Friday, February 8, 2019

Hosting a Farm Fresh Brunch


Sunday brunch is a standing appointment on our calendar, no matter how busy things get around here. Some weeks might be more leisurely or the recipes may be more involved, and other weeks we keep it simple--but one thing is certain, we never skip this date!

It's even more special when we get to share brunch with our friends and family. But if you've ever hosted a gathering centered around a meal, you know that it can be tough to spend quality time with the people you love while you're doing all the cooking too. Here's my advice to help.


When we hosted 10 of my favorite ladies (including one sweet mama-to-be) for a baby shower brunch, I was positive that I didn't want to miss all of the celebration by being trapped in the kitchen. Instead, we divided the work and planned ahead to create a menu that was less labor intensive during the event.


My Favorite Brunch Menu


Whenever we host large gatherings, we use our kitchen island as a buffet, and set the table for seating. This helps with the traffic flow as well as limiting the amount of moving dishes. On that buffet, I include the following:

  • Fresh mixed fruits and cheeses: A tray of fruit and cheese can be prepped the night before and still look (and taste!) every bit as fresh for brunch the following day. If you're vegan, there are a number of truly delicious dairy-free cheeses available these days. A few of my favorites are [here], [here], and [here].

  • Yogurt parfaits: Layer non-dairy yogurt with granola and berries in small cups (or, my favorite--mason jars!) that your guests can easily grab from your display. These are also easy to prep a day ahead to save time the day of your gathering.

  • Waffles with toppings bar: Waffles are my go-to recipe for any large gathering. I recently shared my favorite waffle recipe right here. You can make these a day before, then layer them on a cookie sheet to reheat in the oven on the morning of your brunch. Include an array of toppings with things like nut butters, fresh fruits, jams/syrups, and even some sweet indulgences like whipped cream, chocolate chips, and shredded coconut.
This assortment of foods allows for a variety of appetite levels, flavor preferences, and also accommodates several dietary needs. There is plenty of protein as well as fiber rich choices, and everyone gets to choose their favorites.


Don't forget to offer a selection of beverages too. Coffee, tea, and juices are staples for brunch, but consider including a mocktail (or even cocktail, if you prefer!). A sweet and easy favorite is to combine La Croix sparkling water with a complementary juice. For example, berry La Croix with cranberry juice cocktail, coconut La Croix with pineapple juice, or peach La Croix with orange juice. For fun, set out a selection and let your guests invent their own flavor combinations! Here are five of my favorite recipes with both a mocktail and cocktail version.

{RELATED: 5 Favorite Mocktail (and cocktail!) Recipes}


Tablesettings


Designing our tablescape is one of my favorite activities. Since our table is something we use every day, I like to switch things up fairly often so we're always getting a beautiful view.

When guests come, it's especially fun to design for the occasion. That said, I know that tablescapes are a daunting challenge for many. Quite honestly, they used to feel that way to me too.

Then, I started collecting inspiration on Pinterest, and it felt less and less overwhelming to me as time went on. The great thing about finding inspiration from others is making it your own. Use the framework that inspires you, but customize the details to fit your space, your family, and your color palette.

You can find my Tablescapes Pinterest Inspiration Board right here. I hope you find something you love!


The Best Brunch Tools


Brunch is such an important part of our family's lifestyle and focus on being mindfully present with each other. I hope that the menu ideas, recipes, and designs I've shared provide you with the inspiration to make this tradition part of your story as well.

To help, I've put together a collection of some of my favorite tools for hosting a waffle brunch like I've described here. Use the links below to find all of these items for hosting your next gathering!



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