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newbie brunch

Entertaining for the first time, basically, with a simple bagel brunch for a small group. Will have my fiance's fab scrambled eggs, bagels, smoked salmon, sliced tomatoes, maple apple butter, cream cheese, fruit, OJ for sure. Having trouble thinking of what items I need to round out the menu and give it a bit of oomph but not give myself much work...very busy until then. Thanks in advance for ideas!

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  1. Don't forget the capers....

    and I would throw something 'green' in the mix... perhaps something with spinach or asparagus

    1. what about your other beverages?
      coffee & teas
      mimosas, bellinis or bloody marys......that's my kind of brunch.

      you might want to offer plain toast as well...in case people don't go for bagels. also make sure to have some jams and maybe peanut butter.

      maybe some potatoes, you could roast some up or make home fries...

      1. Now you are making me hungry!

        You could have some bacon or little sausages to accompany the eggs, but I love the idea of the roasted potatoes. Chop 'em smallish and maybe throw in a pile of herbs or some tiny chopped fennel.

        Yes, at least one greens to go on the yummy bagels.

        I went to a bagelish party once and they offered multiple kinds of cream cheeses.

        Oh, and if you are near a trader joes, or in your grocer freezer section, you can find frozen fruit. For killer bellinis, I bought a trio package of pineapple, mango and papaya then blended it with champagne for a fun drink! My blender was busy that brunch...


        1. i agree some kind of veg will be welcome. praps a greenbean salad? (fresh blanched beans tossed with halved cherry tomatoes, a little red onion, red wine vinegar, o.oil, S&P) easy

          or gazpacho served in glasses or mugs that yr guests can spike with vodka if they want. (i had this at a brunch similar to the one you're giving and it was a hit, plain or spiked). i know we're a little past gazpacho season but you could tweak the recipe to make it more seasonally appropriate.

          1. In addition to the bagels, I would serve "lavash" or the flatbreads that you get with sesame, poppy seed, plain in different flavours - plain, "everything", garlic, vegetable, etc. they look pretty in the bread basket and people usually love them.
            Capers, thinly sliced red onion, sliced cucumber (maybe even a nice cucumber salad) in addition to the tomatoes.
            If you want a simple recipe for cucumber salad let me know.

            1. How about something sweet? Go to your favorite bakery and pick up a loaf of breakfast bread: pumpkin, banana, zucchini, etc. Or some sort of coffee cake. Or, if your crowd isn't into that - cut up some fruit.

              1. I agree, you have to have coffee cake or muffins. I just had a brunch with almost the identical menu you are planning, but we made some bran muffins with golden raisins and they were all eaten up. Personally I think you could do without the green beans or veggiess, but I guess it depends on your guests. My Jewish relatives always served coleslaw and chopped liver with their bagels and lox, and I sure liked it as a kid.

                1. How about something as simple as a fruit salad or fruit plate?

                  1. Since you are already planning on having the eggs, I would have a standby green salad. Something crisp but not too aggressive to stand up to the heartiness of eggs, bacon, et cetera... perhaps something frisee based?

                    1. I'd suggest a simple coffee cake or muffins - homemade or from a decent bakery. Warm it up before serving if store bought. That's pretty much all that's missing in my opinion.

                      Oh - and a bottle of inexpensive prosecco. That's always a lavish-seeming touch that doesn't have to cost a lot.

                      1. Aside fromt he lox, think of other 'bagel' sandwich options. I love roasted chicken/turkey breast with onion and Procuitto with cream cheese... :)


                        1. Turn the fruit into a pretty fruit salad dressed with a flavored syrup and serve bellinis!

                          1. Something creamy like a bowl of vanilla yogurt with crunchy granola on top or Flan? Rice pudding?

                            Make a punch; spiked or virgin instead of indiv drinks

                            French toast casserole instead of bread..

                            What time is breakfast :)

                            1. I always serve a fruit and cheese platter, when I entertain.
                              Red grapes are really good, with Wensleydale Cheese with cranberries, gouda or nice brie. I buy a crusty loaf of bread to serve with it, and it is always a hit.

                              1. I think yogurt, granola and fruit would be great. You could do plain yogurt and provide different jams and honey for people to flavor it with. Coffee cake, etc. strikes me as a bit "bready" with all the bagels. You could also jazz things up by making your own flavored cream cheeses: apricot/ginger (dried apricots and crystalized ginger); green olive; fresh herb... I'm sure others would have good suggestions for flavors...Good luck!

                                1. Relax!!!!
                                  That is a perfectly lovely menu for a small group and especially since this is your first time entertaining. After you get used to the basics, then get fancy.
                                  You might want to add plain butter, maybe onions or chopped scallions for the bagels and a very simple sweet - possibly one you can purchase like cookies or brownies.
                                  Make life easy so you can enjoy your friends.

                                  Lay everything out two days ahead. Each serving plate and utensil with a post-it note for what it will be used for. The plates, knives, forks, mugs, glasses, etc. including what your fiance will use for the scrambled eggs and the coffee service. Then if you don't have everything you need, you have time to shop or borrow.

                                  This is your first party. Keep it simple and don't set yourself up for disaster by trying to get too elaborate. Your friends are there to see one another, not to visit a cafeteria.

                                  1. Prosecco to go with the OJ for sure! Make sure your presentations looks good, it adds so much to your meal and will even make the food taste better! Get some cheap but pretty platters and napkins, pick up some flowers from the market, make sure your house smells good (even if your not baking), put on some Norah Jones in your c.d. player and your guest will be wowed. Entertaining can be a lot of work but, you can do a great job even with out a lot of time on your hands; you just need to stay organized. Good luck!