HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


Need breakfast/brunch ideas for office

We're having a holiday breakfast/brunch from 7 - 10 next week. Our office has microwaves, a toaster and a small toaster oven. There is no stove or oven. It's about a 45 minutes drive in to the city, so whatever I bring will NOT be piping hot when it arrives. Any suggestions on something savory that will not suffer (bacterially or presentation-wise) from time spent at room temperature?? I'm looking for something besides the ever present sausage balls, pigs n a blanket, breakfast/hash brown casserole. Thanks in advance . . .

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. That's a nice idea.
    How about a strata or fritatta? The individual slices can be microwaved before serving.

    1. Most people love a simple spinach/mushroom quiche, and it's good even at room temperature. You could bring in one with meat and one without.

      I also brought in a sack of better-than-usual fruit, cheese, fresh bread, and juice once. Really easy for me, but guess who was Ms. Popular that day?

      1. I second fritatta. It's perfectly good at room temperature, and can be heated up by the slice in a toaster oven. If you have time, I'd make it the morning of, but if you make it the night before, refrigerate it overnight. The 45 minute drive should be enough to bring it up to room temperature.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Buckethead

          I've never made a fritatta. Is it like a quiche without crust? Does anyone have a recipe or site for a good one? I thought about quiche but thought the crust might become soggy after a while sitting out.

          1. re: sheilal

            I doubt the crust would get soggy unless you let it sit out for several hours. And even then, probably not. Bakeries leave quiche out all day and they're fine, and I've eaten quiche the second day and not had the crust be soggy.

            1. re: sheilal

              Yeah, it's basically an egg pie. I've also made spinach and egg strata (kind of the same thing, with bread in it) in a crock pot that came out pretty well. Just google "strata crock pot" or "frittata crock pot" for some great breakfast ideas.

              1. re: sheilal

                The 'recipe' for fritatta is kind of open for interpretation, but here's how I make one. It's a bit like an omelet that doesn't get folded in half. You'll need a cast-iron skillet, stainless will do but make sure it will go in the oven.

                Basically, you want to cover the bottom of the pan with your savory ingredients that need to be cooked, cook them for about 4 or 5 minutes, add the eggs, cook till the eggs are half done, sprinkle whatever on top (bacon, scallions, cheese, whatever) then finish it in the oven. The savory stuff is up to you. I usually use 3/4 cup each of diced onions and cooked diced potatoes (5 minutes in a pan isn't long enough for potatoes), a bit of chopped chives, and 6 eggs in a 10-inch skillet. Here's how you make it:

                0. Heat up your broiler.
                1. Heat up the pan over medium heat, coat the bottom with a thin layer of olive oil. It needs to be enough to not only cook the veggies, but to keep the fritatta from sticking to the pan when it's done.
                2. Add your veggies, cook them for about 5 minutes, or until they're slightly soft. A good rule is to just add enough veggies to cover the bottom of the pan in one layer. Fritatta is very flexible, but I usually like onions and potatoes. Any vegetables you like will probably work, just make sure that if they require a longer cooking time, you do that before you begin (like steaming potatoes beforehand).
                3. While the veggies are cooking, whisk the eggs in a bowl with a few heavy pinches of salt and pepper. For a 10-inch pan, I usually use 5 or 6 eggs. You can add some milk to add volume if you'd rather not use so many eggs, but it won't be as good. A bit of pecorino romano cheese in with the eggs is also good. If you're adding a delicate green veggie or herb like chives, scallions or basil, or anything else you want to add that won't be cooked, add it to the eggs at this point.
                4. When the veggies are softened a bit, dump the eggs in. Stir it just enough to evenly distribute the veggies in with the eggs.
                5. Cook until the eggs are just cooked on the bottom of the pan, about 2-3 minutes. The top of the fritatta should still be liquid, the bottom will be solid. Tilt the pan to check. While this is going on, grate some cheese on top. Whatever you like, but it's going in the oven in a minute, so I usually stick to drier cheeses (aged cheddar, romano, gruyere).
                6. Pull the pan off the heat and put it under the broiler until the eggs are finished cooking through, 1-2 minutes or maybe a little longer depending on how done they were on the stovetop. You can leave it in a little longer if you'd like to brown the cheese more, but usually it browns pretty close to the time the eggs are done. The fritatta will pull away from the sides of the pan slightly.
                7. Let it rest for about 5 minutes before cutting it, but DO make sure to cut it before it cools completely, because the bottom will sweat and get soggy.

                This is probably TMI, but as long as the eggs are cooked and not overcooked, you're fine.

            2. How about some freshly made muffins? I have a marmelade and poppy seed recipe somewhere which make a really good breakfast.

