***Disclaimer: I was provided samples of the products below in exchange for a social post. As with all my posts, all the opinions expressed below are entirely my own.
Ah springtime! The sunshine is out, the weather is beautiful and I’m feeling SOCIAL again! When I’m not out training or meeting with clients, I try to make time for social events and making memories with friends. Some of my favorite memories are from brunch with the girls. Two of my very best friends and I try and meet for brunch a few times a year, but as Moms it can be hard to make time. It so special to get all of us and gives us the chance to unwind and catch up.
I blogged about our DFW Summer Potluck a few years back and shared some of the amazing food we brought together but, I’ve never shared what happens behind the scenes that makes an event like this come to life.
If you don’t already know, I’m a planner. I believe that preparation is the key to success! I also believe that food is a labor of love and great way to bring people together. Today, I’m going to share a few tips on how to host a spring time brunch without feeling overwhelmed.
1. Prep the Night Before The number one tip for simplifying your brunch is to start the night before! Take a few minutes to set your buffet or dining table with plates, napkins, silverware, glasses, and flowers. Get an idea of where you’d like to have your coffee, mimosa, or juice station and if you will be doing a buffet style of sit down family style.
2. Keep Dishes Warm Turn on your warmer or the oven on low to keep dishes warm. You don’t want to be cooking up until the last minute or require guests to eat right when they walk in, so plan to wrap dishes in foil and keep them warm. Your guests may be bringing something that need to be heated up or kept warm, so be prepared with a warm oven.
3. Provide Allergen Friendly Options It’s likely that at least one of your guests will have a special dietary need. Consider simple gluten free, dairy free, and vegetarian options. I love this simple scone recipe because it uses just simple, wholesome ingredients (including Simple Mills Artisan Bread Mix!). It is also gluten and dairy free, but even those who can enjoy gluten and dairy will love these Chocolate Cherry Almond Scones!
Chocolate Cherry Almond Scones
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Whisk eggs, water, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, and maple syrup in a large bowl
Add baking mix to a bowl, make a well, and pour wet ingredients in. Fold and stir until just combined. Let sit for 5 minutes for dough to thicken
Fold in almonds, cherries, and chocolate chips
Press dough into a circle on a marble or plastic cutting board [or use a Silpat] – using additional gluten-free flour [like tapioca flour] as needed to prevent sticking. Dough will be soft and sticky – using floured hands, pat down into a circle about 1/2″ thick.
Using a wet knife, cut circle into 8 equal parts, beginning with a cut down the center.
Carefully remove scones with a spatula to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with sugar if desired.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until scones are slightly browned and spring back when touched.
Cool on wire rack.
NOTES: These scones were just sweet enough for us. If you add more maple syrup, cut back on water so dough is thick enough to spread. You could also bake these in muffin topper tins and skip the segmenting step!
4. Make a Casserole Whether it’s an egg bake, quiche, baked oatmeal, or French Toast bake, a casserole is a simple way to serve a crowd. Consider preparing the recipe in a baking dish the night before to simply reheat it in the morning. Years ago I shared a recipe for mini breakfast omelets that would be a great baked finger food for brunch. (Forgive the photography LOL, this was before I knew food blogging was actually a thing)
5. Incorporate Fruits and Veggies Fresh fruit and veggies will add the perfect pop of color when your guest start snapping pics of your beautiful display. Many people focus on eggs, bacon, and baked goods at brunch, but consider adding fruits and veggies to add variety and good nutrition to help your guests leave feeling their best. Add veggies to your quiche, grated carrots to your crockpot oatmeal, a fruit salad, dried fruit in your scones (see above 🙂 ), or blueberries or zucchini in your muffins. What are you favorite ways to add fruits and veggies to breakfast? I love using sweet bell peppers in all of my egg recipes. They add a nice texture change and a bit of sweet to a savory dish.
6. Include a DIY Bar A DIY breakfast bar is a fun way to for guests to make the meal their own and accommodate their own dietary needs and preferences. This could be an oatmeal bar, waffle bar, or DIY bagel bar. Check out the recipe below for simple, homemade bagels. They take no more than 30 minutes from start to finish and use simple, whole food ingredients that you can pronounce and your body will recognize, including Simple Mills Artisan Bread Mix. Use code LIVINGPLATE20 for 20% off your order to try this recipe or create your own! Thank you Simple Mills for the samples!
DIY Bagel Bar with Simple Homemade Bagels
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease 4 donut pans.
Whisk together eggs, water, olive oil and apple cider vinegar in a large bowl. Add in Simple Mills Artisan Bread mix to the bowl and combine
Fill each donut mold 3/4 full with the dough
Top with your choice of bagel seasoning.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Prepare your bagel bar by beautifully arranging your bagel toppings on a table.
Remove bagels from the oven, let cool completely and serve with your prepared toppings.
We suggest the following topping combinations:
So that’s it! It can seem like a really time consuming task to host a brunch for friends, but when you’re prepared and have a few simple recipes in your toolkit, preparation becomes much less intimidating!
I love hosting brunch and making memories with friends. What are some ways you make memories during spring? Share in the comments below along with any simple recipes you favor for brunch.
Priscilla is Dallas/Ft. Worth based nutritionist and blogger.