Mother’s Day is right around the corner. How did that happen so quickly!? And I didn’t want the holiday to get away from me without throwing a little brunch shindig. So here we are!
Naturally, it’s complete with a few DIY ideas, sweet treats, and lots and lots of coffee. It is a brunch after all, so it only seems right! I’ve partnered with illy and their new line of X7.1 Sunrise Limited Edition iperEspresso Machines (in pretty pastel colors like mint green) to make it all happen. And you can win one of these bad boys for yourself too! Scroll to the end to enter to win.
So what do you need to throw the ultimate (but easy) Mother’s Day brunch? Aside from your mom (or a handful of your friends that are moms, which I opted for instead since my mom lives 1,000 miles away), you’ll need a solid food and drink station, a colorful backdrop for photos and such, and a handful of gifts.
I opted for keeping things pretty simple with quick and easy decor, an icebox tart that was made ahead of time, a waffle bar (because yum), and self serve espressos, cappuccinos, and lattes. Yes please.
Let’s start with the food bar because that was kind of the star of the show for this brunch…
First up, an easy drink station. Since it was a brunch themed get-together, coffee was a must, especially espressos, lattes, and cappuccinos. So I used the X7.1 Sunrise Limited Edition iperEspresso Machine that illy sent over to me and everyone loved it. The limited edition sunrise collection machine comes in 3 pretty pastel colors, to match any kitchen (or party). My fave is clearly the mint green!
Each guest made their own drink based on their preference, choosing one of the 13 iperEspresso capsule varieties made up of 100% Arabica coffees, popping it in, and pressing the button. There’s even a frothing wand for making lattes and cappuccinos (which was a fun little party trick for guests to play with). I just need to work on my latte art skills a little bit more. Ha.
DIY Crepe Paper Backdrop
This was one of the easiest backdrops I’ve ever made. I used several large rolls of crepe paper in different colors that I then ripped into thinner pieces (less wide) by hand to create a more organic edge and stapled the pieces directly to the wall with a stapler in a random design. The whole thing took about 30 minutes to put together and really helped to make the food and drink station pop.
It also doubled as a photo booth backdrop for guests to take pictures after everyone finished eating. We just moved the table out of the way and boom, photo booth backdrop was ready to go.
The food was a balance of store-bought and homemade goodies. The espresso icebox tart (recipe below) was homemade and then to keep things simple for the rest of the food, I did a Belgian waffle bar with fun toppings and whipped cream.
The waffles were actually from Trader Joe’s and I just heated them up in the oven before guests arrived. Everyone thought they were homemade, so I highly recommend giving those Belgian waffles a try. The cereal waffles and edible flower strawberry waffles were the most popular.
Espresso Icebox Tart with Meringue
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 14 ounces of chocolate gram crackers
- 1 stick of butter (melted) + more to butter pan
- 2 1/2 cups of sugar
- 1/3 cup of corn starch
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cups of cream
- 3/4 cup of espresso (made with X7.1 Sunrise Limited Edition iperEspresso Machines)
- 10 large egg whites
- 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
(CRUST) Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees and butter the tart pan, set aside. Place pecans and chocolate gram crackers into a food processor, and pulse until finely ground. Next add in the melted butter and pulse until combined. Then, using your hands or a measuring cup press the mixture into the bottom and onto the sides of the tart pan. Bake for 10 mins, and allow the tart to completely cool before pouring in the filling.
(FILLING) Add the cream and espresso to a medium sauce pan and bring to a simmer on medium low heat. Do not boil. While the cream mixture is being heated, add the cornstarch, salt, cocoa powder, egg yolks, and 1 cup a sugar to a medium bowl and whisk together. Once the cream and espresso is heated add it to the cornstarch mixture in a slow and steady stream whisking until combined. Add the same mixture back into the sauce pan and whisk on medium high heat until the mixture starts to thicken about 10 minutes. Pour the mixture through a strainer, and then pour into the tart crust. Place the tart into the freezer overnight to allow it to set up.
(MERINGUE) Using a hand held mixer or a stand mixer whisk the egg whites and lemon juice at a high speed until the mixture becomes foamy. Next slowly add in the rest of the sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form and the sugar dissolves. Finally spread the meringue over the top of the tart and using a kitchen torch, torch the top of the meringue very briefly, until it is a golden color.
I kept this simple too, with a long crepe paper table runner, leftover crepe paper confetti, and just a few vases in the center of the table. Instead of buying flowers, I cut off a few stems from my overgrown philodendron, painted the leaves and placed one in each vase – making the centerpieces completely free.
And that’s it. I hope that this Mother’s Day brunch will give you a little inspiration for your next party.
Want you own illy X7.1 Sunrise Limited Edition iperEspresso Machines at home? Enter to win an illy machine (valued at $295) of your very own (or one for your mom instead) using the widget below! Winner will get to select the color he or she wants too, so you can choose the perfect match. *US residents only.* Giveaway closes on May 6th at 11:59pm EST.
Photography by Amelia Tatnall and Rachel Brewer
Icebox tart recipe by Anissa Saxton
Styling by Brittni Mehlhoff
This post is in partnership with illy. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Paper & Stitch running.