I am considering it this year for some close friends and neighbors but I have no chafing dishes or enough dishes to go round. Would it be too tacky to use paper plates (nice ones)?
Also would it be too hard to serve pancakes? I'm dying to try this lemon-bluebery-ricotta pancake recipe. I will also have some kind of egg dish that I can baked and then pull out. Mimosas and coffee, of course.
Any suggestions for food? I had one once years ago and served a Spanish tortilla with alioli that everyone liked.
I make a bunch of quiches the day before. Heat them up. Serve with fruit salad and bagels. I invite 40 people. Paper plates.
It's fun and easy.
you can rent almost anything you need - this is what I've done for years - you don't even have to wash dishes (and they are beautiful b/t/w), just scrape and pack in the crates - glasses, flatware, table cloths, everything. for menu ideas search restaurant and catering sites - I would actually get a couple of dishes from a caterer (that perhaps you would like to serve but don't have the time, or don't make well) and then prepare a couple of things you do well - that's my advice -
Approximately how many people are you intending to have over? Pancakes for eight is probably doable, while pancakes for 20 is probably not (if you want to make sure that the pancakes hot and you can serve all your guests reasonably close in time together).
I still have to make up a guest list R3. If it's too many people I will nix the pancakes and maybe do french toast casserole along with an egg dish and fruit.
Why would anyone with no chafing dishes or enough dishes to entertain decide to hold a party requiring chafing dishes and enough dishes to go around? Especially when this person has no idea how many people he is inviting. Makes no sense.
Another fantasy brunch/dinner party
Some of the best times are casual R5. Not everyone has access to catering equipment or space to store it.
Why not a baked potato bar? You could make a baked potatoes in the oven and provide your guests with scads of different toppings, such as Red Dragon cheese, shrimp, creamed beef, etc.
Or just set up a buffet of ham and turkey sandwiches, bags of lettuce, hard-boiled eggs, heaps of tomato, and lashings of ginger beer.
Check out your recipes in Cook's Illustrated books (check your library - they have many subjects / books). They rigorously test various recipes and explain WHY you must use certain ingredients, amounts, and how you put it together for the best possible taste / texture / presentation. So you can't go wrong.
Have fun and enjoy your brunch.
P.S. I think paper plates are not fabulous, but you know, it really depends on who you're inviting. Some people would be put off, but some are just glad to come eat your food and socialize. In my case, my dishes don't match at all - I have a lot of different things put together, with individual pieces of handmade pottery, and I don't care. But I would also never invite anyone who would make me feel judged or insecure.
So rent the dishes if you must, or just invite people who won't mind paper. Ask your non-judgy friends if you can borrow their chafing dish, or post for one on Craigslist and Freecycle - I've had good luck borrowing and lending things on Freecycle. In fact, I just loaned a piece to a local crafter to use at her art fair. This is how community should really work - we all help each other out, which makes living more affordable.
[quote]I'm dying to try this lemon-bluebery-ricotta pancake recipe
By any chance is this the one on the cover of this month's Better Homes and Gardens Breakfast and Brunch issue? I bought it and that picture is still staring at me.
It is R9.
[quote] Not everyone has access to catering equipment or space to store it.
Caterers bring the equipment, or it is rented; one doesn't have to store it beyond the next day. And if one doesn't have space for that, does one have space for many guests?
OP no matter how many people, go with a French toast casserole, a couple quiches, and lovely basket of pastries, muffins, croissants,& bagels, a wonderful fruit salad, and get one of those spiral sliced honey baked hams. You can also serve an herb roasted turkey breast with cranberry garnish. Another option is to make or buy (from Costco) a nice chicken pot pie. Or two. I make mine. Square dish, Very easy. Use Grands biscuits on top.
A small cheese platter, a brie en croute with carmelized pecans on top. You're done! Everything buffet style.Dont forget to have some black-eyed peas to serve for luck. Pinto beans with chopped onions and tomatoes is another option. Beans on NY Day are traditional for good luck.
Go to a store that sells party goods,get some really nice quality paper plates and cutlery, plastic glasses napkins, and you are in business.