Celebrate the fresh season with window-box centerpieces, hanging flower “nests,” and blooming branches. Nibble on lighter-than-air soufflé pancakes, then pass the spring-inspired savory grazing board! Be sure to pull up to the mini lemon ricotta waffle bar, and by all means, pour yourself a refreshing, sparkling citrus sangria! Welcome back, spring. We missed you so much.
Create the feeling of a spring floral court, with an intoxicating mix of delicate blooms. Showcase flowering bulbs, pushing up through the soil, green grass, candle wreaths, and flowering branches. A flower box centerpiece gives spring green meadow vibes, and all it takes is a little potted wheatgrass and a few cut blooms. Fresh floral “nests” dangle overhead. Small, free-form bouquets sit at each place-setting, and vibrant single blooms are tucked into a yummy array of sorbet-colored napkins. Basket-weave place mats add texture to the table, and I love the look against the subtle floral lavender table runners.
Even butterflies take flight at this spring gathering. It adds an element of surprise when wind-up paper butterflies take flight.
Storied Kid Corner
Tell the classic tale of Peter Rabbit with grass-filled baskets, cotton candy nests, strawberry milk bottles, fresh berries, and baguettes!
Simple Sparkling Citrus Sangria
This Pinot Gris sangria has it all! The wine has lovely notes of juicy pear, melon, and a hint of spice. I top it with bubbles and a small splash of Cointreau. Then I infuse it with slices of smooth, almost floral, Meyer lemon, sweet blood orange, and zesty lime. This sangria is beautifully refreshing!
Grab a gorgeous pitcher, and slice up a Meyer lemon or two, a blood orange, and a couple of small limes. Add several slices of each citrus to the pitcher, and fill it three-fourths full of the Pinot Gris. Add a splash of Cointreau, and top with Champagne or prosecco. Pop a few slices of fresh citrus into each serving glass, pour, and enjoy!
Makes 4 soufflé pancakes. You can double this recipe.
These super light, and seriously fluffy, soufflé pancakes are simply heavenly! Clouds of meringue, sifted cake flour, and chilled batter help give the cakes the high lift! Pour the batter into muffin rings, placed on a stove-top pan. Finish them off with a generous drizzle of barrel-aged pure maple syrup, a light dusting of organic powdered sugar, and a twist of lavender honey! Serve on a platter encircled with fresh berries and edible blooms, and you have yourself an on-trend and tasty pancake.
2 egg whites
1 egg yolk, separated and chilled
1/4 cup chilled whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
3 tablespoons cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons ultrafine bakers’ sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla bean sugar
Nonstick cooking spray
Aged pure maple syrup
Organic powdered sugar
Raw lavender honey
Place the egg yolk in a medium bowl, and whisk. Then whisk in the milk and vanilla. Chill batter in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and pinch of salt in a medium bowl, and set aside.
Place the chilled egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whip on medium speed until frothy. Crank it to high speed until stiff peaks begin to form. Gradually sprinkle in the sugars. Continue whipping until the meringue is stiff and glossy.
Gently fold the meringue into the batter bowl.
Grease a stove-top skillet and muffin ring with nonstick spray. Place the ring in the center of the skillet. Heat up to medium-high, then turn down to medium-low.
Ladle the batter into the ring. Let it cook for approximately 1 minute. Pour a tablespoon or two of water around the outside of the ring. Cover with splatter screen until water evaporates, and cook for another minute. Using a fish spatula, carefully flip the ring. Cook for another minute or so until the batter is set but still jiggly. Place the pancake and ring on a serving plate, and remove the ring. Repeat.
Build a Beautiful Savory Brunch Grazing Board
Add some savory goodness to your spring brunch with a gorgeous grazing board. Here are ideas:
Smoked salmon on toasted rye with a quick homemade lemon-dill cream cheese; topped with capers and preserved lemon.
Lemon-Dill Cream Cheese: 2 cups cream cheese, zest of 1 small lemon, 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill,
pulsed together in a food processor.
Deviled Eggs: Five hardboiled eggs, yolks scooped out and mixed with 2 tablespoons sour cream, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, salt, and white pepper. Pipe into the egg whites.
Ribbons of roasted cumin carrots, sprinkled with Feta cheese and fresh basil: Drizzle ribbons with olive oil, sprinkle with cumin, salt, and pepper, and bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.
Mini bagels with fresh homemade blueberry cream cheese: Pulse together 2 cups
cream cheese and ½ cup fresh blueberries.
Other tasty additions are berries, watermelon radish slices, honeycomb, and specialty cheeses and crackers.
Mini Lemon Ricotta Waffles
These little waffles are so light and slightly lemony. Create a help-yourself waffle bar. The waffle maker may be mini, but it’s mighty.
1¼ cups milk
¼ cup ricotta cheese
1 egg yolk, beaten
Zest and juice of half of a large Meyer lemon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
11/4 cups all purpose flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, sifted together
2 egg whites
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Whisk together the milk, ricotta cheese, egg yolk, zest, juice, and vanilla. Sprinkle over the flour mixture and fold together until combined.
Beat the egg whites on medium-high until they become foamy, then add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter.
Method: Grease the waffle maker with nonstick cooking spray before using, and follow directions. Makes approximately a dozen mini waffles.
Meet Monica Hart at The Bellevue Collection
You are invited to a Spring Soiree Experience, presented by Monica Hart. Hart joins The Bellevue Collection for a hands-on workshop and will share tips on hosting your own party to celebrate spring. This workshop includes seasonal sips and bites for you and your friends, tablescape demos, menu inspiration, and creating your own mini floral arrangement to take home.
Date: Thursday, March 26
Location: Bellevue Square
Time: 6–8 p.m.
Tickets: $30 each (Must be 21+ to attend). For tickets and info, go to bellevuecollection.com.