Create an Easy, Elegant Buffet-Style Spread
By hosting a spring-inspired brunch, put a fun twist on everyday entertaining, all the while keeping things casual. A few tasty dishes, touches of home décor and organized party planning are all you need to create a stunning spread. From start to finish, cover all of your bases with these easy hosting tips.Set Up Your Spread
From the sequencing of your food to the easy décor touches adorning your buffet, party planning is important to determine what you’ll need and where it will go in order to keep your brunch running smoothly.
- A Touch of Home Décor: From the buffet to the table where your guests will sit, the decorative possibilities for a brunch are endless. Get inspired by the pastel hues, blooming flower arrangements and decorative patterns of spring to add small, seasonal touches along your spread, at each table setting and throughout your space.
- Tiny Blossoms: Use small ceramic eggcups as tiny bud vases for fresh flower arrangements. Line up several of them along your dining table as a modern, understated centerpiece, or perch them alongside your food on the buffet table. They also add a darling, individualized touch to each guest’s place setting.
To ensure your flowers stand tall in their eggcups, insert a small piece of floral foam into each cup. Simply use a craft knife to cut the foam to size, or cut a foam egg in half for a perfect fit.
- Paper Goods: In lieu of fresh blossoms, craft your own handmade flower arrangements with gorgeous paper! For complete instructions, read Faux Floral.
- New Heights: To take your kitchen décor—and dishes—to another level, play with height by displaying your food on various cake stands. Visit your local flea market or antique shop to find them on the cheap. And while you look, keep an eye out for charming vintage containers for your coffee and tea supplies, too.
- By the Basket: Keep your home décor endeavors positively simple by bundling festive items in a woven basket. From decorative eggs to potpourri, place your favorite pieces in a basket to instantly create the perfect centerpiece.
- Order of Items: Consider the natural flow of your guests, then set out your plates, flatware, food and other accessories accordingly.
- Plates, Food, Cutlery: To keep traffic moving, start with plates, then move into your food. Consider all of your food dishes, making sure you set out enough plates to accommodate all of your offerings. If you are serving up bread and butter, include small saucers, as well as small bowls for fruit or tossed salad.
Place appropriate condiments alongside food dishes throughout the buffet. Perhaps there is a special sauce for your protein, or some guests might prefer ketchup with their egg casserole. Instead of displaying the bottle, pour the condiment into a small bowl and let your guest spoon it onto their plate.
At the end of the buffet, set out cutlery pre-rolled in elegant cloth napkins. It’s the perfect way to eliminate extra steps and keep each guest’s fork, knife and spoon together—plus, it’s an opportunity to add a decorative touch. Consider tying a small sprig of flowers around each bundle with ribbon.
- Drink Station: On a separate table, set up your beverage pitchers for water, juice, coffee and hot tea, along with glasses, mugs, stirrers or spoons, creamer and sweetener. Set out extra cocktail napkins or coasters to save yourself from unwanted ring stains on your furniture!
Your guests can only do so much at once—trying to juggle a plate of food and a drink can result in accidental spills. Instead of making your guests go to the drink station after they set down their food, eliminate the second trip altogether and provide pitchers of water, juice and coffee right at the table. Decorative ceramic pitchers can make for a lovely, purposeful centerpiece!Make A Menu
The key to a simple, successful brunch is variety. Let one dish—like a rich egg casserole or maple-glazed ham—stand out as the star, then support it with lots of light, crowd-pleasing side dishes that are easy to make and heavenly to eat. Use this menu guide to help map out your buffet table, serving at least one or more of each category:
- Side dish: Complement your main course with a savory side dish, like roasted potatoes with herbs.
- Vegetable dish: Veggies served up fresh can add a crisp, refreshing bite to your buffet. Serve up an array of raw vegetables with dip—also known as a crudités—or take your veggies a step further. Try serving oven-roasted asparagus garnished with herbs, cheese or slivered nuts.
- Fruit dish: Serve up a taste of something sweet with homemade applesauce or a colorful fruit salad. Around spring, seasonal fruits include pears, tangerines, kiwis, grapefruit and pineapple. Dice the fruit, then drizzle with honey and toss with fresh lime zest for extra flavor.
- Breads & pastries: From shortbread to sweet pastries, bake up some warm, fluffy treats, like Orange-Yogurt Muffins, accompanied with butter, honey and jam. Or, save time by visiting your favorite local bakery—no one will ever know!
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