When I entertain, I almost always devise a menu of food and drinks that can be prepared hours, days or even weeks before. Not only does this mean less stress for me on the day of the party, it also fits better into my busy work and school schedule. This approach is especially helpful when hosting a morning party, since you have just a few short hours between waking up and the arrival of your first guest, and I was happy with how it all came together for the weekend brunch I hosted for my book club.
Looking to host your own make-ahead brunch in the coming months? Here is the timeline that works for me:
First, a very important tip: Make a prep list!
Up to 3 Months Ahead: Fill Your Freezer
Up to 1 Week Ahead: Drinks
Yesterday I shared my my method for making coffee concentrate, which keeps in the refrigerator for up to one week. Just add boiling water on the morning of the brunch for a pot of excellent, no-fuss coffee!
2-3 Days Ahead: Chopping & Prepping
The Day Before: Salads & Casseroles
Many breakfast casseroles and bread puddings can be assembled the day before and go straight from the refrigerator to the oven in the morning.
The Morning of the Brunch
The day of my brunch, the only major task left to do was finish the quiche: blind-bake the crust, mix the filling and bake it for about 45 minutes. I did this as soon as possible after waking up, then warmed the cooled quiche in the oven right before the party. The only other kitchen work I had to do that morning was make the dill vinaigrette and dress the salad, which I finished just before guests started arriving.
During the party, I had just a few last-minute things to do: mix up the strawberry cocktails, boil water for the coffee and whip cream for the cake. All of these were low-stress tasks that took me away from the party for just a few minutes, which I think is the ideal at any gathering. You put so much work into hosting a great get-together — don't you deserve to sit back and enjoy it too?
Do you have any tips for making a brunch party easier and less stressful?