The best thing about brunch is that everything can be done ahead, so that when the guests arrive, you can kick back with a mimosa and enjoy the party. We celebrated the unofficial start of summer by hosting Memorial Day brunch at our house. Here are some tips for how to roll out of bed in your PJs and host a party:
Tip #1: THE DRINK STATION: although coffee and tea were readily available, (oddly) the Bloody Marys and Mimosas proved to be the crowd favorites. There really is no need to make the Mary mix from scratch when you have delicious, local, all natural Lyle Style Bloody Mary Mix at your disposal–it’s tough to beat!
Tip #2: SCONES: Flash freeze the scones, then pop them in the oven the morning of. They taste fresh and the kitchen smells divine! I made these lemon blueberry scones from scratch, then froze them on a cookie sheet. They require a high heat for baking (450 degrees), but I turned it down slightly and extended the cooking time so they would not burn. (*the cookies are the Belgian Butter Cookies from Trader Joe’s–they do not disappoint.)
Tip #3: FRUIT. Cut up and pre-wash fruit for the salad but don’t mix with the “dressing” until about 30 minutes before, otherwise it turns to mush. Honeydew melon, mango, and fresh blueberries mixed with fresh lime juice, zest, and minced crystallized ginger.
Tip #4: STINKY CHEESE. I bought the stinkiest brie I could find and paired it with a rustic baguette and mixed grapes. Those who couldn’t handle the stinky brie moved on to the soft goat cheese and peach habanero pepper jelly, made locally at the Apple Valley Country Store.
Tip #5: BROIL THE MEAT. For easy clean up, line a broiler pan with foil and then broil bacon (*we are fans of the thick cut KC bacon from Rosauers Grocery).
Tip #6: MINI QUICHE. Always a crowd pleaser. I’m a big fan of the mix ‘n match aspect of mini quiche–everyone can find something they like. I made an assortment of sizes and flavors. I cheated and used frozen puff pastry and frozen pie shells (Trader Joe’s!). I buttered and floured both standard and mini muffin pans then filled them with the following ratio of milk to egg:
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- salt and pepper
I used biscuit cutters to cut out the dough, formed them into the tins, then sprinkled in variations of goat cheese or sharp white cheddar, pancetta, fresh herbs, mushrooms, then filled almost to the top with the egg mixture. I baked them at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes (the standard muffin tins required a few minutes longer). I also experimented with flash freezing and it worked wonderfully! The morning of, I baked them on a cookie sheet at 375 for around 20 minutes. I’m happy to report that they didn’t dry out and weren’t watery. As some of my friends have gluten allergies, I made one tin of crust free mini quiche: spray the pan with vegetable spray, fill almost to the top with the egg mixture, then add cheeses and toppings. Bake for slightly less time–until they are puffy and slightly browned on top.
Finally, I set the table using a vintage looking water bottle and an old milk jug full of freshly cut lavendar and chive blooms from the garden (inspired by a recent dinner at Sophie’s Restaurant in HR).
As many of our guests arrived in their PJ’s, I will refrain from posting those pictures(*you guys can thank me later). With hardly any remaining food and a recycle bin full of bloody mary and prosecco bottles, suffice it to say that a good time was had by all.