Sweet Parties: Citrus Brunch Celebration

Good Morning Sunshines!

We are bringing you a heaping helping of bright, cheerful, and dare we say sunny, party ideas today!This celebration was designed with a sit-down brunch in mind and is perfect for a wedding, rehearsal, baby or bridal shower, or even a birthday celebration.

Our inspiration came to us from an unlikely source, a San Pellegrino Sparkling Fruit Beverage. I totally fell for their uber chic, drink me at once and feel special marketing ploy. I knew it was happening, and I didn’t even care. I found them in the refrigerated area of my local pharmacy one day when I was particularly parched and unable to go another minute without something to drink. (It has been hot down here in the south I tell ya, H-O-T!) Anywho, I spotted the Pellegrino and thought, that looks really refreshing, and when I got home I had another thought: We should do a citrus themed party based on the flavors that this drink comes in. And so it came to pass, we put together this little soiree, a Citrus Brunch Celebration. Side note: We have since seen these drinks at our grocery store as well, in a can version which are equally cute.

The first thing we decided for this party was the color scheme. In keeping with the citrus theme we wanted to go somewhat analogous, so we kept our palette to oranges, yellows and orange-reds. Since those colors are so vibrant and make a big splash, we decided to keep the rest of the elements very neutral. The serving pieces and table coverings were white and tan, and we added only a splash of metallic with the silverware and chargers, which we decided should be gold to keep with the warm color palette. We added our citrus colors in with not only the food, but the flower arrangement, some ribbons and of course the printable collection.

For this celebration we really wanted to demonstrate the scope of the party from the place settings to the buffet set up as well. We also wanted to make sure we kept everything within our allotted budget, while setting up two separate tables. Of course, we understand if you are putting together a large party and not just a photoshoot you will need more supplies than what we have shown. But hopefully you will be able to take away from this some valuable money saving options so that your own party can be kept within a  budget!

Here is a list of our costs and where we found most of the items that you see:

From Dollar Tree: (all items $1 each!)

  • White Melamine Plates & Bowls $6
  • Poppy Flowers $4
  • Ribbons $3
  • Silverware $3
  • Glassware $3
  • 2 Foamcore Boards (our chargers) $2


From Joann Fabrics:

  • Yellow Ric-rac trim $1.99
  • Chinese Lantern Flowers $4.99
  • White Flowers $3.99


From Wal-mart:

  • Gold spray paint $3.59


From IKEA:

  • White Photo Frame $1


Things we already owned:

  • Tables, Chairs, Side Table
  • Large Green Glass Bottle
  • Tall White Vase
  • Drop Cloths
  • White Wooden Crate


Things we made:

Now, if you are throwing a large party like a wedding reception, obviously all of your costs are going to be much greater. You may even choose to rent your glassware, dishes, silverware, etc. Our objective was to demonstrate a “look” that you could expand upon in your own way. 

Here are a few ways to jazz up this celebration and make your event super special!

  1. Buy fresh flowers. We recommend fresh poppies and ranunculus for this tablescape, in vibrant orange-reds, yellows and orange. A budget friendly cluster of carnations could also look really nice as well, jazzed up with some asparagus fern draping out of the vases.
  2. Rent your serving pieces. Use a bright white ceramic or clear glass sets, square dishes with square bowls, gold toned silverware and a tall fancy stemmed glasses. Shiny metallic gold chargers underneath, with a beaded edge would add just the right amount of bling!
  3. Add some metallic gold taper candles, lots of them!
  4. Rent your table linens. Use a textured linen or smooth cotton fabric in tan. Drape them to the floor.
  5. Rent your chairs. We’ve seen some at other events that have a nice tropical feel to them, and appear to be made out of bamboo (even though they aren’t) and painted gold. These would be perfect! Yellow or orange seat cushions for these would be great as well if it is an option. If you prefer a more minimalist look, the clear acrylic chairs that are so popular would work nicely too.

Ok, let’s talk food. We have fallen into a rut lately of buying pre-made food for our tables instead of making things ourselves. This time around we decided that some of the lovely inspirations we’ve seen on Pinterest lately needed to make their way into our kitchen and onto our buffet. First off, we used fresh lemons, oranges and grapefruit for our decor. Not only were they fairly inexpensive, but just a perfect way to incorporate the colors we wanted. Second, the recipes we used came from websites that inspired us, so we really want to give credit where it is due. Below is a list of what we served, and where we found the recipe. All of these were delicious, by the way, so please try them out!

