My last brunch post left a lot of readers drooling. It was met with very good feedback, and a number of “oh my, I could never pull that off…” comments. I am here to tell you that you can, and it is pretty easy. Here are my top 5 tips to host a great brunch.
Create the guest list and invite people. Once you have a handle on how many people are coming, you can create the menu.
- The menu should have a balance of savory and sweet, and cold and hot dishes. But I hate to spend a lot of time cooking while I have guests, so I make the hot food something that can be prepared in the oven and then put out warm, or in a chafing dish, like a blintz soufflé, or quiche.
- Prep early. If you know you are hosting brunch in three weeks, make a batch of muffins now and stick them in the freezer until a few hours before brunch.
- Set up the day before. If you set out platters for each dish the day before the party, you won’t be running around crazed trying to find the perfect bowl at the last second. Or worse, trying to borrow serving dishes from a neighbor five minutes before guests arrive.
- Make the bar DIY. Let guests make their own mimosa or Bloody Mary, that way it can be just to their liking and you are free to mingle. (4a. If there are a lot of people coming, consider freezing an ice ring made of prosecco (you can use a bundt pan for this) with fresh berries in it, and float it in a punch bowl of mimosa. Guests can still make their own Bloody Mary.)
- There are certain dishes you just can’t make in advance. Nobody wants yesterday’s tuna salad. But you can chop the onion and celery and then just mix it all up the morning of the party.
The most important part of brunch is that it should be a relaxed affair. Everyone can have a good time over mimosas and bagels, and as the host, you can have fun, too. Prepare early, then enjoy the party. Trust me, it will be well worth the advance effort.