5 Crowd Pleasing Holiday Breakfasts

Hollandaise Sauce Recipe

As the holidays approach, we think about the wonderful feasts we will prepare for our evening meals. However, what does one do for those out of town guests who stay overnight? Here are a few tips and breakfasts that will help you hold it together and maintain your cool while serving a crowd each morning.

Eggs Benedict Casserole Recipe
Eggs Benedict Casserole Recipe
  1. Black Friday Prep:  Freshly brewed Eight O’Clock coffee, choice of fresh fruit juices (orange, cranberry, apple, or grapefruit),  Broiled Grapefruit, Egg Bake Casserole with Cranberry Tomato Chutney, applewood smoked bacon and Buttermilk Biscuits.
    Broiled Grapefruit Recipe
    Broiled Grapefruit Recipe

    This combination is a favorite because the Broiled Grapefruit is quick, easy, light and can be prepared while the casserole and biscuits are baking. The Egg Bake Casserole can be prepared the evening before, and kept in the refrigerator.  I make the base mix and put it into a large wide-mouthed plastic bottle. In the morning I pour it into the greased casserole dish, add the vegetables, sprinkle with paprika, then pop it into a 350 degree oven for an hour. The chutney can be made ahead and it will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator or can be frozen to extend its life even longer. The protein from the eggs and bacon will be exactly what is need to sustain you through that hectic day of shopping.

  2. Fresh Berries, Gingerbread Pancakes with Lemon Sauce and grilled sausages.
    This is one of our most requested breakfasts. The berries are simply washed and placed in a bowl, however, we encourage our guests to be creative. We always have yogurt, honey and cereals on our buffet. We tell the guests to mix them any way that they like. The dry mix for the pancakes and the sauce can be prepared a day in advance. In the morning pour the lemon sauce into a double boiler to heat and using an electric mixer, mix the wet and dry pancake ingredients. We serve this dish with both the lemon sauce and maple syrup. We have found that most Americans just have to have maple syrup with their pancakes.

    Gingerbread pancake recipe
    Gingerbread pancakes with lemon sauce.
  3. Christmas Day: Poached Pears with Salty Cape Caramel Sauce, Crustless Quiche with red and yellow peppers, Broiled tomatoes, Corn Muffins and applewood smoked bacon on the side.

    Pear. Copyright L.V.O'Connell.
    Pear. Photo L.V.O’Connell
    Salted Cape Caramel Sauce
    Salted Cape Caramel Sauce

    The pears can be cut and placed cut side down in the brown sugar the evening before. I leave them covered with towels on the counter. In the morning I add the orange juice, butter and spices. Then I put them into the oven until they are fork tender. The quiche premix (everything except the half & half and eggs) can also be made the evening before and kept in the refrigerator in covered bowels. In the morning whisk in the half & half, eggs and vegtables. Pour the mixture into a greased pie plate and bake at 350 degrees until a knife comes out clean when inserted into the center.

  4. Boxing Day: Cranberry Sorbet, steaming Maple Oatmeal with warm Apple Muffins
    Recipe for Maple Oatmeal
    Maple Oatmeal with Fruit and Nuts
    Cape Cod Cranberry Sorbet.
    Cape Cod Cranberry Sorbet.
    Cape Cranberry Nut Muffins
    Cape Cranberry Nut Muffins

    This is another breakfast where the work is done ahead and your guests will marvel at your ability to whip up an amazing meal. Each fall during the Cape Cod Cranberry Harvest, we make many batches of sorbet and keep them in the freezer. Therefore, we have this delightful treat to serve right through the following summer. During sorbet making time the entire inn is filled with the aroma of boiling cranberries, it is heavenly. The tartness of the sorbet is a delightful complement to the Maple Oatmeal. The oatmeal ingredients can be placed into a slow cooker the evening before. It will be ready in the morning. More importantly your guests can serve themselves as they wake. The apple muffins served with local honey is a real treat. If desired, applewood smoked bacon can be served as a side.
    * Cranberry recipes.

  5. New Year’s Day Brunch: our signature juice, the Cape Cod Sunrise, Baked Apples, and Eggs Benedict Casserole.

    Hollandaise Sauce Recipe
    Hollandaise Sauce Recipe

    The baked apples and casserole can be prepared a day ahead and refrigerated. Be sure to put a few extra glasses with cranberry juice in the freezer on prep day too (our guests frequently ask for seconds).

    Tip: Add a bit of champagne to the Cape Cod Sunrise for a delightful New Year’s Day celebration mimosa.

All in all the above are what we have found to be five crowd pleasing breakfasts that are easy and fun to prepare and serve. Enjoy! Bill and I and the staff at the Palmer House Inn wish you all a Healthy and Happy Holiday Season.

A holiday breakfasts favorite Cape Cod Sunrise
Cape Cod Sunrise.

As always have fun, enjoy the process. In the end it is all about good friends and family, and good food.

More Crowd Pleasing Holiday Links


Cape Cod's Stowe Room, A
Harriet Beecher Stowe room
Cape Cod's Roosevelt Room, B
Cape Cod’s Roosevelt Room, B

While all of the bedchambers at the Palmer House have their own romantic charm suitable for relaxation after the most wonderful day of festivities on Cape Cod, we recommend the Harriet Beecher Stowe room, the Theodore Roosevelt room or the Emily Dickinson room. These rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces, jacuzzi-style tubs for a relaxing stay before and after your day.

