Dinner party series….summer kickoff brunch

18 Jun

This past weekend I was lucky enough to get some of my best girlfriends together for a brunch to kickoff the summer.  It was filled with fun, laughter, cocktails and of course…food!

As much as I love to cook and entertain, my budget does not always allow for the grand parties that I dream of throwing.  Having a limited budget can be challenging, but with a little bit of thought and planning you can create a wonderful dinner party regardless of how much you spend. The menu I developed was a light, vegetarian brunch (with a dessert of course!).

So, here is the rundown.  I’ve included the ingredients, serving amounts and cost to make each dish.  No recipes this time, because I want you to get in that kitchen and trust yourself to create something wonderful. Image-2

Garlic rosemary pita chips  (1 large bowl):  $2


* pita bread

* olive oil

* rosemary

* sea salt

* garlic powder


Sweet peppers w/ goat cheese (17 peppers): $6

vegetarian, GF

* mini sweet peppers

* goat cheese

Image-1 (1)

Olive artichoke flatbread (18 small slices): $6


* pizza dough

* olives

* artichokes

* chickpeas


* you can certainly make your own pizza dough, however I was pressed for time so I went with a premade dough found in the refrigerated section at Trader Joe’s.

Pesto pasta salad (12 servings): $9

raw, vegan, GF

* zucchini and squash

* basil

* walnuts

* garlic

* lemon


* Since this dish is served raw, I opted for local, organic produce from the farmers market.

Sweet potato balls w/ avocado lime dipping sauce (24 balls): $9

vegan, GF

* quinoa

* sweet potatoes

* avocado

* lime

* cilantro


* you could omit the sauce here and they would still be great

Lavender lemon cheesecake tarts (18 tarts): $27

(raw, vegan, GF)

* dates

* walnuts

* cashews

* lemon

* maple syrup

* vanilla extract


* the reason this dessert was pricey is due to the fact that I had to buy a few staple items to make it.  Good quality maple syrup and vanilla cost a bit more but are definitely worth it and will last you a long time.  To make this more affordable, replace the cashews with organic silken tofu.


For all the ingredients, I shopped at Ralph’s, Trader Joe’s and the local farmer’s market.  My grand total came to just under $60 and that fed 10 guests and I had several desserts left to give to the neighbors.

So friends, if I can do it, you can do it!  Don’t let a limited budget hold you back from hosting an event.  After all, there’s nothing better than getting together and sharing a meal with the people you care about.

Until next time!


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