You guys know I LOVE LOVE LOVE brunch. It is my favorite meal, to eat and to cook. I just love the casual vibes that brunch brings to a fun get together with friends. It’s laid back, easy, and many items can easily be made ahead of time. Your guests can sleep in, and then get to enjoy a casual atmosphere with delicious food. If it lingers into the afternoon, even better. Here are my tips for hosting the most PERFECT (but simple) gluten-free brunch.
Keep every aspect of the brunch simple, from the recipes to the table setting. Use what you have, don’t stress about going out and buying fancy dishes or textiles for a table runner. Get creative and use fabrics that you already have and group them together to make an eclectic table runner. Mix and match dishes, silverware and glasses. Your friends will appreciate the more relaxed vibe.
Keep your recipes simple, you don’t want to try anything too new or complicated when you are having to worry about so many recipes at one time. Make it easier on yourself, and make some of the recipes the day before so you aren’t stressing yourself out the morning of. Things like muffins, breads, or even pancakes can be made ahead of time to save your sanity on the morning of the brunch.
My ideal brunch menu –>
Baked Eggs with Kale, Cherry Tomatoes + Zucchini Noodles
Banana Buckwheat Pancakes with Blackberry Compote
GF Sandwich Bread
GF Almond Breakfast Cake
Chocolate Banana Protein Muffins
Blueberry Almond Oatmeal Parfait
Pina Colada Matcha Protein Smoothie
Always confirm with your guests of any food allergies or restrictions they may have. You don’t want them coming to your brunch afraid that they may get sick from some of the foods you are serving. If there are allergies, do your best to accommodate, you don’t want them feeling left out. If there is a specific theme, always let them know ahead of time. Is everyone going to dress up in their favorite summer dresses? Are you going to make it a pajama theme? Is it a potluck? Always inform your guests so they know what to expect, and what to bring with them.
Your house doesn’t have to be sparkling clean in order to have people over, but it is always a nice touch to just tidy up a bit, it makes the space seem a bit more calm, and less chaotic. The one things I ALWAYS do before people come over is clean the bathrooms, you don’t want your guests to walk into a dirty bathroom. And it is always nice to stick a little vase of fresh flowers or candles throughout the house. It brightens up the space and makes the house smell amazing!
I like to actually set the table the night before, it is just one less thing to worry about on the morning of. Doing this also helps you to make sure that you have enough dishes and glass for the specific amount of guests you will be having. There is nothing worse that running out of plates because you thought you had enough. You will not have time to run to the store that morning amongst all of the cooking. Don’t worry too much about having full sets of plates and bowls, mix and match and have some fun with it! It is more relaxed and eclectic that way.
Keep your centerpieces easy and simple, you want to be able to have plenty of room on the table, and not have all of the food and place settings too crammed. I love using hydrangeas (my favorite) in short vases and creating a few arrangements out of them. Stick a little inexpensive babies breath in there and you are good to go! I also kept the table runner simple by using lace that I already had, that is actually the same lace that we used at our wedding! I like to keep the textiles, flowers and table settings a neutral color because it really lets the food shine!
Music can really set the tone for any event! Keep it relaxed, yet fun. Your guests will appreciate having a little background music going while conversation is happening.
I like to have a space for a little DIY coffee bar, that way your guests can make their own coffee drinks to their liking. It is always good to have a variety of beverages ready, not everyone drinks coffee, so make sure that you have tea, water and even some fun green juices or smoothies for them!
Serving the food family style makes it so much easier on you! You aren’t worrying about plating or presentation, just serve everything on big platters and let your guests serve themselves. It creates a much more relaxed environment because they get to choose which items they want to fill their plate with, and can go back for more whenever they want. It is a much more inviting way to eat, and plus, it is fun to pass food all around the table to each other.
By setting the table and making a few recipes the day before, you are already saving yourself tons of time on the morning of the brunch. But even if you have done that, make sure that you are giving yourself plenty of time that morning to get everything ready. You don’t want to be rushing around like a crazy person when your guests arrive. The host sets the tone, so a relaxed host creates a relaxed environment for guests.
Wake up a little earlier, give yourself some time to relax, have some coffee, then get to cooking. You want to enjoy the process, not rush through it.
Remember, you are having all of your favorite people over to your house to enjoy some amazing food. Have fun, enjoy the moment, and if something goes wrong, it is not the end of the world. Your friends will love the food, regardless of if you accidentally burnt something, because they know the love you put into it.
Photography by Joshua Ratliff Photography