Nothing beats a good brunch. There’s something so satisfying about gathering around the table for the first meal of the day, chatting it up and stuffing yourself so full that you can’t eat another bite until supper.
Hosting a brunch can also be stressful, as you have to get it ready as soon as you get up in the morning and people can get impatient and grumpy if things start to go awry and take longer then anticipated. But, with a little bit of planning you can put your mind at ease and not even have to worry about that being an option.
Simplifying your brunch menu will mean there is no added stress on you and will allow you more time to spend with your guests. Simple food doesn’t have to be boring. It is possible to make a brunch to impress and still get to hit the snooze button.
Below are some tips on how to simplify your brunch while still making it outstanding. I have also included a recipe for Strawberry Banana Muesli, which is completely made ahead of time to make your morning even easier.
Pick a Star
You don’t want to be slaving away in the kitchen all morning so pick only one impressive dish that will blow your guests away and keep the rest super simple. If you choose too many show stoppers they may end up being lost in the shuffle and not enjoyed to their full potential.
Having one dish that everyone can ooh and awe over will make the guests feel special and make you feel like you’re playing a good hostess.
The star doesn’t have to be anything spectacular but it should be the thing that takes the most work or requires the most attention the day of. Although it may be tempting to go all out, that often just leads to a frazzled hostess.
Avoid the Crowd
When you’re planning your meal think about the space the foods occupy so there’s no scrambling at the last minute trying to find room in your fridge. The same goes for your oven or stove-top. Make sure that nothing will have to be fighting for it’s own space.
Try to get most of the work done the day before so you can get some rest and not have to worry about what all has to be done the next morning. This way it will also be more relaxed so you can get some visiting in or have some quiet time before the guests arrive.
Remember, the less you have do that morning the better. Lot’s of little things can add up rather quickly so keep this in mind when making preparations and planning your meal. You can even think so far ahead as to set the table the night before.
Figure out a Game Plan
Make a plan of what you need to prepare ahead and what you need to do first the day of. This way nothing is forgotten and you won’t ever have to juggle a million things at once.
Make a check list so you can check things off as you go and set your mind at ease.
Cover all the Bases
You want to serve a balanced meal and planning it in this way will also help you decide your menu.
If your impressive dish is a protein round it out with fruit and breads. If you serve something heavy, make sure the other dishes are lighter so that no one has to feel like there’s a dead weight in the pit of their stomach. It’s also good to think about texture and to have a nice variety of crunchy, soft and toothsome.
Go through the entire meal in your head to make sure that some of the more simple things are not forgotten such as butter for the bread or orange juice for the kids.
Here is a great post on Simple Bites to help you decide on a meal plan.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Chances are if there are ladies coming to brunch they would love to help by either bringing something or joining you in the kitchen to gab while you work. If someone offers to help in some way, they probably mean it, so don’t be afraid to take them up on their offer and allow them to feel useful.
Another great way to get “help” is to use store bought items. Go to the bakery and pick up some croissants. There is no reason that everything needs to be made from scratch by you.
The most important thing to remember when you are playing hostess is that the people are there to see you. Although they will be expecting delicious food you want the memories to include you.
Don’t worry if things don’t go perfectly or they have to wait a little bit longer. If you are relaxed and enjoying yourself so will your guests. On the contrary, if you get wound up, the feeling can easily spread and set everyone on edge.
Being a hostess doesn’t need to be a daunting task as long as you keep things simple and are realistic about time frames and what you can get accomplished. Just sit back, make a plan and enjoy the ride.
Strawberry Banana Muesli
This muesli is made completely the day before. Rolled oats and almonds are toasted in the oven and then set in the fridge to soak overnight in a mixture of yogurt, apples, strawberries, bananas and many other goodies. The only thing that needs to be done the morning of is a little bit of garnish to finish it off. It is toothsome, creamy and delicious. Think of it as a great bowl of porridge to set the morning right.
What are your favourite make ahead brunch recipes?
Strawberry Banana Muesli
- 1 small apple, peeled, cored and grated
- 1 cup strawberries, chopped
- Toast oats and almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet at 350ºF until fragrant. Allow to cool.
- Mix together oats, almonds and remaining ingredients until well incorporated.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight (or at least 4 hours).
*Do not use instant oats as they will soak up too much of the liquid and become soggy.
*Garnish with slices of strawberries and bananas and perhaps a sprig of mint.
Happy Easter everyone!