(NC) - One way to brighten the shorter, cooler days is to plan a special weekend brunch for your friends or family. Once you've decided who to invite and sent out the invitations, decide on your main dish and then build your menu around it! A green salad (for convenience, buy a packaged ready-to-eat salad and make your own dressing) is always a welcome addition, and consider a simple rice dish as a side. Of course, the real key to a successful brunch is being organized - here's a checklist.
The menu should include several dishes that can be made ahead of time and need few last-minute preparations.
For the day of the brunch, be sure the main dish doesn't keep you cooking in the kitchen for too long.
Make the meal a buffet - where everyone serves themselves.
Take a few minutes the night before to set the buffet table so you can enjoy the morning.
Baskets of baked goods are always delicious additions to the brunch table.
Always offer a nice range of condiments such as mustards, salsas and Smucker's jams & jellies - to go with your menu.
Pour a variety of colorful fresh juices in chilled pitchers. Guests will have a choice and your buffet table will look great.
Arrange seating (at tables if possible), to encourage comfortable conversation.
Keep dessert simple - for example, home baked cookies, fresh fruit and sherbet
Set the mood with a fall wreath on your door, fresh flowers and festive music.