(BPT) - Love the idea of hosting a brunch, but begin to regret it the moment you’re toiling over a pan of bacon grease while your friends are chatting over mimosas? You’re not alone. Whether you’re planning a simple brunch for a small group or an Easter brunch to wow a crowd, these simple tips and ideas are guaranteed to get you out of the kitchen and into the action.
Prepare a game plan. Developing a checklist will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed with to-do’s. Once you know how many people will be attending the brunch, start planning the menu, gather recipes and make a grocery list. Take inventory of your cooking supplies, serving dishes and tableware. While cleaning the house, identify what decorations are needed.
Picture the scene the night before. Figure out how to serve the food, decide where to put the drinks, gather extra seating and put all the plates, cups, cutlery and napkins on the table. Also, don’t forget the mugs or cocktail glasses if you plan to serve coffee or mimosas. While it might seem obvious, these little details can easily be overlooked. Last-minute jobs are bound to happen, so conquering the planned details ahead of time will help keep you sane.
Create a menu full of make-ahead recipes. From drinks to dessert, make sure your menu allows you to spend more times with friends and family and less time in the kitchen. Sure, everyone loves a good omelet, but you're not a short order cook. Instead, opt for low-maintenance recipes that can be prepared the night before and popped in the oven the next morning. You can never go wrong with classic egg-based dishes such as quiche, strata and casserole. If your culinary skills aren’t up for the task of cooking for a crowd, don’t be afraid to choose store-bought or catered dishes. This will help alleviate any unnecessary stress and allow you to enjoy the event.
Ditch the pile of dirty dishes in favor of disposable tableware. Instead of standing over the sink cleaning, spend the extra time relaxing with family and friends. Try a line of products that offer the total solution for your tableware needs, including a variety of plate and cup sizes and a serve and store container of cutlery. The Chinet Cut Crystal collection makes entertaining easy with tableware that complement one another and also earn compliments from guests. All the dishes can be tossed once people are done eating, keeping post-brunch cleanup to a minimum. Plus, all Chinet Cut Crystal products are recyclable — leaving you to only feel guilty about that second scone.
Set the table in style. Make sure your brunch is as stylish as it is tasty. For a “hare-raising” reaction from your friends and family, fold Chinet Classic White napkins into the shape of bunnies and display in the center of each plate. A bunny napkin fold can also double as a place setting card. Simply write the name of the guest on one of the bunny ears. It’s a pretty and practical way to add personality to the table.