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Cater Your Own Summer Party!

Try these modern twists to a summer brunch, wedding or baby shower.

Color me bagels.

No more messy knives with globs of cream cheese everywhere. Choose a masterpiece over a mess.

Purchase extra thin, plain, whole grain bagels. The flavor comes in the toppings.

Spread with flavored cream cheeses, hummus, pestos, or make your favorite homemade spreads.

Select toppings that complement each spread. Dice or slice toppings small, bite-size.

Just a few suggestions:

  • Sliced strawberries with strawberry cream cheese.
  • Diced multi-colored peppers and cucumber with garden flavored cream cheese.
  • Lox (smoked salmon) with plain cream cheese.
  • Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or Chia seeds with almond butter.
  • Pine nuts with pesto.
  • Calamata olives with hummus.

Prepare in advance. Cover tightly and store in fridge until ready to serve.

Baby Parfaits

There is magic in miniature.

Purchase 2 oz. clear, plastic, mini cordial cups. Inexpensive and look like glass. Available at Amazon or Party City.

I suggest making 2 or 3 varieties because your guests will enjoy choosing (and will eat more than one!)

I had 5 layers in each one. Use a spoon to dollop each layer in the narrow cup. No worries if some hits the sides. Mine didn’t look perfect but they did look homemade!

Here are the ones I created with the ingredients used to layer:

  • Apple Pie: apple cinnamon granola, diced fresh apples caramelized with sugar on stove and cooled, apple pie greek yogurt, caramel sauce
  • Triple Berry: high protein granola, blueberries-rasberries-blackberries mixture, berry flavored greek yogurt
  • Cookies and Cream: hazelnut granola, vanilla greek yogurt, mini chocolate chips, oreo crust topping
  • Pumpkin Pie: crushed graham crackers, pumpkin pie filling, plain granola

Serve with miniature plastic spoons. I displayed them in a glass bowl of decorative gravel. Disposable silver mini spoons available at Amazon or Party City.

I suggest serving a large bowl of mixed fresh fruit alongside your bagels and parfaits.

Three great tips on presentation:

  • Use color. Especially in the summer it is hard to go overboard on color. Be bold. Keep the platters simple and clean and let your food show off.
  • Use levels. Various heights add elegance. Elevate trays by turning bowls upside down and placing underneath.
  • Use reflection. Clear platters and bowls help reflect natural light onto the food. Silver and white is good too. At a craft store I found large fake “jewels” in transparent turquoise that I spread on the table. I set some of the parfaits on a circular mirror available at craft stores.

This particular brunch was not vegan but if I were to have it today, I would modify the ingredients easily to make everything animal-free. There are vegan cream cheeses, dairy free yogurts, and plenty of spreads that are simple to make.

While there are sweet splurges here, they are in small quantities. Miniatures are a great way to pull this off. I used thin bagels, thin layers of cream cheese, and ample healthy toppings. The majority of the parfaits are high protein yogurt.

You can make an occasion special, include tiny sweet treats, and do it all in advance so you can enjoy your own party!

"Be yourself. Everyone else is taken." Oscar Wilde

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One Comment Post a comment
  1. Chloe Ortbals #

    I have to say that this display looked beautiful! I think everyone at the party was very impressed. (Not to mention is was delicious!) Your three tips on presentation are great.

    July 19, 2012

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