Cooking for a crowd can be stressful, but not when you make this easy brunch. I love having guests over, but when I first started entertaining, I often found myself stressed out with cleaning and preparing food at the same time. I didn’t know how to time things out, so the food wouldn’t be ready until an hour after everyone came. Did I mention I suffer from hanger? Grumpy hostess=grumpy party.
Now that I’m older and hopefully wiser, I’ve figured out how to solve most of these issues. This years New Years-ish brunch with friends was our easiest one yet!
This menu is designed to keep you out of the kitchen and visiting with your guests. The sausage and pancakes take a bit of time, but they can easily be fried before guests arrive and left to warm in the oven.
My quiche recipes are 6 eggs, 1 cup ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, a splash of cream, vegetables, and salt and pepper to taste mixed in a store-bought pie crust. They were alright, but if I had more time, I like my Tomato, Zucchini, & Turkey Bacon Quiche better.
In hindsight, I probably didn’t need two quiches. The German Grandma in me constantly worries that there won’t be enough food. If you can see parts of the table, there isn’t enough food!! 😉
I used a pancake mix for the pancakes to keep things simple. I was worried that the kids wouldn’t eat any of the casseroles, but one little in particular was a huge fan of the Apple Cinnamon French Toast Casserole.
Our friends asked if they could bring something, so I asked one friend to bring some juices and the other to bring cut up fruit.
My splurge items on the actual day were homemade coffee creamer and a lemon birthday cake. I don’t include them in this menu because chances are you won’t be celebrating a birthday and you can easily buy coffee creamer. (Coffee creamer is super tasty and easy to make! Just saying.)
One Week Before
Invite your guests and take an inventory of your house. This is not the time for intensive deep cleaning, but you have the time to declutter one or two rooms everyday so you don’t have to do it all at the end. We have the type of house that guests will see every room, so we can’t put all our mess in one room and shut a door.
I like to save the bathroom and Dominic’s room for the night before. Those tend to be the rooms that get the dirtiest, so I want them fresh the day of.
Two Days Before
Shop for your groceries (listed below). That way if you miss something you can still run to the grocery store without being too stressed.
The Day Before
Now is the time to finish up any of the cleaning you didn’t get to over the week. I also save my vacuuming until the night before or the morning of. We’re still in a stage of life where the floor doesn’t stay clean for long.
After supper, rearrange your furniture for better traffic flow. This is more of a small house problem, but for us, pushing the dining room table against the wall the setting the chairs in the living room makes a world of difference.
Around 8 or 9PM, assemble the Apple Cinnamon French Toast Casserole. Cover and refrigerate.
After you wake up, shower and make sure that you look nice. I find that if I don’t do this step first thing, I don’t have time to do it closer to when guests arrive. I will usually wear a grubby top, then change into what I’m really wearing 10 minutes before everyone is supposed to arrive so I stay clean.
Assemble the quiches 90-60 minutes before arrival time. Pop the Apple Cinnamon French Toast Casserole in the oven with the quiches.
Set out your serving dishes and coffee station while they cook. Do one last vacuum or quick clean of the bathroom if needed.
Cook your breakfast meat of choice around 20-30 minutes before arrival. Put it in a casserole dish in the oven to finish cooking/stay warm.
Turn on your coffee maker around 10 minutes before arrival. Make pancakes for the littles. Only make enough for them, as most adults will stick with the casserole.
When Guests Arrive
Take their coats and enjoy your company! Brunch will be ready when they are.
What’s your go-to recipe for entertaining guests? Let me know in the comments.
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Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots. She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden. She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.