With the weather warming up, we couldn't help but throw a little gathering to celebrate with friends. To really pay tribute to Spring, we made sure to include a menu that was seasonal, fresh and oh so delicious.
Deciding to host a brunch was a no-brainer. I mean, who doesn't love to sleep in, eat breakfast food after 12, and enjoy the ultimate combo of sweet and savoury? Plus, it's the perfect excuse to get your drink on early :)
As much as we love brunch, we don't love the stress that comes with preparing a buffet for 6-8 guests. Nobody wants to make individualized omelettes or wake up at 5 am to bake four different types of quiche.
Here are some tips to host a healthy Spring brunch that is kick-ass and stress-free.
Think about recipes you can make up days or even weeks in advance. Break it down so the amount of work on the day-of is as simple as quick assembly or popping a dish in the oven. You can find the details of our complete brunch menu and how we prepped for everything later in this post.
2. Think outside the box (or egg carton).
Eggs are often a key player at the brunch table but omelettes and sunny side ups take time if you're serving a group of people. Baked egg dishes like quiches and breakfast casseroles are perfect since you can make them ahead of time or multitask when it's in the oven.
Poach eggs in the oven: Love eggs benny? Here's a neat trick we found to make a dozen perfectly poached eggs at the same time. Simply add a tablespoon of water and crack an egg into each cup of a muffin tin and bake for 11-13 minutes at 350. Voila!
3. Keep it fresh, simple and seasonal.
Spring has so much to offer so why not take advantage of food at its best? Foods that are in season are often also at their cheapest and freshest. Spring in Ontario, means strawberries, cherries, asparagus and peas, all of which we incorporated into our menu.
4. Set the table the night before.
This might save just an extra 10-15 minutes but having the table set can help ease your mind a bit. Who knows? On the morning of, that extra time might prove valuable if a dish doesn't turn out or you find yourself missing an ingredient. Oops!
5. Bring on the booze!
Good brunch almost always involves a healthy dose of alcohol :) Mix up your mimosas or Bloody Mary the night before and set everything out when guests arrive. If you've got a mixed crowd, go for coffee, tea and a fresh juice or punch that people can spike themselves (if you trust them).
6. Embrace helping hands and have fun.
Guests are often more than willing to help so take them up on the offer and delegate simple tasks. That way, you can better enjoy the afternoon with the people you love.
Brunch typically falls somewhere between 11 am to as late as 3 pm, so we went for a lighter menu that included a simple quiche and bright salads. We wanted to help kickstart a day, not put our friends to sleep (although group naps are totally welcome).
Zucchini Quiche with Quinoa Crust
Sweet Potato Hash Browns (from our Cleaned Up Eggs Benny recipe)
Grilled Cherry Salad with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Vinaigrette
Spring Vegetable Pasta Salad
Baked Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal
Iced Green Tea Lemonade (+ sparkling wine or vodka)
Add Zucchini Quiche with Quinoa Crust to your meal plan here.
Add Baked Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal to your meal plan here.
Add Grilled Cherry Salad to your meal plan here.
Add Spring Vegetable Pasta Salad to your meal plan here.
Add Iced Green Tea Lemonade to your meal plan here.
How We Prepped for Our Spring Brunch Ahead Of Time
One week before:
- Bake the quiche and store in freezer
- Make pesto for Spring Vegetable Salad and store in freezer
Three days before:
- Cook the pasta, toss in olive oil and refrigerate
- Grill the cherries, refrigerate in mason jar
- Mix up the lemonade
- Make sweet potato hashbrowns, refrigerate
- Make dressing for Grilled Cherry Salad
- Transfer quiche and pesto to defrost in fridge
- Prep strawberries and rhubarb in baking dish, pre-mix oatmeal in a sandwich bag
- Make remainder of Spring Vegetable Salad
- Reheat quiche and hashbrowns in oven
- Add milk to oatmeal, spread over strawberry rhubarb and bake
- Make Grilled Cherry Salad, add pre-grilled cherries
- Eat and be merry!
Other perfect recipes for brunch from That Clean Life: