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Budget brunch packs a punch

By on February 28, 2008

photo by matthewlevine

I love waking up to the familiar smells of bacon and eggs cooking and coffee brewing. The problem is that many families often don’t wake up on leisurely weekends at the same time, so brunch makes more sense. It’s nice to “do” brunch out, but it can be crowded on weekends or special occasions and costly, too. So why not make a midday meal at home. A few tweaks can make family favorites better. For instance, if you typically have pancakes, make crepes as a surprise. The crepe fillings can be prepared the night before, so your meal will be done in a snap. Planning ahead using your slow cooker can make your meal low effort so you’re not a slave to the kitchen, too.

The following recipes are simple and tasty. They’re great for immediate family yet delicious enough to serve to guests.

Mocha Punch

8 cups brewed coffee
1/2 cup sugar
8 cups chocolate milk
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
8 cups vanilla ice cream, softened

In a pitcher, combine coffee and sugar; stir until sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate until chilled.
Just before serving, pour into a punch bowl. Add chocolate milk and sweetened condensed milk; mix well. Top with scoops of ice cream and stir well, or, if in a casual setting, scoop ice cream into glass before pouring punch.


2 cups flour
3 cups milk
4 eggs
2 teaspoons butter, melted, or vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

Whisk flour, milk, eggs and butter. Stir in salt. Heat a lightly greased, nonstick 6-inch skillet or crepe pan over medium heat. Spoon in 2 tablespoons batter; tilt pan to spread evenly. Return to heat; cook until golden brown on edges and top is dry. Turn and cook other side.
— submitted by Olivia, Vermont

Strawberry Hazelnut Filling

1 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread
sliced strawberries
powdered sugar
1 can whipped cream

Spread chocolate hazelnut onto each crepe. Arrange sliced strawberries inside. Roll up, sprinkle powdered sugar and top with whipped cream. Optional: Drizzle melted chocolate on top. Arrange sliced bananas inside or top with granola.

Strawberry Filling

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
4 cups strawberries, sliced

Blend cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla. Fold in heavy cream. Fill crepe with cream-cheese mixture and sliced strawberries, and roll up crepe. Top with strawberries.

Slow-Cooker Eggs

1 bag (30 ounces) frozen hash browns
1 medium onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 pound bacon, fried and crumbled, or ham or sausage, diced
1-1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup milk
1 dozen eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Start with a layer of 1/3 of the hash browns. Layer 1/3 of the onion, green pepper, bacon and cheese. Repeat layering. Beat milk and eggs; add salt and pepper. Pour eggs into slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 10 to 12 hours.
— submitted by Cheryl, North Carolina


  1. julieb

    2/28/2008 at 1:11 pm

    I am going to try that slow cooker egg recipe, we love breakfast for the evening meal. Thanks!

  2. IntlMom

    2/28/2008 at 4:25 pm

    Yep, looove the slow cooker eggs idea. We do late breakast on Sat all the time. (So I guess that qualifes as brunch!) 🙂

  3. DixieJ

    2/28/2008 at 6:38 pm

    The slow cooker eggs sound yummy. We like to enjoy a late breakfast on Saturday morning.

  4. Marie78

    2/29/2008 at 2:39 pm

    These recipes sound so good! I made pancakes last night for dinner and I was wondering how to make crepes and I am excited that you posted a crepe recipe and how to make them. I am going to try them with the filling recipes you listed too. Thank you :).

  5. Cricket

    2/29/2008 at 5:17 pm

    Ooohhh!! I like the sound of that mocha punch. Yum!

  6. Katie

    3/1/2008 at 2:06 pm

    This brunch looks and sounds delicious! Thanks for the recipes.

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