With winter weather finally fading, we’re (cautiously) optimistic about the return of sunny days, warm breezes, and outdoor entertaining. One of the best ways to kick off a new season? A party, of course! As luck would have it, Easter is just around the corner, and it’s a fabulous occasion for entertaining al fresco!
To help us plan a fun, chic, gorgeous Easter brunch, we knew exactly who to call: our dear friend Abby Guido of Beijos Events! Abby has a way of creating stunning tablescapes that are simultaneously simple, Instagram-worthy, and absolutely certain to wow your guests. To top it off, she also shared her recipes with us for Citrus & Coconut Panna Cotta with Coconut Cashew Granola! It’s as impressive as Abby’s table design, so read on to prepare for your first soirée of the season!
Easter brunch is a holiday that I love to host for the family. It’s spring, which means all the beautiful pastel flowers are in bloom, and your tablescape is going to be filled with lots of spring pretty. I love hosting brunches because it allows time before guests come over, and once everyone has left, you still have part of your day to enjoy!
To throw a perfect Easter brunch that your guests will love, it’s all about planning ahead. This is the most important thing! If you plan ahead, everything will be a breeze. Create your menu and guest list. I always find out from family members what time will work for them. Easter is one of those holidays where people are busy throughout the whole day. I love brunch because it gives you time before family members come over, and you will still have part of your Sunday after. Prep your food the night before, so all you have to do is garnish and set out before family coming over. The same goes with your tablescape. This will leave you time in the morning with your family to enjoy Easter baskets and some quality time before everyone comes over.
Creating a tablescape can be daunting for some people, especially for a holiday occasion. You feel the need to go out and get all new things to wow your guest. But you don’t have to! Pottery Barn has beautiful everyday items that you can use for your festive decor. When adding holiday decor to your table, you want to be limited on the amount. I know its exciting and everything is super cute but too much of a good thing and it can start to look crowed. You want pops of Easter throughout the table. I used the Emma Egg Cup which comes in a mixed set of seasonal pastel colors at each place setting. I put fresh farmers market eggs into each cup. Another Easter element among this beautiful table is the Pierced Ceramic Egg that we placed right beside the floral arrangement.
- Tip: A cute idea for your eggs is for you to write your guests’ names on each one for their place setting. Custom touches your guests will love.
For the place setting it self, I went natural colors so I can bring in the pops of pastel colors in the textiles and glassware. I absolutely fell in love with the plum Gem Toned Stemless Glass that was accompanied with a white and red wine glass. I love the Montero Red Wine Glass because you can either use it for wine (of course) or even for water or juice. My everyday Au Naturale Stoneware plates are set on top of a Galvanized Metal Charger, whose texture reminds me of summer days outside. For Easter, you have to have a pretty blush textile in the mix. I tied the napkin in a knot to add another fun element to the table setting. Gold flatware to top it off!
Tip: Have fun with your flatware placement; get creative and place it in new spots. Placement of flatware and new ways of folding or placing napkins bring your guests’ attention to the table, and often praise on how beautiful your table is. People love to see things done differently, its refreshing and fun. Meghann Miniello created a simple yet elegant menu on vellum that was seated on top of the salad plate. I love for guests to know what they are having. If your table allows, serve family style. It’s an imitate way of spending more time with your family and enjoying each other instead of having people constantly getting up and down from the table to get more food.
Now, one of the most important parts of the the table. The flowers! This is where all your spring and pastel dreams come true. Have fun with it! Natasha Kolenko created one beautiful spring arrangement that consisted of out of this world huge ricconlus, poppies, fragrant pink jasmine and mint. Nothing better then having an arrangement that smells as good as it looks. Last but not least the food! I created a spring filled menu that I think my guests will love. Nothing is more spring then a citrus salad, deviled eggs, baked eggs and spinach, and an amazing panna cotta that is out of this world.
- Use the Montero Red Wine Glass as a parfait glass and place among your glassware. Unique and unexpected detail.
- Premake all your food ahead of time. I created a spring menu that would allow me to prep the night before. All I had to do was garnish and prepare the baked eggs.
- If you place your table in the back of a wall, adorn it with trailing pink jasmine to add another layer of decor to your setting.
- ½ silver gelatin sheet (160 bloom)
- 2 ½ oz (71 ml) freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, about ½ large grapefruit
- 2 tsp (11g) sugar
Set six small glasses onto a baking sheet lined with a Silpat or other slip-resistant liner to prevent glasses from sliding. Set aside until ready to use.
Bloom the gelatin sheet in a bowl of icy water (enough to completely submerge the gelatin, at least eight oz / 227g). Set aside for 5-10 minutes or until gelatin is soft and flexible to the touch. Gently squeeze out water from gelatin right before adding it to a warm liquid.
Meanwhile, in a small pot, bring the grapefruit juice and sugar to a simmer. Remove from heat and add softened gelatin. Whisk to combine until gelatin has dissolved into the warm liquid. Pour 1 Tbsp of mixture into each glass and then transfer baking sheet to the refrigerator. Chill grapefruit gelée until set, at least 1 hour.
Coconut Panna Cotta
- 2 oz (56g) unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
- 8 oz (227g) unsweetened coconut milk
- 8 oz (227g) heavy cream
- 1 oz (28g) sugar
- ½ vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
- 1 ½ silver gelatin sheets (160 bloom)
Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Spread out shredded coconut onto a small baking sheet. Place into the oven to toast until deeply golden, about 10-13 minutes. Stir occasionally during baking to ensure even toasting.
Meanwhile, combine coconut milk (be sure to thoroughly combine the thick coconut cream and milk), heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla bean seeds with scraped pod in a medium sized saucepan. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and add in toasted coconut. Cover with a lid and allow to steep for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, Bloom the gelatin sheets in a bowl of very cold water (enough to completely submerge the gelatin, at least 8 oz / 227g). Set aside for 5-10 minutes or until gelatin is soft and flexible to the touch. Gently squeeze out water from gelatin right before adding it to a warm liquid.
Using a fine-mesh strainer, strain steeped coconut mixture into a clean saucepan. Place over medium heat and heat just until warm to the touch, about 1-2 minutes (not simmering and not hot). Remove from heat and whisk in softened gelatin until dissolved. Transfer warm coconut panna cotta to a container with a pourable spout for easier pouring, such as a large liquid measuring cup.
Remove grapefruit gelée glasses from the refrigerator and evenly distribute coconut panna cotta into each glass (about 2 oz / 57g). Carefully, transfer filled glasses back to the refrigerator to chill until completely set, at least 2 hours. Once set, cover each glass with plastic wrap until ready to serve. Stored Panna cottas will keep for up to four days.
Coconut Cashew Granola
- 2 oz (57g) old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 oz (28g) unsalted cashews, roughly chopped
- ½ oz (14g) sliced almonds
- ½ oz (14g) unsalted pistachios
- ½ oz (14g) unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
- 1 oz (28g) light brown sugar
- ½ oz (14g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp sea salt or kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp (28g) unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp (28g) maple syrup
Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
In a bowl, combine oats, cashews, almonds, pistachios, coconut flakes, brown sugar, flour, and salt. In a small pot, over medium heat, melt together butter and maple syrup. Pour over the oat mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.
Spread out granola onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, stirring lightly halfway through. Remove granola from oven and let cool completely before using. Store granola in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to three weeks.
- Design / Styling: Abby Guido, Beijos Events / @beijosevents
- Photography: Erin Milnik
- Location: Testarossa Winery
- Flowers: Natasha Kolenko
- Menu / Invitation / Name Cards: Meghann Miniello
- Wine: One Hope Wine
- Food: Organicopa