Time-saving tips for hosting the perfect fall brunch
Forget all the fuss of a dinner party. Even a cocktail-hour gathering can be stressful, what with stocking a bar and figuring out creative finger foods.
But there’s something downright relaxing about a brunch. Maybe it’s the hour—often late morning—when people seem inclined to be a bit more laid back, but brunch means that friends and family will gather to sip coffee or tea (or mimosas!), and enjoy inexpensive, easy-to-prepare food.
The key is to keep it simple, says Jen Soranson, event coordinator at Zolo Grill in Boulder, Colo.
“‘Forks only’ is a great rule,” she says.
In other words, if you need a knife to deal with that food on your plate, it’s too difficult for guest and host alike.
Her other piece of advice: If you serve alcohol, keep it simple.
“Mimosas or pre-made Bloody Marys, not both,” she says. “I’d have a crock pot of spiced black tea with orange peel and cinnamon instead of coffee. That’s great around the holiday season.”
Planning a fall brunch? Here are some tips on making it fun for everyone:
Employ time saving tactics. Who has time to bake these days? Head to your favorite bakery to pick up pastries and save yourself that step. Arrange them on a pretty platter or tiered serving stand, and bring a little class to the buffet. Consider quiche, which is a snap to prepare, or go with something like breakfast burritos or traditional scrambled eggs and bacon. We found some classic recipes for quiche from allrecipes.com. This make-ahead dish can be pulled out of the oven, sliced and served from a warming tray. Because, of course, the trick to enjoying yourself at this gathering you’ve pulled together is to get out of the kitchen.
Choose a motif. We suggest going with a theme—say autumn—and sticking to it. Find your biggest vase and toss in tiny gourds for a centerpiece. Gather up your mugs that make you think of autumn.
Serve a signature drink. We know you probably know how to make one already, but just in case, we’ll trust Martha to offer up the secret to a perfect Bloody Mary. And, if you’re planning to serve mimosas or OJ, we encourage you to stay away from store-bought, reconstituted orange juice and buy only the finest. In other words, take the time to squeeze that citrus, and brew only the finest coffee.
Dish it up beautifully. For your serving pleasure, we suggest a few items sure to make your event a picturesque success.
- Serve your mimosas or Bloody Marys on this cheery high-gloss tray from CB2, $29.95, cb2.com
- We can’t imagine a more elegant way to present scones and other treats than on this Cambridge Collection silver-plated serving stand, $103.96, surlatable.com.
- Prep in advance and keep things warm with this Cuisinart stainless steel 13.5 oval covered buffet server, $100, macys.com, which goes straight from the stove-top or oven to the serving table. Two tea light candles placed in the warming stand will keep food warm for hours.
- Keep things simple, but impress guests with the highest quality ingredients. This Breville Ikon juice fountain, $199.95, crateandbarrel.com, works on everything from oranges to carrots.
- If the classic mimosa is your drink of choice, serve them in these classic Schott Zwiesel Concerto champagne flutes, $90 for set of six, surlatable.com.