I believe that the key to being a good hostess is all about minimizing stress. One way to tackle stress, is to do some simple food preparation a few days ahead. Your guests are coming to see YOU, so the more time that you can spend with them, the better. After all - if you are going to spend your entire beautiful brunch chained to the stove like a deranged Suzy Homemaker, then why bother to invite people over in the first place?
One of my favorite tricks for preparing baked goods in advance is to mix your dry ingredients ahead of time. I picked this up from the ever wise Pam of Gingerbread Snowflakes. Check out Pam's wonderful posts on making holiday baking easier; Part 1, Part 2.
The following recipe is such a crowd pleaser, and easy to partially prepare in advance. I have often packaged up the dry ingredients with this recipe to give as a gift. People go nuts over it, and I hope that you do too! Enjoy!
2 c oatmeal
1/3 c brown sugar
1/3 c. raisins or dried cranberries
2 T chopped walnuts
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground ginger
1 pinch of nutmeg
1 t baking powder
1 1/2 c whole milk
1 apple, grated
2 T butter, melted
1 large egg, beaten
1 t vanilla
1. Mix the first 8 ingredients into a medium sized bowl. Or if you are a smarty-pants, mix these ahead of time!
2. In another bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients. Pour wet ingredients
into dry ingredients and mix well.
3. Pour into square baking pan or a pretty-pretty piece of Pyrex and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve with a large dollop of yogurt. NOM!
Do you have a recipe for a crowd pleasing, easy to prepare brunch dish? If so, tell me about it in the comments!