Modern Bright & Sunny Bridesmaid Brunch!

/ Wednesday, January 13, 2016

First post of 2016, hooray! I start each New Year ready to (finally) master balance, who's with me? Work hard AND set aside time for friends. Eat mostly clean...but with a few indulgent treats. My grandma taught me, "It's good to be a little bad!" And with that in mind, I invite you into my apartment for a beautiful, boozy bridesmaid brunch…

I'm sure every bride-to-be says this but my girls really are the best, so I decided to throw them a fun party before the wedding whirlwind really picks up. With my “balance” resolution in mind, I created an awesome menu that was fresh, cheesy, sweet, savory, highbrow, lowbrow, boozy and wholesome all at the same time…

The crowd favorite was probably my chicken-and-waffle sliders or "Hot Chick!" sliders since, you know, we love a girlie pun. I made these homemade waffles, cut them into teeny squares and stuffed 'em with fried chicken...which I bought from Popeyes. Shh! Remember the whole balance thing? Steal this trick.

You probably saw the goodie bags I made on Instagram (if not, here's what you missed)! I also designed a whole collection of different bridesmaid t-shirts for the ladies. I hung them up with clothespins like they were on a wash line and let everyone pick their fave. Bonus: They doubled as party decor!

For drinks, we had a bellini bar! I whizzed up the easiest peach and raspberry purees (recipes below) and served them with prosecco, fresh berries and IZZE Sparkling Water for the "faux-lini" mocktail havers in the house—it's an easy (and healthy!) champagne stand in, only 10 calories with a little sweetness from organic cane sugar.

No but seriously, the "faux-lini" ended up being super important because one of my bridesmaids is in medical school and had to go straight to her rounds at the hospital after the party. You're welcome Jane Doe. She didn't drink. IZZE totally saved the day. Wait, wasn't there an Izzie on Grey's Anatomy!? We've come full circle...

The rest of us had champagne. Balance, guys! I'm still working on Goal #8. Luckily the free-flowing bubbles loosened everyone up for an impromptu modeling session of their new shirts, plus some hard-core admiration of Jenna's new jeans (below). Trust me, you all need to go buy a pair immediately #buttgoals

Before I move on to the recipe, what do you gals think of the shirts? Honest opinion. There's no cool place to buy wedding-stuff that fits my personal Hey, EEP style: Modern, bright, fun, creative. You can get calligraphy "wifey" tees, some crappy screen-printed stuff but that's kind of it...

I've been toying with the idea of making my own awesome wedding products and selling them on ETSY. You know, so folks like us have a place to shop and feel taken care of, too! Do you think people would be into it?

SERVES: 10 to 12

1 (16-ounce) bag frozen peach slices, thawed
1/4 cup cointreau or orange-flavored liqueur 
1/4 cup Aperol (or orange juice) 
2 or 3 squeeze agave nectar

1 (16-ounce) bag frozen raspberries, thawed
1/4 cup chambered or raspberry-flavored liqueur
1/4 cup pomegranate or cranberry juice
2 or 3 squeeze agave nectar 

3 to 4 bottles prosecco, cold
6 to 8 (12-ounce) bottles IZZE Sparkling Water, cold
Fresh berries, for serving

1. Make the peach-orange puree: Blend the peaches, orange liqueur, Aperol and agave in a blender until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Transfer to a bottle or pitches and refrigerate until cold. Rinse out the blender

2. Make the peach-orange puree: Blend the raspberries, raspberry liqueur, juice and agave in a blender until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Transfer to a bottle or pitches and refrigerate until cold.

3. Put prosecco and sparkling water in an ice bucket or cooler (if you'd like to match my flavors exactly, I used IZZE Raspberry-Watermelon and Mandarin Lime). Serve with the purees and berries. For each drink, pour some puree into a glass and top with either prosecco or sparkling water.

Here's a tip! If you don't want to use liqueurs in our puree—maybe you want a totally booze-free "faux-lini" bar or just don't want to buy 'em—go ahead and replace the orange liqueur, raspberry liqueur and Aperol with more juice. You need the liquid to get things going in the blender... 

Disclosure: IZZE sent me these products to try, which was so nice! As usual, all content and opinions are that of my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who support Hey, EEP!

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