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Monday, March 25, 2013

Easy Inexpensive Easter Brunch Ideas

Last Friday I met two of my third cousins for the first time. They came all the way from North Carolina and Washington so I wanted to host a small get together in their honor.

The week leading up to the brunch was crazy busy and on Thursday I had to make a decision if I wanted to create a feast from scratch or have a clean house.

The house was still spring break bad so I chose having a clean house.

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I am almost embarrassed to admit that this is the same linen tablecloth and crochet topper that I used for my St. Patrick’s Day tablescape. But if the cloth is clean and you’re pressed for time, you really don’t need to press another cloth. :)

I also reused the same votive holders. I just removed the candles and green velvet ribbon, added a bit of twine and used the glass as a daffodil vase instead.

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The centerpiece was a plate holder that I topped with natural Easter grass, blown out eggs nestled in vintage jello molds, daffodils and a favorite duck I bought years ago in Germany.

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 The scale of the items were whimsically mixed but somehow it all works. 

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The back of the centerpiece was also decorated with various finds. “Frohe Ostern” means “Happy Easter” in German.

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Now with all those eggs I am sure you were hoping that there was a Mr. Duck. With his smart vest and pack of twigs, I think I love him even more than Mrs. Duck.

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As the visiting cousins were from the Varner side of the family I used my Grandma Mary and Papa Jack’s silver and pressed glass plates. I found the napkins a few years ago at an Estate sale.

Tip: If you are short on dishes there are really cute paperware selections at several stores. I purchased some sweet tweet plates and cups at Target for Easter morning which is always hectic. They were in the $1 bins.

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The food was really easy, yet so tasty. I popped some frozen mini quiche in the oven. While they warmed I put ice water in a pretty pitcher, set out some lemonade and put the kettle on to boil for tea.

Tip: Fancy up your fruit by offering a dip ~ my favorite is vanilla yogurt. 

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I set a goal of keeping the cost of the meal to under $20 (including flowers). The way I accomplished this was the day old bakery section. Generally everything is half off and still really fresh if purchased and eaten the next day.

Here’s a tip: If your bread or muffins are not quite as fresh as you would like, lay out a sheet of tinfoil and sprinkle it lightly with water. Place your baked goods in the center, fold the foil closed, place on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes. The water creates steam and “freshens” the bread/muffins. This also works for unfrosted cookies as well.

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The glorious daffodils were $1.50 a bunch. I couldn’t resist their cheerfulness and purchased two bunches.

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Other great and inexpensive edible brunch ideas are salads, nuts, mints, a selection of cold cuts, bread and cheese.

Are you hosting anyone for Easter this year?


Linking to:

BNOTP, ASTL and Designs By Gollum


Kelley Dibble said...

Possibly. It's final exams/graduation week at the local Bible school just afterward, so we may delay our Easter missionary fellowship a few days. They want my taco salad!

Happy week! Your table was precious!

Lorraine Finkbeiner said...

It looks lovely Laura and I'm sure your visit was grand! I think the sign of a good decorator is being able to change up something without changing OUT everything! You added a bit and made a whole different look!
I'm sorry to tell you that you are coming through as a no-reply on's happening to me matter how often I fix it! Annoying!

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Looks beautiful and awesome tips too!!!!

Denise said...

Hi Laura,

What a pretty and springy table; it's so bright and cheery! I can never resist daffodils, and your lace table topper is beautiful. The fruit looks delicious with the added perk of being a pretty addition to the table. I especially love your ducks -- their adorable clothing makes them a unique treasure! :)

Have a wonderful day, and I hope your visit was fun!

Denise at Forest Manor

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Everything looks amazing. You totally impress me with all you get done every day. Hugs, Marty

Cindy said...

Looks great -- wishing you a Frobe Ostern!!!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Your brunch looks delicious, Laura! I am hosting Easter this year and will probably do a sit down for the dinner, since we are having lasagna. But I'll have a couple of appetizers and will set it up buffet style {dessert too}.

I do that same "freshen up" trick using the microwave. It is usually good for one item rather than if you have a few. I just dampen a paper towel, wrap the food {muffin, pretzel, bagel} in it and microwave it for about 30 seconds. Hard to soft in seconds.

Barbara F. said...

