During Southern Californian Summers, we often try to do all our outdoor activities early in the day before it really heats up. So, to kick off the Summer I’m all hosting a Brunch Block Party. Move over BBQ get-together in the heat of the day, I think getting an early start is a great idea. Plus, who doesn’t love brunch food? It’s the best of breakfast and lunch. Here’s the menu I put together, I kept it simple and seasonal. I’ve teamed up with Pier 1 Imports to throw this fun Brunch Block Party. There’s a little for everyone. Keep reading, I’m sharing all the recipes.
- Grapefruit Sage Mock-Mimosa
- Mint Mojito Iced Coffee
- Faux Gourmet Donuts
- Pineapple and Cinnamon Yogurt Dip
- Nectarine + Macadamia Nut Salad
- Green Chili Corn Bread Waffles
- Cheese Board + Fresh Cherries
Our house has a fantastic, huge front porch. Lately, we have been spending a lot of time out there. It’s very shaded and really has so much space for entertaining. I recently re-painted a vintage sofa my mother-in-law gave me. I replaced the cushions with some white and grey pillows from Pier 1 and it’s like a brand new piece of furniture. I also added two slings, which my kids are loving, but they also provide 2 more places for folks to sit. This porch is the perfect spot for a neighborhood block party brunch. With lots of shaded area and plenty of room to spill over onto the front yard, it’s a great space for hosting a crowd. Plus, the best part of outdoor entertaining, is that all the mess stays outside!
I picked up a few outdoor entertaining essentials from Pier 1 Imports to make out front porch feel I little more like another room in our house. I few great pillows, a pretty lantern, some really cool melamine serving dishing and a touch of peach with some fun linens, and now it’s our favorite room in the house.
- Cheese Board
- Long Serving Tray
- Bowls with Ice Filled Bottoms
- Grey Lantern with Rope Detail
- Peach Window Pain Napkin
- Peach Coasters
- Large Round Serving Tray
- Grey and Jute Outdoor Pillow
I love wood grain and marble, it’s such a pretty combination. But, who wants to be hauling heaving dishes and trays in and out of the house. I love these melamine serving pieces from Pier 1. They are modern, minimal and just plain good looking dishes AND they are totally unbreakable. Probably my favorite new outdoor entertaining item is the grey wood grain serving bowls. Not only are they pretty, but you can fill the bottoms on the bowls with ice and they keep your food chilled. How cool is that?
Ok, let’s start with the drinks, because I’m pretty sure a party is only as good as the drinks that are served. Since it’s brunch, coffee and mimosas are a must. I love a twist on something traditional, so I came up with a fun Grapefruit Sage Mock-Mimosa and too keep everyone cool, Mint Mojito Iced Coffee.
Grapefruit Sage Mock-Mimosa
- 6 cups Grapefruit Juice
- 1 liter Ginger Ale
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh sage
- grapefruit slices and sage leave for garnish
Start by making the sage simple syrup. In a small pot, place the water, sugar and sage. Bring to a boil and boil for one minute. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. I like to leave the mint leaves in the syrup as long as possible. When you are ready to serve the drinks, stain off the sage with a fine metal sieve. Store the syrup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
In a large pitcher, combine 6 cups grapefruit juice, the sage simple syrup and the ginger ale. Stir and serve poured over ice. Garnish glasses with a fresh sage leaf floating on top and a slice of grapefruit on the rim on the glass.
And if you want to make it an adult version, champaign can easily replace the ginger ale.
A party isn’t a party without some sweet treats. So I created some faux gourmet donuts. Ya, I’m making this a thing. Bakersfield is a great place to live, but we do NOT have a fancy donut shop. You know what I’m talking about – the $3 donuts that come in fun flavor combinations with pretty icing. So, I decided I’d make my own. I bought a dozen plain buttermilk cake donuts at my local grocery store. Then I mixed about 1/4 cup boysenberry syrup with 1 cup of powdered sugar. I microwaved it on high for 30 secs. stirred it again and then dipped the donuts in the frosting and sprinkled some dried rose petals. Ta-da – instant gourmet donuts.
But hey, if you have a fun donut shop, pick up a dozen, and serve them at your brunch. I guarantee your guests will be pleased and it will save you sometime.
To balance out the donut situation, a yummy green salad is always a good idea. I mentioned it earlier, but these grey wood grain melamine bowls are pretty darn cool (literally). You can fill the bottom part of this bowl with ice and not worry about your salad getting warm or wilted outside in the heat.
White Nectarine and Macadamia Nut Salad
- 3 white nectarines
- 1/2 cup whole macadamia nuts
- 1 cup yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
- 6 oz. log of herbed goat cheese
- a bag of mixed spring greens
- zest and juice of one lemon
- 1/4 balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 1/3 cup oil oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Start by making the balsamic salad dressing. In a large mason jar, add the lemon juice, zest, vinegar, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper. Shake vigorously to mix. Store in the fridge in an air tight container. Allow the dressing to come to room temperature before serving, if the olive oil is too cold it will become a solid.
Toast the macadamia nuts in a dry frying pan until they are golden brown. Toss the spring greens, sliced nectarines, macadamia nuts and cherry tomatoes. Dot the salad with small spoonfulls of the goat cheese. I chose to serve this dressing on the side and allow guests to put as much or as little as they wanted.
This easy recipe is my take on a brunch dish I had the last time I was in Maui. Fresh, ripe pineapple wedges were served with a yummy sweet cinnamon yogurt dip. When I saw delicious ripe pineapples on sale at the grocery store, I knew this recipe needed to be on the menu. And the mini version of the iced melamine bowl was perfect for keeping this yogurt dip icy cold.
Pineapple Spears and Cinnamon Yogurt Dip
- 1 pineapple
- 2 cups vanilla greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Cut pineapple into long spears or wedges for dipping. In a bowl, whisk together the yogurt, brown sugar and cinnamon. Keep chilled until ready to serve.
This final recipe is one that I’ve wanted to share here for quite awhile. I love the idea of a savory waffle. There is no need to turn on the oven and heat up the house with this recipe. Did you know that you can cook corn bread in a waffle iron? Well, you can and it sure does make cute bite sized corn bread.
Green Chili Cornbread Waffles
- 1 can of chopped green chilis
- 2/3 cup frozen or canned corn
- 2 boxes of Jiffy Cornbread Mix
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup milk
- chopped chives or green onions
- 6 slices of bacon
- 1/4 cup crumbled cojita cheese
Start by cutting the bacon in 1/2 inch pieces. Fry until crisp, drain on a paper towel. In bowl, mix together the green chilis, corn, Jiffy Mix, eggs and milk. When the waffle iron is hot, spray with nonstick spray and cook the waffles according to your waffle iron’s instructions. Top the warm waffles with chives, bacon and cojita cheese.
Aren’t you ready for some fun Summer entertaining? Head to you local Pier 1 or shop online for all your outdoor entertaining essentials.
This post is sponsored by Pier 1 Imports, thank you for supporting the companies that help make this blog possible.