(BPT) - Any special occasion — whether it’s Mother's Day, a birthday, a wedding shower or a baby shower — presents a great excuse to host a delicious, memorable brunch for family or friends. You can create not just a delicious meal accompanied by tasty drinks, but a special event that your guests will be talking about long after it's over.
For an amazing brunch celebration, follow these tips.
Do your cleanup the week before.
Spend the weekend before the brunch date decluttering the main rooms you’ll be using; then give the whole place a thorough dusting and vacuuming.
If possible, enlist help from everyone in the family. Turn cleanup into a game with points and prizes, to get the kids involved. If the weather’s nice, open up all the windows and air out your home, to give it a fresh feeling. Replace worn-out area rugs or find a colorful new tablecloth to brighten up your home for the big day.
Set the stage for a fun celebration.
Put out fun decorations, table settings and centerpieces a day ahead of time (so you can focus your attention on food preparation — and more importantly, your guests — on the day of the brunch). Decide on your special day's theme, then buy or make decorations to highlight that motif, with visuals like baby booties for a baby shower or rings for a wedding shower. When setting the stage, include plenty of gorgeous fresh flowers to heighten that spring feeling. Make delicious, festive drinks.
Cocktails or punch featuring fruit flavors are perfect for a spring brunch. Make a pitcher or two without alcohol, for guests who do not imbibe, as well as for kids. Choose drinks based on seasonal fruits for this time of year, such as strawberries, cherries, mangoes, pineapples or oranges. Use festive skewers, decorative toothpicks or cocktail umbrellas to prepare fruit kebabs for each guest's glass.
Plan your menu early.
Make a list of all the necessary ingredients for your menu. Shop early in the week, to allow yourself time for substitutions (in case some items are unavailable). Select dishes featuring fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables and offer guests a fresh fruit salad as a side or dessert. Make baked goods a day ahead of the event, which will allow you time to perfect any recipes.
Using savory ingredients, plan meals you know your guests will love. SeaPak offers high-quality seafood for all kinds of terrific recipes. What could be more delicious — and popular with guests — for brunch than Garlic Shrimp and Butter Grits. With SeaPak Shrimp Scampi and a package of quick grits, your results will be hearty and delicious. If you need another crowd-pleaser, try whipping up some Crab Cakes Benedict. This benedict is a wonderful take on a breakfast favorite and perfect for any brunch. The crab cakes, meanwhile, look and taste amazing and the recipe is foolproof, using toasted English muffins and SeaPak Maryland Style Crab Cakes.
Crab Cakes Benedict
2 8-ounce packages of SeaPak® Maryland Style Crab Cakes
2 English muffins, split and toasted
3 tbsp margarine
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 pinch turmeric
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
1 big pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare crab cakes according to package directions and keep warm.
Place one warm crab cake on top of each toasted muffin half. Top with a poached or fried egg and spoon hollandaise over top.
Heat a small saucepan over medium to low heat. Add the margarine until it is boiling.
Whisk in the flour all at once to make a paste and continue to whisk it constantly for about a minute. Add in a small pinch of turmeric for color and mix well.
Slowly whisk in soy milk. Bring sauce to a boil, whisking frequently. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes and remove from heat.
Whisk in the cayenne and nutritional yeast. Add the lemon juice and mix well. Taste for seasoning.
Mix in the mayonnaise for a little bit more creaminess. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy!
For your special occasion brunch, make the day amazing for your guests by planning and preparing high-quality, delicious food they are bound to enjoy. Relax and have fun — hosting a successful event is all about setting an atmosphere of enjoyment for everyone, including yourself.