With the sun rising earlier and green things unfurling from the ground, and warm temperatures coaxing everyone outside on the weekends, spring is brunch season. These early months also bring an influx of wedding and baby showers, which tend to be early-in-the-day occasions, gatherings that often involve elaborate breakfasts and bubbly mimosas.

Even when there’s no specific reason to celebrate, a leisurely morning is reason enough; midday meals are easier to wrangle friends and family for, and don’t require the factoring in of babysitters and bedtimes. For the host, there’s less pressure around brunch than dinner; picking up pastries is expected, and it’s more affordable to cook up some pancakes, eggs and bacon, vs a prime rib or other protein more suited to the evening. You could even make it a potluck; enlist someone to bring coffee, another fruit salad, another doughnuts or the like, and the meal is virtually effortless. Tending bar is far easier earlier in the day — pick up some good OJ or grapefruit juice and some bottles of bubbles to make mimosas, a bottle of Bailey’s for your coffee, or gather some fixings for DIY Caesars.

As with other meals, it’s the timing that tends to be tricky, especially if you’re turning out over-easy eggs or stacks of crêpes. I like to make a few simple things that will hold (fruit, homemade granola with yogurt) and one more elaborate item, like a frittata, a dramatically puffed Dutch baby (essentially a giant Yorkshire pudding you fill with sautéed apples or fresh berries), or breakfast pizza topped with bacon and a perfectly baked egg — something people wouldn’t necessarily make themselves at home.

Click here for Julie’s Bacon and Egg Breakfast Pizza and Dutch Baby recipes!

Homemade Granola

Granola can really be anything you’d like it to be —any combination of nuts and seeds works, or you could add some rolled barley flakes along with the oats. If you want it peanut buttery, add a large spoonful to the syrup mixture (warm it along with the coconut oil or butter to help stirit in), and if you’d like to, add a handful of raisins, cranberries, cherries or other dried fruit to the mix once the granola has baked and cooled, so it doesn’t dry out.


  • 4 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2-2 cups chopped, slivered or sliced nuts such as pecans, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, or a combination
  • 1/2 cup coconut shredded or flaked
  • 1/4-1/2 cup seeds sesame, flax, pumpkin and sunflower
  • 2-4 tbsp coconut oil or butter
  • 1 1/2 cups pure maple syrup, honey or Roger's Golden Syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • Preheat the oven to 300˚F.
  • In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut and seeds. Melt the coconut oil or butter in a small bowl or measuring cup, and stir in the syrup, vanilla and salt. Pour over the oat mixture and stir to combine and coat everything well. Sprinkle with some cinnamon (optional) and give it another stir.
  • Spread the mixture out on a large parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and bake for about half an hour, stirring once or twice, until pale golden and fragrant. Cool completely before storing. Makes about 6 cups.