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11/24/2020

~ Simple Tips for Entertaining for Breakfast or Brunch ~

6a0120a8551282970b01a73d692750970d-800wi-1Entertaining guests for breakfast or brunch is decidedly different than entertaining guests for cocktails and/or dinner.  For starters, we breakfast chefs don't have the luxury of several hours prep time leading up to the get-together, which means, all of the shopping and as much of the fare (as is humanly possible) needs to be prepped or semi-prepared the night before.  An early call to the kitchen means "all the boxes" need to be checked, and double-checked, prior to showtime.

Do NOT bite-off more than you can chew.

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c76dd85e970bDon't break your budget (just don't do it), resist the urge to be over-the-top fancy-schmancy (just don't do it), and, don't invite any more guests than you have ample space for, and you can cook for, with complete ease (just don't do it).  Better advice I cannot give, and, underestimating the value of it, can, and will be, the difference between success and failure.  Trust me on this point.

Do NOT be afraid to mix store-bought with homemade.

6a0120a8551282970b026bdea4c46d200cDon't learn your AM-entertaining lessons the hard way.  Things like store-bought biscuits and crescent dough are great bases for an hors d'oeuvres or two.  Focus on the one or two or things you’d like to fuss over, and buy or outsource the rest.  Just do it.  If quiche is your specialty, make two or three.  If you've got two or three killer breakfast casseroles in your repertoire, make 'em. Rely on your local bakeries and/or donut shops for the rest -- and never look back.  Relax.

DO set up a breakfast or brunch buffet.

6a0120a8551282970b01b8d1870f13970cWhen it comes to cock-a-doodle-do entertaining, buffet-style, is, in my opinion, every home cooks best friend.  Start by choosing three or four designated spaces (aka "stations") -- on a kitchen countertop, a center island, a kitchen table and/or a dining room table, or, even three-four folding tables.  Designate each "station" with a vase of seasonal flowers, and, assign each a purpose.

A breakfast buffet in my kitchen always includes at least three stations: a station with a few pitchers of pour-your-own fruit-juice and fruit-juice cocktails, plus, coffee or tea; a station with baskets brimming with choose-your-own (store-bought) pastries, bagels and muffins (along with store-bought whipped butter, jams and cream-cheese spreads), and; a station with enough (matched, mismated or high-quality disposable) luncheon-sized plates, napkins and flatware to outlast the entire length of the get-together.  My fourth station, my main-course station, goes in one of two directions, as follows.  For smaller groups, it's at my stovetop where I cook for each person -- either a made-to-order omelette, a stack of pancakes, or a couple of waffles.  For larger groups, it's two-three, made-ahead, hot-out-of-the-oven, breakfast or brunch casseroles.

Cock-a-doodle do NOT stress over AM entertaining:  

6a0120a8551282970b01bb09626d7c970d-800wi"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipes, commentary and photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2020)

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