Birthday Brunch Catering

I have so much respect for professional caterers. There are so much that go into planning a successful event – from selecting the menu to preparation, all while making sure that the food comes out on time and that all the guests are having a great time! For someone like me who can’t chew gum and walk at the same time, trying to juggle these things can be stressful. For this exact reason, when Tiffany asked me, my fiancé, and friend Gabriel to cater her birthday brunch for 20 of her friends, I decided to make something that was very easy and something that I can prepare beforehand.

Gabriel hosted a waffle bar and made variety of waffles using his newly-acquired waffle maker. He made sweet and savory kinds, with the latter served with crispy bacon! My favorite was the chocolate waffle that tasted just like a cake! I am so bummed that I didn’t take pictures of the wonderful waffle spread!

I was in charge of appetizers and made my go-to menus: Salmon, Goat Cheese, and Cucumber Canape and Tomato-Avocado salad. A part of me wanted to do something super fancy but I went with the time-tested recipes.  And it was perfect that I was able to put the tomato salad together in the morning before arriving to the party and all I had to do on the day of was assemble the canape.

I would like to share the recipe for the Tomato-Avocado salad. This is so easy to make, and it’s perfect for the hot summer months! This is very similar to the other tomato salad I made with goat cheese, and even more similar to the bruschetta, but this is the easier version with less ingredients.  I might actually like this one more than the other tomato salads.

Tomato and Avocado Summer Salad
Serves 10-15 (you can reduce the amount of tomatoes and avocados if you want to make smaller portion)

8 Roma Tomatoes, chopped
2 Haas Avocados, chopped
1/2 Onion, thinly sliced
2 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons Parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/4 cup Rice Vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all chopped ingredients in a large bowl. You can wait to put the avocados until right before serving if you would like to keep the shape. Pour the olive oil, rice vinegar, and salt and pepper (to taste) and mix well. Let the salad sit for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator before serving (you can leave it overnight or longer).

When you reach the bottom of the bowl, don’t throw away the lovely dressing! That’s the best part. I like to use up all the delicious mixture of olive oil, rice vinegar and the juice of all the vegetables, by tossing pasta (I think short pastas like Fusilli and Farfalle work best) and arugula for a refreshing pasta salad.

Back to the brunch menu, my fiancé made two types of thin-crust pizzas using the fresh pizza dough we got from Trader Joe’s. He made one with Prosciutto, arugula, and thinly-shaved Parmesan Cheese, and another with Mozzarella Cheese and Basil. They were both so delicious and flew like off the plates like hot cakes!

He also made Tofu Tiramisu for dessert. Yes, you heard it right – tofu! He cooked the tofu slices in sweetened espresso and sandwiched them between ladyfingers and Mascarpone Cheese. This was a home run and even better knowing that tofu helped cut the calories significantly.

I’m glad the party was a success. Happy birthday, Tiffany!

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