Hosting brunch is a fun and different way to have a holiday party for friends and family this season. Weekends this time of year quickly get filled with happy hours, cocktail parties, and dinner plans, so brunches might be easier to arrange. And a casual brunch is often a welcome change of pace! But if you don’t want the morning to turn into a stressful mess, you’ll need to plan accordingly.
Here are five simple steps for a stress-free holiday brunch:
1. Do as much as possible the night before. Since brunch is a daytime meal, the time you’ll have to prep the morning of will be limited. Look for recipes that can be prepped the night before, like breakfast casseroles, frittatas, or strata. The Loaded Vegetable Omelet or Mini Frittatas are good options.
And prepping the night before isn’t just limited to your recipes. Take time to set your table to make sure you have all the silverware and dishes you’ll need clean and ready to go. Nothing’s worse than trying to hand wash glasses while the food sits on the table waiting.
2. Baked goods can fill out your brunch menu and go home with your guests. Sticking to an egg recipe for your main dish lets you fill out your menu with sweet pastries you can bake ahead of time. Consider the Baked Apple Cider Donuts, Baked Chocolate Donuts, or Baked Vanilla Donuts recipes. Or make Baked Waffle Sticks with some Flavored Maple Syrups for dipping.
Homemade sweet treats are a great way to show your guests how much you love your time together. And, if you want to add some holiday décor to your table, you can wrap pastries in gift boxes with name tags and put them at each place setting. This way they’ll double as place cards and a pretty party favor for guests to take home.
3. Remember why you’re hosting. You invited your guests over so you can spend time together, not so you can cook while everyone else catches up without you.
Use some clever cooking hacks to give yourself more time with your guests. A slow cooker can make delicious breakfast potatoes or hash brown casserole. You can also cook your bacon in the oven on a large pan. There’s no need to watch over it and you’ll get crispy results every time.
4. Don’t forget the drinks! Brunch without a fun cocktail is just breakfast. Use a pitcher to mix up a batch of French 75 cocktails or set out a mimosa bar. Not everyone will take part, so remember to offer traditional morning beverages like coffee, tea, or juice. Or, if you have the time, make iced coffee or a pitcher of Citrus Berry Smash mocktails the night before.
If possible, set all your drinks and glasses out on a side table or other space before guests arrive. This way, guests can serve themselves and you won’t be caught in a rush.
5. Let people help! Your guests might offer to bring a dish, arrange some flowers, or to rinse the plates after everyone’s eaten. Let them! Holiday get-togethers are about making memories and enjoying the company.