Divine Dinner Party

Brunch Menu Ideas and Recipes
for a Beautiful Brunch

Looking for some brunch menu ideas for Mother's Day or Easter or... just because you want to host a nice brunch? Your poor brain is probably overrun deciding between different brunch menus. Do I want to go light and simple or rich and decadent? Do I want a sophisticated brunch menu or something fun and easy?
Don't worry about the decisions, and just have a good time. After all, brunch is a lot of fun-- you can do anything you want with it. You can serve sandwiches alongside muffins and coffee cake. You get to make all your favorite breakfast and lunch treats in one meal. And you get to serve booze without anybody looking at you funny for drinking champagne at eleven o'clock in the morning.

You get the best of both worlds with our balanced and sophisticated brunch menu-- ideas like a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar make this menu fun, chic, and easy. It combines wonderful savory foods with lots of sweets, light fruit salads, and tasty traditional brunch cocktails.

Divine Dinner Party's Brunch Menu

Looking for some brunch buffet table setting ideas? Go from Brunch Menu Ideas to our Buffet Central.

Make Your Own Bloody Mary Bar Recipe

No holiday brunch menu is complete without Bloody Marys. Sure, the name is a little violent. And sure, they can be strong. But this sharp, spicy cocktail tastes great with all the sweet, rich brunch food you'll be making-- and will get everybody loosened up enough to tell you how much they really love your cooking. This is a drink Mary would be proud of! One pitcher serves about eight people.

The instructions for setting up a self-serve Bloody Mary bar are below-- this is one of the easiest, most fun brunch menu ideas you can use. And your guests will love it.

Ingredients:
84 oz. tomato juice
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 oz. lemon juice
10 oz. vodka
23 tsp. Tabasco
2 tbsp. prepared horseradish
salt and pepper, to taste
Garnishes (see below)

Traditional Instructions: Combine ingredients in a pitcher. Serve over ice. Garnish with a celery stick.

Bloody Mary Bar Instructions: Set out glasses with ice, the pitcher of Bloody Marys, and let guests pour and garnish however they like. The more garnish options you give them, the more fun they'll have. Some creative Bloody Mary garnish ideas are:

  • Celery sticks
  • Stuffed Spanish olives
  • Cherry tomatoes or tomato wedges
  • Lime and lemon wedges
  • Pickled peppers, garlic cloves, and cocktail onions
  • Cooked and peeled shrimp
  • Avocado slices (sprinkle with lemon to prevent browning)
  • Picked asparagus spears

Mimosas with Cointreau Recipe

One of the most traditional brunch menu ideas? Serve it with Mimosas. I think we all owe a kiss to whoever came up with the wonderful combo of morning meals and Mimosas! In this recipe, the addition of Cointreau orange liqueur to the traditional Mimosa recipe gives them something extra special. Don't have any Cointreau and don't want to go out and buy it? Don't worry-- they're great without it too.

Don't leave the kids out of the fun! Make virgin Mimosas for the kiddos by replacing the champagne with Sprite or 7-up.

Ingredients:
1 part fresh orange juice, chilled
1 part dry champagne or cava, chilled
Splash of Cointreau
1 raspberry, to garnish (optional)
Toothpick (optional)

Instructions: Be sure all ingredients are very cold.

Fill a champagne flute about halfway with orange juice. Fill it the rest of the way with champagne or cava. Add a small splash of Cointreau.

Spear a raspberry with a toothpick and lay over the mouth of the champagne flute for a garnish.

Note: If you really feel you must serve your Mimosas over ice, go ahead. But they're generally better without.

Crustless Ham and Egg Tarts Brunch Recipe

Crustless ham and egg tart recipe

These are one of the prettiest, easiest brunch menu ideas. Just assemble and pop these little suckers in the oven-- then spend time with your guests. Each one is it's own perfect little serving... no need to worry about egg-dirty serving spoons and bits of scrambled egg tumbling onto the carpet. They're also pretty, impressive, and re-heat well. And are tasty as could be, of course. Recipe make 12 single servings or 6 double servings-- scale up or down depending on the potential pigginess of your guests.

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Ingredients:
2 tsp. olive oil
12 thin slices ham
12 lg. eggs
12 med. cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp. chives, finely chopped
3 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil all cups in a 12-cup muffin pan with olive oil (cooking spray also works well).

Line each muffin cup with a slice of ham. Leave the ends of the ham sticking out over the top slightly.

Break one egg into each ham-lined muffin cup. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with one cherry tomato, a sprinkle of Parmesan, and a sprinkle of chives.