  1. Citrus Cake with Lemon-Orange Buttercream and a Lemon Curd Filling
  2. Mini-German Puffed Pancakes (we substituted in a ricotta and orange marmalade mixture)
  3. Orange-Ginger Cookie Sandwiches
  4. Sunshine Bruschetta
  5. Spinach Salad with Mandarin Oranges
  6. Chocolate Covered Orange Sticks
  7. Izze Sodas in Grapefruit and Celmentine


“Oh-emm-gee, that Citrus Cake was so H-O-T.” (That’s a variation on a quote from the Marmaduke movie that got stuck in my head, it used to be on a daily viewing schedule, the toddler loves the talking animals.) The cake tasted great, but I loved it most of all for its beautiful facade. It was gorgeous and I could not stop taking photos of it. We chose to cover ours with oranges, lemons, clementines, grapefruit slices and some sprigs of mint scattered about and sage leaves for the border around the base (decorative purposes only, sage + buttercream don’t taste good together). The recipe calls for blood oranges, but they are very hard to find around these parts so the grapefruit was our substitute. Our German Puffed Pancakes, well they were tasty too, but they did not puff like the recipe shows. We ended up with pancake “muffins” instead. We took out a little dip at the top and filled them with our ricotta and orange marmalade mixture and topped them with a sweet clementine slice and a dusting of powdered sugar. Sunshine Bruschetta is an interesting twist on the traditional bruschetta recipe with the addition of a citrus fruit. We added both grapefruit and oranges to ours.

As for the printables, we were inspired to do a retro look with a modern twist, mimicking the new design of the GooGoo Clusters packaging. (If you haven’t seen it, take a peek, it really is quite nice.) We of course made our colors much more vibrant, carrying out the planned color palette we mentioned earlier. Since we wanted this party to be an option for large formal events and small informal events alike, we included the following items in our printable collection:

  • Buffet Menu Display
  • Individual Menus
  • Bar Menu
  • Escort Cards
  • Food Tags
  • Place Cards
  • Table Cards
  • Decorative Flags
  • Banner


We hope that this bright and vibrant celebration has put a smile on your face and some inspiration into your party planning.

If you have any questions, suggestions or comments we welcome your feedback!

 

Sweet Recipes: Citrus Cake, A Love Story

Last year I fell in love with a cake. June 14th, 2011.

There you are browsing Pinterest for the 3rd hour in a row when suddenly it smacks you in the face. Cake LOVE. A beautifully photographed and presented cake, for your viewing pleasure. The kind that makes you want to reach on in and grab a slice, if such thing were at all possible. Have you even had this happen to you? Well of course I pinned that sucker right then and there and have since been drooling over it.

Of course I never got around to making it. That is until we settled on a summer Citrus Brunch Celebration and started planning our menu. Then out came my “Cakes” board and the Citrus Cake was re-pinned to our “Citrus Brunch Ideas” board. It was finalized. This cake was going to happen. In my kitchen.

My cake love came at the hand of one Apollinas and her fashion inspired blog. About her cake inspiration she writes: “Those spring Stella McCartney prints we have all been seeing look delicious enough to eat.  So, now you can - in the form of cake…!”

Enough talk of my cake love though, here is the recipe we adapted from Apollinas.

Citrus Cake with Orange & Lemon

Ingredients

  • 2 sticksunsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • grated zest of 2 oranges
  • grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk
  • Non-stick baking spray
  • Parchment Paper, cut to fit the bottoms of your baking pans.
  • Assorted citrus fruits, sliced and drained to decorate with.
  • Fresh mint leaves, for decoration.

Directions

  1. Heat your oven to 350°F and prepare two 8″, 9″ or 10″ cake pans. I prefer to use Pam for baking, and spray the pans generously, then line the bottoms with parchment paper and spray again. I find it is easier than buttering and flouring. 
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, then set it aside.
  3. With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high until fluffy, 2 - 3 minutes.  
  4. Add the grated zest of the oranges and lemons.  
  5. Add the vanilla.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides if needed.
  7. Reduce speed to low, then add the dry mixture and the milk, alternating a little of each, and ending with the dry. Mix this until just until combined, and take care not to overmix.
  8. Divide the batter equally between the prepared cake pans, leveling the top of each with a large spoon or rubber spatula.  
  9. Bake until a toothpick from the center of the cake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes for 8-inch pans, 22 to 25 minutes for 9-inch pans and 20 to 22 minutes for a 10 inch pan.  
  10. Cool the cakes in the pans for 15 minutes, then turn out onto racks to cool completely.

