Brunch, a weekly tradition in my family after Sunday Mass. I love brunch because it always feels like a celebration, even if it’s just a regular Sunday. With Mother’s Day coming up and other springtime celebrations (graduations, baby showers, wedding showers), it’s the perfect way to enjoy good company and good food. My sister flew into town, and we celebrated her belated birthday with a Tuesday Brunch. There is just something a little extra special about brunch, and it can feel extravagant without being a major production. Here are three easy tips for throwing a simple but memorable brunch.
- Dress your table up with flowers. Whether you pick a few blooms from your garden or snap up some flowers from the store, it’s amazing what a vase of fresh flowers can do for your table; it elevates the mood and adds a cheerful touch.
- Prep with make-ahead recipes. If you’re are hosting guests, do some prep the night before and make one or two of your recipes to have done so that you can focus on enjoying your guests. I especially love making my mother-in-law’s apple coffee cake. I bake the night before, cover, and store at room temperature.
- Make it buffet style. Buffet style takes the pressure of setting an extravagant table, and you don’t have to worry about making sure everyone has food. Set up a pretty spread with something sweet, savory, fruit, coffee, and a tasty beverage.
Below are some of my favorite brunch recipes; my sister’s potato eggs benedict (she made these on Tuesday, and they were amazing) and my mother-in-law’s apple coffee cake – both crowd-pleasers! Add a side of fruit and a boozy beverage, and you have got yourself the perfect brunch spread!
Apple Coffee Cake
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups chopped Granny Smith apples 1-2 apples
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon softened butter
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Grease an 8" square baking pan.
- Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, beat egg. Add in milk and vegetable oil.
- Pour egg mixture all at once into dry flour mixture. Mix well.
- Fold in chopped apples.
- Turn batter into baking pan.
- Blend together the sugar, flour, and cinnamon for the Crumb Topping.
- Work in the butter to make a crumbly mixture and sprinkle over the Coffee Cake batter.
- Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.
Potato Eggs Benedict
- muffin tin
- 8 eggs
- 4 yolks
- 1/2 lemon juice
- 4 tbsp butter
- pinch salt
- pinch paprika
- 4 tbsp canola oil
- 2 shredded russet potatoes
- 8 slices Canadian bacon
- Preheat oven to 375° and butter muffin tin.
- In skillet, heat up canola oil on medium-high. Scoop up 1/4 cup of shredded potato into the pan and flatten into 1/2 in. layer. Cook for about 5 min or until browned on each side.
- Remove potatoes and fry Canadian bacon on the skillet medium-low heat until browned on each side. Set aside and keep warm.
- Add 2 tsp of water in each cup. Crack eggs in muffin tin cups and bake at 375 degrees for 15 min.
- While eggs are baking, melt butter. Blend yolks and lemon juice on high for 15 seconds while adding melted butter into mixture. Once all the butter is mixed in, blend on high for an additional 10 seconds (the longer you blend, the thicker the sauce.) Set hollandaise sauce in a container, near stove to keep warm.
- Stack potato, Canadian bacon, and egg. Pour hollandaise sauce over and top with a pinch of salt and paprika.
Boozy Brunch Blackberry Beverage
- 1/3 cup blackberries
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 bottle champagne
- 4 sprigs sage
- In a saucepan heat the blackberries, water, and sugar to a boil. Turn to low and let simmer for 10 minutes. Strain blackberries and let syrup cool.
- Add 2 tbsp. of syrup to the bottom of each glass. Top with champagne and add in a sprig of sage and 2 blackberries. Enjoy!