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Friends Who Fête || How to Host a So Cal Inspired Brunch

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brunch table with flowers, sangria, strawberries, and bacon

There are a lot of things that the fine folks of Southern California do well, but #1 on the list of foodie things that impressed this little southern transplant when I moved here was that So Cal natives have brunch figured out. To be honest, I think they might just do it better than we do it in the south! Today the Friends Who Fête girls, Aida Mollenkamp, Kate Ramos, and I are teaming up again to show you how we host a So Cal inspired brunch and I’m pretty sure you are going to want host one yourself asap no matter where you live. 

The Eats || Brunch should be easy with lots of dishes that you can make ahead. We believe that you should have the luxury of sleeping in and still be able to leisurely pull everything together before your friends arrive and this menu does just that. While we definitely included a few savory items in our menu the bulk of it was very fruit-forward since it was inspired by all of the amazing produce that grows here in Southern California like citrus, berries, grapes, and almonds. 

 
Pitcher and glasses of Blood Orange Ginger Sangria with fresh oranges, strawberries, raspberries and kumquats 
The Sips || A good brunch needs a cocktail and while mimosas’s seem to be the staple boozy sip for most brunch settings Aida likes to swap it up by serving an unexpected white wine sangria loaded with fresh seasonal citrus like blood oranges, kumquats, and Cara Cara oranges. She also added freshly picked strawberries and raspberries from the farmer’s market. You will want to also offer non-alcoholic sips at your So Cal inspired brunch like sparkling water and fresh pressed juice
 
 
Strawberry Lime Chia Jam with croissants, and Balsamic Blueberry Breakfast Parfaits 
 Extra’s for the table || While we each created a few recipes for brunch we also plated up croissants from the bakery and a few dishes from our friend’s Sonja and Alex of A Couple Cook’s new cookbook, Pretty Simple Cooking to celebrate their Pretty Simple Dinner Party. 
Roasted Balsamic Blueberry Yogurt Parfaits || A Couple Cook’s cookbook Pretty Simple Cooking
 
table setting inspired by Southern California - with succulents, roses, and greenery along with a mix of new and vintage place settings.
 
The Table Setting || We used an eclectic mix of new and old items to prop our So Cal brunch table along with local native plants like olive branches, eucalyptus, succulents, and roses. All in all it was a beautiful afternoon filled with good friends, delicious food, and a virtually stress free set up! There were a few of our props that are stoppable so I will link those here in case you feel like replicating the look of our brunch! 
 
 

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ABOUT MEG

Meg van der Kruik is the writer, mother, photographer, designer, cook and creative spirit behind This Mess is Ours. After her infant son was diagnosed with a gluten allergy, she dedicated herself to learning to make meals the whole family would love. It’s a bit of a mess – cooking for a vegetarian and three meat-eaters with a range of gluten + dairy sensitivities, but she manages to bring them together every night around their little family table.