Nothing kicks off a Saturday morning like a perfectly presented Eggs Benedict and a spicy Bloody Mary, but standing in a brunch gridlock line is definitely not the best use of precious weekend time. Ditch your usual plans without missing out on bottomless mimosas or friend facetime – round up your squad and host a hassle-free brunch with these simple tips!
Keep your menu simple. Making pancakes or omelettes for a crowd should be left to the professionals (who have the space, equipment, and line cooks to churn out these items quickly). Pick one item to cook on the stove, like scrambled eggs, and use your oven to roast sausages, hash browns, or cook bacon. A great brunch menu can consist of one central dish (a quiche or a hash, for example) and a few accompanying items, like salad and pastries.
Make some things ahead of time. Bake a coffee cake the day prior, prepare a fruit salad the night before, or prep scone/biscuit dough ahead of time so that you can pop it in the oven before guests arrive. French toast is a popular, easy-to-make dish that can be done in advance then reheated in the oven that morning. Frittatas are also items that can be prepped the night before and baked off the morning of your brunch.
Pick up a few pre-made items. A loaf of good artisanal bread or baguettes is a perfect side for scrambled eggs, or to make breakfast sandwiches. It also bulks up your brunch menu and saves time. Other ideas for premade eats include muffins and croissants, or a bowl of Greek yogurt (pair with a bowl of berries and side of honey).
Don’t forget drinks! If you’re a coffee person, brew a pot of your favorite roast and put out milk and sugar, and don’t forget a non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated option if you need one (juice, infused water, or herbal tea). Mimosas and Bellinis are what makes brunch worth living for, so grab a few bottles of prosecco, cremant d’Alsace, or cava and set up a mimosa/Bellini bar with orange juice and peach puree. You can make a Bloody Mary bar with pre-made mix, vodka, and various pickles (green beans, olives, cocktail onions).
Finishing touches. Set the table with stylish linens, add flowers, add stemware. Create a great playlist on your iPod or Spotify to set the mood – French cafe jazz, indie acoustic, or a little reggae, whatever strikes your fancy. Don’t stress – your friends are really just here to see you, catch up, and enjoy a laid-back, fun morning.