The holidays are the perfect time to reconnect with family and friends, but with overbooked schedules and far-flung families it can be hard to find a time when everyone can get together. That’s why a holiday brunch is such a great idea – nearly everyone can spare a couple of hours on a weekend morning before heading out for other activities.
Hosting a brunch doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, brunch foods are often easier to prepare that traditional lunch or dinner menus, and every bit as delicious. Some foods can be made in advance, and some require only a small amount of prep before serving. Read on, and we’ll help you find that perfect balance between cooking and spending time with your guests.
Here are a few of our easy brunch favorites:
There’s a reason why waffles are a perennial brunch favorite. When they’re cooked to perfection - beautifully browned on the outside and light and airy on the inside - they simply melt in your mouth. You can add cinnamon or ginger to the batter for an extra holiday touch, and top with pure maple syrup, sliced fruit or even an unexpected cream cheese glaze. Pair with a side of crisp hand-cured bacon.
This hearty Italian-style omelette is created with layers of eggs, cheese, vegetables and sometimes meat, and is easy to prepare in a frittata pan, omelette pan, or enamel cast iron skillet. Ingredients are mixed into the eggs, then poured into a pan and cooked on the stovetop. The result is a round, layered dish that is easy to slice and serve to a crowd. Try making a savory frittata with spinach, ham and gruyere, or an all-veggie version with roasted asparagus and mushrooms. You can also use a muffin pan to make individual frittata servings, or, using the same ingredients, whip up a traditional omelette instead.
Combining a number of favorite brunch ingredients into a single dish, breakfast casseroles are true can’t-miss crowd pleasers. Some people like savory versions with eggs, ham, and vegetables, while others prefer sweet – think French toast casserole with maple syrup or cinnamon. Assemble your casserole in advance in a rectangular baking, lasagna, or roasting pan, then put it in the oven before guests arrive.
They’re easy to make the day before, and make an irresistible presentation for brunch. Blueberry and banana nut are always favorites, but you can give muffins a holiday twist, too. Ingredients such as spiced apples, cranberries, raspberries and even eggnog make traditional muffins festive and fun.