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Summer is officially here so it’s time to celebrate! As we all know I love a good party and am always happy to help host. Remember this springtime wine celebration, this game day party, and who can forget this post of easy brunch ideas?

Well the other weekend I got together with my friends Hyam, Brigit, and Maureen for a little summer soirée. We all brought different dishes to the party and today I wanted to share some tips we used to help make the brunch a huge success:

Before you plan your menu, make sure to double check with your guests about their dietary restrictions. Are your friends vegetarians? Vegans? Or do any of them have food allergies? You don’t want to slave away in the kitchen on a meal that your friends can’t eat. Knowing these things ahead of time will help plan a delicious menu without violating any dietary restrictions.

A theme is important. For a summer brunch {like what we had}, we chose colors + flowers that reflected the day’s sunshine and warmth. Hydrangeas and purple kale made for a gorgeous {and easy} centerpiece. The white table linens and crisp white plates added to the light summery feel and finally the lemons + lines complimented the summer theme.

Cooking for a group can be a stressful, daunting task. It is important to plan as much as you can ahead of time. We chose to throw a potluck-style party which allowed everyone to contribute rather than putting pressure all on just one person. Plus, it’s a great way to share recipes and inspiration for re-creating your own versions at home.

You don’t have to go out of your way to make everything from scratch. Remember that spending time with your guests is what matters most. Decide which dishes you want to focus on, and then finish the rest with store bought or semi-homemade items.

A signature cocktail can add a buzz {pun intended} to any celebration. Our brunch’s signature cocktail was a beer-mosa: Goose Island Sofie Sparking Beer + grapefruit juice. It was super refreshing on that warm summer afternoon.

As I said above, we all created different recipes to share with each other. I brought some blueberry scones which were store bought from tip #4, but I found a great recipe for them here. My friends made an amazing potato galette with smoked salmon, a greek salad, and some fruit & cheese skewers. For cocktails we had a mimosa bar and a beer-mosa signature cocktail. Now onto more photos and recipes of what we ate:
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Potato Galette with Smoked Salmon

  • 2 large yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 leeks, washed and chopped {white parts only}
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 cup of shredded gruyere cheese
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 6 oz. of smoked salmon, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of crème fraîche
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped dill
  • 1 tablespoon of capers
  • pickled or fresh red onion, sliced
  1. Pre-heat the oven at 375 degrees.
  2. Sauté leeks and shallots in 2 tbsp of the olive oil on medium heat until soft (about 5-6 minutes) adding salt and pepper to taste. Once done, remove from pan and let cool.
  3. Wash and slice the potatoes into thin rounds, about ¼ inch thick. You can use a mandolin for thinner slices and to make the galette more crisp.
  4. Place slices in a bowl of cold water, making sure the potatoes are submerged and soak for 30 minutes. Remove potatoes after soaking and dry thoroughly with a towel.
  5. Brush the bottom and sides of a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom with ½ tbsp of the olive oil.
  6. Layer half of the potatoes on the bottom and top with half of the shallot/leek mixture and half the cheese. Add salt and pepper (to taste). Layer the remaining potatoes on top and brush with the remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 25 minutes.
  8. Remove galette and top with remaining cheese.
  9. Bake 10 more minutes, making sure potatoes are cooked through (easily can pierce with a knife) and cheese is golden brown on top. Remove galette and allow it to come to room temperature.
  10. Carefully remove the galette by lifting the bottom of the tart pan. Top with slices of smoked salmon, chopped dill, capers, and red onion (fresh or pickled).

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Greek Salad

  • 1 cucumber, unpeeled, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 of red onion, sliced in half-rounds
  • 1/2 pound of feta cheese, 1/2 inch diced
  • 1/2 cup of olives, pitted
  • 1/2 head of romaine lettuce
  • 1 cups of spinach or baby spinach
  • For the Dressing:
  • 1 tablespoon of oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
  1. Throw the cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, feta cheese, olives, and lettuce all together in a large salad bowl.
  2. For the dressing whisk together the oregano, sea salt, pepper, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss together and serve.

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Fruit & Cheese Skewers

  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Grapes
  • White Cheddar Cheese {cubed}
  • Wooden skewers
  • Balsamic vinegar
  1. Wash all the fruit and cut the tops off the strawberries.
  2. Take a skewer and place in any order you choose: a strawberry, a raspberry, a blackberry, a grape, and a cube of cheese.
  3. Repeat until you have the desired amount.
  4. Assemble the skewers on a platter.
  5. Drizzle with some balsamic vinegar and service.
  6. Optional: feel free to add some extra fruit, cheese, and even nuts {we have pecans} around the serving board.

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Check out 10 Things You Should Be Cooking on the Grill

by Foodie Editor at Mode


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