With the semester in full swing, it’s hard to find the time to spend with friends. Between work, classes, practices, club meetings, procrastinated assignments, etc., it becomes easy to neglect the people in your life. Trying to schedule lunch dates is a nightmare. No one seems to be able to coordinate.
Luckily, my girlfriends and I recently found the perfect solution for maximizing time together, working around busy schedules, catching up, and appreciating friendship: BRUNCH. Here are 10 rewarding reasons to set aside the time to cook brunch with your girlfriends.
1. Brunch is the best meal ever invented.
This is not an opinion—it’s a cold, hard fact. What else would explain the recent brunch craze? Restaurants all over cities like Pittsburgh began offering weekend brunch menus in addition to their normal cuisines. Brunch recipes are flooding Pinterest boards. Hundreds of college kids now drag themselves out of bed after a late Saturday night out just so they don’t miss brunch hours.
Why? Brunch is AWESOME. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and savory, eggs and pasta, morning and afternoon. You can never, ever go wrong with brunch.
As soon as my friends suggested cooking brunch together, each one of us had clear plans and several recipes pinned online within seconds. What a great way to get everyone excited and committed to getting together for a girls day.
2. Homemade buffets are inexpensive.
A good meal can be pricy, which is the only reason I’m not brunching across Pittsburgh every single weekend. At a nice Italian brunch, I paid $30 for one main dish, access to a small antipasti and dessert table, and one glass of sangria. I left stuffed and satisfied about the “deal” I scored. I had no idea how much more food could be consumed for $30.
At the same price, my friends bought ingredients for the following: roasted red pepper sauce and pasta, quiche, potatoes sautéed with peppers and onions, waffles, lemon poppy seed muffins, fruit salad, mimosas, sangria, and cake from a local bakery.
Making brunch at home is a much better way to get the most food for the cheapest cost. The inevitable leftovers also make great lunch the next day.
3. You’ll bond, gossip, and catch up.
Cooking with friends provides the perfect alternative to the typical lunch date. Working together to create a meal is great for bonding. It requires teamwork, compromise, and other clichés necessary for healthy friendships. Besides, every girl loves gossiping on recent drama over mimosas. You’ll get to hear the latest on your friends’ lives and vent about your own as well.
It’s refreshing to feel connected and updated with the girlfriends you love. The amount of time it takes to prepare ingredients, cook the food, and eat the meal leaves plenty of room for hours of conversation.
4. Brunch works with everyone’s schedule.
Just say the word “brunch,” and suddenly everyone’s busy schedules are wide open. It’s truly magical. Brunch occurs at the most ideal time. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, no one wants to get out of bed to hit the library. What your friends WILL get out of bed for is a steaming pile of waffles drenched in maple syrup.
Because it’s a breakfast/lunch combo meal, there’s no need to wake up at the crack of dawn, either. Work schedules also usually cooperate. Many people don’t have to work on the weekends until the afternoon, which means plenty of time to binge on the mass amount of food.
5. No one will cancel after a long night.
Whether you’ve spent your Friday night in the library preparing for your Chem exam or hitting the bars in town, we’ve all canceled on friends due to an inability to move from bed the next morning. However, overtired, hungover, and lazy friends will rejoice when realizing that coffee and alcohol awaits at a brunch gathering.
After waking up at 9 AM (so early for a Saturday, right?), my friends certainly made use of our espresso machine to power through the cooking process. Soon, we traded the coffee for cocktails. Those who had spent their evening drinking shot pitchers at local bars gratefully used the “hair of the dog” technique.
#SpoonTip: Post brunch naps are both accepted and encouraged, so even your most sleepy friend will only have to stay awake for a few hours.
6. You can improve your cooking techniques.
I usually rely on sautéed vegetables for meals because I’m too lazy and incapable to use many cooking techniques. Several of my friends cook on a regular basis, and helping them out around the kitchen opened my eyes to many new kitchen skills.
Whether you prefer to be the main chef or sous chef like myself, you’ll feel rewarded after teaching or learning from your gal pals. You may even take some new recipes home with you to shake up your usual dinner routine.
7. Trying new foods or dietary practices will expand your horizons.
A homemade brunch buffet is the perfect time to try out new recipes that you’ve been saving up. My Pinterest boards are overflowing with creamy looking pasta dishes and decadent deserts that always seem to have too many ingredients or take too much time to create by myself.
However, with a clan of friends willing to help pitch in price and preparation wise, I was able to select a few dishes I was sure I would never make. You’re sure to have a diverse spread after each girl lends her own food preferences to the process.
Use this as an opportunity to try new things. My roommates are vegan, so we chose only recipes egg, dairy, and meat-free. I loved learning how many foods could be made with substitutions and taste just as good (if not better). In my experience with vegan baked goods, I actually prefer them to “normal” desserts. Don’t be afraid to give it a shot.
8. Bottomless drinks for everyone.
Bottomless mimosas. Bottomless sangria. Bottomless Bloodies. Whatever your drink of choice, make a “build your own” bar with your favorite alcohols, fruits, and juices. At a fraction of the restaurant cost, you’ll be able to keep the customized drinks flowing.
Our bar included a pre-made sangria drink, bottles of wine and champagne, orange juice, strawberry banana orange juice, and orange peach mango juice for mixers. Strawberries, limes, lemons, cranberries, and mint leaves served as add ins for some extra flavor.
My mimosa creation incorporated mint, strawberries, and lemon, and most certainly changed my life. Coffee is also a must. If you’re lucky enough to have an espresso machine, don’t be afraid to whip up some coconut milk lattes.
9. Fun themes and gifts will add excitement.
My friends and I decided to brunch in honor of Galentine’s Day. Our table was decorated with flowers and themed paper products, creating the perfect atmosphere.
We also chose to do a small, inexpensive gift exchange, because cheap gifts are a great way to show your friends how much you know and care about them. Setting a price limit makes it necessary to get creative and crafty.
Although Galentine’s Day has come and gone, the same decorating and gift ideas can be applied to any holiday or theme. St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, and Cinco de Mayo are all coming up, but generic themes like a fiesta or luau can be used any time.
10. Post-brunch group naptime is the best.
The best part of our girls’ day was spreading out on a giant pile of comforters, nursing our massive stomachaches, and attempting to snooze off the pain.
Because naps inevitably turn into Netflix, flip on your favorite show and spend a few moments or hours just relaxing. It’s the perfect ending to a morning spent with friends, food, and drinks. Sometimes the best bonding is done while laughing together during episodes of Parks and Rec.