A Couple’s Wedding Shower: A Make-Ahead, Crowd-Pleasing Brunch

Once upon a time, we hosted couples wedding shower brunch. And sometime this spring, over a year later, I  started writing about that brunch…now, in true procrastinator style, I’m posting it.

Better late than never?

(PS. This was written in April – No, I’m not pregnant again)

I’m going to blame it on pregnancy cravings, but I woke up this morning with brunch on the brain. Brunchy thoughts made me realize I never shared what we ate at the wedding shower…now almost a year ago.

One of they keys to hosting a stress-free brunch is to make as much of the food as possible, the day before. With a morning event, make-ahead recipes earn their value in precious sleep for the host.

Do the hard work ahead of time so you can be well rested and at your best on the big day.

Here are some simple, low maintenance ideas if you are hosting a brunch, of any kind. Make the food ahead of time and allow yourself the freedom to enjoy the day and your company.

Couple's Wedding Shower Brunch | www.thisgratefulmama.com

Is it just me, or does every brunch need a balanced combination of sweet, savory and fresh items?

Now I’m hungry…

Something Sweet:

French Toast Bake:

A Couple's Wedding Shower: A Make-Ahead, Crowd-Pleasing Brunch - French Toast Bake | thisgratefulmama.comThis french toast bake may be my favorite comfort food, ever. Growing up, it was served on most holidays. It needs to be assembled the day before, which ensures you’ll be free to do other preparations while your home fills with the mouth-watering aroma of french toast. Golden brown, and topped with fresh strawberries – beautiful, and delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 13″ Loaf Stale French Bread, cut into 1″ slices
  • 1/4-1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
  • 4 Tbs Sugar
  • 1 & 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 2 & 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup (or more) blueberries
  • Topping:
    • 3/4 cup flour
    • 9 Tbs brown sugar
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 5/8 cups margarine or butter, melted
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
Recipe:
  • Prepare a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray or butter. Spread butter on each side of the sliced bread. Arrange slices in the dish (there should be enough slices that you have to squish them into the pan).
  • In a separate bowl, whisk to combine eggs, sugar, vanilla and milk. Pour mixture over the buttered bread.
  • Spread blueberries over the top (1 cup or more – as many as you like).
  • In a separate bowl, prepare topping by combining flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and 5/8 cups melted margarine or butter. Spread topping on top of blueberries and bread in the pan.
  • Cover pan and refrigerate overnight.
  • In the morning, preheat oven to 375F while allowing the pan to warm on counter.
  • Bake a 375F, uncovered, for 50 minutes.
  • Allow to set for a minimum of 10 minutes before serving.
  • Top with sliced strawberries to serve.
YUM!

Apple Cider Donut Holes

A Couple's Wedding Shower: A Make-Ahead, Crowd-Pleasing Brunch - Apple Cider Mini Donuts | thisgratefulmama.com

Thank you, Feastie.com, for this recipe for Baked Apple Cider Donut Holes, made in a mini-muffin tin. Bite size, tasty, and a big hit!

To make ahead, bake the day before but wait to roll in sugar and cinnamon mixture until the day of the event.

Something Savory:

Cheesy Hashbrowns:

A Couple's Wedding Shower: A Make-Ahead, Crowd-Pleasing Brunch - Cheesy Hashbrowns | thisgratefulmama.com

This Easy Hashbrown Casserole recipe from MyBlessedLife blog may be the only one out there in internet-land that does NOT use a canned cream of something soup.

Delicious. You know you want these.

 

Mini-Frittatas with ham:

A Couple's Wedding Shower: A Make-Ahead, Crowd-Pleasing Brunch - Mini Frittata | thisgratefulmama.com

You can’t go wrong with a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis. Her Mini Fritattas are made using sliced ham and are uniquely flavorful with the addition of parmesan cheese and parsley. One recipe makes 40 individual fritattas, and they cook in a mini-muffin tin for just 10 minutes, you can prepare these in a flash.

Either make them the day before and reheat in the oven just before serving, or prepare the egg mixture the day before and cook them the day of the event.

Fill those muffin tins without a mess: Mix ingredients in one of these Rubbermaid Mixing Bottles. Seal and shake to evenly distribute ingredients. Open the lid and pour into each well in one row of the muffin tin. Shake and pour into the next row, and so on, until the pans are full. Easy-peasy.

Something Fresh:

Fruit Salad:

A Couple's Wedding Shower: A Make-Ahead, Crowd-Pleasing Brunch - Fruit Salad | thisgratefulmama.comPick your favorite seasonal fruits. This simple, beautiful, and healthy side is sure to please even the pickiest eater.

 

 

 

 

Veggies and Dip:

A Couple's Wedding Shower: A Make-Ahead, Crowd-Pleasing Brunch - Veggies and Dip | thisgratefulmama.com

Chop an assortment of vegetables and serve with dip, or consider serving a green salad instead. A Strawberry spinach salad (sub pumpkin seeds for almonds for a nut-free salad), or Greek salad works great for brunch. Just toss with dressing just before serving.

 

 

Now, is anyone else hungry for brunch?

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