Sunday, March 11, 2012

mimosa bar & tart rhubarb

A dear friend of mine from college is getting married this May. Of course, my girlfriends and I were delighted to shower her the proper way with a springtime bridal shower this March.

Inspired by Pinterest, we saw a precious idea for a build your own Mimosa Bar and just had to partake!

Grapefruit, tart cherry and pineapple juices were served in carafes aside champagne glasses, champagne bottles and bite-sized fruit ready to spoon in mimosas. The room was definitely a rainbow of mimosas-- I myself was a fan of the tart cherry.

For a winter bridal shower, I want to try a combination of apple, pomegranate and blood orange juices. How lovely!

Our bride-to-be settled on shades of turquoise and lavender for her bridal colors. Of course, we had to oblige for the table decor.

My friend Lauren combined a simple white tablecloth with hand-painted vases and Mason jars, monochromatic purple flowers and rustic burlap as a table runner.

For the food, I wanted to focus on healthy, beautiful and simple food with no-fuss. Because I was also a hostess, I wanted to be able to entertain without worrying about keeping food hot.

For a brunch-time treat and some sweetness, I made Greek Yogurt and Vanilla Granola Parfaits with Rhubarb Jam.

I flavored plain Greek yogurt with lemon rind, lemon zest and a touch of honey then layered it with store-bought vanilla almond granola (it's all about entertaining ease, baby!) and a bright crimson rhubarb jam made from simmering rhubarb, raspberries, tart cherry juice, lemon rind and sugar together until jam-like.

I topped parfaits with dried cherries but they would definitely be divine topped with fresh raspberries as well. Serve in small clear cups or glasses with mini spoons for a fun touch.

For an unconventional salad, I paired together two of my favorite veggies: avocado and asparagus (yes, I know avocado is a fruit...but you catch my drift).

I tossed blanched asparagus with a simple lime and fresh garlic vinaigrette then topped the gorgeous emerald spears with sliced ripe avocado and a sprinkling of fresh thyme, toasted pine nuts and fresh-cracked pepper.

For the main course, Mediterranean fare was on my mind. I tossed together a chilled chicken & orzo salad and served it with traditional tzatziki, whole wheat pita pockets, Greek olives and pickled red onions.

For the chicken & orzo salad, I marinated boneless, skinless chicken breasts with fresh rosemary and lemon then roasted them to juicy perfection.

Chicken was pulled then combined with al dente orzo, olive oil, balsamic, lemon juice/zest, diced cherry tomatoes, English cucumber, orange bell pepper, arugula, chunks of feta and plenty of fresh-cracked pepper.

Be mindful when salting this salad: feta and olives will add plenty of natural saltiness.

Guests could then build their own pita with ease. Extra olives and tzatziki on mine, please!

The spread: complete with LOVE bunting courtesy of my girlfriend Lauren.

And of course, we didn't forget about dessert!

When working for a client, I will always make the dessert (or above granola), from scratch.

BUT, when entertaining, I try to make my life easier. Enter:
Blue Bonnet Bakery for these gorgeous petit fours that truly melt in your mouth.

A simple white rosebud topping with a mint green leaf was the perfect final touch.

After brunch, we refilled our mimosas and crowded around for some adorable personalized games: Loaded Questions, Mad Libs and "Dave" Busters.

Finally, it was time for the beautiful bride-to-be to open her gifts.

Congratulations, Justine!

Photos courtesy of Lauren A. Williams
Calligraphy courtesy of Blue Eye Brown Eye


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