Brunch is hands down, my favorite meal! I had to google a little history of brunch for us…
The next time you’re enjoying a delightful brunch, be sure to clink your glass to the meal’s inventor, Guy Beringer, and his inspiration: the hangover. The English writer first proposed the idea for the mixed meal in his 1895 essay “Brunch: A Plea.” In it, Beringer defended those nursing their Sunday morning hangovers.
Brunch became popular in the United States during the 1930s and it’s definitely stuck. While different brunch vary in types of dishes and drinks served, some more fancier or more extensive, I generally follow a list of basics when I host a brunch.
I always make at least one type of Mimosa or Bellini, and I always at least serve an egg dish, a grain/bread dish, and fruit.
Champagne and orange juice is a classic brunch cocktail, and while there are other breakfast cocktails out there, I always find a Mimosa (or a Bellini, which is like a Mimosa but with a purée as opposed to a juice) as a simple drink that you can do many variations of. You can make it classic with either OJ or peach purée, or you can simply change it up to match the seasons. Generally I swap the Champagne though for a Prosecco, it’s a cheaper sparkling wine which you are using for mixing anyways. For a Spring variation, try with a splash of elderflower liquor (like a St. Germain) and a berry – gives a floral taste. For Summer you could mix with a orange-pineapple juice or pineapple juice/purée, and you could rim the glass with coconut shavings. For a Fall variation, try with apple cider and a brown sugar rimmed glass. For Winter, try with white or regular cranberry juice with a sprig of rosemary!
For an egg dish, eggs can be small and simple, but they can also actually go a long way. I like to make a quiche, and they are pretty simple to make. I usually buy refrigerated prepared pie crust (Pillsbury makes them), combine eggs, heavy cream, shredded cheese, optional onion, spices and a meat and a vegetable. My favorite combination so far is ham and asparagus. You can do sausage or bacon of course, though if you are looking for a time saver, aim for a precooked ham or sausage. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40mins for a 8 or 9 inch pie pan.
When I make a quiche, I’ll serve some side, oven warmed, mini bagels or bagel holes (grain time!). Quiche is pretty filling so you do not need to go crazy on the grain, and you can pop the bagels in the oven with the quiche in the last 10 mins. You can serve with butter/cream cheese and fun jams. You can also instead serve toast or you can go all out with French toast. Sticky buns are a fun treat too. If you are more daring, or really love making brunch, you can never go wrong with pancakes (or waffles if you’re a waffle person). When I make pancakes, I go for a mix, and instead of water I always add milk (unless I make a lemon poppy mix!). Since I go simple on the basic pancake, I like to try variations, like the lemon poppy mix. You can try adding berries to your mix, you can add chocolate chips, you can mix in a dollop of peanut butter into your mix, chocolate powder, strawberry power, vanilla extract, etc. There are many different variations you can use and jazz up your pancake game.
Lastly, I like to put out a plate of fruit. You can put out grapes, or slices of orange, pineapple, watermelon, etc. Or you can cut up a few different fruits and make a fruit medley or a fruit salad.
Other ideas you can incorporate into your brunch game can include a meat and cheese board, a salad (blueberry walnut?!), a bacon bowl, breakfast burritos… There are so many other kids of dishes you can make in general too. Biscuits and Gravy & Chicken and Waffles are popular dishes. Brunch is limitless.