Why Brunch Can Be the Best?
"'When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,' said Piglet at last, 'what's the first thing you say to yourself?' 'What's for breakfast?' said Pooh. 'What do you say, Piglet?' 'I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?' said Piglet. Pooh nodded thoughtfully. 'It's the same thing,' he said."
A. A. Milne, 'The House at Pooh Corner'
I love breakfast foods, but strangely enough, I don't eat breakfast in the mornings. No, my breakfast foods are reserved for entertaining and for fun dinners with the kids. It is no big secret that breakfast foods can be among the most inexpensive and that is why I love to open our dinner table up for these types of occasions. What other meal can be more comforting and gratifying, but also is among the most affordable?
One of my favorite things about hosting a brunch is that most of the dishes can be made the night before. In fact, many brunch dishes require a night in the fridge so that makes entertaining with these dishes even easier.
Here are some of my tips for a fun fuss-free brunch:
- Pick dishes that are easy and require the least amount of expensive ingredients. Some of my favorite recipes include Yeast Waffles, Pumpkin Pancakes, Spiced Pumpkin Waffles, Gingerbread Waffles, French Toast, and all of the infamous egg casseroles. All of these dishes can be made the night before and if you buy your baking supplies in bulk (this is a must for the frugal baker), then many of these dishes can be made for pennies versus dollars. Add a special touch like some Honey Butter or warmed maple syrup and your guests will be talking about these for days- trust me! It is little touches like these that make them over the top and a memorable dish that will be requested often.
- Side dishes need not be an expensive endeavor either. Dice up some potatoes to make home fries, throw some ingredients in your bread machine to make a loaf of fresh bread, make a batch of fresh muffins, and serve a side of fruit (that is in season and on sale). Keep things simple, but add a special seasoning or display the side in a pretty plate/bowl to make it look more expensive than it truly is. In frugality, it is all about the presentation rather than just the dish itself! I have fooled many a guest into thinking they were enjoying something far more elaborate than what they really are dining on, just by presenting it in a pretty way.
- Coffee and tea are two of the least expensive types of drinks to serve, but I do try to offer other beverage choices too. To make the coffee & tea more enticing though, set up a breakfast tray with all of your pretty mugs, different types of tea bags, coffee syrups, creamers, and a sugar bowl. When presented in this manner, nine times out of ten people pick this choice because there is more to choose from. Prepare your tray before the guests arrive and use this during your meal, or afterwards while enjoying a slice of yummy coffee cake (scroll down for my favorite Jewish Coffee Cake recipe).
- I always try to incorporate a some good music and set out the morning paper for our guests. Jazz is a popular choice for brunches and making a playlist or a disc with all of your favorite music on it is great for adding that special touch to your meal. A few candles lit at the table also add to the enjoyment!
Entertaining elegantly doesn't have to cost a lot, but I think that I have to posses a certain thoughtfulness when I entertain. This translates that they mean a lot more to me than a catered brunch done by someone else. It really tells your guests that they mean something to you and that you care about them. I would much rather spend time with a person who put that kind of effort into caring for me, wouldn't you?
Do you serve brunch often in your house? What are some of your favorite recipes?