Throwing a brunch for all your favorite women gives you all a break from your busy lives. Many women are making an effort to eat healthy or lose weight, so make several dishes that are low-fat and low-calorie. Make at least half the dishes a day or two ahead of time so your workload is light on the morning of the brunch.
No matter the weather or season, every brunch should include hot coffee and tea. In cold winter months, hot chocolate would also be appreciated. In summer, serve pitchers of lemonade and iced tea. Add slices of cucumber, lime or lemon to pitchers of ice water to place at each table. If you wish to include alcohol in your brunch, serve chilled white wine or champagne. Serve the champagne by itself or mix it with orange juice to make mimosas.
Serving plenty of fruit keeps the brunch menu from being too heavy and filling. Make a fruit salad of apple and orange slices, berries and grapes or make a platter of sliced melon and pineapple so each guest can choose her own items. For a more substantial fruit salad, mix apples, pears and walnuts with a creamy blue cheese dressing. Incorporate fruit into baked goods as well by making banana-nut or blueberry muffins. Make whole wheat pancakes or waffles and top them with powdered sugar and sliced strawberries or a mixture of sliced bananas and chopped walnuts.
Make both egg dishes and lunch-type sandwiches. Scrambled eggs are an easy dish to make quickly, provided that you can cook them just before guests start eating. If you need to prepare all the dishes earlier, bake a quiche or a casserole of eggs, bacon, cheese and chunks of Italian bread. Add extra flavor to any of your egg dishes by beating the eggs with a ranch-flavored dry mix. Set out sliced turkey and ham along with rolls, tomato, lettuce, sliced cheeses and creamy dressing so guests can make their own sandwiches.
One of the best parts about brunch is that it gives you an excuse to eat dessert right after breakfast. A rich dessert is too heavy to eat midday, so slice up angel food cake and spread a mixture of cooked peaches and brown sugar, or berries and lemon zest, on each slice. Top with a dollop of whipped cream. For a refreshing dessert on a hot day, serve scoops of sorbet or light ice cream topped with chopped nuts and fresh berries.
- Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images