Tuesday, February 12, 2013

{brunch for ten}

I love posting about the different parties we host on this blog, but I don't always get to go in depth about what it really takes to host each one. This past weekend we hosted a little brunch for 10 people at our place and I thought it would be fun to give a little insight into everything you need to host your own brunch for 10 people.  A lot of the difficulty in entertaining is the guesswork involved in how much of each dish you should make or how many bottles of what you need.  We have hosted brunch at our place quite a few times over the years and I think we have finally nailed a good menu that tastes great, but also allows us time to enjoy ourselves with our guests. So here it is!

The key to a successful brunch menu is choosing dishes that won't take over your entire Saturday prepping food and losing out on a fun weekend.  I would estimate that we spent about an hour and half prepping all the food together.

For the french toast- we followed this recipe which we made one and half times the recipe.  This was way more than we needed for 10 people so I would say you are actually safe to follow the recipe as is without doubling it unless you think you will have some particularly hungry eaters!  (Also let me just warn you that this french toast is like crack and it tastes so good it almost feels wrong, but definitely not wrong enough to not finish your entire plate and maybe seconds.)

For the potatoes we purchased 4 pounds of red potatoes for 10 people.  The potatoes were cut into bite size pieces, boiled until tender and then stored them in the fridge overnight the night before our brunch.  The morning before guests arrived we tossed the potatoes in some oil, salt and pepper then roasted them at 450 degrees for about 45 minutes. Bonus points if you wanna add some truffle oil to them!

The strawberries were simply a pound and half of strawberries which I sliced the night before and stored in their serving bowl til the next morning.

The biggest part of the meal was the baked eggs which required our guest's involvement in creating their own dish.  This is a great brunch addition because it takes a lot of work off the hosts and your guests can prepare their eggs exactly to their liking. Here's what you will need to set that up:

  • 2 to 3 eggs per person
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 bunch chopped green onions
  • 12 slices of bacon, cooked & chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped & sauteed  
  • sriracha
optional toppings if you wanna get real fancy:
  • truffle oil
  • avocado
  • arugula
  • soyrizo
  • ham
  • pancetta

Each of the above items should be portioned, cooked and placed into serving bowls the night before then stored in the fridge. Before guests arrive, lightly spray each ramekin with cooking spray and place all the toppings selections out  (extra points if you make cute labels for each of them!).  Each guest will fill their ramekin with their desired toppings then crack 2 to 3 eggs on top.  To discern which ramekin belongs to who, have guests write their name using a sharpie directly onto aluminum foil and cover their prepared ramekin.  Bake ramekins for 25 minutes or until the eggs are set at 375 degrees.  See more information about baked eggs in this previous post. 

Once the eggs are about 10 minutes from being done, pop the french toast and potatoes back into the oven to warm them up.  With this many guests, we usually set all the dishes out and allow people to serve themselves with the exception of their individual ramekins.  

{a little snapshot from last weekend's brunch}

 {1.carafes for orange juice & water, 2. simple champagne flutes, 3. highball glasses- to serve bloody marys in 4. metal straws for the bloody marys, 5. ten individual baking ramekins, 6. pyrex dish}

Obviously to pull this meal off you will need plates, forks, knives, water glasses, pots, pans and etc. for 10 people, but you will also need some more specialized items that you might not already have available.  These are all items that will prove useful for many menus and occasions to come besides just this simple brunch.

Entertaining guests in our house wouldn't be complete with a few cocktails!  While I love mixing it up and trying interesting cocktail combinations, when it comes to brunch I like to keep to the classics.  A simple mimosa which I like to use Korbel's Brut for and a DIY bloody mary bar using our "doctored up" bloody mary mix are the only two drink options you need!  For 10 people, you will need 2 bottles of champagne and one carafe of fresh orange juice for the mimosas.

For the bloody mary bar you will need:

  • one fifth of vodka 
  • two bottles of bloody mary mix- preferably Trader Joe's version
  • 10 celery stalks
  • a bucket of ice
  • 6 limes, cut in half and then quartered
  • bottle of sriracha
  • bottle of tabasco
  • container of horseradish
  • bottle of worchestershire sauce
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • small bowl of olives
As for coffee, we simply used our Kuerig machine for guests to use as they pleased, but one pot of coffee should get you through the event. 

{1. gold flatware makes everything better, 2. paper straws would make a festive alternative to the metal ones, 3. a vintage trophy champagne bucket to keep the bubbly cold, 4. crystal decanter for the vodka,  5. labels from Sugar Paper LA for the baked eggs toppings & bloody mary bar, 6. colorful cocktail napkins from Crate & Barrel}

These are just some fun items that will punch up the decor of your get together- you certainly don't need any them to host a great brunch, but they do make everything look a bit more fancy!

{our set of gold flatware from our wedding registry that I try to use as much as possible}

I hope you have enjoyed hearing a little bit more about the process behind entertaining for a large group in way that the hosts can still enjoy themselves as well.  Brunch is one of my favorite meals and I look forward to the next time we get to cook host this meal for our friends!


  1. I loved reading this; you inspired me to get gold flatware, so I bought a vintage set back in December and I love them. I bought a vintage trophy champagne bucket for my wedding for $1.25 at Salvation Army, and it's been sitting aimlessly in our garage since December. I DEFINITELY need to put that thing to use. Thanks for this blog post!

    The Leonardos

  2. I would often wonder how much effort it took to produce such fun events...until I started planning them myself. Once while in the throes of the worst flu ever. It takes a lot of time, planning, sweat and a kitchen helper. You seem like you've got it down pat! What a fun brunch!

    La Petite Gigi

  3. I love, love, love how detailed this post is! It really covers all the essential parts of brunch. Also, the gold flatware is to die for - as an engaged lady, where did you register for those?

  4. I just hosted a Groundhog Day brunch and used these recipes - it was a huge success! Everyone loved the DIY egg bar! Thanks so much for sharing! I can't wait to do it again :)