I keep hearing how it’s difficult to get everyone from a family in one spot at mealtime.  But we all know it’s important to connect together as a family and chat – and it’s sometimes easier to do this over a meal than spur of the moment.

With this in mind, I thought I’d throw together some ideas for brunch and supper – some little utilised meal options but two that can be especially fun and also easy ones to involve others in.

It’s fair to say brunch meals are generally ‘calorific’.  Think waffles dripping with Canadian maple syrup, bacon and eggs on ciabatta, lashings of hollandaise sauce smothering hash browns and a bit of smoked salmon – all beside an obligatory large flat white or similar.

The calories sure add up quickly – but it is a bit of a special occasion meal, once a week or less – so we can treat ourselves (at least that’s what I always tell myself).  I’m not sure a spinach salad would cut it as far as gathering everyone for a chat before they head off to Saturday sports!

5 Brunch ideas to bring the family together

If you have a waffle iron, they are a relatively fast and easy thing to make bulk of. They freeze well and are delicious toasted in a toaster, so if you have leftovers, don’t throw them out to the birds.

WafflesWaffles

Here is my favourite waffle recipe, it’s quick and easy – from an American cookbook that I picked up while I lived in Canada – ‘Betty Crocker’s Cookbook’ otherwise known as The Big Red Cookbook.

It’s a popular one in the States, and Americans do tend to be the originators of the big breakfast.  Surely Betty Crocker does it best!

French Toast Casserole

Here’s a variation on a recipe I saw on a cooking show.  I will just highlight now, that this is not in any way healthy!  But it is fast and a delicious way to serve brunch to several people at once.  It’s kind of a glorified bread pudding really, and it’s really yummy.

Eggs Benedict – The cheats method

Eggs Benedict – The cheats method

If you don’t mind a packet mix, Eggs Benedict can be foolproof at home.  If you want to try your hand at hollandaise, do it with time to spare!  It can go horribly wrong pretty easily and takes some practice or at the very least patience to get perfect.

Personally, I’m not above whisking some boiling water into a packet of hollandaise sauce!

PikeletsPikelets

Pikelets are a very quick and tasty evening snack.  I personally love pikelets, I make them all the time and they are perfect for little fingers to hold, or topped with a delicious raspberry or apricot jam and whipped cream.

And for something a bit sweeter

Honey Snaps

A good, hot beverage tends to bring people together before bed.  You can channel your school camping days and gather around some hot chocolate.

A good ratio is one part chocolate to five parts milk.  For example, for one large cup – 50 gms of chocolate to 250mls milk.

Pour the milk into a pan and heat gently until it’s almost boiling. Remove from the heat, drop the chocolate in and then whisk until melted and you’re left with a frothy topped mixture. Pour into mugs and serve – marshmallows and lashes of whipped cream are additions to enjoy!

I enjoy a light, crisp biscuit with a beverage such as that.  Here is a recipe I’ve been trying out lately – it’s kind of like a lighter flat version of a brandy snap the day after it’s been filled – a crispy softness that is such an enjoyable texture that they tend to be quite moreish!

Ingredients

65 gm melted butter

65gm liquid honey

50gm caster sugar

55 gm flour

1 tsp powdered ginger

Drop of brandy essence (or almond, experiment with what you have to hand)

A few sliced nuts or dried fruits for on top

Method:

Heat oven to 170 degrees celcius.

Whisk wet ingredients together, then add dry ingredients and fold together.

Place teaspoonfuls onto trays lined with baking paper.  Space them well apart – they will spread significantly.  Top with a few pieces of chopped fruit or nuts.

Bake 10-12 minutes until they are light brown.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 30 seconds – until you can lift them from the tray onto a cooling rack.  They are soft initially and then harden to become a similar texture to a brandy snap after it has been filled.

Author

Sally is the Community Manager here at Kiwi Families. She fills her time with her handsome, busy boys and her handsome, busy husband; trying out new recipes and researching and writing about family life in Aotearoa.

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