My favorite meal to eat at home, or at a restaurant or to host for friends and family is definitely brunch. Brunch seems to invite more opportunities for baked goods, which are my favorite. Also people are more fresh for conversation in the morning, the kids are usually better behaved, and after everyone leaves I still feel like I have most of the day left to get things done or just recharge from all the socializing!
The past several weeks I’ve been wanting to have friends over for brunch but morning soccer has cramped everyone’s style. So I settled on a compromise: I would make brunch for lunch, using mostly make-ahead recipes, and we’d gather at noon after all the soccer games were done. It went very well!
My special considerations for the menu were 1) a meatless main dish as one friend is vegetarian, and 2) things I could l make ahead of time completely or cook in half an hour between soccer and serving. I settled on the following:
Ina Garten’s Slow-Cooked Scrambled Eggs (see note below) Smooth and velvety because of butter and cream! Decadent!
Taste of Home German Sour Cream Twists Essentially a glazed doughnut with no frying!
Great Grandma’s Fruit Salad (Recipe below) A favorite of mine since I was a little girl in Michigan – kids adore it.
Pork sausages from Boulder Sausage A Colorado company!
The night before brunch I cracked all the eggs and measured the cream for the scrambled eggs into a very large mason jar that I left in the refrigerator overnight. The eggs took about 20 minutes to cook so I was able to do that right before our friends came over.
The twists are not difficult to make but they take a lot of time for dough to rest and pans to chill, so I baked them the evening before, let them cool completely on racks, then covered them with tea towels overnight. Next morning I glazed them before we left the house, leaving them uncovered on the countertop so the glaze could firm up while we were out.
I washed and cut up all of the fruit for the fruit salad the night before, placed it in the serving dish, covered and refrigerated it overnight. I made the glaze that evening too — it needs to cool completely before you add it to the fruit, so I refrigerated it in a glass dish overnight and mixed it into the fruit in the morning.
Note about the eggs: I make these eggs from the recipe in Ina’s Barefoot Contessa Family Style cookbook (which I highly recommend!). The recipe that I’ve linked to above is basically the same, but to serve these eggs for brunch (I had plenty for 4 adults and 5 kids) increase the number of eggs to 16 and increase the half-and-half to 1-1/4 cups. I used organic coconut creamer and the eggs turned out as velvety as ever. I garnish with dill and green onions instead of mixing them into the eggs. It is imperative that you add 2 more tablespoons of butter to the eggs after you’ve removed them from the heat! Trust me.
Great Grandma's Fruit Salad
This glazed fruit salad is a favorite among kids and grownups. A people-pleaser for brunch and pot-luck meals. Easy to customize with your favorite fruit and you can also decide just how much glaze you want to add to it.
- 1 3.5 oz package vanilla cook-and-serve pudding
- 11 20 oz can pineapple tidbits (in its own juice)
- orange juice
Drain pineapple - save the juice (I pour it into a 2-cup measure). Add enough orange juice to make 1-1/2 cups. Whisk the pudding mix into the orange juice in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until it thickens (about 10 minutes).
Cool completely before adding to fruit. This can be made ahead of time until you want to make your fruit salad -- this recipe makes enough glaze to cover 5-6 cups of fruit of your choice. My favorites: halved grapes, quartered strawberries, sliced bananas (glaze keeps them from turning brown!), mandarin orange segments, fresh blueberries and pineapple tidbits.
The glaze will keep in the fridge for a week -- leftover glazed fruit salad will last in the fridge two to three days.