I would like to start this post by wishing a very Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mothers out there. Your dedication and unconditional love deserves more than one day of recognition but I’m sure your family made it another one for the memory book. As for me, I had the pleasure of hosting this year’s mother’s day and boy did we have fun (and lot’s of mimosas). In this post, I will talk about how I pulled off a very delicious and successful appetizer spread with some of my recipes as well as the help of others which were inspired.
The day was gorgeous in Miami and I am very happy to report not scorching hot but breezy with the perfect amount of warmth. The sun was bright and barely a cloud in the sky. God was definitely smiling down on our moms. I had a back to back schedule on Saturday so my Sunday brunch needed to be easy peasy and ready to begin by 1 p.m. I started my day with a venti Starbucks latte and my sleeves rolled up ready for business. First thing was getting the table, appetizers and drinks ready. I wanted my guests to arrive and have access to these pre-brunch goodies. Since we were eating outside, I opted for a simple colorful spring ensemble. And since this is Miami and we have a lake right behind our house, I wanted to place the plates and glasses at last minute, if not we would be having some extra protein for lunch complete with buzzing sounds.
I laid out a delicate white table cloth along with a bright pink runner. Two large mason jars were filled with a beautiful spring floral arrangement complete with a decorative butterfly. These jar arrangements also made perfect take home gifts for my mom and godmother. After my table was assembled, I began with my appetizers. Since I knew our brunch was going to be pretty filling, I began with two appetizers and croissants. I also set up a prosecco bottle and orange juice on the bar for easy self serve along with water bottles and an ice bucket. The first appetizer I put together was the ever so popular cold cut meats and cheese platter. This is easy and is always devoured. Luckily, my local market has a perfect trio pack of prosciutto, capicola and Italian dry salami ready to serve. I complimented it with some Gouda cheese and Queso Blanco. Queso Blanco is a creamy, soft and mild cheese which is unaged. It tends to be categorized as a common Latin American cheese.
I laid out the meats, cut up my cheeses and had my platter assembled in less than five minutes. Covered it up and in the fridge it went until I was ready to serve.
Next order of business was my humus. I took one of my white decorative bowls and put some garlic lovers humus into it. You really can use any humus since it pairs well with many types of crackers. I ended up serving it with my favorite pretzel crisps which are usually found in the deli section of the market. Then in less than 2 min, the humus was also in the fridge ready to be served when needed. I then proceeded to prepare my berry salad that I would serve with my main brunch dishes. It’s important to prepare this ahead of time so that you can have it marinade and give the sugar sometime to create it’s syrupy goodness. I’ve been making this berry salad for a while now and it was a mix of different recipes I had seen in the past which helped me decide exactly how I wanted to set it up. The beauty of salads is that you can create a custom one every time, sky’s the limit! I chose to put strawberries, blueberries and blackberries on mine. My mom absolutely loves blackberries so they were a must but you could also put some raspberries.
Since this was my custom made salad, here is exactly what you will need to do. Start off by washing your produce. I recommend washing what you need because I have found that washing your produce and putting it away in the fridge allows mold to grow faster from the extra moister on your fruit. Then you can take 5 mint leaves and finely chop them.
Also chop enough strawberries to measure into 2 cups. Grab your salad bowl, measure out one and a half cups of blueberries and add it to the bowl. Make sure to sift through your blueberries and make sure there are no stems still on some of them. Since blackberries tend to be larger, go ahead and use the entire container in your salad. My blackberry container weighed 12 oz. Take your 2 cups of chopped strawberries and also add them to the bowl. You may then add the chopped mint leaves. Lastly we want to add the juice of a lime and two teaspoons of sugar which will cause the juices from the fruit to create a delicious syrup that will compliment the tartness of the berries.
Grab a nice big spoon and mix up your berry salad. Cover and place in the fridge at least 2 hours before serving. This salad will yield 6 to 7 servings. Below is the finished product served during brunch.
Last but not least, I wanted to offer my guests something more than booze. I know I know, whats the point when there are mimosas to be had right? Everyone was over 21 at the brunch so let’s just pretend for a second that we could of used some refreshing lemonade which I am happy to say was also enjoyed very much. I wanted to prepare my lemonade early on so that I could put it in my glass beverage dispenser and it could cool in the fridge. Since I was adding chopped strawberries and rosemary to it, I also wanted it to soak for at least an hour before serving. Now I usually sit there and squeeze my own lemons, but we are prepping an entire brunch so a little cheating was in order. Delicious non the less! I went ahead and used two bottles of Simply Lemonade with Raspberry. You could also make this with regular lemonade as well.
Start off by chopping one and a half cups of strawberries and place them in either a pitcher or a beverage dispenser. I chose the beverage dispenser because I think it makes a nice beverage table accent and it’s much easier to serve. You can place a bowl of strawberries on the side if you would like guests to put some chopped strawberries in their glass. Or you could also provide them with a ladle or large spoon so they could spoon some into their glasses. If you are using the beverage dispenser, the strawberry bowl is probably a good idea since the container usually has a top. Place two springs of rosemary into the container with your strawberries and then pour both bottles of lemonade to finish off your beverage.
Serve your lemonade over ice.
With that I conclude my part 1 of Mother’s Day brunch but not with a final verdict of how these appetizers, beverages and fruit salad measured up. Drum roll please!…….
The final critique:
What can I say? This part of mother’s day gets a 10! Appetizers were easy and devoured within the hour. I served my meat and cheese platter with some olive oil and cracked pepper Triscuit crackers. I like Triscuit crackers because their light flavor allows you to taste what you are putting on them. Also they give an excellent crunch. My humus made a perfect spread for the Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps. My croissants were placed on the appetizer table but were not really intended for appetizer consumption, but when my mom took one look at them, well that was the end of that. I still placed some more on the brunch table but some made sandwiches with them as an appetizer option with some German mustard spread. By the time I made it to the table to capture some memories, half of the appetizers were gone! Proof that the choices were perfect for starters.
The berry salad was served with the main brunch dishes and everyone loved the fresh minty taste of the berries. They paired well with the Cinnamon Roll Crumble I will talk about in part 2 of my post.
As if things couldn’t get any better, mimosas made great companions for these munchies and the smiling faces were priceless as evident from the picture below!
Until part 2, I bid you happy reading and of course happy eating! 🙂