It’s been a while since I’ve attempted to blog because things have been a little wild and crazy over here. Over the past month or so, Alden has grown into a baby dare-devil, speedily inchworming his way into all kinds of trouble, pulling up constantly, and desperately attempting to plummet from every high surface in the house. My sweet little boy is never not in motion. I’m starting to think he might have a future as a stunt man. Is it too early to get him an agent?
Meanwhile, all three of us have come down with a brutal, neverending cold from hell. We were in such rough shape last week that I came very close to canceling Galentine’s brunch, but thanks to a little bit of my mother-in-law’s magic chicken soup and a lot of DayQuil, I was finally feeling a bit better. Plus, laughter is the best medicine, and I always know my friends will come through on that front.
When I first started planning our brunch, I had grand plans of a full menu of homemade baked goods, fresh flowers, balloon installations, custom party favors, and tiny personalized details out the wazoo. As the days leading up to the event ticked by, and I found myself either bedridden or glued to the couch, I grew more and more anxious. Eventually Saturday came, and I had done nothing to prep for Sunday brunch. Not a single thing. I was beyond frustrated and telling John, “You have no idea how much I have to accomplish!”
He responded with, “Isn’t this just about spending time with your friends? Why are you making this such a big deal?” Huh. Oh, right. My friends, who would’ve been thrilled with a Chick-fil-A nugget platter and extra Polynesian Sauce! (Which, in retrospect, would have been another excellent menu choice.) I was embarrassed to admit it, but I realized I was stressed about pulling together an elaborate day just for the sake of this blog. I quickly heeded John’s reality check and took a chill pill. And here’s what I came up with.
Enter: The Galentine’s Grazing Tray. Forget cooking and baking! I gathered together some items from my kitchen, ordered a few more from Instacart, and threw everything on a tray in under five minutes. Voila!
I did want to have plenty of pinks, purples, and reds to stay on theme, so I was sure to incorporate strawberries and raspberries, roasted beets, purple grapes, caprese skewers, and charcuterie. The one thing that actually involved cooking was this incredibly easy hot-pink beet hummus, which I plan to make again very soon.
Next came the parfaits. Vanilla yogurt, berries, and a sprinkle of granola. Done.
My friend Carrie was also lovely enough to pick up these very galentine-y treats from Doughnut Dollies on her way. They were big and beautiful! We loved them all, but the hibiscus was such a unique floral flavor and became a big hit! John, spouse of the year, also surprised me with some Milkbar B’Day Truffles, which I skattered amongst the doughnuts. Wow, they are rich, dense, and decadent!
For drinks, a simple mimosa bar fit the bill. I grabbed the last three bottles of champagne left over from our wedding along with some peach and grapefruit juices. Easy as that.
And after all this, guess what I forgot…. A picture of the gals! I guess we were just too busy enjoying ourselves to care about the gram! If you’re still planning to host a Galentine’s celebration or plan to stay in with your Valentine this year, I hope this low-key get-together can serve as some inspiration. Take a page from my book, and remember not to stress over the details. Focus instead on simply enjoying the company of your loved ones.