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When springtime rolls around I start thinking of hosting a brunch; with Easter, Mother’s Day, Tea Parties, Ladies Luncheons or even the Kentucky Derby; I wanted to show you How to Plan a Brunch.
This post includes easy, tried and true recipes, simple decor ideas, make ahead plans, etc.
I think brunch is probably one of my most favorite special meals to plan, you have diversity in menu items, the best of breakfast plus delicious desserts to choose from.
DRINKS AND NIBBLES FIRST
First things first, when my guests arrive I love having a drink station all set up for them. That way we can all mingle, while they customize their beverage and I bustle about finishing up my preparations.
Set Up a Mimosa Bar
Every hostess should know how to set up a simple Mimosa bar; it’s so inviting and pretty, adding easy interest and color to your party decor. Plus your guests can easily help themselves to a drink of their own liking.
Provide a variety of juice offerings; orange juice, tangerine juice, cranberry, pineapple, etc.
In pretty serving dishes add a variety of fresh fruit, such as; sliced strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, pineapple, mango, pomegranate.
In an ice bucket, place a nice, but not necessarily pricey bubbly, we like Prosecco. You might also consider providing a non-alcoholic bubbly option (Sparkling waters, San Pellegrino, etc. for non-drinking and younger guests a “faux-mosa”.)
Add a pretty sign — not necessary, but adds to the celebration.
To easily layer soft foods (yogurt, curds, mousse, puddings, frosting, etc) into a mini container; simply place desired soft item into a piping bag, snip off the end about 1/2 inch and pipe in as desired. Or just use a sandwich baggie!
Make ahead and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 24 hours ahead; place a fresh berry on top just before serving.
When planning my brunch menu, I consider who I have invited and whether or not I need to ask for help. The older I get, the more often I ask for HELP! Do not try and do it all alone, your guests appreciate being asked to bring something, if you want it all to go together, give them suggestions on what to bring.
Set up the drink station ahead of time; glasses, cups, signs, dispensers, etc.
Determine a Plan
Will you have a sit down meal with plated food? Or buffet style? Personally, I like buffet style, maybe it’s because I have a large family and it’s just not practical to pass and serve.
Either way, determine what you will do. Set up serving dishes you will use and put notes with what will go in each dish.
Lay out utensils for serving, this helps as you start placing items in their serving dishes plus others can help lay out the spread.
Make Ahead Dishes
Make as much ahead of time as you can. Many casseroles can be made ahead of time, along with salad dressings, desserts, sides and more.
If you need to put things together the day of, do what you can ahead of time; chop onions, snap green beans, chop what you need and store in individual containers.
Plan the Brunch Menu
As the hostess I like to provide the main dish, whether that be a nice ham, or a beautiful quiche.
Generally, I choose something savory, something sweet, something fresh and something light. Below are some great recipe ideas to round out what you will serve.
Ask others to help fill out the menu, sides, salads, appetizers, desserts
Most of these recipes can easily be made ahead of time, I don’t know about you, but when I am hosting a party, that is a HUGE PLUS! On to some fabulous recipes you will love to serve for brunch or lunch this Easter!
What happens when buttery croissants, chocolate chips meet an overnight french toast casserole? Only the best easy chocolate chip croissant casserole that's what! Small batch or double for more mouths!
An easy Italian antipasto pasta salad recipe is made with cucumbers, red and orange bell peppers, pasta, artichoke hearts, olives, meat, cheese, and homemade Balsamic dressing! The perfect dish to bring to a summer picnic, potluck or barbecue!
Asian Ramen Noodle Salad is powered with crisp cabbage, organic ramen noodles, mandarin oranges, toasted almonds, sesame seeds, green onions, garnished with chopped fresh cilantro, cashews; dressed in a sweet-sour (reduced sugar) Asian dressing.
