When C and I bought our first house five years ago one of the things we were most looking forward to was hosting holidays. We love to entertain and the idea of filling our home with delicious food and the people we loved seemed exactly what home ownership should be. Over the years we’ve added a few holidays, but the first big event we’d hosted in our new home was Mother’s Day Brunch.
I am a sucker for brunch. Sweet, savory, gooey, crunchy, fruit, chocolate – I mean honestly what is not to love? This first brunch was exciting for me as I was not yet a mother, so wanted to focus all the love and attention on the moms invited. Over the years we’ve had many important and recurring guests as well as some unexpected, but everyone has been welcome. The steadies in recent years have been some of the most important moms in our lives: my mom, Chris’ step-mom Cindy, my gram, my sister-in-law Sheila and her mom, Rose. Nothing fills my heart more than preparing a meal for people I love and sitting around the table together talking – and this group can talk, about all kinds of things.
As we’re getting ready to host our 5th annual Mother’s Day Brunch I thought I’d share some of my tips/tricks for hosting as well as some of my favorite recipes and homemade gifts from years past. If you’re not sure what next Sunday’s plans are yet, you’ve got plenty of time to make it happen. Start your own MDB tradition and spend it eating, sharing stories and soaking up each other’s company.
How to Brunch like a Mother:
- Plan your menu at least a week out. This will give you plenty of time to think through prep times, what dishes you’ll need and depending on ingredients, spread the cost out over two weekends.
- Keep your guests in mind. Its easy to make all of your favorites, but take the time to think about what your guest enjoy and pull together a variety of their (and your) favorites both sweet and savory.
- Select a variety of make ahead and day of dishes. Do in advance what you can in advance so you’re not a sweaty, unshowered mess when your guest arrive. Its brunch, which means you don’t have all day to prepare.
- Set-up inclusive seating. If you can, try to put all of your guests at one table so when its time to eat the conversation doesn’t become segmented. If you can’t all fit together try adding a second table in close proximity and/or in the same room.
- Accept help if guests offer. By nature I am not a delegator, but I have learned if help comes my way asking someone to stir this or flip that ultimately makes them feel helpful and keeps me from getting overly frazzled.
- Have a few brunch snacks out to stave off hunger before the main event. True brunchers won’t have eaten prior to arrival and if you’re not ready at starting time it helps to have mini scones or donut skewers to keep hanger at bay.
Sweet and Savory:
This is so important. If you don’t have a good mix people won’t be up for dessert…and there must always be dessert. I try to change my menu up every year, but there are some definite favorites that have had recurring roles. Here’s a look at our typical menu with links to some of my favorite go-to recipes
Lemon Blueberry Scones – these are outstanding, easy and can be made the night before
Fruit Salad – nothing fancy here, berries and melons are starting to come into season, take advantage
Quiche – much easier than people make them out to be. I use this recipe for the egg base and tend to put my own mixture of ingredients in. Always use Greyre (its magic) and pro-tip, safe the time/hassle and use a frozen crust.
Biscuits and Gravy Casserole – I was skeptical, but this is really good
Ham and Cheese Sliders – I would honestly eat these everyday. We use Hawaiian rolls and usually make at least 1 and a half recipes
Cinnamon Roll Casserole – super easy and goes further than just a package of them
Maple Sweet Potato Hash – a yummy twist on breakfast potatoes
Fried breakfast polenta – trust me, cinnamon sugar cubes of delicious, make the polenta the night before for maximum ease
Strawberry lemonade punch – sweet and tangy, a pitcher of this with OJ and coffee and you’re set
Obviously, don’t try to make it all or you’ll be exhausted and your guests will be in a food coma until next week. I always try to have about 6 different recipes, all things I know people will like and then something super new and different too.
What about gifts? If you’re into gift giving but don’t want to break the bank for all of your guests homemade gifts are the way to go. I find its more personal and I love crafting so its just another way to fill my bucket. Here are a few easy, peasy and affordable ideas for all the moms in your life.
What are some of your favorite brunch recipes or homemade gift ideas?