words Al Woods
There’s nothing better than a leisurely weekend brunch, especially when friends, family and cocktails are involved.
But, breakfasting in style doesn’t necessarily mean going out to a trendy restaurant or café: it’s perfectly simple to serve up an impressive brunch in the comfort of your own kitchen.
Hosting your own brunch party means you’re free to do things at your own pace, and you won’t need to worry about making a reservation, queueing for a table, or appointing a designated driver. It’s also much cheaper than dining out, so it’s great way to save money while still getting a chance to socialise and enjoy some delicious food. To help you host a memorable brunch your guests will love, we’ve shared four easy ways to make planning, cooking, and serving your meal as easy as can be. So, just keep reading to discover four top time-saving tips for brunching in style.
Plan a menu to suit everyone
First of all, you’ll need to create a menu that will suit everyone in your party. If you’ll be hosting friends or family with special dietary requirements, you’ll need to plan a menu that caters to them. Quiz your guests about any preferences, allergies or requirements in advance, and then write down a list of any no-go ingredients. Then, you can plan a few different options to suit everyone.
If cooking multiple menu options for different guests sounds like too much of a headache (especially after a mimosa or two) then pick a recipe that everyone can enjoy, instead. Even meat lovers are sure to enjoy a dish like warm asparagus spears with truffle and vegetarian parmesan — find the recipe at Stoves. While this decadent dish will be delicious as it is, you could even add a poached egg or two if you wanted to really impress your guests. Who said veggie dishes were boring?
Make what you can ahead of time
The secret to successful hosting at any time of day is careful preparation, and brunch is no exception. By making as much of your meal as you can in advance, you can reduce the amount of time you’ll spend slaving over a hot oven on the day, leaving you with more time to spend socialising with your guests.
To get as organised as possible, set the table the evening before, and set out any equipment you’ll need the next day. Make any complicated or time-consuming sauces (like hollandaise) ahead of time, then simply reheat and pour over your dishes before serving. Pancakes are another great make-ahead option: just prepare the batter the night before, and store in the fridge until ready to use.
Use one stove top, and put everything else in the oven
Trying to juggle two or three different pots and pans on the stovetop at once can be seriously stressful, especially if you’ve got to welcome guests and make everybody comfortable at the same time. To make things easier, limit yourself to one pan, and use the oven to cook everything else.
Bacon and sausages can be cooked in the oven or grill, and you can even poach eggs in your oven using a muffin tin: check out this guide from TipHero to learn more. If you need to make lots of toast in one go, use your oven’s grill feature to save time and make sure all your toast can be served all at once.
It will also help to pick a stovetop recipe which is simple: scrambled eggs are a crowd-pleaser, and they’re easy and quick to make. Use two eggs per person (three if everyone’s really hungry) and stir continuously, being careful to make sure that they don’t catch on the pan.
Serve brunch-appropriate drinks and cocktails
Bottomless brunches — where diners can drink unlimited cocktails with their meal for a set price — have surged in popularity in recent years. So, to give your guests the full brunch experience, you’ll want to serve a delicious cocktail or two to help wash down their meals. Plus, they’ll keep everyone happy as they wait for their food, too.
Brunch cocktails should be light and refreshing (it is still technically breakfast time, after all), so go for drinks which aren’t too strongly alcoholic. Mimosas are dangerously easy to make: try this recipe for blood orange mimosas from Pretty Plain Janes for an intriguing twist on a classic. If you want to make yours a little less alcoholic, fill the glass half way with prosecco and top it up with soda water.
Brunching in the comfort of your own home is easy — as long as you plan your menu carefully, and get everything ready in advance, you’re on track for a delicious brunch party with minimum stress. So, take our time-saving tips on board, and you and your loved ones will soon be brunching in style.