Strip away all the preconceived notions you have about brunch. Take away the bleary hung over feeling, the obligatory Mother's Day outing with 100 other families waiting hungrily in line, and the thoughts of eating eggs a restaurant couldn't use the day before and what you've got left is the potential for something fun and truly different from the typical party. Imagine hosting a brunch in the comfort of your own home, surrounded by friends and family. Suddenly, that bleak picture brightens to a world of possibilities.
It's an economical excuse to party.
In the current economy, brunch is a great idea because it means time together with the people you love without going out and spending a lot of money. Breakfast is by far the least expensive meal to make and when you divide the responsibilities among yourself and your friends, it becomes a creative effort that's economical for all of you and means time spent together.
But staying in and saving money doesn't mean you can't make it an insanely fun time. Here are some great theme ideas to take your brunch from just ham and eggs to an event as fun as the bunch you're serving it to!
- The Gospel Brunch -- In cities across the country, the House of Blues Sunday Gospel brunch has been treating guests to a piece of Southern hospitality for years. Take a cue from the pros and bring this down-home favorite to your kitchen by serving grits, sausage, gravy and plenty of cornbread. Give it some atmosphere by playing classic gospel music in the background or add a little New Orleans twist by spicing things up with homemade jambalaya. For a drink that stands up to all this soul food, serve Bloody Marys with extra hot sauce.
- For the "pinkies out" types -- If you tend to pass up soul food for the finer things in life why not channel your inner Rockefeller and give your brunch a sophisticated, high-society theme that would make Gatsby proud? Ask your guests to wear their most outrageous hat, the kind that goes with mint juleps and horse races. Serve eggs benedict and mimosas in plastic champagne glasses or even your grandmother's old tea set for a fun and funky twist. Play some Sinatra or Tony Bennett, and let those old crooners remind you the best is yet to come.
- Vegas, baby, Vegas -- Speaking of flash and cash, what about a Vegas theme? The Strip was once famous for its bargain-basement steak and eggs breakfasts for slot players who stayed up all night. Grill up a few sirloins and serve eggs sunny side up with a side of white toast and shrimp cocktail. Decorate your place with plenty of pink flamingos, poker chips and napkins that are the colors of a roulette wheel. Keep the coffee black and the orange juice flowing as guests move from breakfast into a mid-day game of Texas hold 'em. Winner gets to clean up!
- Green eggs not necessary -- You can also tailor your brunch theme to suit a season or holiday. With St. Patrick's Day right around the corner, there's no better time to host a brunch with a full Irish breakfast. Hope you've got a hungry group because the traditional Irish breakfast usually consists of Irish sausage, bacon, white and black pudding, four eggs, fresh tomatoes, boiled potatoes and beans. Garnish with some fresh Dubliner cheese, white pepper and Irish butter and you're fortified for a day of downing green beer. What does one drink with this hearty meal? Why, Irish coffee of course! Give yours an authentic spin by adding a float of freshly whipped cream on top. For music, let Irish bands like The Pogues or The Corrs take center stage.
Don't forget dessert.
Part of the reason brunch is so fun is because you get to break the rules a little. You're eating eggs for lunch and steak for breakfast. The best way to top that getting-away-with-something feeling is with a fantastic dessert.
If you own an espresso latte machine, why not whip up a quick tiramisu for your guests? This indulgent little piece of heaven is the perfect thing to top off any of the theme meals mentioned above and it will make your guests feel like a million bucks. There are tons of quick and easy tiramisu recipes you can find online and the fresh espresso will give it a wake-up-and-smell-the-coffee punch.
No matter which theme you choose or who you invite to share the day with you, above all, have fun and don't take it too seriously. It's only brunch!
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