Brunch is one of Miss Party’s all-time favorite entertaining meals to use when inviting families. It’s a casual relaxed meal, held late enough for Miss Party to get all the kitchen work accomplished beforehand, but with everyone out the door before the youngest guests cross into the witching hour. If you’re inviting elderly guests it’s also a perfect outing for them, too. Not out too early, nor home too late. It works indoors in the colder months or outdoors on a beautiful Spring or Summer day. It’s just one perfect meal!
For a crowd, serving the meal buffet-style is the low-stress way to go and still have a chance to eat with your guests. Here is an easy but impressive Brunch Menu, with suggestions for how to keep you, the hostess, sane on the morning of the event. It accommodates for a wide-variety of tastes, diets, and ages, just adjust or remove dishes depending on your number of guests. If you prefer more lunch-type options, change as desired. Oh, and Miss Party assumes you’ve probably invited more guests than can be seated at your dining table, so no knives needed!
See Casual Brunch, Part 2 for a complete planning timetable for this particular menu.
Set up a station with everything one needs to prepare a bagel or toast, including a toaster. Pre-split the bagels or provide an older-child safe bagel cutter (guillotine-style). Basket or cake plate of assorted pastries, muffins. Basket of assorted muffins and sliced bread. (**Pre-order all baked goods at a good quality bakery.)
Tossed salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
Fruit Salad or a fruit Hors d’oeuvre like Apricot Bites
Platter of Heavenly Deviled Eggs
Mini ‘Spiral-Cut, Honey-Baked Ham’ Sandwich Platter
(Figure out your cooking time, and don’t forget to allow for the extra half hour bake time needed after the honey glaze goes on the ham. The ham must be finished one hour before the event starts. Cover with aluminum foil and cool to room temperature. This will free up the oven for the casserole dishes.)
Macaroni and Cheese Casserole (Use Miss Party’s recipe (sans lobster) or a family favorite recipe. Make the entire recipe the night before, stopping short of the breadcrumb topping. Add breadcrumbs and bake on the ‘morning of’.)
Egg Strata Casserole (Delicious ‘make the night before’ sausage and egg dish, which can be made meatless.)
Skier’s Baked French Toast (Yummy ‘make the night before’ baked french toast!)
Coffee and Tea Station:
You will need 2 hot beverage carafes, one for coffee, one for hot water (attach a card or tag which lets guest know which is which). Provide everything necessary for coffee or hot tea preparation: mugs, tea selection (include non-caffeinated herbal varieties) sugar, artificial sweetener, cream, stirring utensils.
Cold Beverage Station: suggestions are orange juice, ice water, apple or white grape juice (no staining issues), lemonade, (iced tea is fine for adults, but not as versatile with kids in the mix). (Set up the cold drinks nearby the Hot Coffee/Tea Station, but separated so children who might be overanxious to help themselves, won’t inadvertently bump someone fixing or carrying a hot beverage. You might also like to offer a tray of pre-poured Mimosas or Bloody Mary’s for the adults.)
Dessert at this hour could be a simple platter of assorted cookies (bakery purchase) that works for kids or goes nicely with adults’ coffee/tea, or something made the day before such as a crowd-pleasing Mixed Berry English Trifle.