              1. I'd go with the quiche as well. I make mini-quiche in a mini muffin tin, sans crust, which I use for almost all the (non-pro) catering events I do. I do a bacon and onion one and a spinach and mushroom one, pour into the mini-muffin tins and bake. They're good hot, room temp or cold even. Might also try fruit salad on a stick... Just ball up some melons, strawberries, blueberries, or whatever floats your boat and then create fruit kabobs with them. Add a tasty fruit dip. You can use one of the cleaned out melon rind halves for the dip bowl (slice a small sliver off the bottom so it sits flat) and could even use an overturned melon half for standing the skewers in. Pretty and tasty :) And of course muffins, as suggested above are always a hit. I do those in the mini tins as well. Let's everyone have a few mini-bites without having to fill up on just one thing.

                1. We have weekly staff meetings, and the rule is that whatever we bring in MUST be home made - no stopping at the donut shop on the way in.

                  I became a legend in my group when I brought in a bowl of nicely spiced scrambled eggs, a stack of tortillas, diced chilis, green and red salsas, and a bowl of chopped chorizo for a make-your-own breakfast burrito. It was easy enough to prepare everything the night before, and it took only a few minutes to heat up the eggs and chorizo in the mu-wave the next morning.

                  1. Does your local grocer carry crossiant dough? If so, its easy to bake fresh and offer jam, melted chocolate, grated cinnamon as toppings!

                    Coffee bar...we learned a long time ago that good coffee at any office brunch was essential. Many people enjoy flavored beans.

                    Fresh fruit salad, easy and light


                    1. I loved it when someone in the office brought in homemade crepes. She also brought in: a raspberry coulis, whipped cream, maple syrup, a mushroom sauce and grated cheese. We each assembled our own crepes, sweet or savory, and heated whatever we wanted in the microwave. Good!

                      1. How about homemade granola (with store bought milk)?

                        1. In my office the rule ir that on your birthday or the Tues. closest sice that is the day we have our meeting that you bring the treats. Okay I don't eat a lot of sugar or flour. I do not have to rely on public trasnsortation or this would be impossible (imagne Realtors using public transport or for that matter bicycles...another side issue our brilliant city gvt. has required all recently built public buildings in the past 10 years to provide bicycle racks which go 99.9% unused) Anyway editorializing aside, I have 2 of the large Le Creuset bakers/lasagne pans and make 2 different breakfast casseroles. One is Tex-Mex sort of a baked Migas where I prepare everything the night before and pop in the oven while I am showering etc. in the AM the other for the non-carb conscious is a savoury bread pudding breakfast casserole. I cannot tell you how happy people are not to see another box of bagels and assorted cream cheeses nor do-nuts or other AM pasteries. I asked a few years ago what they would prefer I bring in and the response was overwhelmingly "No Sugary Stuff" so each year I comply. The LC bakers really hold the heat so in the 5-10 mins it takes to reach my office and get the stuff in it is still hot and savoury. There are so many options too. This year I used an Italian theme with Italian sausage and cheeses. We have one vegetarian so I make the savoury bread pudding meatless and thaoe who want to add some meat can have some of the breadless strata.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Candy

                            We used to do a breakfast club and I would always bring various strata. Assemble the night before, pop them in the oven as I was getting ready. I have these great Pyrex insulated totes. My 90 minute commute allowed the strata to cool to the perfect temperature. Huge success.....they wanted me to cook for others when it was there turn. Ha!

                            One other time I got really creative and brought in Biscuits and Gravy. While they were a smashing success, I would not do it again. Too hard to get the (quantity) of gravy warmed in the MW and sstabilized in the Crock Pot.

                          2. Second the recs for quiche or strata, croissants with jam and butter, as well as good fruit salad with greek yogurt and honey.

                            If you want to go a little different and "unbreakfasty," how about high quality sourdough loaf or french bread, with a variety of good cheese, including brie, mozzarella, etc. along with bruschetta toppings, olive or artichoke tapenade, and a few nice jams or preserves... Toast away.

                            1. Danish puff - last seen in the current Betty Crocker. It's a an easy to make pastry (two doughs - on a pate a choux). I cut it into diamond shapes and garnish with berries. It can also serve as a dessert for other meals. It's a favourite Christmas morning treat with our coffee.

                              Speaking of coffee - what about biscotti? I make two simple versions - almond, and cranberry orange. Great for a quick dessert, but also good with a morning espresso. One recipe makes a lot.

                              1. Well guys, went with the frittata (made with chorizo & green chilis!) and it was a huge success! The office "breakfast casserole" maker was green with envy because mine was devoured while hers was barely touched (quite unusual, since bfast casseroles are pretty standard fare). I guess everyone was ready for a change of flavor. Thanks your all the suggestions.