Sunday, February 7, 2010

Breakfast Entertaining

When we think of entertaining, it's not uncommon to plan a cocktail or dinner party.  Have you ever thought of entertaining in the morning? 

When planning your next gathering, think outside of the box and plan a breakfast party.  Bringing friends and family together for the most important meal of the day is a great idea for a weekend celebration. 

The inspiration for this breakfast party was a 1960's breakfast menu from a Big Boy restaurant.  I love all things 'retro' and this menu called to me.  With some photoshop work, I was able to remove the Big Boy character from the center of the menu and create my own invitations. 

The menu for a breakfast party can be as elaborate or as simple as you want.  Martha Stewart suggests preparing one or two substantial cooked dishes that can be made the morning of the party - such as omelets or pancakes.  Other items can be prepared in advance and served buffet style.  Martha suggests homemade blueberry muffins, scones, luscious platters of fresh fruit, yogurt, and granola. 

Breakfast beverages can vary.  Be sure to have plenty of coffee, tea, and freshly squeezed juice on hand.  If offering mimosas or Bloody Marys, make them in pitchers so guests can serve themselves. 

For fun, provide copies of your local newspaper to each of your guests.  Who doesn't like the morning paper with breakfast?  Guests can relax, catch up on local news, and have quiet conversation.  Set the mood by creating an early morning playlist from iTunes.  Light jazz, new age piano music, or your favorite 'crooners' would make excellent background music. 

Keep it mellow.  It is morning after all... 


The Best Buttermilk Pancakes
(makes nine 6-inch pancakes)

2C all-purpose flour
2tsp baking powder
1tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3T sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3C buttermilk
4T unsalted butter, melted plus 1/2tsp for griddle.

Heat griddle to 375 degrees.  Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a medium bowl.  Add eggs, buttermilk and 4 tablespoons butter; whisk to combine.  Batter should have small to medium lumps.  Don't overbeat! 

Heat oven to 175 degrees.  Test the griddle by sprinkling a few drops of water on it.  If water bounces and spatters off the griddle, it's hot enough.  Using a pastry brush, brush remaining 1/2 teaspoon of butter onto griddle.  Remove any access with a paper towel. 

Using a 4-ounce ladle, pour pancake batter, in pools 2 inches away from one another.  When pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around the edges (about 2 1/2 minutes), flip over.  Cook until golden brown, about 1 minute.

Double Blueberry Muffins
(makes 12)

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4C plus 1T sugar
2 large eggs
2C fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried
1T grated lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
1C all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1C yellow corn meal
2tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2C milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a standard muffin tin with paper cups.  With an electric mixer, cream butter and 3/4 cup of sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time; beat until combined. 

In a shallow bowl, mash 1/2 cup blueberries with a fork until liquified.  Add to butter mixture, along with lemon zest;  beat to incorporate (mixture will appear separated). 

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.  Gradually add flour mixture and milk to the butter mixture in alternating batches, beginning and ending with the flour.  Gently fold in remaining 1-1/2 cups of blueberries. 

Spoon or scoop batter into cups, and sprinkle tops with remaining tablespoon of sugar.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 25 minutes.  Cool in the pans for 20 minutes, then turn muffins onto a wire rack for 10 additional minutes before serving.
Recipes and food images courtesy of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia


John R. said...

How fun does that sound? I love all things "Big Boy", too! Would you mind sending me a copy of the menu with Big Boy on it?

Elaine said...

It sounds like a perfect way to start the morning! I agree that having some things made in advance make it so much easier because I always have a timing issue with making sure everyone can eat hot items at the same time. I love your idea of using a restaurant menu as inspiration!

Kerri Lynn said...

What an excellent idea!
Have guests arrive early, feed them, and send them out the door! You'd have the rest of the day to yourself.
Thanks for the idea!

mike said...

I made Martha's buttermilk pancakes for dinner last Saturday night. They are WONDERFUL (even for dinner)! 8:30 is a bit early, especially for a Sunday. Haven't you ever heard of sleeeping in? I would do 11:00am, so that your guests can put their things away in the guest bedroom, have a glass of water by the bedside, then leisurely attend brunch that lasts throughout the day until early evening. But that's me.... you do what you want to do. :P

Love the menu!!!