Ladies Who Brunch

I love going out for brunch in New York City, but sometimes it can be quite the scene. Few places take reservations, which can be a hassle if dining with more than 2 people (read: 1 hour + wait times); and the bill can quickly creep up if you’re not careful (“you mean those 4 mimosas weren’t included in the prix-fixe?!”).


Sometimes a lazy brunch is all you and your hangover can handle, regardless of how much that bloody mary will cost you. But if you’ve got a strong cup of coffee and some time on your hands (or a few friends to help out), a DIY brunch is the perfect solution to NYC brunch scene woes.

My friend Bekah graciously offered to host a “brunch cooking class” at her lovely apartment this past weekend. With seven girls attending, I knew I’d have to create a menu with lots of food and, of course, lots of booze.

I wanted the menu to be classy (we are ladies, after all) and full of fresh spring flavors. Since we’d all be chipping in with the cooking, I knew I’d also want to pick dishes that could be served cold or a room temperature, so we wouldn’t be fighting over the stove. Here’s the menu I came up with:

Pesto, Tomato & Mozzarella Frittata


Avocado & Radish Crostini


Balsamic Strawberries with Feta & Basil


Sparkling Grapefruit & Strawberry Sangria


We divvied up each of the recipes into parts and then went to work! The group had a range of cooking knowledge and abilities; the more experienced cooks dove right in, while I helped out others with their cooking questions.

The cooking segment of the brunch went very smoothly and made the eating/drinking part even more satisfying after all our hard work. We all agreed that everything was delicious, but the sangria was the unanimous favorite (duh). I’ll be making this refreshing drink on the regular once warmer weather strikes!

If you’re also tired of the city brunch scene, hit me up to help you plan your own DIY brunch! I’ll help you come up with a menu, food shop, and can either prep and serve the meal for your guests, or make it an interactive class.

Pesto, Tomato & Mozzarella Frittata

serves 6-8


8 eggs

1/3 cup prepared basil pesto

1 cup fresh mozzarella, shredded

2 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced

1 tsp olive oil

kosher salt + black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in pesto and 3/4-cup mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add egg mixture, stirring occasionally, 2-3 minutes.

4. Arrange tomato slices in an even layer and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

5. Bake in the oven until the frittata puffs up and eggs are just golden, 10-12 minutes. Let sit at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Can be served warm, cold or at room temperature.


Avocado & Radish Crostini

makes about 15 crostini


1 loaf French baguette

5-7 radishes, sliced into thin rounds

2 avocados

juice from 1 lemon

kosher salt

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the baguette into 1/2-inch thick slices and arrange on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until just golden, about 5-6 minutes.

2. In a small bowl, mash the avocados with lemon juice and a pinch of salt to taste.

3. To assemble, spread a thin layer of the avocado on each crostini. Top with 2-3 radish slices and sprinkle with more salt.


Balsamic Strawberries with Feta & Basil

serves 5-8 as a side


3 cups strawberries, sliced

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

handful basil leaves, chiffonade

1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1. Place sliced strawberries in a large bowl. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and toss to coat.

2. Sprinkle strawberries with basil and feta. Toss to combine and serve.


Sparkling Grapefruit & Strawberry Sangria adapted from How Sweet Eats 

serves 4-6


1 bottle riesling

1 bottle prosecco

1 cup grapefruit juice

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

1/2 cup club soda

1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries

1 grapefruit, sliced into rounds

1. First make the simple syrup. Combine sugar and water in a saucepot; bring to boil until sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and cool completely.

2. Place strawberries and grapefruit in a pitcher. Add remaining ingredients and 1/2-cup simple syrup. Stir to combine and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve over ice.


4 thoughts on “Ladies Who Brunch

  1. Cheeselady '83

    What a great idea! I wish I lived in NYC so I could do this. Your pictures look great, pretty & delicious, love all the colors. And, Yum!!

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