It’s likely that the fall activities you normally have on your calendar have changed this year, right? With restaurants open to limited capacity and football tailgating canceled, what can you do to stay engaged with friends? How about taking advantage of the last few weeks of great weather with an al fresco brunch?

Hosting a brunch at home is a low-fuss and economical way to have a small gathering. Having a few friends over for brunch has a few advantages:

  • It’s less expensive. A brunch can be as simple as a Continental Breakfast, or just three or four food items to choose from.
  • It takes less time. Unlike evening dinner parties that can go on for 5 hours, it’s easy to keep a brunch to a 2 to 3-hour time slot. Then everyone leaves and moves on with their day.
  • Brunch is very conducive to a buffet (see my “COVID-friendly entertaining” tips)
  • You can have lots more fruit and veggie options than if you dined out.

Brunch, like any meal, should be well balanced and feature all aspects of a healthy diet: Protein, healthy carbs, and plenty of fruits and veggies. It’s easy to cop out and not include the extra veggies, but it’s totally doable to include more of them. I always like to include a fun coffee bar (with tea bags too) where people can serve themselves (hand gel on hand – always keep food safety in mind) and garnish to their liking. Finally, no brunch is complete without a signature cocktail (usually a choice of Bloody Mary or a sparkling wine cocktail).

Here’s an easy Fall Brunch Menu to inspire you:

Fall Brunch Menu

  • Veggie Egg Cups made with spinach, spinach (or veggies of choice) and cheese
  • Cauliflower Waffles
  • Fresh fruit kabobs (skewer grapes, chunks of melon, pears and apples)
  • Blueberry Baked Oatmeal
  • Coffee, tea
  • Sparkling wine splashed with pomegranate juice
  • Bloody Mary made with vegetable-tomato juice, garnished with veggies*

*For me, a good Bloody Mary is all about the garnish! To make a veggie garnish for your blood Mary simply skewer a slice or chunk of cucumber, celery, carrot, olive, and sweet gherkin.

Tips for COVID-friendly Entertaining at Home:

  • Keep it to small groups of 6 to 10 people.
  • When possible, plate up individual servings
  • Offer mini tongs for everyone to serve themselves, or offer to serve everyone from the buffet (to prevent too many fingers on serving utensils)
  • Have some liquid hand sanitizer around for guests, along with an option to wash hands or use hand wipes.
  • Sit outside when possible or be sure to space everyone appropriately. Use smaller tables or trays to allow everyone to space out through the dining and living areas.

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