On Saturday I had some girlfriends over for brunch so we could hear about a friend's recent trip overseas and I could show my house to a few who hadn't yet seen it. And so we could eat brunch. Now while I LOVE a good breakfast out at a fun restaurant (there are too many to even keep track of in Denver), there is something so comforting about entertaining at home. I lit a candle, put on some music and whipped up some new recipes. Here are a few tips to host your own brunch including the incredibly simple menu put I together.
Think About Variety
When planning a menu, the first thing to think about is variety. Choose a bread or starchy item, protein, fruit/veg and some sort of fun beverage (in addition to coffee/tea). With this group I felt comfortable going a little more adventurous with the main dish but you could keep it as simple as cheesy scrambled eggs with toast and berries if you want.
Make-ahead items were a must because I wanted to make sure I wasn't scrambling (literally and figuratively - get it? haha) at the last minute. I also knew I didn't want to do any sort of made-to-order dish even with a smaller group (five) because, hello, I wanted to be socializing and not setting smoke alarms off. For this reason I went with an egg dish that I could cook in the oven. I also wanted to do some sort of muffin or quick bread because I knew this would be easy to make the day before and warm just before serving.
Things to avoid:
- Poached eggs. I once learned that you can make these ahead of time, store in cold water in the fridge, and then warm in simmering water just before serving. That seems a little risky though.
- Pancakes. The first batch or two never really turns out that great, plus you don't want to be stuck by the stove or griddle the whole time.
- Anything that requires individual plating/styling. I think buffet style is the way to go here. If you're trying to do eggs benedict or something else that requires multiple components, you run the risk of your food getting cold before everyone can sit down to eat.
Let Your Guests Help
Whenever you host company for a meal, there's a 99% chance your guests are going to ask what they can bring. It's a nice gesture, but if you're trying to put together a cohesive menu you might not always want someone to bring a random side that doesn't fit with the rest of the menu. There are still a few key ways they can help including one of the following:
- Ice. This is especially helpful if you're hosting a large group and are making cocktails (or even if you need it for water).
- Booze. I asked someone to bring champagne because it's easy and one less thing I have to pick up ahead of time and store in the fridge.
- Fruit. I knew I wanted a simple fruit salad for a side and wasn't set on any specific type - this was beautiful and perfect!