Bake 18-20 minutes until egg has set.

Let cool 5 minutes before removing tarts from muffin tins. To remove, run a knife around each muffin cup to loosen. Serve.

Note: Another way to do this easy brunch recipe is using scrambled egg in place of the whole egg. Simple mix eggs as normal and pour into ham cups. You might want to make half of each please all your guests.

Cracked Pepper & Brown Sugar Oven-Roasted Bacon Recipe

brown sugar black pepper roasted bacon

This is the star dish of brunch menus. You can make this sweet, spicy, crisp bacon recipe in the upper rack of the oven while your ham and egg tarts bake on the lower. If you've never tried a recipe for oven-cooked bacon, now's the time to start. It comes out crisp, cleanly-shaped (no rolled up bacon "balls"), and absolutely delicious. Be sure to use a rimmed jelly roll pan unless you want bacon fat to drip and fill your whole house with nasty fat-smoke. Serves 6-8 people.

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Ingredients:
1 lb. lean bacon, sliced
1 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
2 tsp. brown sugar

Instructions: Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper.

Arrange bacon slices on parchment paper. Sprinkle with pepper and brown sugar.

Bake about 10 minutes. Lots of fat will collect during this time-- drain that now.

Return bacon to oven and bake a few minutes more, until it has reached your desired level of crispness.

Remove from oven and immediate transfer bacon slices onto paper towels.

Note: This is also wonderful made without the sugar and pepper-- when I want to make plain bacon, I always do it this way. It comes out perfect every time!

Vanilla Challah French Toast Recipe

Vanilla Challah French toast RecipeWhen making brunch for a group, one of the first brunch menu ideas that will come to mind is classic French toast. Does that mean it's boring? Heck no! The reason it's so popular is that everybody loves it. It's sweet and just tastes like a celebration (I know that sounds cheesy, but... it's true. French toast is an occasion all on it's own.)

This recipe for Vanilla Challah French Toast will blow your current recipe right outta the water, I promise. The buttery toasts are bursting with vanilla and cinnamon-- to die for. Serves 10 one-slice portions or 5 two-sliers.

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Ingredients:
6 lg. eggs
1 1/2 C. whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large loaf of challah bread
Butter or butter-flavored cooking spray

For serving:
Pure maple syrup
Powdered sugar

Instructions: Slice challah bread into thick slices (approximately 1" thick).

Beat eggs in a large but shallow bowl. Add milk, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar, and salt. Mix well.

Soak challah in egg mixture for about five minutes, turning once. (It can be easier to use two shallow pans for soaking challah.)

Heat a small amount of butter (the more you use the tastier it will be-- but fattier, too, of course. This is your call.) in a large skillet over medium heat. Add egg-soaked challahs and cook 2-3 minutes per side, til nice and brown.

Remove from pan and keep warm until ready to serve. (Or simply serve as you go.)

Serve with butter, warm maple syrup, and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

Note: To make this brunch menu idea a little easier to organize, slice the challah and make up the egg mixture the night before. Then all that will be left is the cooking!

Pretty Layered Fruit Salad Recipe

Layered fruit salad with strawberries, kiwis, and grapesWith all the bacon and eggs and rich buttery French toast we've included in this special brunch menu idea, your guests are going to be crying out for something fresh. This pretty fruit salad is just the ticket. It's fresh, light, and delicious. Plus, it's a great presentation piece layered in its pretty trifle bowl. Feel free to exchange any type of fruit below for one of your favorites-- this is a very adaptable brunch recipe.

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Ingredients:
1/2 C. fresh orange juice
1/4 C. fresh lemon juice
1/4 C. honey
1/2 tsp. orange zest
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
2 C. apples, chunked
1 C. seedless red grapes
2 bananas, sliced
2 oranges, fully peeled & sectioned
1 grapefruit, fully peeled & sectioned
2 c. ripe strawberries, sliced
3 kiwis, peeled & sliced
1 tbsp. chopped fresh mint (dried will NOT do here)
1 sprig mint, for garnish (optional)

Instructions: In a small mixing bowl, combine orange juice, lemon juice, honey, and zests. Mix well. Stir in mint.

Prepare fruit and layer into a glass trifle bowl in the order listed. (A glass serving bowl works fine, too.)

Pour juice mix over fruit.

Refrigerate several hours. Garnish with mint sprig before serving.

Brunch Menu Idea Note: If you don't like a strong mint flavor, I suggest leaving out the mint.




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