The Appeal of Brunch

Clink. Sip. Slice. Munch. Laugh. Repeat.

Brunch has become a staple of our millennial lives. There is something so intriguingly special about a Sunday brunch with your friends. The table is always overflowing with mimosas, home fries, eggs three different ways and always at least one pancake. But, what is the appeal of brunch? Why have we placed it on a pedestal far above lunch and dinner?

Our generation is all about finding new and healthy ways to branch out from our parents. We are the kale-loving, SoulCycle-going, meme-watching generation. And our lifeblood is brunch. It provides a rich experience unlike any other; a time with friends when we can eat and drink to our fullest, without being judged for the time of day. Think about it; ordering multiple drinks at lunch is not exactly encouraged and dinner can end up being a more formal experience. At brunch, we can indulge in something out of the ordinary while still managing to meet our budgets. It’s a delightful way to order something that isn’t a classic dinner dish and to treat yourself. Especially in the late morning to early afternoon of a sunny weekend day.

And, if it isn’t obvious already, millennials are positively obsessed with photographing and sharing the exciting details of their day-to-day lives. The best part about brunch? It’s always aesthetically pleasing. Creamy Eggs Benedict on golden brown English muffins, fluffy Belgian waffles oozing with fresh fruit and maple syrup, colorful arrays of delicious Huevos Rancheros and, naturally, the never-ending flights of tropical mimosas and spicy Bloody Marys. As soon as the server arrives with the steaming, heaping plates, iPhones immediately emerge and the perfect, Instagram-worthy photo can be captured within seconds. After all, what good is a beautiful brunch if your friends can’t eye it on social media and be completely jealous?

Brunch fits the millennial lifestyle to a T. We are always hard-working fanatics during the week, juggling internships, classes, jobs and meetings. On the weekends, we like to treat ourselves to giant fishbowls, endless dancing, blistered feet and greasy pizza at 2 am. And brunch falls into this category perfectly; it allows us to still sleep in a little later on weekends, still get delicious breakfast foods and efficiently combine our breakfast and lunches into one filling, luxurious meal. And, of course, most of us arrive at our brunch dates relatively hungover. Well, no problems there! Brunch can accommodate even the most nauseous, aching people; coffee for those who need something strong, heavy dishes for those who need to fill their pained stomachs with plenty of carbs and even more refreshing drinks for those who aren’t quite ready to give up their alcohol intake for the weekend.

Since millennials fall into such a broad category when it comes to what we can and can’t afford, brunch is the perfect middle ground. For those of us college students who are broke beyond belief, we can alway manage to afford a couple eggs, home fries and toast for a reasonable couple of bucks. And for those of us older millennials with more successful incomes, there’s always an indulgent smoked salmon omelette, Nutella and strawberry crepe or eggs Florentine on which to splurge. It’s the perfect meal time to find something everyone likes and wants to immediately Snapchat to all their friends.

Clearly, the appeal we millennials have found in brunch is the aesthetic, diversity, and luxury in it. It’s a meal we have made our own, shifting it from a classic diner platter of pancakes and eggs to something for which one would wait two hours in line. We can’t deny the thrill it gives us to wake up at 10 am, dress up nicely, and be seated at a table at 11:30 with our best friends, snapping pictures of our strawberry mimosas and golden brown French toast. It’s alluring, tasteful, and as classy as we millennials can get.

Strawberry Smoothies for Summer

Summertime is strawberry-time, so let us rejoice by adding them to as many smoothies as possible! Here are three recipes to get you started.

Before we begin, I cannot stress how imperative these guys are:

By Sara Stasi, Ice cold, https://flic.kr/p/dWYaKV, under CC BY-NC 2.0
By Sara Stasi, Ice cold, https://flic.kr/p/dWYaKV, under CC BY-NC 2.0

Yes, ice cubes! When I first started making smoothies, I added greek yogurt for texture. WRONG. While there are certain recipes that make greek yogurt work, it usually ends up leaving your smoothie with a sour aftertaste. If you want the kind of texture you get from restaurant-style smoothies, you need at least three ice cubes. I know, I know, it’s just frozen water, and it doesn’t add any flavor, but it makes a world of a difference.

The Standard With a Sweet Twist: Strawberry Banana Smoothie

By Ralph Daily, Bananas and Strawberry, https://flic.kr/p/r3AfEg, under CC BY 2.0.
By Ralph Daily, Bananas and Strawberry, https://flic.kr/p/r3AfEg, under CC BY 2.0.

A spin on an old classic. Strawberry-Banana is the PB+J of smoothie pairings. You can add as many variables as you want in a strawberry-banana smoothie and still can’t go wrong. This recipe adds to the classic by mixing in some natural sweeteners.

  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 4 ice cubes

The Unexpected Hit: Strawberry Pineapple Smoothie

By Matthias Rhomberg, pineapple, strawberry & friends, https://flic.kr/p/6fUMnW, under CC BY 2.0.
By Matthias Rhomberg, pineapple, strawberry & friends, https://flic.kr/p/6fUMnW, under CC BY 2.0.

Sometimes the best smoothies are a result of mixing whatever fruits you have left over. I tried this when all I had were strawberries and pineapples and was pleasantly surprised when they blended well together.

  • 1/2 cup pineapples, diced
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 cup milk (or fruit juice)
  • 1 cup ice cubes

The Dessert Smoothie: Strawberry Nutella Smoothie

By esimpraim, Strawberries and Nutella, https://flic.kr/p/7XPBpt, under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
By esimpraim, Strawberries and Nutella, https://flic.kr/p/7XPBpt, under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

I had to throw in a recipe for all the sweet tooths out there. You need to balance out all of the nutrition with a little chocolate right? Chocolate dipped strawberries are a beloved delicatessen, so it makes sense that a Nutella strawberry smoothie is just as delicious. Recipe courtesy of Two Peas & Their Pod.

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup Nutella
  • Optional garnishes: whipped cream, sprinkles, extra Nutella

Like many of the best things in life, strawberries don’t last long, so remember to use them as quickly as possible. If you’re not going to use them now, store them in the freezer. Strawberry season is expected to be shorter than usual this summer so make sure to enjoy it while it lasts!

All recipes have a serving size for one person.