Outdoor Brunch

With warm weather here, how about invite some friends and family over for an outdoor brunch? Take a look at this idea brought to you by our friend Chris Nease from
Celebrations At Home:

After a very wet and dreary winter we are certainly ready for some sunshine and sweetness that an outdoor brunch can bring. I have some ideas and a recipe to share that should have you marking the calendar and sending out invitations in no time.

Set the stage for the party with bright yellow and silvery gray. Nothing is more cheerful than yellow and it echos the presence of all those daffodils that are beginning to make their appearance. A little yellow fabric makes the perfect table runner and you don't even have to sew. Just use pinking shears to cut,turn over the edge, and iron it flat for a finished look.

Favors and place cards are combined when you send guests home with a flower seed pack attached to card stock using decorative washi tape. Names are written on the card stock with a silver sharpie, and guests can take home and plant their flower seeds as a reminder of the day.

The details of the table are simple but using the two-toned color scheme keeps it interesting. Silver-gray vases hold bunches of yellow roses and button mums, and more decorative tape helps dress up the larger plain vase. Another small favor jar is filled with color coordinated candies and embellished with an alternate strip of washi tape.

Even the drinks add to the design. I picked up water bottles that have a cool chic look and a gray lid. Striped straws placed in glasses combines form and function.

The quintessential brunch food has to be coffee cake, so I made this one with a crunchy topping and color coordinating glaze drizzle. Serve it on a side table with other candies and a vase of flowers.

The cake is not overly lemon flavored as the lemon yogurt didn't impart much lemon flavor, but the crunchy topping and glaze is fantastic!

Lemon Coffee Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons bakingpowder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 oz. lemon flavoredyogurt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs


1/2 cup lightly sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/8 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch round baking pan with nonstick spray and dust with flour. In a large bowl, combine all cake ingredients and stir about 80 strokes until well blended.

Pour batter into prepared pan, and sprinkle topping (below) on top. Bake for for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean.

Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing. Let cake continue to cool on a wired rack, then place on a serving plate and drizzle glaze (below) on top. Serve and enjoy!

* To prepare topping,combine coconut, sugar, cinnamon, and nuts together in a small bowl. Sprinkle on top of cake batter before baking.

* Prepare glaze by mixing powdered sugar and lemon juice together. Add yellow food coloring if you like, to add color.

Just a few more decorative embellishments help take a casual brunch to a stylish event. I used more washi tape to create a flag topper for the coffee cake, and to dress up a food label that lets guests know what they're being serve.

Using the washi tape in several different areas of the tables creates flow for the eyes and ties in one table to the other. A great trick you can use when adding any decorative touches.

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