Sure, everyone loves a good dinner party, but what I really love is having a group of people over for brunch. It’s casual, and people just seem to be more relaxed when you catch them in the morning-before life has a chance to get stressful. So, I decided a few weeks ago to host regular brunches at my house and see how they went. The first one was wonderful!

Here was the menu:

Breakfast Bread Pudding (sort of a baked French Toast)

Noodle Kugel

Steel Cut Oatmeal with Topping Bar

Bacon (Turkey and Pork) and Turkey Sausage

Smoked Gouda and Spinach Crustless Quiche

Fresh Fruit

Mimosas

I know, it sounds complicated. But let me let you in on a little secret- I made most of the items the night before!

The noodle kugel and crustless quiche warmed up beautifully the next morning, and the overnight crockpot oatmeal was a snap to set up. If you love oatmeal in the cooler months, try this super easy method for the steel cut (also called rolled) variety.

Overnight Steel Cut Oatmeal

Read your package of steel cut oats for proportions, but it’s usually 2:1 water to oats.

Combine water and oats in a glass bowl that will fit inside your crockpot. Fill the crockpot with water so it reaches about halfway up the bowl containing the oats. Basically you’re cooking the oatmeal in a water bath. Turn your crockpot on low and leave overnight. Wake up, top with your favorite foodstuffs, and enjoy!

steel cut oatmeal

With most of the food prepared the night before, all I had to do the morning of was make the bread pudding, bacon, and slice fruit. All of the food turned out fantastic (except for an uncooperative honeydew melon which refused to ripen, and when I actually burnt some of the bacon in the oven-hey, it happens to the best of us!).

Now if you’ve read through the recipes and are thinking they sound delicious but unhealthy-don’t fret! I heavily modified most of them using things like egg beaters and fat free half and half. If you’d like to see any of my substitutions, shoot me an email or comment and I’d be happy to share them with you.

Overall, brunch was a success. We had a great time, and I’ll be hosting another one soon (I promise to take pictures this time).

If you’re thinking about hosting a brunch for your friends, let me share some tips.

1. Keep it casual, no need for culinary gymnastics-make food you are comfortable with (unless you enjoy experimentation!)

2. Consider how many people you can comfortably entertain in your home, it could be 4-20, just make sure you think it through!

3. Invite people from different “groups” of friends (maybe single girls and single guys :P), we all could use more friends!

4. Provide different types of food, sticking with the basics like egg, carbs, and meat. I guarantee you will have a friend who hates eggs!

5. Have fun! Don’t get so wrapped up in entertaining that you forget to eat :)

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