So, @Lizzie suggested we post some more topics sharing ideas, so here I go...
I don’t offer breakfast to my guests (just teas, coffees etc) for several reasons. I would consider including it though if I could make sure it was quick, easy and inexpensive. My main concern really is the amount of food wastage (you buy loads of fresh stuff and then the guests aren’t hungry/want to eat out for breakfast). Food wastage is a huge problem in the UK, and I was not brought up to throw out food without feeling guilty!
With that in mind, I’m looking for suggestions on very easy, but still pleasing, breakfast ideas for guests that don’t break the bank and minimize the chances of food waste/washing up. I know you can batch bake stuff and freeze it, but that still involves a lot of baking and, sure, we could just offer cereals, fruit and pastries, granola bars etc. but I’d like to offer something a bit more exciting...
Here are some ideas for starters:
1. Berry & Mascarpone Waffles
This is super easy because there aren't too many fresh ingredients so you can stock up and put it together if, and when, the guests want breakfast. You just need:
- Toaster waffles – inexpensive/have a long shelf life. Just pop them in the toaster when needed.
- Mascarpone. Not too expensive at my local supermarket/lasts a reasonable amount of time in the fridge. You could try extra thick Greek yoghurt or Crème Fraiche instead.
- Frozen berries. The frozen ones come in a large container, cost must less than fresh ones and you just use them as and when you need to.
- I would add a dusting of icing sugar for presentation.
2. Get out your muffin tray
I never thought of this before, but if you don’t have the time to hover over the stove making a full cooked breakfast using lots of pans, or even an omlet, apparently a muffin tray can be a life saver.
You pop your omelet ingredients into a greased tray and stick it in the oven, resulting in very cute mini omelet muffins. Apparently, these still taste good when reheated in the microwave.
A variation on this is to do a cooked breakfast by using bacon as a base, adding an egg and whatever else you fancy.
3. French Crepes (Pancakes)
Pop the crepes on a baking tray, then add some fillings, e.g. eggs and ham or cheese and ham, fold over the edges of the pancake and pop in the oven.
This recipe is for making the crepes from scratch, but I just buy the ready-made versions, which are inexpensive considering how many you get in a packet, last a while and probably look prettier than homemade versions, unless you are an expert.
4. Coddled Eggs
Does anyone know what an egg coddler is? Well, it’s quite an old-fashioned thing, but well worth a try as they look very pretty. I bought some inexpensively on Ebay. You just grease/butter it, add your accompaniment (smoked salmon and dill if you’re treating your guests, spinach, bacon, whatever you like) to the bottom and crack an egg on top (or two if you have a large coddler) and season. Put the lid on and place in a saucepan of water and bring to the boil. Cooking time will depend on if you want the eggs quite soft or more like hard boiled. The little hook on the lid makes it easy to remove from the pan. Serve with toasted bread.
You can either serve in the coddler, or turn the eggs out onto a plate, for a much fancier version of a poached egg. If you can’t get hold of a coddler, you could try this using small glass jars (Mason jars with lids are great), ramekins or whatever you think will be heatproof in the boiling water.
5. Bircher Muesli
For a healthy option, this is a simple thing to prep. I do this for myself sometimes, but never thought how pretty it could look if you make individual ones in Mason jars or similar.
Soak some oats in Greek yoghurt and a tiny bit of milk overnight. Layer with berries (frozen work well) in a jar. You could also add slices of frozen banana. I add a bit of vanilla essence to the yoghurt before mixing, but honey is good too. This is a great option if you are not going to be around when the guests eat breakfast as you can just leave it in the fridge for them, and even add individual labels for an added cuteness factor.
Would love to hear more ideas on this!
a week ago
These are great, @Huma! I do waffles, and prefer cooking from scratch, but my dilemma is always what to do for people when I am off in the big city and not available to make them breakfast. There are no cafés in my rural neighbourhood, so I can't just turn guests loose to forage. This is a brilliant list for both being around and being away. Especially those oatmeal jars for the latter. Much better and easier and more impressive than the frozen muffins the poor things have been getting.
Thanks for putting this together!
Thanks @Lawrene, I am sure your homemade waffles taste much better! I can imagine them right now...
My version with the toaster ones is handy for when you have next to no time to throw things together, or lack of fresh ingredients becuase the toaster ones keep fresh for ages in the packet.
The little jars of bircher muesli are probably the best option for when you are not around. Will try to find some more ideas for that scenario...
a week ago
These are great @Huma, and thanks for posting! These alone deserve 5 stars :D
Every now and then I come across a great idea like the muffin version of savory recipes and promptly forget them. So seeing them here will make them stick in my mind better! It won't be for my guests (not going to start with serving breakfast), but for my own private serving ideas!
a week ago
Great post. Thanks When we have guests staying for an extended stay I always struggle with other options.
a week ago
When I first started I offered simple granola bars and tea and then because of the expense nixed the whole breakfast thing. Then I had nothing for a few months or guests were fine with the occasional box of donuts. Now I offer a big bowl of fruit and it goes bad because no one even touches it. I asked a guest one time to enjoy the fruit and she said "Im on a low carb diet and I didn't think hosts were suppose to offer food." LOL. With that said I no longer go out of my way to offer breakfast of any kind to my guests but these ideas would be great if I was throwing a brunch with my friends.
Thanks @Zacharias, I also started putting a bowl of fruit into the guest rooms. Some partake and others don't so now when I do it, I tend to use fruit that will keep for several days, e.g. apples, rather than bananas or other soft fruits that go off quickly. I also only do it when the guests are staying a few days. A guest staying only two nights probably won't eat a whole bowl of it.
It's okay in the winter, but not sure if I will do it in the summer as I don't want to attract fruit flies or anything. I'm guessing fruit doesn't last so long in your environment.
a week ago
Lovely post @Huma or should I say delicious post! :) I read this whilst eating my porridge this morning and as much as I was enjoying it, it definitely doesn't come close to waffles!
I stayed in a lovely Airbnb last year and my host cooked the most incredible omelettes for breakfast...it was clear he had made quite a few in his time, he even had perfectly sized pans just right for cooking an amazing omelette!
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Thanks @Lizzie, sorry for putting you off your porridge!
I used to live in Brussels and the smell of freshly cooked waffles from the street stalls used to drive me crazy! I just couldn't resist. I ended up getting quite plump as a result (the frites and Belgian chocolate didn't help either), so it's probably best to save the waffles for an occasional treat and stick to your porridge :)