Photo from An Occasion to Gather, Junior League of Milwaukee
Spring is in the air - Today, March 18, I wanted to write this before the snow hits the ground this weekend! Anyway, time to pack away the black and unpack the pink & green and start the spring cleaning. To movitvate yourself to start the spring cleaning, set a date on the calendar and host a spring brunch. A brunch is a perfect way to kick off the season and bring friends out of hibernation. A brunch is also stress-free entertaining since all of the dishes can be made one day ahead.
Let's get started!
Start with an invitation full of bright colors and decorate the table with same color palette.
For the menu, offer eggs, meat, non-meat option, bread and fruit. Seems like a lot but try this:
- Quiche - meat and veggie variety, (Sendik's & Larry's Brown Deer Market offer wonderful quiche)
- Baked French Toast with Berry Sauce (Recipe below)
- Blueberry Crumble Bread
- Fruit Kabobs or a Fruit and Yogurt Parfait w/granola
- Amaretto Mimosa (Recipe can be found at epicurious.com)
Prepare all of the food one day ahead. If you don’t want to make coffee for a crowd, purchase a traveler at Starbuck’s for $12.00 which includes all of the cream and sugar.
Set the table one day ahead. Use potted plants as centerpieces and as a party favor. If you prefer cut flowers, you can find great values on tulips and daffodils this time of year.
When guests arrive offer coffee and Amaretto Mimosas. As guests chat you will have time to plate all of the food. Serve the food plated. Much less stressful.
Have all food come out of the oven at the same time, about 30 minutes after guests arrive.
Voila! You have just treated your friends to an enjoyable morning, your house is clean and you were able to enjoy the party too.Gotta love Spring!
Baked French Toast with Berry Sauce
From An Occasion to Gather, Junior League of Milwaukee
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (1stick) butter
2 T corn syrup
1 loaf French Bread, sliced
1 3/4 cups half and half
1/2 cup triple sec
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/8 t. salt
2 cups raspberries
2 cups strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
2 to 3 T. lemon juice
For the toast, heat the brown sugar, butter and corn syrup in a saucepan over medium heat until blended, stirring frequently. Pour the brown sugar mixture into a greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Arrange the bread slices in a single layer over the prepared layer. Whisk the half-and-half, liqueur, eggs, vanilla and salt in a bowl unitl blended. Pour the egg mixture over the bread. Chill, covered with greased foil, for 8 to 10 hours. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes, removing the foil after the first 15 minutes of baking.
For the sauce, combine the raspberries, strawberries, sugar, orange juice and lemon juice in a saucepan and mix well. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Process the fruit mixture in a blender until pureed. Return to saucepan and heat through. Serve with warm French toast. Serves 6 to8.