Brunch is possibly my favourite meal of the day and to be honest I wish I could do it more often but life doesn’t always allow for it. We volunteer most Saturday mornings and then we’re at church every Sunday morning. We love both and wouldn’t swap them, although that does mean brunches are few and far between. Having said that, they’re extra special when they do happen. It’s a meal that allows you a bit of a lie in and some extra time to prepare something tasty. I’ve teamed up with Argos to inspire you with a cosy, Winter brunch, styled with some of my favourite items. Oh and I’ve included the recipes too!
If you follow along on my Instagram you’ll know that we recently moved home from a Victorian Terrace flat to a new build flat. The two spaces are very different aside from the abundance of white in both (you know me). One of the most exciting things about moving was that we would have an office/studio space separate to our dining area. I’ve spent the last three years working from a dining room table and I have to say it’s become a bit tiresome. The first thing I wanted to replace as we moved was our dining table and chairs…no more ink stains or piles of paperwork, just a light open plan space to eat, drink and be merry. I opted for this gorgeous Hygena Beni table that comes complete with these comfy grey marl seats. I’ve been after a clean white table top for a while and this set, complete with light wood details works perfectly, keeping the open plan space bright and fresh. We love having people over to eat with us so we’re excited to make use of this new space, solely designed for just that.
Tips for styling a cosy winter brunch
- Pick food that’s a feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds but even better are things you can make the night before and heat up. This makes your morning extra leisurely and won’t leave you hangry as you’re trying to prepare.
- Choose interesting crockery to contrast the surface. Seeing as I have a white table I opted for these gorgeous grey speckled bowls and cups and saucers. I like that they don’t match but are still in keeping with the overall vibe.
- Always add flowers! This brings a table to life and yet the types of flowers you use will use differ between each season and the atmosphere you’re trying to create. In winter I love going heavy on the foliage and stick to deeper tones. I love the blue coming through from the thistles!
- Light those candles. It doesn’t matter if it’s daylight, candles still make a meal cosy and ambient all the same.
- Keep things simple. Brunches are usually pretty relaxed affairs so make sure your table reflects that by not over cluttering the space. The woven placemats, foliage and grey block napkins stick fit in well with this relaxed vibe and also add texture without overpowering it all.
As you may or may not know my diet doesn’t allow for grains which means lots of brunch options are off the table for me (quite literally). I’ve tried in vain to rekindle my love for pancakes minus the grains but I can’t say I’ve found the magic formula yet. Having said that I recently tried these squash waffles and I’m a massive fan! That’s a little win for me. It’s nice to have more than one option especially if you have guests so I also whipped up these courgette fritters to throw in a savoury treat.
Winter Squash Waffles
(paleo, gluten free, dairy free & serves 2)
- 1/2 cup ground almonds
- 1/2 cup tapioca flour
- 1tsp gluten free baking powder
- 2 organic free range eggs
- 1 butternut squash
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- Drizzle of coconut oil
- 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- Pinch of salt
- Grass fed butter
- Coconut yoghurt (I used Coyo)
- Maple syrup
- Chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 225C. Start by cutting your butternut squash in half and hollowing out all the seeds. Drizzle with coconut oil and I used an extra sprinkle of cinnamon and then bake in the oven for about 45 mins or until soft. I covered it with baking paper halfway through to prevent the top from crisping too much.
- Once cooked, leave too cool and then scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Measure 1/4 cup and set aside. You can freeze the rest for future use.
- Pour the almond flour, tapioca, baking powder, spices and pinch of sea salt and pulse to mix.
- Add in the butternut squash, eggs, maple syrup and vanilla. Blend the mixture together to smooth.
- Coat the waffle maker with the butter and heat. Pour in the mixture and cook. If you’re making this ahead then just keep the batter in the fridge over night and use it in the waffle maker the next day.
- Serve with a scoop of coconut yoghurt on top, sprinkle with berries, chopped pecans and a drizzle of maple syrup or heat some of the blueberries to make a berry drizzle)
Recipe adapted from Lexi’s Kitchen
Courgette Fritters, Bacon & Blackened Tomatoes
(paleo & gluten free and serves 2)
- 2 medium courgettes
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1 organic free range egg, beaten
- sea salt and black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp garlic granules
- 3 tsp of nutritional yeast (optional)
- Coconut oil or grass fed butter for cooking
- Cherry tomatoes
- Chopped chives
- Creme Fraiche
- Organic, free range unsmoked streaky bacon
- Grate the courgette and place in a large bowl. Squeeze as much excess liquid out as possible by taking handful and squeezing it into the bowl or sink.
- Add the coconut flour, egg, salt, pepper, cayenne paper, garlic and nutritional yeast.
- Take handfuls and make them into four patties in your palm. You can put these in the fridge ready to cook later too.
- Heat a saucepan with some coconut oil or butter and fry on each side for 3 to 5 minutes. You can get the bacon in the pan at the same time if it fits.
- When the fritters are finished leave them to cool slightly on a cooling rack and throw the tomatoes into the pan and cook until the skin puckers and blackens.
- Plate up with two fritters in a plate. Stack the bacon on top and drop the tomatoes onto the plate. Drizzle with creme fraiche and sprinkle with chopped chives and some cracked pepper.
Recipe adapted from Stupid Easy Paleo
Enjoy these dishes with your favourite loose leaf tea or black coffee. I’m a tea gal and my husband is a total coffee snob so there’s always both on offer, accept his drink of choice takes double the time and involves a whole lot of scientific apparatus.
I couldn’t be happier with our new dining set up and I’m looking forward to having many meals around it with friends and family as well as those precious lazy brunches when we can! Hopefully you’ve been inspired to ‘get your brunch on’!
This post is in collaboration with Argos who gifted me these gorgeous items which I picked.