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Room Temperature Brunch buffet ideas ?

We're going to have some of the neighbors over for New Year's Day brunch. Smoked fish, bagels, and hash browns are definites. Any other ideas for things that can be made ahead and served at room temperature would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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  1. Go for a couple of frittatas . .. I know Marcella Hazan's aspararagus frittata is excellent at room temp.

    1. One of my favourite indulgences at brunch is cinnamon rolls ... fits the make ahead and serve at room temp criteria...as do muffins or scones, which are something you can get a bit creative with, using seasonal ingredients..A nice cheese plate always goes well...(I dunno that I'd serve hash browns at room temp, I like them hot...but that's just me.)

      4 Replies
      1. re: maplesugar

        Yes! Hash browns will be hot...everything else at room temp to make it doable.

        1. re: DaisyM

          sorry, wasn't trying to offend...I just understood from your original post that everything was to be served at room temp. should have realized the hash browns would be served hot my apologies.

          1. re: maplesugar

            Seriously, no need for apologies! I really appreciate everyone's input. I'm having about 20 people this year and know that it will work best if I can make things ahead of time and serve at room temperature.

        2. Big green salad.

          Yogurt parfaits (if you can keep stuff in the fridge until just before your guests arrive, they'll be fine at room temp for a couple of hours). Granola might get soggy, but diced fruit will hold well - say, apples tossed with cinnamon and lemon juice. Or you could simmer some thawed frozen berries so they gel up a bit, if you're feeling decadent.

          Coffee cake.

          Roasted veggie platter (eggplant, mushroom, onions, etc - not so much with the root veggies, maybe, if you're having hash browns).

          Definitely frittata or quiche.

          Now I'm hungry...

          4 Replies
          1. re: chloe103

            I agree that a quiche or frittata would be fine served at room temperature. Do you have a crock pot or two? You can make a hot fruit compote, and also keep some ham warm in a crock pot to serve with croissants or mini rolls..

            Quick breads and muffins with fruit flavored butters or cream cheeses, fresh fruit tray or fruit skewers with a dip. And as LaLa said, mimosoes and bloody marys are a brunch staple, along with other fruit juices.

            1. re: blizlady

              I know you said room temp, but I'm going to throw something out anyway, just in case you have the oven room and wouldn't mind something warm if it's incredibly easy.

              I often make this baked french toast for brunch. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... You can even skip the orange syrup and just put out maple syrup. It takes about 5 minutes to put together the night before, then you just stick it in the oven in the morning. People love it.

              1. re: blizlady

                frittata's definitely the way to go. i'd avoid quiche...if it sits around for a while you may end up with soggy crust.

              2. re: chloe103

                or you could set up a parfait "bar" with the granola on the side and people can assemble their own. HTat is always popular. And straining the yogurt makes for a more luxurious treat.

              3. I have done both the Clone of a Cinnabon from allrecipes.com (uses the bread machine to make dough...AMAZING) and also the larger rec from thepioneerwomancooks.com. Her version makes ALOT but you could always bake off smaller pans of say 4 and give them as gifts to your guests. They are both really great and super indulgent.

                1. Using the crock pot is a great idea! Yes, I could stick french toast in the oven. I'm just trying to avoid frying or any last minute crazy stuff. Love the ideas so far, please tell me what else you do!

                  1. I think you might want to greet your guests with a nice hot drink, no matter what libations you have later.

                    Having a couple of coffee pots set up will be good

                    A cookie table.

                    Plans will be different if everyone is arriving at an appointed time or if you're having an open house.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: yayadave

                      The invitation will say noon. Yes, absolutely coffee. Maybe a coffee bar? champagne, bloody mary's, too.

                      1. re: DaisyM

                        You might have to think of tea, also.

                        Or you could make a big pot of really rich hot chocolate!! Really rich!!

                        I'm sort of figuring on cold weather.

                    2. A cheese board with sides of honey, mustard, and...

                      Make or buy a cheese torte/strata

                      Make or buy terrines or pates

                      How many ways can you make deviled eggs? It may not sound like something for your New Year's Brunch, but they always disappear.

                      Another noc-out - a pizza rustica. This is usually an Easter treasure of richness. It could certainly celebrate New Year's Day.

                      1. I like different types of quiche for a self-serve brunch. A simple salad of greens would go nicely.

                        1. Selection of really really good cheeses.

                          1. A baked ham or half a ham, nicely glazed. Put out a basket of small rolls, cut halfway through, next to the ham, and a variety of mustards. Leave a sharp knife handy and cut a few slivers of ham to give people the idea. This is always a wonderful success on a buffet. If you bake the ham that morning it will be fine on the buffet for hours. BTW a commercially spiral-cut ham doesn't work well for this "little bitty sandwiches" purpose.

                            1. Definitely agree on the frittatas.

                              Perhaps a baked good and jam bar... scones, popovers, croissants, muffins, with a variety of interesting jams, marmalades, roasted garlic cheeses, mascarpone, nutella, etc.

                              Baked Potato Bar w/ the potatoes held in a warmer...

                              Panini Bar w/ a waffle iron at the end... lay out ingredients and allow guests to make sandwiches and wafflify or paninify.