This past weekend I had the privilege of hosting book club at my new place. And I had forgotten how much I missed and love entertaining! My last place was not really suitable for hosting larger groups, and I never made cooked or baked many interesting things just for myself. Now that I have a nice hosting space, I can’t wait to get back in the kitchen and have people over more often. For my book club group, I made an egg, cheese and veggie braid, coconut chocolate chip muffins and a sparkling sangria. They all turned out great! The recipes are below so you can try them for your own brunch gatherings 🙂
Egg, Cheese & Veggie Breakfast Braid
This is a great savory crowd-pleaser, as it caters to both meat eaters and vegetarians. As beautiful as it looks, it’s a very simple recipe that you can easily put together about an hour before your brunch event.
- 1 – 1 lb. pizza dough
- Flour, as needed
- 1 cup shredded cheddar jack cheese
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups raw spinach
- 2 Tbsp. minced fresh herbs (I used basil and chives)
- 3 eggs
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil + sea salt for the top
- Heat oven to 425°. Grease a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Flour your pizza dough, then stretch/roll/spread it out to a large rectangle, almost filling the baking sheet. Spread half of the cheese longways down the center of the dough.
- In a saute pan over medium heat, saute the onions in the oil until softened. Add the garlic, spinach and herbs and cook until the spinach wilts. Add the eggs and scramble just until cooked, mixing the veggies into the eggs. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Spread the egg mixture over the cheese down the middle of the dough, then top with the remaining cheese.
- Using a knife, make diagonal cuts about 1-2″ apart on each side of the dough, starting your slices just before the mixture in the middle. Fold the strips over the mixture, alternating each side so the dough looks like a braid down the center. Tuck the last strips underneath. Brush the top with the olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool and then cut into slices. Serves 8. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. They’ll keep for a couple of days.
Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins
No brunch is complete without something sweet! This is another super easy recipe, and who doesn’t love chocolate in the morning?
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Heat oven to 425°. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners, or grease with cooking spray.
- Beat together the butter, milk, eggs, sugar and vanilla until combined. Stir in the remaining ingredients until a batter forms. Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups.
- Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350° and bake for another 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool. Store leftovers in an airtight container. They can also be stored longer in the freezer.
Sparkling Red Sangria
While alcohol is not a necessity at brunch, it’s usually encouraged to get the party started (at least in the groups I’m part of). This sangria is light and fruity, so it’s easy enough to drink earlier in the day without wanting to take a nap afterwards.
- 1 750 ml bottle of sweet red wine
- 2 small apples, chopped
- 2 cups mixed berries
- Fresh mint leaves from 1 large sprig
- 2 – 1 liter bottles of flavored seltzer (I used blackberry and lemon)
- Pour entire bottle of wine into a large pitcher. Add the fruit and let “marinate” for a couple of hours.
- When ready to serve, add the mint leaves and seltzer.
- Pour into glasses! Serves 8 (1 glass each)