Easter is almost upon us, and in our home that means BRUNCH! You may not know this, but I have experience feeding crowds. We have five children, ages 15 to 27, and there are usually “extras” that are along for whatever feast we’re enjoying. In fact, Easter has become one of my favorite holiday brunch occasions. Maybe it’s that spring has usually sprung or that there aren’t gifts to be opened en masse, but our post-church Easter brunches are relaxing and a special time for family and friends. Over the years I have a loosely constructed formula that works, whether I’m feeding four or twenty four. The key is variety.
Start with an appetizer, or two. This can be simple chips and dips or a veggie platter if that suits your needs. I love putting nibbles on kabobs, such as these.
While there is a little prep work involved, there’s also very little clean-up. And I don’t know about you, but I prefer to have less to do afterwards. :).
Toss a salad. I will often do a simple green salad with cranberries and sunflower seeds. But sometimes, it’s fun to add something colorful and different, like this strawberry and cucumber salad…
or this bright and fresh fruit salad with orange poppy seed syrup…
Meat, meat, meat. I’m a fan of meatless meals, but let’s face it — feeding a crowd should include a meat dish. Personally, we like ham for Easter, but platter of sausages or bacon would be great, too. Or you could go for more with a London broil like this one…
An egg dish should grace your table as well… what’s Easter without eggs, after all? You probably have a tried and true recipe in your arsenal like this one…
But your egg dish could be a plate of deviled eggs or a simple bowl of eggs scrambled up just right.
Bread is a must-have. We might do simple dinner rolls or croissants or I might have a tasty traditional banana bread on hand. If you’re feeling adventurous, though, try this over-the-top cream cheese stuffed chocolate chip banana bread/coffee cake. Life may never be the same again!
Dessert, anyone? It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate… a platter of cookies or bars will be enjoyed just as much as a more involved dessert. I try to keep it festive and fun.
Can I offer you a beverage? With a crowd it’s always nice to offer simple choices — coffee, iced water, wine. But I always have fun setting up a beverage station, too. This keeps the service simple but showcases all the choices your guests will have.
Are you overwhelmed? Don’t be! Here’s some tips to keep the stress level low and the enjoyment factor high…
- Serve buffet style. Let your guests load up their own plates… with a nice spread before them they will be delighted.
- Make a few things ahead of time. Put together your appetizer, dessert, and your egg casserole the night before. Anything you can do ahead of time will help streamline the brunch itself.
- Purchase some of your food items already prepared. It’s perfectly acceptable to order your spiral sliced ham and pick up your rolls or pound cake for dessert! Decide what you’re okay with buying prepared and go for it.
- Keep your decorations simple. The best table decorations are your dishes, a pitcher of fresh flowers, and the smiles on your guests’ faces. You can also welcome everyone to your home with a festive doormat, like this coir one from Kohls.
- Enlist help. Put the young ones to work mixing lemonade and your sister-in-law tossing salad. It’s so much more fun with all hands on deck and as they say: many hands make light work. 🙂
Wishing you all joyful brunches with your special crowd!
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