Great food, great friends, and great conversation make for an excellent time. Brunch is the perfect time of day to invite friends over—everyone still has plenty of time to run errands or do whatever afterwards. I whipped up some easy tips to follow to have an amazing brunch. If you follow them, you will have everything prepared before your guests arrive (so you'll be able to kick back and enjoy brunch and the conversation, instead of being at the stove cooking).
Step 1: Prepare the night before.
You really want to do as much beforehand as possible. Do your cleaning, decorating, setting the table, etc. the night before. Any dishes that can be prepared beforehand, go ahead and prepare. On brunch day you want to be able to get up, get ready, pop things in the oven, and have brunch.
Step 2: Brunch time is flexible.
If you or your guests have been very busy don't plan an early brunch. Brunch can be planned as late as 1:00 pm. Plus you need time in the morning to finish your preparations.
Step 3: Keep the guest list small.
Brunch should be an intimate small group. For me brunch is reserved for myself and a small group of relatives or for me and my best friends. If your table only seats eight people your total brunch guest list including yourself should be 8 or less.
Step 4: Remember to see if you need to make any specialty dishes.
Is there a vegetarian in your group? Do you need to make sure you have a sugar-free dish? Is anyone on a diet? Do any of your guests have any food allergies?
Step 5: Serve brunch buffet style.
This is really the easiest way to go. You don't have to be up serving each guest individually. Instead your dishes are out and ready for each guest to serve themselves. The best way to arrange your dishes is to start with the main dishes, side dishes, salads, and then the breads.
Step 6: Plan a menu that allows for most of the food to be prepared ahead of time.
+ A fruit salad made with fruits that are in season would be perfect and easy to make and store in the refrigerator the night before.
+ A baked french toast dish can be arranged the night before and then popped into the oven in the morning. This will allow time for the toast to really soak and become delicious.
+ Muffins, pastries, and coffee cake can all be made ahead of time.
+ Biscuits can be made and rolled out and kept in the refrigerator until morning.
+ When it comes to eggs, you do not want to have to stand at the stove and make an omelet at a time. Instead, make a breakfast casserole that includes eggs. You can do part of the work on this the night before and then pop it into the oven in the morning.
Step 7: Make the brunch special for your guests.
Make a special punch or drink for the brunch and display it in a clear pitcher so all the guests can see how pretty it is before they enjoy it. Use cloth napkins. They are easy to throw in the wash to clean and cloth napkins really make it feel like a special event.