Summer Brunch

Summer is the perfect time to host a brunch- especially on the patio or poolside... and we've got a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing! When it comes to a party, there are a few little tips that will make a BIG impact.  Here are a few of our favorite ideas: - add decorative straws to your tablescape (like the ones shown below - they each have a specific "flag" that makes them fun and festive - the pink straws say "Yes, please" and the purple and green straws say "Hello, Mary") - identify what your guests are eating and drinking (here we used mini chalkboards, but you could use decorative food picks or tent cards or something even more creative) - try to come up with one "wow" factor for your party - whether it's a killer recipe, a unique floral arrangement, fun party favor, live entertainment or a serving experience (like the bloody mary bar below)- people like to experience new things, and as a hostess, giving them something to talk about is worth it's weight in planning! Brunchbar We love these brunch bar ideas - after all, brunch is just a great excuse to have a cocktail before noon, right?  If your crowd is a bit more reserved, the "Choose Your Own Adventure Mimosa Bar" might be the way to go.  Guests can decide for themselves how much (if any) champagne they want to add to their orange juice.  If your guests aren't shy about the booze, then let them mix and mingle with a build-your-own Bloody Mary Bar! Want to snag the idea for your next party?  Of course you'll need the basics - bloody mary mix (we used Mr. & Mrs. T's- regular, not spicy), ice, margarita salt, and vodka (since we're in Texas, we like Tito's). For the "toppings", here are our suggestions:  olives, pickle spears, pickled asparagus, hot peppers, shrimp, carrots, celery, Tony's Creole Seasoning, Worchestershire sauce, Tobasco sauce, limes, and candied bacon.  Oh yeah.  You read that correctly.  Candied bacon... yum! Are you short on space for all of your 'Mary Bar fixin's?   You could always make a drink cart like ours!  This old baby changing table was bought at a thrift store for just $15.  With a little paint, rolling casters, fabric to line the shelves and a plexiglass cover for the top shelf... it's a new piece of furniture with a much more fun purpose! AfterBefore Alright, drinks are covered, now on to the food... Brunch is great because it's the best of breakfast and lunch- you can't go wrong!  We tried to cover all of the bases- from fruit to bread, sweet and savory. BRUNCH MENU Yogurt and granola bar (featuring Greek Gods Vanilla yogurt and an assortment of berries, pineapple and granola for guests to create to their liking) Sausage Cheeseballs (probably the only Paula Deen recipe that doesn't call for any butter!) Rosemary and Strawberry Scones (gotta love this easy recipe from Giada DeLaurentiis) Menu Baked Tomatoes stuffed with spinach, feta and egg (no official recipe here- just hollow out beefsteak tomatoes and layer with a sprinkle of feta, a few spinach leaves, and pour scrambled egg mixture to the top and bake until cooked through) Fruit Skewers   See now, doesn't having brunch sound fun?  Get to brunchin'!