Big holidays usually call for over-the-top breakfasts or brunches and you don’t have to look far to find a surplus of suggestions for decadent do-ahead recipes that will delight your family.
However, as any busy mom knows, it can be a challenge to find the time to put together a special spread when there are things to coordinate and guests to tend to. So this year, instead of stressing about what to serve come Christmas morning, why not take the guesswork out of the morning meal and set up a DIY breakfast bar that will please the people in attendance, while making a minimal amount of work for you, the hostess?
The beauty of a build-your-own anything bar is that it comes across as being exceptional, but is really very easy to execute. Here are a few ideas for your holiday breakfast or brunch that require nothing more than a simple set-up of a bunch of different ingredients.
Build-Your-Own Bagel Bar
This is one of the easiest breakfasts to put together, and appeals to eaters of all ages because the meal can be customized to suit the tastes of everyone in attendance. Set out a selection of bagels (i.e. whole grain, everything, blueberry) and toppings that could include any or all of the following: cream cheese, smoked salmon, red onion, capers, dill, lemon, cucumbers, radishes, avocado, peanut butter, honey, raisins, tomato, apple, and cheddar cheese.
Build-Your-Own Yogurt Bar
This healthy breakfast is always welcome on the table and is unique enough to make it special for your guests. Set out a selection of yogurt (i.e. plain, Greek, strawberry, vanilla, lemon) and include toppings like granola (store-bought is fine!), fresh fruit (berries, mango, banana, peaches, passion fruit), dried fruit, nuts and seeds, chocolate chips and sprinkles. Don’t forget to include maple syrup and/or honey for drizzling over the tops of each bowl.
Build-Your-Own Pancake Bar
This idea sounds over-the-top and tricky to implement, but here’s the secret to making it happen: cook the pancakes in advance and freeze them until the morning of your special meal. Just before serving pop the pancakes into the oven or toaster oven to reheat them. Serve alongside assorted syrups (i.e. maple, blueberry) and toppings, which could include fresh fruit, honey, ricotta cheese, jams, nuts and seeds, chocolate chips, sprinkles and whipped cream.
Build-Your-Own Mimosa Bar
This classic brunch cocktail is usually made with a mixture of orange juice and champagne but for the holidays it’s fun to swap the flavours for something extra special. Feel free to use mango, pineapple, strawberry, grapefruit, or pomegranate juices instead, and club soda can stand in for champagne or Prosecco if you’re looking for an alcohol-free version instead. Garnish with an assortment of fresh fruits like sliced oranges or berries and add a sprig of mint, if desired.
When it comes to setting up a build-your-own anything bar, don’t hesitate to let your friends and family assist with the components of the meal. If they ask what they can bring, assign each person one or two items required for the table, or simply shop for them yourself instead. Either way, if you do what’s easiest for you, this simple form of entertaining will quickly become your go-to whenever you have guests for a special occasion breakfast.