We’re upon another holiday weekend.
Whether you celebrate the holiday of Easter or not, chances are you’ll be doing this for sure: eating.
The weekends are a chance to relax, eat a leisurely meal (do we know what that is anymore?) and talk, laugh and hang out with friends and family.
Instead of going out to eat this weekend, why not invite other people over to your place?
I’ll admit, if you look for entertaining advice in popular magazines, it can be disheartening. Many gurus teach decorating tips and meals that are not only for the culinary super-person, they include a lot of expensive ingredients. After a long week, spending hours preparing for a big dinner party is not on most people’s to-do list. It’s just not realistic.
However, sharing meals in your home with family and friends can be one of life’s most life-giving experiences. Making food for people is an extension of your heart- it’s an act of love.
And you don’t have to have a super fancy or chic décor living space to throw a great party. (When did you last hear: “We had such a great time because their apartment was SO gorgeous,” never, ever!)
Great entertaining comes from two things: good food and engaging conversation with people.
Both of these things are easily achieved. Here are a few tips on how to throw a spring fling this weekend.
1. Try a spring brunch instead of a dinner.
Brunches are typically a little less costly to put on. Plus, a brunch is less time intensive in the kitchen. Omelets, potatoes, French toast, coffee, juice, fresh fruit. Choose a few things and you’re set. Ask your guests to bring juice or fresh fruit. If you are not a morning person, do the prep for an easy peasy recipe like Baked French Toast the night before (see recipe below). In the morning, make coffee and throw together a fruit plate. Tada! You’re done!
2. Do the 15 minute Quick Clean
Close the doors of rooms you don’t want people to go into (have a “mess room” where the laundry, unopened mail, shoes, etc. can be put it). Do a quick spray and dry on the bathroom mirror, sink and counter top. Put out fresh towels.
3. Décor on a dime.
Spring is here. (Officially, even if the skies are bit gray still). Grab a bouquet of tulips, daffodils and put them in a vase. Farmers markets have them from $2.50 to $7.00 for a bouquet. The splash of spring will brighten the room.
4. Remember, the host sets the tone.
As a host, I set the temperature for the conversation. If I’m relaxed, laughing and conversing, everyone else is too. If I’m stressed over the food, others pick up on it and feel uncomfortable. Be like Julia Child: if anything goes awry, just laugh and keep going.
In the end, the experience is what makes a memory. Happy Easter and Happy Spring!
Recipe for Baked French Toast
I love this recipe because I can make it the night before AND this is very budget friendly.
A loaf of bread: I’ve used wheat, white and French bread.
2 cups milk
½ cup ½ and ½
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
6 Tbs. butter (chopped into pieces)
¾ cup brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ cup flour
Dash of nutmeg
¼ tsp. of salt
Spread a bit of butter or your favorite stick-free spray onto a 9×13 pan. Tear the bread into pieces.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and add in the milk, ½ and ½, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Pour mixture over the bread and wrap tightly. Place in refrigerator overnight.
The streusel topping can be made at the same time or in the morning. Make sure the butter is chopped into a lot of small pieces so it spreads better. With a fork, crumble the butter, sugar, flour, cinnamon salt, and dash of nutmeg.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the wrapping and spread the streusel over the French toast. Bake for 45 minutes.
Serve with warm syrup and seasonal fruit for a beautiful and delicious spring brunch!0