I’m not sure exactly when I became obsessed with brunch, but I suspect it has something to do with a bottomless mimosas brunch place in Chico, California. I don’t remember the name because it was years ago, otherwise I’d direct you all there now. If you know it, feel free to drop it in the comments. Anyway, I’ve been to plenty of places with unlimited mimosas, but this place claimed that your glass would never be empty, and IT WASN’T. Waitresses would just appear. It fascinated me. But that’s not actually why I became obsessed with brunch. It was their menu. They had a salmon and cream cheese omelet. What?! That’s crazy. I had only seen your basic brunch menu before then. This one was so awesome, it definitely sent me on a search for more amazing brunches.
But, while I absolutely recommend finding a place where you live that will help you enjoy brunch, I also love to cook. So why wouldn’t I enjoy two of my favorite things by having a little brunch gathering? This particular hosting duty is nice because it’s one kind of party that you can do with friends or family or both and it doesn’t feel forced or awkward. The first time I wanted to host a really nice brunch, I looked up some tips from the world’s best hostess, Martha Stewart herself. She said you needed a meat dish, an egg dish, a sweet dish, and fruit, and who was I to argue?
Normally I plan everything in advance and prep and all of that, but I have a confession to make. I plan my menu ahead of time, of course, but I’ve never done brunch without one crucial time-saving component. That would be my sister, my permanent co-host. So, I have been able to pull off some pretty time-consuming meals without going completely crazy, but I better be able to figure out something without her soon . I can’t have her cook her own bridal shower brunch, now can I?
Prepping the House
I’m going to have a lot more to say about brunches and brunch themes, but because you don’t have all day and I don’t either, today let’s focus on the basics and determine where we can cut time. We don’t need decorations, right? Nah, let’s go ahead and toss those out the window. A clean house will be fine. If you’re house isn’t already clean, here’s some tips for keeping up with it from day to day, but if you really want to host a brunch and you just don’t have time to clean, make sure your table has enough room for your guests and your kitchen is clean when you start. If it’s not clean when you finish, your guests will survive.
You know what else doesn’t have to be time-consuming? Drinks. Make your guests bring them. Or, if you’re the kind of person that has to do it all yourself, stick with regular oj and champagne. It doesn’t get any easier than that!
Brunch Food Time Savers
Next up, the food. Obviously you can’t skimp as much here, but you can get away with combining some things if you like. Egg and meats go together perfectly. Fruit and sweet dishes do too. Fruit on it’s own would be easy too, if you buy it already cut up or pick something like strawberries or grapes. Chopping up a whole watermelon sounds like a pain. Of course, if you don’t want to combine (for the record, I always combine the fruit and the sweet – we may or may not have leftover fruit, but I like my sweet breakfasts with fruit) you still have a few other time-saving options.
Let’s look at eggs. Eggs can’t really be cooked ahead, but you know what is great about them? They cook super fast if all you need is to scramble them, plus you can dump whatever you want to go with them into one pan and call it a “skillet.” You could buy some pre-chopped vegetables too. Then it feels homemade, but you save yourself some prep.
What’s next? A meat dish. You know what that means to me, in the case of brunch? A sandwich. Super easy! Throw some ham or sausage in some bread, melt some cheese, and call it a day. Now, if you have a waffle iron, or multiple irons, a sweet dish is pretty easy. You make a waffle, you put some syrup and fruit on it. If you make a full waffle for each individual person, that’s going to take forever, but if you quarter them it should go fast. If you don’t have a waffle iron, you might need a little extra time for a sweet dish, but pancakes could work just as easy too.
Now, we’ve talked about a few ways to save time on a basic brunch, but I like mine a lot more complicated. Stay tuned for some more specific ideas!