While I love the idea of going out to eat and catching up with friends, and having everything taken care of for you, there's nothing more enjoyable than creating your own wonderful Sunday brunch at home, just the way you like it.
Sundays are meant for relaxing. So, while it can be a nice thing to prepare an elaborate brunch for guests, when it's for yourself or a couple friends or family, you want it to be simple and quick so you can sit down and enjoy it. But that doesn't mean you have to compromise on the menu! I've chosen my favourite at-home Sunday brunch recipes (from Sweet Paul), with the autumn season in mind, that are delicious, healthy and easy to make.
Savoury Parmesan French Toast with Spinach
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup grated parmesan + extra for serving
8 thick slices of good crusty country style bread
butter for frying
1. In a bowl beat together eggs, milk, parmesan and pepper.
2. Pour the batter onto a plate and dip the bread on each side.
3. Sprinkle a little extra parmesan on each side.
4. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat and fry the bread on both sides until golden.
5. Place on plates and serve with spinach, extra parmesan and an olive oil drizzle on top.
I like using this recipe to make a decadent sandwich for lunch sometimes. Add parma ham and rocket between two slices of the parmesan french toast with a smear of dijon for a posh ham and cheese toastie!
Breakfast Bowl with Ramps, Asparagus & Lemon Herb Sauce
4 thick slices of country style bread, cubed (or substitute with cherry tomatoes like I do for a healthier dish)
12 stalks mini asparagus, cut in 3
12 ramps (leeks or spring onions can be substituted)
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 bunch fresh parsley
1/2 bunch fresh mint
1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts + extra for serving
juice from 1 lemon
grated zest from 1 lemon
pinch of red chili flakes
1/2 cup Olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 380F.
2. Place the bread (or tomatoes), asparagus and ramps on a baking tray and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Bake until golden, about 12 minutes. (While waiting you can start dessert, see below.)
4. Place herbs, pine nuts, lemon, chili and oil in a blender and blend until smooth. If it's too thick just add a little more oil.
5. Bring a pot of water to the boil and add a little vinegar, poach the eggs for 3 minutes.
6. In a bowl start with the bread, then asparagus and ramps, then the egg, pine nuts and finish off with the lemon herb sauce.
Ricotta & Honey
2 cups of fresh ricotta
1 honeycomb or regular honey
flowering herbs to garnish
1. Place a large scoop of fresh ricotta in a bowl and top with a piece of honeycomb.
2. Sprinkle with flowering herbs.
I like to add fresh berries and mint if I have them. Lately I've been grabbing a few blackberries off the neighbour's bush that is growing through our fence - no complaints here!
If you want to make your own ricotta in advance, it's not difficult at all. In fact, it's practically fool-proof. All you need is whole milk, heavy cream, fresh lemon juice or white vinegar, a large pan (a preserving pan is ideal), a candy thermometer, cheesecloth, a sieve and bowl. Curious? You can get the recipe here. If you want a lighter version, you can make cottage cheese by using 2% milk and leaving out the cream, and using the vinegar instead of lemon juice.
Brew yourself some great coffee or get your pots of tea ready and your brunch is served!
But what are you wearing? For me, the best match for a comfort meal is a comfortable outfit. However, I still want to feel put together, and the perfect place for clothes that feel as good as they look is Hush. I'm all about easy pieces that move with you (especially after an indulgent brunch!) so I've chosen layers because I love that look, and it's also a very wise way to dress when you live on the coast of the North Sea (or the UK in general, really, as chills seem to be always looming around the corner). I kept with a mostly monochromatic look because there's something serene about greys, while whites feel clean and black is just the most versatile when it comes to accessories. But I do love this cosy cardigan in pinks and purples to brighten things up, and it works beautifully with the grey panelled t-shirt dress. The zip leggings are the ideal Sunday choice as they're super comfy but far more stylish than your standard pair.
The day is not yet over - it's only early afternoon! A nice thing to do after your lovely Sunday brunch is to take a walk. Not only will you feel a bit lighter in the tummy but it will clear your head as well and prepare you for the week ahead. All ready in my layered outfit, all I'd have to do to go from comfy to cool (but still comfy!) is pull on some biker ankle boots and a hat, (yes, I'm a hat girl but I have to be sure it's not too windy before I step out with one of my favourites), a messenger bag and something for my neck which is almost a must-have for a walk by the sea at this time of year - I love this black and white twisted snood with the mixed cardi for a fun complement to the blacks and greys.
I hope my perfect autumn cozy Sunday brunch ideas inspire you to make a great day for yourself. Or add a little something here and there during the week to make ordinary days a bit more special, too!