Delicious spring brunch dishes

03/31/2014 12:00 AM

03/28/2014 12:30 PM

With its prime positioning between breakfast and lunch, brunch has quite a following of hungry fans. Whether celebrating a special occasion or just because, whether it’s an upscale or laid-back theme you’re after, brunch brings people together with much anticipation.

Plan a spring gathering everyone can enjoy with a make-ahead menu that includes crowd-pleasing brunch casseroles — and leaves you plenty of time to spend with the family.

“Combine all-star breakfast ingredients like eggs, bacon and cheese into a single dish in this cheesy bacon and egg brunch casserole (see recipe), seasoned with ground mustard and nutmeg,” said chef Kevan Vetter of the McCormick Kitchens. “The best part about this recipe is you can assemble it the night before — just add an additional 1/2 cup of milk — chill it in the refrigerator and bake it off in the morning.”

For hosts who like to dabble in the classic morning components of eggs, hash browns and other breakfast fare, there are plenty of delicious recipes to serve up. The recipes for Denver hash brown omelet and skillet hash brown frittata supply all the comforts of the diner-menu staple but are very easy to make at home.

While savory meals certainly have their place at brunch, a sweet dish is a great complement and the perfect addition for a well-rounded menu. Look for recipes that combine the elements of sweet and salty, like this dish for potato cheese and apple tarts.

Finally, serve a spring-inspired dessert topped with a variety of fresh fruit, such as this awesome apple butter breakfast cake, to complement your brunch casserole.

(Note: Nutritional analyses were unavailable for these recipes.)

Tips for a beautiful brunch

Whether you’re planning a brunch for a group of five or 15, a little pre-planning will help ensure the event is big on fun and low on stress.

• Take a cue from Mother Nature to establish the theme for your party. Simple bouquets of early-season blooms provide a colorful and welcoming backdrop for a casual brunch hosted indoors or out. Use vases in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors to create a sweetly whimsical look.
• A buffet-style brunch makes it simple to serve your meal and it allows guests to mingle and snack as they wish, leaving you free to visit and enjoy a leisurely party, as well.
• Big taste comes in small packages. Serve your guests bite-size appetizers, which allows them to sample different flavors. Keep with your spring theme by incorporating fresh, seasonal ingredients.

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