Special Nonexistent Furniture

by Matthew Mead

Matthew is a stylist, writer, author, photographer, lifestyle editor, and noted style expert. Matthew is the official food photographer for the Associated Press and is a regular contributor to Better Homes and Gardens, Real Simple, and Oprah.com. He has also written several books and produced countless magazine spreads and ad campaigns for companies such as Pottery Barn, Dove Chocolate, Target, and Stonewall Kitchen.

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  • Photo Credit: Matthew Mead
  • Entertaining needn't unfold in a harried manner.  This year plan a slower, more leisurely brunch that allows guests to breeze in and out from late morning to early afternoon with easy-to-prepare foods that mix homemade with specialty store bought items.  Give yourself time to have fun with the details and really enjoy your guests.
  • Photo Credit: Matthew Mead
  • I love brunch because it can be a mix of breakfast and lunch foods both savory and sweet.  Many can be prepared ahead of time and can be served at room temperature.  I prepare a buffet style station so guests can help themselves and find a perch in the living room, dining room or sunlit front porch.  I put colorful pillows on the floor for kids.
  • Photo Credit: Matthew Mead
  • My go-to dishware is white and mix-and-match on a table laden with simple salads, sweet muffins, soup, mini desserts and juices that can be paired with champagne to make spritzers.
  • Photo Credit: Matthew Mead
  • Set the scene with lots of spring flowers.  I always arrange blossoms and buds in casual containers like plant pots and old baking tins like a whitewashed muffin pan.  My family decorates eggs with paints, scrap book supplies, and shiny jewels.  Instead of place cards we make up Easter wishes for each guest and gather them on the buffet for taking.
  • Photo Credit: Matthew Mead
  • Remember the little things like juices in glasses that are colorful and engaging... keep cold until ready to serve in clear glass. A vintage bunny planter holds decorated eggs and flowers.  Pumpkin bundt muffins are topped with maple glaze and pumpkin seeds.
  • Photo Credit: Matthew Mead
  • Celery glass doubles as an arrangement for pretty spring flowers.  Easter blessings surround the arrangement and make even a buffet table feel more personal.
  • Photo Credit: Matthew Mead
  • Eggs painted with acrylic paints are decorated in minutes with sticky and shiny jewels from the crafts store.
  • Photo Credit: Matthew Mead
    Store bought mini cupcakes get a special embellishments with a daffodil icing flower from the cake decorating supply...

  • Photo Credit: Matthew Mead
    Sterilized egg shells are filled to the brim with chocolate mousse piped through a pastry bag and sprinkled with pastel sprinkles.

  • Photo Credit: Matthew Mead
  • I keep desserts on the small side so guests can try many different flavors.
  • Photo Credit: Matthew Mead
    A savory salad mixes asparagus with spring greens, prosciutto and chopped eggs.

  • Photo Credit: Matthew Mead
    Egg cups are the perfect amount of cream for a cup of coffee.

  • Photo Credit: Matthew Mead
    Napkin rings are special and personalized with dimensional scrap booking stickers.  Standing them upright allows flatware to be easily gathered and carried away with a full plate.

  • Photo Credit: Matthew Mead
    Wine glasses are the perfect foil for cream puffs dipped in both chocolate and caramel sauce.  Stack them on cake stands on the buffet line to save space for an array of foods.


  • Happy Easter!

    - Matthew
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