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How to Host a Large Brunch on a Budget

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Don’t get us wrong, we love to brunch out. Hell, we’ve made a business of it. But we also appreciate the intimacy of hosting our loved ones in the comfort of our homes. As working women with packed professional, personal, and social calendars, planning a party can not only be costly, but also time consuming—and time is money, people.

You may have seen us sharing our tips on Good Morning Washington earlier this month for our go-to recipes for hosting brunch at home. If not—check out the clip to see our full tips. Our go-to recipes include an Overnight Blueberry French Toast Casserole and Hash Brown Eggs Cups. These recipes are not only delicious crowd-pleasers, but also very host friendly, as they require minimal baking time and prep.

Gather your girlfriends for a fun, affordable party, with these quick and delicious recipes to host your next spring brunch on a budget.

Hash Brown Egg Cups

Ingredients:
  • 15 oz. frozen shredded hash browns, thawed OR 6 baked russet potatoes, peeled and grated
  • 1½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12 medium eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 slices cooked bacon, crumbled to bits
  • 4 basil leaves, sliced thin

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Mix together hash browns, cheese, olive oil and salt & pepper.
  3. Spray the muffin tin with non stick spray.
  4. Add ¼ cup of the hash brown mixture into each cup. Press the mixture down into each cup with your fingers, to form the next for the egg.
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes until the edges of the hash browns have browned and the cheese has melted.
  6. Reduce the heat on your oven to 350.
  7. Crack each egg into each cup and top with the crumbled bacon and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Bake the cups again. This time until the egg whites are set, about 13 to 15 minutes.
  9. Remove the pan from the oven and let them cool. Top with the sliced basil leaves. Gently remove each one from the pan. Serve warm.

Overnight Blueberry French Toast Casserole

Ingredients: 

  • 1 (12-14 ounce) loaf french bread, sourdough bread, or challah
  • 1 cup (180g) fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 and 1/4 cups (540ml) whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) vanilla extract

Streusel Topping

  • 1/3 cup (69g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (42g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 Tablespoons (86g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • Optional: extra blueberries, fresh fruit, maple syrup, and/or confectioners’ sugar for topping

Directions:

  1. Grease a 9×13 inch pan with butter or spray with nonstick spray. Slice then cut the bread into cubes, about 1 inch in size. Spread cubes into the prepared baking pan and top evenly with blueberries. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the eggs, milk, cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Pour over the bread. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and stick in the refrigerator for 3 hours – overnight. Overnight is best.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Remove pan from the refrigerator.
  4. Prepare the topping: Whisk the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Cut in the cubed butter with a pastry blender or two forks. Sprinkle the topping over the soaked bread.
  5. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until golden brown on top. I usually bake it for 45 minutes because I like it softer. Serve immediately. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Make ahead tip: Prepare the topping in advance, cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator. Sprinkle over the soaked bread before baking. For freezing, prepare the recipe through step 4 (without preheating the oven) and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then bake as directed. Baked casserole can be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm up in a 350°F (177°C) for 35 minutes or until warm in the center.

 

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