This month's Spa Party of the Month is a Damask & Rose Bridal Sprunch. Though the spa treatments and the decor are meant to evoke luxury, the food for this party is purposefully very simple. The purpose of this Bridal Sprunch isn't to "put on airs" or to throw an additional over-the-top wedding weekend function; instead it is meant as a time for the bride to unwind with her besties and enjoy the requisite beauty treatments that most of the bridal party would've had done anyway. Good food doesn't have to be expensive or difficult, and this simple and relatively inexpensive menu should prove it.
Fruit is a healthy brunch staple, and a wonderful starter to just about any type of party. Fruit kabobs are easy to prepare, and make a pretty and portable presentation for party time. You can take a short cut by buying some fresh pre-cut melons and pineapples from the grocery store, and pair them with strawberries and grapes, drizzle these with honey-ginger dressing for a bit of extra sweetness and kick and to help keep the fruit moist.
Honey Ginger Dressing (from littleturtle on RecipeZaar)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 2 teaspoons ginger, minced
- In a small bowl combine sauce ingredients and heat for 30 seconds in the microwave; set aside to cool.
A meat and cheese platter usually finds it's way into casual brunch menus and for good reason. Sandwiches are an easy everyday treat, that don't have to seem everyday at all. I personally am a fan of hot sandwiches, so I thought a panini party would be simple enough to pull together, allow everyone to get what they like, and with the right spreads and toppins' bring a little upscale flavor. Don't fret, if you didn't get the shiny new panini press on your registry that good 'ole George Foreman grill from your single days will do just dandy.
Bagels are a good place to start because they work well alone for breakfast, as well as a base for any sandwiches your guests want to build; grab an assortment including sweet and savory varieties. The bread used to make a sandwich is just as important as any of the fillings, DON'T get bagels from the freezer section for this party, instead get freshly made bagels from a place that specializes in them like Panera Bread, Manhattan Bagel or Einstein Bros.
The possibilities for fillings are of course endless....
In order to help inspire guests, create a menu with suggested pairings that are known to work well together. This smoked salmon and bagel panini from Panini Happy is one that your guests can put together simply. Instead of making a dill and watercress salad, I'd just put herb cream cheese and spinach on the toppins' bar because they can both be used with other fillings.
You can also pretty much never go wrong with a Reuben or a hot pastrami sandwich, in my opinion. If you like, you can also include more out of the box pairings on your menu like this Asagio Cheddar Chicken and Apple panini, or Brie Ham and Pear.
In my house there is no making a deli sandwich without Inglehoffer Sweet Hot Mustard. Other possible fillings for your sandwiches include: tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, pesto, hummus, horseradish, an assortment of cheeses and of course meats from your deli counter. Since your wedding party is liable to be eating plenty of desserts throughout the weekend, and you want to save on costs, there isn't a need to provide a separate dessert; however, you can have peanut butter, jam, Nutella, marshmallow fluff, bananas and strawberries on hand any combination of which would probably make a tasty treat on a cinnamon raisin bagel.
Most importantly, don't forget the butter to spread on the grilled sides of the bread.
lemon basil pasta salad is light and fresh and will pull in some of the other flavors you have going on. It also never hurts to have chips around when your eating sandwiches, Sun Chips are a healthier option than regular chips and would make for a better presentation.
Photo from: Food for Forks
Though the lemonade bar above is inspiring, making several different lemonades for such a small function doesn't make much sense. Instead, you can replicate the concept by offering guests a few lemonade flavorings by way of syrups. Simple syrup is made with a 1:1 ratio of sugar to water, and can be flavored with fresh herbs or extracts. When using herbs or fruit to flavor your syrup add them before boiling and extract them when you are finished. If you are using extracts on the other hand they should be added after the syrup has boiled. Any of the following flavors work well for a lemonade any type of berry, peach, pomegranate, mango, watermelon, ginger, mint, lavender, basil, you can even make a tea based syrup for folks who like Arnold Palmers (half and half, or lemonade-tea). If you follow this little trick you can make several bottles at once. Simple syrups will keep in the fridge for a few weeks so they can be made ahead of time and stored in glass or plastic bottles.