I have firsthand experience in over-doing what should be a simple Sunday brunch. What starts off as coffee and bagels turns into breakfast casseroles, grandmother's coffee cake, homemade Bloody Marys, and many other dishes, producing enough plates and silverware to fill two dishwashers.
For those of you who entertain frequently, I think I may have the Sunday Brunch solution. Less is more with a few simple adjustments.
Bagels and Cream Cheese
The Basics: Plain bagels and cream cheese
A Little Extra: A variety of bagels, lox, capers, olives, sliced onions and tomatoes. Plain cream is a must and a flavored option is also nice. Just don't buy anything fat-free.
The Basics: A carton of orange juice and low-priced champagne
A Little Extra: Fresh orange or tangerine juice is important. You don't need to hand squeeze... just buy it hand-squeezed from your local market. And instead of serving it from the container, transfer the juice into a glass pitcher. Champagne doesn't need to be top shelf but don't buy the least expensive either.
Pretty Plates and Napkins
The Basics: Paper plates and paper napkins
A Little Extra: If anyones asks if I was the one who told you to buy paper plates I'll deny it. But for this occasion, go for it. Purchase colorful, thick paper plates. It adds to the festiveness of your brunch and makes for a super easy clean-up. You can counter your un-greenness with cloth napkins and compost the paper plates if they're not too caked with cream cheese.
Coffee and Creamers
The Basics: Coffee, milk and sugar
A Little Extra: Good coffee (go for a stronger roast) and a variety of creamers encourages second cups and longer visits. Opt for some half n' half and a few flavors like French Vanilla or Hazelnut.
5. Fresh Fruit
The Basics: Store bought pre-cut fruit
A Little Extra: It's time consuming to make your own fruit bowl but it's the only way to guarantee that the fruit isn't mealy or old. Choose seasonal fruits with a variety of shapes and colors. Using a melon baller isn't mandatory but I do think it adds a nice touch.
Let me know how your next Sunday Brunch goes and snap some photos. I'll include them in an upcoming blog post on brunches.