 

8 Tips for Serving a Holiday Feast

Tips for serving a holiday feast.
Tips for serving a holiday feast.
Tips for serving a holiday feast.

Are you planning on serving a holiday feast to a group friends and/or family over the holidays? Nervous? Don’t worry. Whether it’s a group of old friends or new friends, whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner; here are some tips to keep the event running smoothly and to keep your stress as host or hostess to a minimum.

  1. Focus on one dish. Make sure that only one item on the menu is complicated. All other dishes need to be quick, simple to prepare, or prepared ahead of time. This is a good rule to follow for any meal from breakfast through to dinner. This way you can focus on the central dish, get it just right, and make it magnificent.
  2. Cape Cod Cranberry Sorbet.
    Cape Cod Cranberry Sorbet.

    Plan your meal. By coordinating the food colors, garnishes, and flavors across courses can really make a meal memorable. A sprig of spearmint really pops when placed on top of a scoop of cranberry sorbet. A bit of dill looks crisp when placed beside a dollop of cranberry-tomato chutney.

  3. Divide the tasks. Inevitably, someone arrives early and wants to help. Have them open the wine, set the table, cut vegetables,… If you have small tasks already thought through it’s easy to hand them over. This makes the meal go smoothly, and the guest feels useful.
  4. Choose the table linens and dishes to show off the food. For example, white plates are striking when serving a brightly yellow breakfast casserole, bacon strips, a corn muffin. Then add bright red tomato wedges and a leaf of basil along one side. Next sprinkle paprika around the plate’s rim and you have an eye-catching presentation.
  5. Create a theme for your meal. The theme can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. The Palmer House is in New England. I try to use local products in my cooking. We serve cranberry sorbet, cranberry nut muffins and cranberry-tomato chutney. Corn muffins, corn pudding, pumpkin pancakes and blueberry muffins. These offerings are all very popular. with our guests. New England maple syrup is also served with all of our pancakes, French toasts and waffles. On Independence Day we always serve Belgian waffles with strawberry topping. We sprinkle the waffle with blueberries and put whipped cream on the top. The waffle is served on a white plate that is dusted with a cinnamon-sugar blend. We then dust the waffle with powdered sugar and top it  with a miniature American flag.
  6. Test new dishes ahead of time. Always make a dry run for each of the dishes to be served. I find that the first few times that I prepare a new addition to the Palmer House Inn’s menu, I always have changes and I record the changes on the pages in my recipe book.
  7. Preparation, preparation, preparation. Do as much preparation as is possible ahead of time. Count out dishes and place doilies on serving plates. Place platters and serving utensils together. Have hot plates and warming trays in position and make sure the cords reach the plugs. Arrange flowers, roll or fold napkins, choose candles and holders. Also, make sure that you have matches at the ready. At the Palmer House Inn, one of our favorite fruit courses is a fresh berry fruit cup. The day before the cup is to be served we count out the parfait cups and place paper doilies on the serving dishes. They are then stacked and placed on a side counter. We wash and cut red and green grapes and refrigerate them in a covered bowel over night. All the other berries are washed and fresh-cut just before they are served. We top the berries with freshly harvested spearmint from the Palmer House’s organic herb garden.

    Romantic Champagne in Waterford
    Romantic Champagne in Waterford.
  8. Have fun. If you aren’t enjoying the process of preparing food and setting the meal, neither will the guests. One of the best lessons that I have learned during nearly a decade of serving breakfasts at the Palmer House is to keep smiling. Everyone makes mistakes. Don’t let errors throw you. Improvise, make do, make the best of it. Apologize for a mistake. Most folks realize that you are doing your best and understand a mishap.

Have fun, if you aren’t enjoying the process of preparing food and setting the meal, neither will the guests. One of the best lessons that I have learned during nearly a decade of serving breakfasts at the Palmer House is, keep smiling. Everyone makes mistakes. Do not let errors throw you. Improvise, make do, make the best of it. In the end it is all about good friends and good food.

If you’re not up to doing the cooking, come to Falmouth, where we’ll be having our own little Fall Harvest Tastings.

More Serving a Holiday Feast Links


Cape Cod's Stowe Room, A
Harriet Beecher Stowe room
Cape Cod's Roosevelt Room, B
Cape Cod’s Roosevelt Room, B

While all of the bedchambers at the Palmer House have their own romantic charm suitable for relaxation after the most wonderful day of festivities on Cape Cod, we recommend the Harriet Beecher Stowe room, the Theodore Roosevelt room or the Emily Dickinson room. These rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces, jacuzzi-style tubs for a relaxing stay before and after your day.

Review: Elegantly homey

Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast Rose

Dear Pat and Bill,

I never thought I would feel comfortable staying in a B&B, but our stay at the Palmer House Inn has delightfully proved me wrong! The room is so elegantly homey and the breakfasts are an enchanting way to start the day! The soft classical music adds a nice soothing touch. Thank you so much for everything!

– Joyce and Ron