Im beyond excited to have Stacy Anderson "The Hurried Hostess" as our guest for this blogpost. She has become one of my absolute favourite bloggers. She is relatable, funny and just a beautiful person inside and out.

She took one of our tablecloths as the canvas to create an amazing brunch suitable for Independence Day approaching in July.

" Hi everyone! My name is Stacy Anderson and I write the food and travel blog,
The Hurried Hostess. Today I’d love to show you how I used Ardea Home’s beautiful tablecloth in order to create the perfect brunch setting for this Independence Day celebration. 
I’ll discuss décor, food, drinks, and everything in between. Let’s get started! "

Q- Ardea Home: What is the first thing you need to think about before planning a Brunch?
A- Stacy Anderson: First of all, you'll want to set a theme. Setting the theme will help you decide what feel you want to create, the colors that you'll be using in your decor, and what types of food you'll be serving. For instance, if you're having a patriotic celebration, you probably want to decorate with those traditional colors. I chose this beautiful tablecloth as my canvas and then used these red apples for my pop of red. Just because it's patriotic, doesn't mean it has to be in your face with the flag colors.

Q- AH: What is the Ideal time to host a brunch party?
A- SA: Decide whether you want it to be more lunch food heavy or breakfast food heavy. If you want to offer more breakfast type foods, then I would say 10am is usually a safe time to start it. If you’re looking to have more lunch type options, 11am is usually better.

Q- AH: Homemade, Semi-homemade or mostly store bought food?
A- SA: As for the menu, you'll want to keep it pretty simple. Make sure to have items you can make ahead, items guests can serve themselves, and only one or two things that need to be served hot. I'm also a huge proponent of knowing your limits when it comes to making everything yourself. Spoiler alert: you don't have to! This fried chicken was picked up at a drive thru about 15 minutes before we were set to eat and kept warm in the oven.

Q- AH: What recipes did you use to make these items?
A- SA: 
I'll break it down here what I made for you. You already know about my fake out fried chicken, but I needed some good sides to go with it. So my "make ahead" items were this moist and delicious Hummingbird Cake and Greek Lentil Salad. I made both of them the day before - which allowed me to not be rushed or anxious while I was cooking - which is always a plus! The cake just chilled in the fridge overnight (cake stand and all) and the lentil salad was diced and prepped the day before as well. All I did was add the dressing right before serving it and toss it a bit to mix the flavors.

grilled corn and fruit and cheese board was pieced together the day of the meal. This grilled corn recipe makes grilling super easy and the spicy butter makes the dish a little more elevated than just some plain corn on a platter.

I love having grazing boards for people because they make snacking before the meal is served easy. I started with this large stave platter from Good Timber Furnishings and got out a few fruits and cheese and extras. Give them the ingredients and the board and let them get creative! As always, someone will arrive early to help. This is such a great way to get your guests involved in the kitchen! They'll love having a job to do and you get some help.

Q- AH: What about table décor?
A- SA: Less is more. The food should be the star of the show. On of my biggest pet peeves is when you’re sitting across the table from someone and can’t see them because of some huge, elaborate floral arrangement blocking your view. Keep it simple. Don’t stress yourself out. Have maybe one fun element to your table. For this patriotic brunch, I opted to put party poppers at everyone’s place setting. It was a fun, whimsical touch that definitely got everyone talking and laughing – and it was theme appropriate.

Q- AH: What about alcohol? Is there an alcoholic beverage that is NOT usually served at brunch?
A- SA: This is totally up to you! Because “brunch” can vary in theme, so can the cocktails that go with it! If your brunch theme is tacos, then a specialty margarita or Dos XX beer would be the perfect alcoholic beverage to be served. And if it’s a more upscale event, a nice mimosa or bloody Mary would be perfect for the event.

In addition to an alcoholic beverage, it is important to always have water and coffee available for your brunch guests. Additional non-alcoholic brunch drinks that would be well received would be lemonade, iced tea, hot cocoa or a specialty drink.

Q- AH: Any other tips we need to know about?
A- SA: Just have fun! I know that seems like a no-brainer, but if you’re like me and can get lost in the details and making sure everything is perfect, this can actually be the hard part! Enjoy your time with your friends. Laugh. Joke. Leave the dishes in the sink until it’s all over. Just be present and let loose a little.

If you’d like to see more tips and recipes,check out her blog here.

Find our PROVENCE tablecloth here.

*** EDIT: Sadly right after publishing this blogpost out PROVENCE tablecloth got sold out!!! Check this page to find other beautiful alternatives!

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