Citrus Curd Filling

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, sliced

Directions

  1. In a stainless or glass bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, zests and juices. 
  2. Add the butter, then set the bowl on top of a saucepan of simmering water.
  3. Cook the curd, whisking constantly, until the mixture has thickened, about 15 minutes. 
  4. Pour into a medium bowl.  
  5. Cover and refrigerate until completely cool, about 2 hours.

Fresh Orange Lemon Buttercream

Ingredients

  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 4 cups of powdered sugar

Directions

  1. Beat the butter in your electric mixture until light and fluffy. 
  2. Reduce the speed to low and add the orange juice and zest.
  3. Add the sugar a cup at a time, waiting until one is fully in corporated before adding another.
  4. Resume a medium-high speed and beat the buttercream until it is smooth and fluffy.
  5. Store at room tempurature until you are ready to ice the cake. (Up to 2 days in an air-tight container.)

Assorted Citrus Fruits & Mint Leaves

Chose which citrus fruits you want to feature on top of the cake.

Slice them thinly and pat dry with a paper towel before laying them on top of your cake.

Pluck your mint off the sprigs and scatter about the cake between your citrus slices to add a bit of greenery. We also added in a bit of sage as well for color around the base of our cake.

Please try this recipe and come back and let us know your thoughts!

Or share with us a cake you fell in LOVE with!

Sneak Peek: Citrus Brunch Celebration

Good afternoon amazing people!

We are chomping at the bit to share with you our Citrus Bruch Celebration shoot from this past week. We have been so busy however we haven’t had time to write the full article to go with it. So for now, here are two tasty morsels to whet your dessert table appetite!

Doesn’t that cake look tasty? We thought so too. In fact, I just finished a piece of it for breakfast.

The recipe was superb and we will be sharing it with you next week as well. 

See you on the flip side!

Inspiration Pinterest 7.4.11

This week's inspiration is all about the cool refreshing cucumber! I don't know about you but there is just something so soothing about a cucumber. Maybe it is that cool green and slightly translucent look that has me swooning this week.

When I was younger my mother would serve tall pitcher's of ice-cold water with thin slices of cucumber and lemon floating about inside. They added just a hint of flavor to a refreshing summer-time neccesity. Check out these popsicles, they are kind of similar. 

Lemon Cucumber Popsicle by Family Fresh Cooking

Here is the recipe if you are dying to try them too!

  • 1 cup julienned seedless Cucumber
  • 1 fresh squeezed Lemon, remove any seeds
  • 2 cups cold Water
  • Natural Sweetener added to taste: use your favorite, I use Stevia. Maple Syrup, Honey & Agave are good too

METHOD

Slice lemon in half and squeeze it over a strainer into 2 cups of cold water. Sweeten lemon water to taste with your favorite sweetener. Fill popsicle molds 2/3 with lemonade. Freeze uncovered for about 1 hour. Take pops out of freezer. Scrape and stir any ice crystals that have formed. Add a spoonful of the julienned cucumber to the pop molds. Be sure to leave a tiny bit of room at the top of your popsicle mold so they don’t overflow when you add the stick. With a popsicle stick or a butter knife, press the cucumber into the mixture so it is evenly distributed. Add your popsicle sticks, freeze pops for another 3-4 hours until solid.

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches from Martha StewartWhat better to go with a cumcumber lemon water than a divine little cucumber tea sandwich? These visually pleasing sandwiches from Martha Stewart are just too cool. I kinda want to make some just so I can take pictures of them. Plain 'ole sliced white bread never looked so fancy!

Tazo, not only do you have appealing packaging but you also have appealing flavors. Perhaps your tea needs to date Martha's sandwiches? A perfect match made in cucumber heaven?

White Cucumber Tea from Tazo

As always, we would love to follow you and for you to follow us on Pinterest so that we can share in all the wonderful beautiful creative things our web has to offer! Visit us here

Strawberry Lemon Cupcakes Recipe

We have been sweating it out all week here at Hello My Sweet and looking for a perfect recipe to represent the coming summer. What better than Strawberry Lemonade? Sweet juicy strawberries and a tart refreshing lemons combining to bring you a tasty cool treat for the summer.

Of course we wanted to make our strawberry lemonade in cupcake form, so without further ado we give you Strawberry Lemon Cupcakes.

We hope you will give this recipe a shot, it is oh so delicious. The cake is super moist and the sweet and tart combination is perfection.

Don't forget to come back afterwards and leave us a comment about how yours turned out.