Well friends, wedding season has arrived! I have had a wedding to go to every other weekend for the past couple of months and it is both exhausting and so much fun.
You know that classic advice that a bride and groom should eat before the wedding because they won’t have a chance during? It is very true. But it is also true for the bridal party: between the prepping, the ceremony, and the photographs, it could be hours before your bridal party is able to cure the inevitable hangries. Combine that with the many drinks that they are sure to consume, you are just asking for a few embarrassing moments during the toasts. So, take care of your bridal party and serve them a brunch full of amino acids, filly protein, and a healthy dose of wine to keep them glowing and happy during the ceremony.
I love sangria: with a few handfuls of berries you can turn a not-so-great bottle of wine into something truly delectable that gets better the longer you let it sit. For this reason, it is an awesome cocktail to make the day (or two) before an event and save yourself some prep time.
Two days before the brunch add 2/3 cups each of raspberries, chopped strawberries, and blueberries to a glass pitcher.
Pour in two bottles of decent quality merlot and two cans of pineapple juice. Stir and pop into the fridge until ready to serve. I made mine two days ahead of time and gave it a stir every time I opened my fridge. It get’s a much sweeter and more developed flavor as it sits.
For a pre-wedding brunch you want to keep the food simple, handheld, and low carb. I took some of my favorite brunch foods and made them into healthy appetizers to munch on the go. These recipes will serve a brunch for about 5 people.
Canadian Bacon Egg Cups
Start your brunch with a punch of protein to keep your bridal party energetic all day long. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a standard size cupcake baking sheet with Pam cooking spray.
Place two slices of uncured Canadian bacon into each section and crack an egg into the middle. Pop the tray into your over for 18-20 minutes, depending on how runny you like your eggs. You can use this time to prepare the rest of your appetizers.
When the eggs are done sprinkle each with salt, pepper, and chopped chives.
“Bagel with Whitefish” Endive Appetizers
Clean and cut the hard end off of two bunches of fresh endive. Remove several large leaves from each head and lay out on a paper towel to dry completely. Try to keep your leaves as uniform in size as possible: you can probably get 5-7 good size leaves from each bunch.
What makes this endive an “bagel” treat is this spread that I have been eating since my childhood. My dad was an excellent chef and loved fish. He created this recipe while fooling around in the kitchen one morning and it became a family favorite to have on Sunday mornings. Double this recipe and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, using it on bagels, crackers, and vegetables.
In a bowl combine 6 oz. cream cheese, 1/3 cup crumbled smoked white fish or salmon (deboned first), 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion, 2 tablespoons chopped chives, and salt and pepper. Mix all together into a nice homogenous dip. That’s it!
Spread each endive spear with a generous helping of the white fish spread and top with a couple of pieces fresh chive. Get creative and top each with capers, lemon pepper, avocado, or anything else you’d like.
Simple, satisfying, and full of healthy oils from the fish to keep you glowing.
Havarti Wrapped Asparagus tips
Trim the woody ends off of about a half pound of asparagus spears. Bring a pot of water with one tablespoon of salt in it to a boil and places the spears in for about 3 minutes, being sure to not over cook them.
Use tongs to remove the asparagus from the boiling water and move into a ice bath to shock them and stop the cooking process. When cooled place them onto a paper towel to dry off.
Spread a slice of good Havarti cheese with a teaspoon of apricot jam and place two spears on top. You can use whatever type of jam you like, or none at all, but I like the tan of apricot flavor with the salty cheese.
Roll the spears up and serve!
Serve your sangria BEFORE you have put on your dresses to avoid an accident. The wine takes on such a beautiful, rich color and flavor from the berries and the sweetness from the pineapple juice accentuates the flavors. Sip, and enjoy life.
Whether you use these recipes for an actual bridal brunch or just a day to treat your lady friends and show them that you love them, I hope you enjoy. I am looking forward to the handful of weddings I still have to attend in the coming months as well as the new recipes that I have lined up for the summer. Coming up I am sharing a couple of family favorites for my favorite holiday, the Fourth of July.
- 2 bottles merlot- we used Wild Horse
- 2 6 oz cans pineapple
- 2/3 cup fresh raspberries
- 2/3 cup fresh blueberries
- 2/3 cup quartered strawberries
One or two days before your brunch combine all of your ingredients into a pitcher. Keep in your fridge until ready to serve, stirring every few hours. The longer the sangria sits, the more flavorful and sweet it becomes. Add seltzer water before serving for sparkling sangria and garnish with mint.
Canadian Bacon Cups (Serves 5)
- 10 slices of uncured Canadian bacon
- 5 large eggs
- salt and pepper to taste
- chopped chives
Spray a large cupcake tin with Pam cooking spray. Lay two pieces of Canadian bacon into each cup, one across the other. Break one egg on top of the Canadian bacon and pop into a 350 degree oven and cook 18-20 minutes depending on how runny you like your eggs. Salt and pepper right out of the oven and serve sprinkled with chopped chives.
“Bagel with White Fish” Endive Appetizers
- 2 bunches of endive, cleaned and large leaves removed and dried
- 6 oz cream cheese
- 1/3 cup smoke white fish or salmon (deboned)
- 2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
- Salt and pepper to taste
- chopped chives
Debone and skin your smoked white fish or salmon. In a plate combine cream cheese and red onion with a fork. Crumble in your fish and add salt and pepper to taste. Spread about a tablespoon and a half of the mixture on each piece of endive. Serve on a large plate with chives on top. Get creative and add anything you would to a bagel: such as capers, avocado, or red pepper flakes. You can double this recipe and refrigerate for up to 3 days to use on bagels, vegetables, toast, etc.
Harvarti Wrapped Asparagus Tips
- 1/2 lb cleaned asparagus
- 10 slices good quality Havarti cheese
- 1 tsp apricot jam per slice (or whatever jam you like)
- coarse salt
Bring 6 cups of water in a large pot to a boil with a tablespoon a course salt. Remove the woody ends of each asparagus spear. Blanche the asparagus in the boiling water for 3 minutes. Use tongs to transfer the asparagus straight from the boiling water to an ice bath to stop the cooking. Dry asparagus on a couple of layers of paper towels. Lay out your slices of cheese and spread 1 teaspoon of apricot jam on each. Roll 2 spears of asparagus into each piece of cheese and secure with a toothpick.