Breathe-Easy Brunch Countdown
The busy days of spring have arrived! Most likely your calendar is packed as the busyness of the get-active-again season is here. And, if you haven’t looked lately, there are a number of spring celebrations to go along with it. Easter. Mother’s Day. Graduations. The list goes on and on.
How are you ever going to get a big-time meal ready for a crowd? Easy. Brunch! And, if super easy is a must, then it’s a make-ahead brunch.
You’ll be thankful for this make-ahead brunch countdown and easy recipe ideas because the work on the day of your celebration is simply heat and eat!
1 WEEK OUT
Plan the Perfect Six.
A successful brunch menu will include foods from these categories. It’s that easy!
- Something fresh…fruit and yogurt dip!
- Something eggy (crack into our recipes below).
- Something in the bread family. Muffins, scones, mmm.
- Something sweet. Who doesn’t like a treat?
- Something crave-worthy. Bacon, anyone?
- Something to wash it down. OJ, Bloody Marys, a mean cup of java?
Decide on Two Mains.
Preferably, ones that can be made the night before brunch. Here are two delicious quick-prep recipes that should get you going, or use one of your favorite make-aheads.
BROWN SUGAR BAGEL OVERNIGHT FRENCH TOAST
Who doesn’t love cinnamon bagels? And, who doesn’t love cinnamon French toast? Please everyone in your world with this delightful fusion of two favorites in one simple make-ahead dish. We’re talking 5-minute simple the night before. All you need to do is bake and serve the next morn.
GET THE RECIPE
SPICY BACON-ASPARAGUS STRATA
Bacon, eggs, cheese, asparagus and a dash of Sriracha. People will think you fussed just for them, but you really didn’t. Just don’t tell them! When served in our colorful new CW by CorningWare baker, people will think you’re a rising food star!
GET THE RECIPE
Print Out All Recipes.
Nothing worse than scrambling for a recipe in the heat of the moment. Put an end to the rush by taking a few minutes to print out every recipe (or make a copy of ones in cookbooks). Insert them into a handy binder to keep your brunch organized.
Bake Sweets That Freeze.
So many muffins and desserts hold up in the freezer if stored in airtight containers. Check out these bake-ahead tips for bake and freeze time-savers.
If your own garden isn’t blooming yet, order fresh flowers at least a week ahead. We like potted spring blooms that last beyond the celebration. If you want fresh-cut flowers, have them delivered to your door the day before brunch, saving you an extra trip.
4 DAYS OUT
Trip to the Grocery.
Schedule a special trip to the grocery store outside of your regular weekly shopping, unless you are an organization superhero. This will help you stay focused on one task…your celebration. And, even though it is an additional trip to the store, odds are you won’t forget a single item and have to make that dreaded last-minute stop.
2 DAYS OUT
Make Room In the Fridge.
You don’t want to have to clear refrigerator shelf space as your make-aheads are sitting on the counter ready to go in for the night. Get ready a day ahead. Now’s the time to toss out last week’s pizza and that…thing…on the bottom shelf. Here’s a quick refrigerator cleaning guide to help.
With all that shelf space, designate one specifically for your brunch. Place all the condiments you’ll need on that shelf so they’re ready for serving. Beats scratching your head looking for that hiding jam.
Dice, Chop and Roll.
Designate a few minutes to cut all fresh veggies needed in your recipes or for your platters. Place in an airtight storage container and refrigerate. Here are some tips for quick fix fruit, veggie or cheese platters .
1 DAY OUT
Table Setting Optional.
With brunch, you can simply stack your dishware and place flatware in a mug or basket on the counter, island or buffet. Iron any tablecloths and cloth napkins (optional, of course). Check that off the list.
Whip Up Sides.
Now’s the time to get your fruit, side dishes and make-ahead platters ready. Mix up that yogurt dip.
Decorate Frozen Treats.
Don’t forget about those premade sweets in your freezer. Frost, decorate, get creative.
If you opted out of the extra cost of delivery, don’t forget to pick up the blooms. (This is experience speaking!)
12 HOURS OUT
Prepare Make-Ahead Mains.
Most make-ahead recipes sit overnight. Both of our easy make-ahead brunch recipes—Brown Sugar Bagel Overnight French Toast and Spicy Bacon-Asparagus Strata —are super easy to prepare. Combined, these two main-dish recipes take less than 30 minutes prep!
Scoop out the coffee, measure the water and place cups and mugs nearby. Don’t plug in or turn on until the next morning.
Concentrated juices can be mixed the night before and kept cool in the fridge.
1 to 2 HOURS BEFORE SERVING
Coffee lovers appreciate it!
Take Chill Off of Make-Ahead Mains.
Let these dishes stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
Bake Mains Dishes.
Set the timer and let them go. If you have one oven, you may have to stagger the baking time and warm one at the end.
Set Out Sidekicks.
Syrup, cheese platter, honey, fresh fruits and veggies. Set them up for serving and early grazing now.
Juice, Coffee, Drinks.
Have them ready to go…most brunches are serve yourself, right?
Brunch Is Served!
A delish ending!
How Do You Brunch?
Share your tips, recipes and ideas for a stress-free brunch.