Crisp bacon pieces strewn throughout this delectable, creamy bacon balsamic macaroni salad that is loaded with crunchy celery, bright red grape tomatoes, sharp cheddar cheese and topped with a mouthwatering creamy balsamic ranch dressing.
The perfect salad to serve for a luncheon. Blackberry Grilled Chicken salad with blackberry balsamic vinaigrette, fresh blackberries, pistachios, avocado and topped with crispy, creamy fried goat cheese!
This scrumptious baked cinnamon crunch french toast topped with a mouthwatering cinnamon crumb crunch topping is the perfect make ahead breakfast! Whether for a special occasion, a holiday breakfast, or just a lazy weekend morning, this is a breakfast casserole recipe you need to have in your recipe box.
This is the best potato gratin! A classic holiday dish; thinly sliced potatoes layered with a dreamy herb and garlic infused Béchamel sauce and rich and nutty Gruyère cheese; baked to golden, creamy, bubbly perfection! The perfect side for your holiday meal!
An easy and elegant side dish, these Roasted Rosemary Red Potatoes are so flavorful, tender and beautiful! This recipe is so simple and yet, elegant with earthy sprigs of rosemary baked right onto the red potato.
Soft and chewy, these Sweet Molasses Brown Bread Rolls are simple and scrumptious. A touch of molasses and honey, healthy whole wheat flour give these rolls amazing texture and great flavor, similar to Outback or Cheesecake Factory Brown Bread.
Scrumptious and simple Cadbury Egg Cookies. Use homemade or store bought ingredients for this festive Easter Cookies, make with frosting gross or chocolate ganache mud puddles. This is a great baking project to do with kids!
Gooey chocolate oozing out of warm caramel bourbon monkey bread, yes please! This small batch breakfast or brunch treat uses frozen bread rolls to make it a snap to put together! But start the night before!
The essential fall dessert, old fashioned apple crisp is an easy and not fussy recipe with all the best fall flavors, Apples, cinnamon, brown sugar with a buttery crisp topping. Easily convert to gluten free and vegan.
I discovered the simplest from-scratch chocolate cake recipe! This mouth-watering, easy chocolate loaf cake is light, almost spongy, not overly sweet, and it could not be easier to make, plus I have provided high altitude baking adjustments!
A copycat recipe for Nothing Bundt Cakes for moist and amazing Chocolate Chocolate Chip Bundt cake! The best and easiest part, this Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake recipe uses cake mix and pudding! The ideal recipe for Mother's day, baby and bridal showers or just because! Make bundtlets, mini bundts or cupcakes too!
Easter Bunny Dirt Cake is a twist on an old-fashioned recipe, make this into a delicious Easter treat with edible toppings. A creamy, custard whipped filling is sandwiched between two luscious layers of "dirt" or cookie crumbs. Invite the kids (big and small) to help you decorate the simple, no-bake dessert.
These glazed raspberry blueberry scones with a delicious butter lemon glaze are incredibly moist, packed with flavor, perfect for brunch, garden parties, bridal and baby showers, Mother's Day, Sunday brunch, and so much more!
This deliciously moist coffee cake is studded with fresh (or formerly frozen) blueberries, topped with a brown sugar crumble, then drizzled with a creamy vanilla glaze that hardens as it cools giving the cake the perfect crunch/crisp to chewy/moist ratio. Dreamy!!
This Kentucky Butter Cake is simply delicious and ridiculously easy! You can’t mess it up! Rich buttery pound cake drenched in a vanilla sauce and if desired, served with Vanilla Bourbon Caramel sauce.
Sugar and spice and everything nice? It is when you make this Cinnamon Swirl Bundt Cake for your family or friends. Hands on time, maybe 15 minutes, maybe! The hardest part about this cake is waiting for it to bake.
Lemon Sandwich Cookies are a light, buttery slice and bake cookie with a bright lemon flavor, they are tender, not overly sweet, with a delicious sweet-tart lemon-cream frosting sandwiched between. These might possibly be my favorite cookie.