Step 1: Plan your brunch menu.

Choose which make-ahead brunch recipes you’ll make, and familiarize yourself with their ingredients and instructions. The key is to choose easy dishes that keep well overnight in the fridge. Anything that needs to be served immediately after cooking or gets soggy/ spoiled when left out (like poached eggs) is a no-go. Depending on the occasion, serve a cold brunch with whole-grain bagels, lox, and lighter Neufchâtel cheese is a simple idea and can easily be arranged the night before. Or perhaps an oven dish such as a frittata or quiche that can be reheated or baked on the day. Heck, I even like quiche served cold. Or what about trying oatmeal made in the slow cooker? Set it on a timer and have it ready to go.

Step 2: Go grocery shopping.

Check your recipes to see which ingredients you have already and make a list of those you’ll need to buy to make each dish. Don’t forget to think about the little extras like decorative garnishes, napkins, ice, tea, coffee or maybe a bottle of bubbly for mimosas!

Step 3: Prep Your Make-Ahead Brunch Recipes

From the list of chosen recipes above, begin to prepare what you can ahead of time. Chop your vegetables, arrange your fruit platter, prepare the quiche, set up your slow cooker… you’ve got the idea!

Step 4: Set the table and lay out your dishes.

Have it all ready to go, including your table set-up. Make sure your dishes, cups, silverware, platters, and serving utensils are washed and ready to go. If possible, lay your tablecloth, napkins, centerpiece, and additional decorations to set the table.

Step 5: First thing in the morning… finish cooking.

This is GO TIME. Of the recipes you couldn’t prepare earlier, or needed to reheat, bake or arrange, this is the time to get it done. Start a pot of fresh coffee (for yourself of course and your guests) set out your pastries or other items that don’t need to be served cold or hot, fill your ice bucket with ice, and organize the drinks either on the table or at a beverage station.

Step 6: Last minute touches.

Once your guests have arrived, take all your brunch dishes out of the fridge or oven. Slice, cut or pour if any of the above is required and then turn on some easy listening tunes, grab a plate, fill it up & enjoy brunch with your guest. You deserve it.

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