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Grab-and-go bridal brunches

Christina Frederick
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Cooking Buzz is produced in partnership with the Junior League of Houston, a women’s charitable and education organization founded in 1925.

It’s wedding season, and nothing is more exciting than the actual wedding day. Until then, the parties leading up to the big day are managed by your friends and family, but on your special day, the roles are reversed. It’s now your job to host your loved ones as a special thank you for their support.

One of my favorite trends is the wedding-day bridal brunch. Often, bridesmaids live in multiple cities, making it hard for them to get together for every shower, or the bachelorette party. Instead of asking your friends to make yet another trip for one of these events, you can honor them on your special day with a casual, grab-and-go bridal brunch.

Scones

This tasty scone recipe pairs the sweet, spiced flavors of cinnamon and pear, but consider a savory version as well, such as cheddar and smoked bacon.

Between getting hair and makeup done and trying to spend time together, it is important for everyone to eat. A brunch menu can cover breakfast and lunch to make sure everyone will be happy until dinner.

I love the fruit- and nut-filled Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins, Almond Polenta Muffins and Apple Pecan Muffins in the Junior League of Houston cookbook Peace Meals. These can be made a day or two before the wedding. Mini muffins are perfect for brunch, but consider a mixture of small and standard sizes so guests have a choice.

Another recipe from Peace Meals is Cinnamon Pear Scones. Once you create the base dough, you can change out the cinnamon and pears with a multitude of options. Consider combinations such as pecans and orange zest, lemon zest and blueberry or even a savory option like cheddar and smoked bacon.

Peace Meals is also home to my favorite granola recipes, Cherry Almond Granola and Peanut Butter Granola. They both pair wonderfully with yogurt and fresh fruit. As a bonus, granola can be placed in small bags for wedding-party members to take to the wedding location as a snack.

If you don’t want to cook, you could buy some items at the Pantry at the Junior League of Houston. Good options include the Breakfast Sausage Tart and Quiche Lorraine; they are frozen and can be heated when needed. And the famous Orange Rolls are always a popular choice.

No brunch is complete without beverage options, from the traditional mimosa onward. The Pomegranate Peach Smoothie from Stop and Smell the Rosemary is a fun spin on a traditional fruit smoothie. Pomegranate juice adds a fun, refreshing surprise.

A punch for the blushing bride is the Peach Champagne Punch from Peace Meals. It’s the perfect bubbly-pink punch to make the night before the big day. Serve in a punch bowl and add mint leaves to float on top. You can also prepare this punch as a mocktail by leaving out the champagne.

Editor’s note: Junior League member Christina Frederick, a wedding and event planner, owns Christina Leigh Events. To buy a Houston Junior League cookbook, see jlh.org or call 713-871-6608.

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