Breakfast Entertaining Ideas and Solutions

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Breakfast entertaining is the easiest type of "dinner party" to execute, if you know the proper way to put it all together.


Breakfast is the first, and most important, meal of the day. It should be effortlessly served and the host or hostess of the breakfast "dinner party", should be able to easily enjoy the meal right along with their guests.

For breakfast, fruit, cereal and some main dish such as a breakfast casserole, or an egg dish,together with toast, hot rolls or muffins, coffee, tea or cocoa, are its main essentials. A bare table with a simple place mat is acceptable for breakfast entertaining. Save the tablecloths for your formal dinners.



Fresh pears, plums, peaches, apricots, nectarines, pineapples and apples should be served pre-sliced or cubed and neatly arranged on a serving platter. If you like you can pre-set individual serving bowls of fruit at each place setting.

If you are serving the fruit from a platter, provide your guests with tongs so they may serve themselves and make sure that the platter is large enough to accommodate the amount of fruit you will need, but small enough to be passed around the table without being dropped.

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Only fruit that is in season should be served. I love to see fresh berries included in a fresh fruit platter for breakfast, but if they are out of season, they will only be a disappointment to your guests.  If you still have a taste for fresh fruit that simply is not available, try serving Stonewall Kitchens Wild Maine Blueberry Jam along side toast, muffins or croissants from the bakery.

Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, as also baked apples, stewed fruits (peaches, prunes and apricots) and all cooked fruits, can be offered in little fruit dishes on service plates, together with powdered (or fine granulated) sugar and cream.

Strawberries are sometimes left unhulled, when of "exhibition" size. They then should be served in small bowls or plates, with powdered sugar on the side for dipping.

If you choose to serve grapes, use kitchen shears to cut them into individual sized clusters, so that each guest may take what they like without picking individual grapes from the stem. Cherries are served in the same manner, with the addition of a finger bowl or small plate used to discard the pits and stems.

When grapefruit is served, it is usually as a half, the core removed and sugar added, on a fruit plate or in a grapefruit bowl, together with an orange spoon.

Oranges may be served from a compote, whole, and may be eaten cut crosswise in halves, with the orange spoon; or peeled and eaten in sections. If oranges are served peeled and sliced on a fruit plate they may be eaten with a fork. Sugar should always be passed when they are eaten in this way. Serve orange juice in small glasses two-thirds full.

Cantaloupe and honeydew melon are served in halves or quarters, on fruit plates (or special melon dishes) and eaten with a fruit spoon. Sugar, should be offered with these by the host. Watermelon is usually cut in wedges. It should always be served cold, on a large fruit plate, and with fruit knife and fork. If half-melons are served (the small, personal sized melons), with the rind, the host cuts egg-shaped pieces from the fruit, and places it on individual plates for passing.

When breakfast entertaining, bananas may be served "in the skin", or peeled and sliced, with sugar and cream, or sprinkled with sugar and lemon juice.

Shredded pineapple, sprinkled with sugar, or sliced pineapple(slices an inch thick) may be served from a large dish by the host.

Fruit at breakfast may be served at each place before the guests seat themselves. It does call for a finger bowl to discard any seeds or stems, however. Only when berries or sliced fruits are served can the finger bowl be omitted.

CEREALS

When entertaining at breakfast time, serving cereals are a matter of personal taste. Cooked cereals, such as oatmeal, grits, cream of wheat, or polenta should come on the table hot, and be served in bowls with sugar (brown sugar, if preferred) and cream. Again, the host may serve the cereal from a large soup terrine, and have the guests fill the individual bowls with the amounts they like.

Dry (cold) cereals are served in the same way (in a large bowl with a scoop or large spoon. Puffed grains or flakes gain crispness and flavor when reheated,not browned, before serving. Granola type cereals are also a popular choice for breakfast entertaining, because they can retain their crispness over longer periods of time.  If you choose to serve cold cereals, have a few milk options available for your guests.  No more than three different options are needed. You may want a non-dairy option, like almond milk or soy milk available.

TOAST


For breakfast entertaining, French toast, pancakes or waffles can be done ahead of time, and kept in a warm oven until serving time. Don't forget the syrup when waffles, pancakes or French toast are served. Some prefer cinnamon and sugar to syrup with hot cakes, and they should also be on hand.

If you don't want to stand over a griddle flipping individual pancakes, try a recipe for an oven pancake.

BACON


Bacon is the ideal meat for breakfast. I love bacon for breakfast entertaining, and any other type of entertaining, for that matter! Its already portioned and everything! Also, did you know a strip of regular pork bacon has less calories than a strip of turkey bacon? Go figure!? The bacon slices should be served hot on a hot silver platter, in crisp, curling slices. Make sure you keep them in a warm oven, so the fat doesn't congeal and have an unappetizing appearance.

Second only to bacon, sausage is one one of my favorite breakfast treats.  For an unusual treat try making sausage kabobs.  You can find the recipe for the kabobs on the Fall Breakfast Menu.

EGGS


Breakfast just wouldn't be breakfast if an egg dish were nowhere to be found. Cooked in the shell,(medium or soft-boiled) eggs should be served in an egg cup or egg glass. Each egg should be accompanied by a silver egg cutter and(unless there is plenty of silver at the cover) a silver spoon.

Poached eggs appear in individual shirred egg dishes (ceramic ramekins), to the left of each place setting, on small plates with service spoon.

Scrambled eggs can be served from a large platter, and passed by the host. If your breakfast entertaining party is on the small side, feel free to put the bacon and eggs on the same platter.

Omelets should not be served for breakfast entertaining, unless you have hired a chef to prepare them to your guests liking. If you try to take on the task of omelette making alone, you will be in the kitchen flipping omelets the entire time. My suggestion would be to opt for a fritatta instead. It is an egg dish that can be prepared ahead and served at the table cut into wedges. It has all the taste of a good omelet, but does not demand the same amount of attention that individual omelette making does.

COFFEE


Coffee is the favorite and logical drink to serve during breakfast. Some of your breakfast guests may prefer tea, cocoa or milk. So be sure to have this on hand just in case anyone asks for it. The breakfast coffee service should be placed before the host(ess). The coffee service is made up of a large tray, which holds the coffee pot (or percolator), creamer, sugar bowl with tongs, and cups and saucers.

Another easy idea for casual breakfast entertaining is to leave your coffee maker in a area that is easily accessible to guests and let them serve themselves.  Make sure the cream and sugar is nearby.

Cream and sugar always enter the cup first! This way the cream has a chance to slightly warm up to the temperature of the coffee instead of curdling instantaneously, if it is added to the cup after the coffee.

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