When the pandemic and stay-home order hit our state, it was still winter, and since Minnesota’s early spring brings plenty of snow and chilly days, we were mostly inside and isolated for two months. After a summer of distanced outdoor activities – backyard campfires or gardening, kayaking, walks – we are looking ahead at a solid 5 months of isolation unless we figure out how to get together outside without freezing. Luckily, my family enjoys winter.
Distanced Social Activities for Fall & Winter
Campfire in the backyard or driveway fire pit
Campfire with sleeping bags, when very cold
Walking – daytime to get some sun, or night to stargaze
Yard cleanup with friends – rotate yards
Snow shoveling party!
Skiing or snowshoeing
How will you gather with friends and family this winter?
It’s a grey, slushy Saturday 2 days post April blizzard, my husband has been with my father-in-law at the clinic all day, and I’m needing happy, sunny thoughts of friends and summer. So! I’m going to “plan out loud” right here on the blog.
I’ve been missing a lot of longtime friends in the time since our littles have come along. Many of them already had their own littles, or have had some since as well. We have a fantastic back yard with a great deck and now a huge play structure! So! I was thinking a few months ago, why do we always stress out about a restaurant that we have to figure out where to go, where to park, and entertain the kids instead of talking and enjoying each other, all at the cost of approximately $1,000,000 for the meal? We could be enjoying our backyard on unlimited time, a far cheaper meal, and the kids don’t even have to behave.
That time has come!
I want to have a menu that is the same every time, to save on stress, mainly. The easier this is, the more likely it will be to happen.
I polled the members of a local women’s group about a set menu for friend brunches on the patio. Requirements: some kind of main that is gluten free (for me), and pretty much otherwise – just easy. I posed the idea of an egg bake and they riffed on it. These lovelies came up with tons of scrumptious ideas for meatless or meat-full, and other customizable ideas like fruit and yogurt parfaits.
Egg bake ideas:
With hashbrowns for the “crust” so it’s GF – saute the hashbrowns before adding egg & baking
Mushroom, asparagus & gruyere
Bacon, cheddar & chives
Veggie only for vegetarians, breakfast meats on the side
Sausage, onions & peppers with or without cheese
Tex Mex egg bake
Cheesy Croissant Brunch Bake with caramelized onion, brown sugar ham, sauteed spinach, cheese, and croissant crust (though I’d omit that for GF purposes)
Biscuits & gravy egg bake
Baked eggs with tomato, cottage cheese, Monterey Jack or Colby cheese, broccoli or spinach
Side dish ideas:
Yogurt granola cups – bake the granola in the bottom of a muffin cup and top with yogurt, or just have yogurt with a bag of granola and some little bowls/cups