Scoff all you’d like at the so-called “basicness” of brunch. The sort of person who turns down the opportunity to drink alcohol while eating waffles is the sort of person I want to avoid. After a long night out, weekend mornings can be a painful experience. Whether you drank too much the night before or are just bone tired from the simple act of living, the prospect of eating glorified cake for breakfast can be the very best reason to get up in the morning.
As the self-appointed Queen of Brunch, I am going to tell you everything you need to know about throwing your own inexpensive brunch in the safety of your home with food that is well worth an Instagram pic (and don’t mock, science says that brunch pic takers live happier lives), an elite guest list of easy going pals, and the option to stay in your pajamas. Not a bad deal.
So, there are four components to a successful brunch: sweet, savory, atmosphere, and alcohol.
Like I said, brunch basically legitimizes cake for breakfast. It’s gotten to the point where we aren’t even disguising it anymore. People are passing off Boston Cream Pie pancakes and Donut French Toast Casserole as legitimate meal options. You know what? Eat those things. As long as you don’t go that hard all the time, why not indulge for the ultimate brunch? Initially, your guests will hate you for presenting them with diabetes on a plate, but ultimately you’re just helping them make the most of their cheat day.
If those options seem a little too outrageous, you really can’t go wrong with a good scone or cinnamon roll. You can bake a big batch first thing so you aren’t chained to your skillet, making two pancakes at a time. Pro tip about your scones: seeking out clotted cream and lemon curd is absolutely worth it. It lets people feel fancy in a very easy way.
I know that the awesomeness of bacon has been beaten to death by the internet’s obsession, but there is a reason why it has gained such a devoted following. You can put it in cheese and potato pancakes (good use for those boring leftovers) or bring your breakfast sandwiches to the next level. Sausage and other breakfast meats (looking at you, Canadian bacon) are all well and good, but bacon bacon is the champion of brunch.
Still, it’s time we admit what we all know deep down: eggs are the glue that holds the entire meal together. Make some chilaquiles or slap them on a pizza, and you’re good to go. Also, breakfast nachos are a thing. Breakfast. Nachos.
If you’re feeling a little extra healthy, fear not! There are some alternatives for you. You can go for a vegetable hash or try out this spinach and cheese strata. Ok, that last one is mostly cheese and french bread, but spinach makes it healthy, right?
A Great Gatsby themed brunch would be the most exhausting thing in the entire world. Friendships would end, minds would be broken. Generally, themed-parties are dreadful, but picking out the right music and maybe even breaking out the nice dishes can really add a layer of comfort to the whole ordeal. A major benefit to doing brunch at home instead of trekking to that trendy new farm to table place downtown is that you can tailor the entire experience to be exactly how you want it.
As far as activities go, this really depends on your guest situation. If it’s just you and your besties, the chilling, drinking, and eating is probably enough. However, if you are dealing with an “oh my god, my extended family is coming to my home” situation, dusting off the Pictionary might not go amiss if you can’t handle awkward silences or questions about your romantic life.
Choosing the right guest list goes a long way. If someone is picky about their diet or doesn’t like day drinking (do those people even exist?), they can come to your next dinner party, perhaps, but not brunch. Brunch is sacred, and you don’t need people like that bringing you down. Sorry, peeps.
It is a well-known fact that day drinking is the best drinking. Whether you’ve cracked open a beer to drink on the porch in the middle of the day or you are praying to the majesty of the Bloody Mary, day drinking just cannot be beat. Whether you want to create a mix and match Bloody Mary bar or whip up a jug of festive cocktails, conversation will flow as long as the drinks do.
However, deference must be made to the ultimate day drink: the mimosa. Whoever discovered that champagne and orange juice were such perfect companions deserves a medal of honor. Plus, the nice thing about mimosas is that you don’t have to splash out on expensive champagne. Get some good juice, throw in some berries, and a multitude of cheap sins are covered. People may try to convince you that there are better brunch cocktails than the mimosa. These people are deeply disturbed.
Sometimes you just need some time to relax and eat fancy pastries — that’s what a brunch provides. Forget the troubles of your life for a few hours, and ignore the fact that you’re going to have to clean up all of these dishes later in the day. For now, grab a drink and enjoy some good company. You deserve it…and if you don’t, the fifth mimosa should help you forget that fact.