There is no question – Brunch is my favorite meal. I am obsessed with breakfast food – waffles, pancakes, french toast, eggs…I want it all. And when it’s acceptable to have it mid-day (+ a mimosa), then I’m all in. Here’s the deal though – hosting a brunch can seem overwhelming and cumbersome, especially if your cooking skills are less than average. I’m going to be honest – if I don’t have a recipe, then I can’t make it. I’m a Pinterest fanatic, mainly because I would have no idea what to make without it. My girlfriend’s are masters at ‘whipping something up’ anytime, anyplace. Me? Nope – I need a plan and I need to stress if I can actually make it edible. So when Whole Foods invited me to a Brunch Bootcamp at Sur La Table last week I knew I had to attend and sharpen my skills. This girl could use a bit of practice. :)
Here’s what I learned…
Have a few appetizers for guests to snack on while the main course is prepared and if you need a little inspo – I have you covered HERE. And since it’s brunch, it’s totally acceptable to offer a cocktail (or if you prefer a mocktail, try this Orange Lemonade Punch). I went for the bubbly during the Brunch Bootcamp and fell head over heels for this Mango Thai Basil Spritzer (pictured below). You can find the recipe at the end of this post. :)
The next phase of Brunch can go two ways – you can hustle in the kitchen all by your lonesome or have your guests join in on the fun and prepare the dish together! You know that saying, ‘Food Brings People Together?’ Let everyone share in the pride of making something delicious. Now for the main course…
Bloody Mary Benedict with Hollandaise. THIS is the brunch that will take the cake…forever. It is so damn good. And you know I have the recipe for you (at the end of this post!).
If you’re looking for a second cocktail at this point, you can mix it up and try an Aperol Spritzer. It definitely has a kick to it – but pairs nicely with this dish. (Recipe at end of post!)
Okay, so now you have the food and drinks covered…how about decor? Whole Foods Market showed us an easy (+ inexpensive) way to make a gorgeous bouquet – perfect for the table or as a gift (Mother’s Day…!).
Here’s the trick – pick a statement flower like a rose or hydrangea, then fill in with carnations and greenery. You don’t have to spend a fortune to create a beautiful bouquet and if you need some guidance the Whole Foods Floral Department can help you out. :) Also – make sure to trim flowers before placing in vase and in some varieties like hydrangeas and tulips, you need to slice the ends a bit to allow water to absorb, otherwise they won’t last long. And lastly, it’s easier to arrange the bouquet in your hand vs. trying to stuff the flowers in the vase one by one. Once you have the look you’re going for, then they go in together.
So now you’re ready to be the hostess with the mostess, right? I definitely recommend trying these recipes out this weekend and on Mother’s Day! And if you tag me in your yummy photos I’ll pick my favorites to share on Facebook!
Mango Thai Basil Spritzer
2 ounces mango puree
1 ounce lime juice
Sparkling wine (such as Prosecco or cava)
Crushed Thai Basil as desired to garnish
In a Champagne flute, combine mango puree and lime juice. Top with Prosecco or cava, garnishing the glass with Thai basil, as desired.
1 ounce Aperol
1 ounce club soda
Sparkling wine (such as Prosecco or cava)
1 slice orange
In a Champagne flute, combine the Aperol and club soda. Top with sparkling wine, garnishing the glass with sliced orange.
Bloody Mary Benedict with Hollandaise
4 Large eggs, poached
12 asparagus spears, poached
2 crumpets or English muffins, halved
4 pickled green beans, for garnish
Smoked paprika, as desired
For the Hollandaise:
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vodka
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 stick salted butter, melted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 dash Tabasco sauce
Salt and pepper, as desired
Fill a pot halfway with water and bring to a simmer.
To prepare the hollandaise, use a metal mixing bowl to combine a tablespoon of the simmering water with the egg yolks, vodka and tomato paste. Begin vigorously whisking these ingredients, holding the mixing bowl over the simmering water for heat, meanwhile slowly drizzling the melted butter into the yolk mixture. Add lemon juice, Tabasco, salt and pepper.
To assemble, lay the poached eggs on top of the crumpets or English muffins and top with asparagus. Pour a small amount of hollandaise over each, topping all with a pickled green bean and a dash of smoked paprika.
*These recipes were created by the culinary masters at Whole Foods Market and all ingredients can be found in store!
Disclosure: Whole Foods Market & Sur La Table graciously provided me with a complimentary cooking class. The opinions expressed here represent my own, which I take great pride in providing pure honesty…because I’m OBSESSED with sharing the Good!