My best friend recently got engaged. She has been dating Chris for over ten years so I’m sure you can imagine how ecstatic I am for her. I’ve known Stef since we were in kindergarten; both being the best dressed kids in the class. (We have pictures to prove it.) It wasn’t until grade nine that the official “best friend” status stuck. It was then that we also discovered the beautiful (and somewhat crazy) story of our births. We were both supposed to be born on August 12, she was 12 days early and I was 12 days late. Her mom wanted to name her Jennifer and my mom wanted to name me Stephanie. Our fathers prevailed, but it is that story that lets us know we were meant to be soul sisters.
Stef is the sister I never had. If we took a family vacation, she was there. She was the one girlfriend I had when I was too young, shy and awkward to know how to really make anymore. We went off to college together, lived together, grew together and supported each other. I cheered her victories and wiped her tears. She did the same for me. I’m thankful to have a friend that I’ve known since I was five. How many people can say that?
After all of these years I was finally able to host a bridal shower for my BFF. She and Chris are headed to Hawaii for their honeymoon so I decided on a honeymoon shower with hopes of arming her with beach goodies and charitable contributions to help them enjoy meals and excursions.
The recipes for the brunch just seemed to come to me. It was like the internet was dialed into my mojo and just kept sending me the right food blogs via my reader and Pinterest.
Instead of a traditional mimosa I wanted something more tropical. I found a Party Mimosa recipe on allrecipes.com with mango nectar and pineapple juice. It was perfect! (We used the leftovers with vodka that evening.)
The entire menu was new recipes for the exception of the Spinach and Strawberry Salad. I had this at a girlfriends a few years ago, it knocked my socks off and has been knocking the socks off of my guests ever since.
Spinach and Strawberry Salad
2 bunches of spinach, rinsed
4 cups sliced strawberries
½ cup vegetable or canola oil
¼ cup white wine vinegar
½ cup white sugar
¼ teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
In a large bowl, toss together spinach and strawberries. In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, sugar, paprika, sesame seeds and poppy seeds. Pour over salad and toss to coat.
I sometimes add celery or slivered almonds for a little extra crunch or punch of color.
I also served the following:
- Pineapple Cream Cheese Spread – shaped to look like a pineapple so it was perfect for the theme
- Broccoli and Italian Sausage Egg Muffins
- Avocado Egg Salad – served on whole grain bread
- Apricot Chicken Salad with Basil and Almonds – served on croissants
- Self-frosting Nutella Cupcakes – these looked awesome but were WAY too dry, no clue if it was me or the recipe. If you have better luck please let me know
- Mini-Pineapple Cakes
I also ordered petit fours from Plaza Bakery. If you live in Hampton Roads and haven’t sampled these little bits of heaven I suggest you get on it. These morsels of almond deliciousness are my favorite and Stef loves them too.