rise dough is a great trick for offering a fresh baked good at brunch.

Do you have any favorite brunch recipes or tips to share? Please do!


Claire Jain said...

You know I'm useless with food tips, but the decorations looked so cute. How freakin' awesome that you got to use veggies from the garden for the festivities?!