Beautiful table, love-love-love the centerpiece, and great ideas for keeping costs down. Wish I could find daffs for $1.50. Haven't seen them here as yet. xo

8)(8 said...

So welcoming! I also like how you set a budget just for a particular meal.

Happy Easter!

Louise said...

Wow, to me you seem that you do so much and so weel! I feel like a lazy slob in comparison, want to know the last time I set a table with a thoughtful center piece other than a bowl of fruit!

To think that you ever feel slovenly or a failure is crazy to me, and to learn that you have failrd projects and have to work hard at all you do just makes you both more human and even more admirable in my book.

Dorothy Crutchfield said...

Your tablescape is so lovely, I love the daffodils and the plate holder!

MarySue said...

I've never cut daffodils short like that and really like that idea. It all looked beautiful and I think I need to check out the dollar bins at Target...hope I'm not too late. Is your Paris trip looming?

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME/Doublewide Decor said...

Looks so pretty Laura...I am sure they loved every bit...yes, the whole family will be in my little abode for Easter is what it is!!!

Jill Flory of Sew a Fine Seam said...

Lovely table Laura! And you are the best at creating an inexpensive but lovely and delicious meal!

openid said...

What a beautiful table you've created within budget! Your crocheted table topper is exquisite and I would make no apologies for using it as often as possible. Your little ducks are a sweet, whimsical touch of spring. (Have I mentioned it's been snowing in NJ ALL day?) I hope you had a wonderful gathering with your extended family.
Your Friend,

Ms Lemon of Make Mine Lemon said...

What a smart transition. This is/was a lovely brunch.

Debbie said...

I love the way you used your tiered plate thingie. I have one sitting on my sideboard right now that just begs for some oomph. Yours all looks so festive.

And I love the tip about the day old muffins. I will definitely remember that!

Maria Elena said...

Laura, your table is so pretty! I know you had a nice visit! I have a new link party that is live right now. I would love if you come link up this post! Enjoy the rest of your week!

Linda said...

Super cute ideas, Laura! Thanks!

This is an entirely different Easter for us this year. We are leaving mid-morning, traveling to our Spring Break destination where we're staying at a lovely home in an historic area. It will just be my husband, daughter, daughter's boyfriend, and I so I will not be at home preparing Easter dinner for my parents. Hopefully they'll manage in our absence. Instead, I'm bringing a traveling Easter dinner with to our destination, and although it won't be as fancy as normal, I think it will be nice.


Crystal Grandeur said...

Cute post.Everything looks lovely and brings smile on the face.The daffodils makes you feel romantic...Thank you and Happy Easter to you...:):)

Auntie Em said...

Your table looks beautiful and so inviting for your guests.

I can't imagine getting a bunch of daffs for that price. They are at least $9.00 or $10.00 in our area. But they do look pretty! :)

Sweet Auburn Life said...

I think no less of you for reusing your St. Patrick's Day tablescape! Why put unnecessary work on yourself? And recycling the votives, very ingenuitive! Table looked super!

Karen said...

Such a pretty table and thanks for the great tips.

Lulu said...

I love brunch and having it be easy and inexpensive, well, that's a real bonus. You shouldn't be embarrassed to use the same cloth again. I often do that and just change, as you did, what's on it. Good work.

Susan Jackson said...

Your Brunch was so pretty. Love the centerpiece, so cute. susan @

Marlis said...

Laura, great great ideas!!!I love the burlap wrappers on the flower vases. The German ducks are darling. Where did you go in Germany? Great tip on the bakery items. Have a beautiful evening and a blessed Easter. xo marlis

Martha said...

Great table and I reuse things all the time -- tablecloths and centerpieces.

GSGreatEscaper said...

I found great paper plates and napkins at Dollar Tree! Will use for the appetizers. Hosting DH's family as usual, but this year I am going as simple as possible because they are all food faddists; mother-in-law hates fat and calories and only eats fake food like Cool Whip, margarine, reduced fat this and that, plain hot water. Her poor starved husband (she had him down to 120 lb!) will eat anything, gratefully. BIL eats no carbs, only meat. His wife is a vegetarian. Their daughter is picky as all get out and only eats dessert. So ham, mashed potato, asparagus and jello salad, pineapple upside down for hubby and the heck with them all!

Rattlebridge Farm said...

I enjoyed this! Thanks so much for adding this to Foodie Friday.