Since this week is the Patriots bye week our Sunday is wide open. This doesn’t happen too often in the fall – the perfect excuse to throw an impromptu brunch party. Having people over for brunch is one of my favorite ways to entertain. It’s pretty inexpensive, there is usually bubbly involved and people can go about their business later in the day. The key is to have some simple to throw together dishes, that only necessitate a quick run to the store. Actually you may just have all of this stuff in your pantry already. For me brunch is about having something salty and something sweet so you don’t have to decide between the two. Oh and bacon. Of course bacon. Add a bubbly drink on top and you will have some very happy friends.
If it’s nice out doing brunch outdoors is really fun and adds to the festivity of it. Just because you are outdoors though doesn’t mean should always turn to paper plates and solo cups. I like to use real linens, footed glasses and sparkly flatware. I found these amazing gold accented plates at Home Goods that go perfectly with my Izon flatware set from Target. When the menu is this easy it’s always nice to make extra effort with the presentation.
Easy Peasy Brunch Menu
This is the easiest pitcher drink you will ever make. Slice an orange and drop it into a pitcher with some ice. Top with a whole bottle of Aperol and a whole bottle of bubbly (go ahead and make it with prosecco or cava to save some money). I like to add about a cup of Lillet Blanc as well, but it’s not necessary. Done! This drink is sparkly, citrusy and a little bitter – perfect for cutting through rich food like the frittata and low alcohol enough that you can still run errands after brunch.
Pasta Carbonara Frittata with radicchio and arugula salad
This frittata is delicious and has all the elements of pasta carbonara. It is pretty rich (pasta, cream, bacon, eggs…) but the recipe also has a delightful side salad made with bitter greens. The radicchio and arugula salad tossed with the lemony vinaigrette are the perfect foil to the frittata and side of bacon. Everything in this menu is about balance and this is the perfect centerpiece. Prep all the salad ingredients and cook off the pasta before hand so you only have about 10 minutes of actual cooking to do.
Baking bacon is so much easier than cooking it in a pan. You don’t have to doge grease splatters and the bacon comes out nice and crispy and flat. There was bacon in the frittata but who ever accused a brunch of too much bacon?? Place the bacon on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and cook at 400 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes. This way you can make trays and trays of bacon at one time if you are doing brunch for a crowd. If you want to bake this off at the same time as the frittata all the better – go ahead and crank the temperature to 425 as indicated for the frittata, and just start checking on the bacon at the 10 minute mark to make sure you don’t burn it.
This post has to be the one I get the most positive feedback on. These mini french toasts stuffed with nutella are perfect for this easy brunch. I made them as a psuedo dessert but you could certainly serve them alongside with the frittata. Good news is they only take a couple of minutes to make so if you do make them at the end you only have to slip away for a few moments. When you come back with these babies your friends will be smitten!