Get Your Brunch On!

June 29, 2013

Get Your Brunch On!

Who doesn’t love a nice lazy brunch catching up with friends? What nobody loves is the interminable wait that popular spots often have. Skip the line and host your own!

Hosting doesn’t have to be daunting–brunch is casual by nature. Plus, with a little advance planning you won’t need to stress or even get up early.

We’ve got easy ideas for a largely do-ahead brunch so you can get your beauty sleep AND your brunch on. It’s easy as 1-2-3:

1)    Make-Ahead Menu

Save the pancakes for another day and stick with do-ahead dishes:

Eggs Of Course: Try our Mini Quiches (make the day before and gently reheat) or Frittata (make earlier in the day, cut into wedges, and keep warm) Baked stratas are also awesome-assemble the night before and pop in the oven when you wake up.

Something Sweet: French toast casseroles or frozen cinnamon buns can be baked the morning of. Or try our Lemony Waffles–make in the morning and keep warm on a resting rack in oven.

Something Savory: For those who prefer the lunch in brunch–try a smoked salmon platter with cream cheese and minced onions or a small spiral ham with fruit chutney. If it’s not brunch without bacon, bake it in advance in the oven and keep warm.

Bakery Basket: Line a basket with a pretty cloth napkin and pile high with bagels, muffins, cookies. Try our Apricot Ginger Scones. If friends ask what to bring, have them grab other baked treats on their way over. Easy to add at the last minute!

Pretty Parfaits: Set out a variety of yogurts, granola, fresh fruit (buy precut!). Put everything in serving bowls in the fridge the night before.

Caffeine Please: Setup your coffee maker the night before and borrow carafes as needed. Even easier? Set out a single-serve coffee maker with a variety of coffees and teas.

Boozy Brunch: Um, of course! Think bubbly with a variety of juices for mimosas (mango is amazing), or blow them away with our Spicy Sriracha Bloody Mary (make the mix ahead).

2)    Buffet All the Way

No place settings necessary–just make sure there are enough seats and go with a buffet.

Space crunched? No sweat! It’s actually a smart idea to use multiple serving spaces to split up the food and drinks and encourage mingling. You can keep warm dishes in the kitchen on the counter, do a separate display of sweet treats where guests will eat, and put the bar where everyone’s hanging out for easy refills. Set this ALL up the night before and label where everything’s going with a sticky note. Put out all your plates, utensils, glasses, and coffee cups the night before too.

For more ideas check out our videos “Setting up a Bar” and Setting a Table 3 Ways.”

3) Comfort is Key

Ask any waitress…brunch is for lingering!  Some easy ways to make your guests extra comfy:

  • Encourage lounging–bring in extra chairs and throw pillows, lay out floor cushions.
  • Pretty up your place with flowers, but put them on a buffet where they won’t block conversation.
  • Make it easy for guests to fix their plates. Pre-slice bagels and breads, cut casseroles into portions, and roll up utensils in napkins to stack near plates.
  • Put out extra pitchers of water or a bucket of bottled water on ice in an easy access spot.
  • Up the fun factor! Tunes are important, whether you prefer old school jazz or coffee house indie acoustic. Create a fun playlist in advance. If you’re time-pressed, set yourself up quickly on Pandora or put early arrivers on it. Leave crossword puzzles around for friends to complete, print out the funnies for old-school chuckles, or to really bring it back…try Mad Libs!

See?  Skipping the line and getting your OWN brunch on is as easy as 1-2-3!

Julie Hartigan


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