Although we all love the idea of entertaining, as busy moms the reality of inviting people over for a meal can be anxiety provoking.
Hosting a brunch is a great solution. It’s a casual, low-stress gathering for catching up with close friends and family. The party we’ve put together here is fresh, simple, and the kids will love it, too. Set a beautiful table, vary the menu between delicious, homemade and store bought favorites and you’re ready to go!
Guests: 6 – 10 adults, plus kids
Color Palette: Shades of yellows, orange, white with accents of natural woods
The Style: Classic, fresh
Set this gathering in a dining room, kitchen area, or outside if the weather permits. Since this is a relaxing setting, we recommend setting the table “family style”. A family-style table is great for intimate gatherings because it allows the guests to catch up, share stories, eat, and mingle with the children. Cover the table in an inexpensive solid white cotton fabric or a flat sheet. Then, place a solid yellow piece of fabric on top of the white.
Simply fold the fabric to the width you want and lay across the length of the table allowing about 18 inches to hang off each end. This creates the runner.
At each place setting, place a folded napkin on top of the plate. For an added touch, place a small lemon or kumquat branch on top of the napkin. Arrange fresh citrus in a footed bowl or pedestal platter. Place the footed bowl in the center of the table and fill smaller bowls with extra citrus on each side of the main centerpiece. This presentation is fresh, beautiful and very easy to create. The best part is that you can make this ahead of time — the citrus will last at least a week. You can use the fruits later or your guests can enjoy them during the party.
Citrus purchased at the grocery store or farmer’s market are only a few dollars a bag. If you have citrus trees, simply pick the fruit for a great, homey touch.
The menu for this party is very simple and kid friendly. We recommend serving:
The food on this menu can be prepared ahead of time. Also, mix in store bought items from your local grocer. Coffee and tea is a must at a brunch. Serve the coffee and tea on a tray with condiments such as: steamed milk, raw sugar, honey, and creamer. Mimosas are another brunch favorite. Make the mimosas ahead of time and serve the mixture in a carafe or pitcher. For the little ones, make orange smoothies.
For the Kids:
While the adults enjoy good food and conversation, the kids could have their own special tea party. Set up a small table close to the adults’ table. Cover the table in white paper so the children can doodle. Place a children’s tea set and food in the center of the table. For the tea, serve apple or pear juice or herbal berry tea. (Make sure the tea is served at room temperature to avoid any accidents.) Set out small squares of the quiche, French toast, and animal cookies for them to enjoy with their tea. And don’t be afraid if you have boys: you’ll be surprised how much fun they’ll have at a tea party.
A Couple of Days Before:
- Buy the groceries a couple of days before
- Arrange the citrus centerpiece a couple of days
One Day Before:
- If you choose to make the quiche, bake it now
- Buy the prepared foods
The Night Before:
- Set the adults’ and children’s tables
The Morning of the Brunch:
- Make the mimosas, potatoes, and fruit salad
- Make the Brioche French toast a couple of hours
- Reheat the quiche or other items that were store
bought about ½ an hour before the party begins
- Have coffee and tea ready right before the party
MiGi Shopping Suggestions:
1. White Linen Hemstitch Tablecloth – this is a good quality linen hemstitch tablecloth and is a great entertaining staple to have on hand. Crate and Barrel.
2. Loft Pedestal Plate – this pedestal plate is perfect for creating the citrus centerpiece. Use it again for serving desserts or fruits and cheese.
3. Silhouette Decanter / Carafe – this is a great carafe for serving mimosas, water, lemonade, ice tea, or water. MiGi.
4. Children’s Tea Set – this 13-piece tea set is simple. Land of Nod.
Michelle Adams and Gia Russo host the Fine Living network television show, The Art of the Party with the MiGi Girls. Former editors of Martha Stewart Living magazine, Michele and Gia have also written several lifestyle books for Chronicle Books and work as design and entertaining experts for numerous magazines, including Lucky, In Style, O (Oprah), and Fit Pregnancy. Based in Los Angeles, Michele and Gia are also the proud mothers of, respectively, Jackson and Grayden, both two years old. Check out their line of MiGi products, which features crib bedding, nursery décor accessories, and home-entertaining specialty items at www.migistyle.com