If you want to provide several hot beverage choices, you can keep water hot in a crock pot or other glass container like a teapot. Try not to use a coffeepot, as even the water heated in it will have a coffee taste and so will the beverages that are prepared with this hot water. For the heated water, you can set out an assortment of beverages, including hot chocolate, tea (both regular and herbal) and coffee. Don’t forget the flavored creamers.
You can also have a variety of breads and bagels by your toaster. Keep these items wrapped so they don’t dry out. By the toaster, have a knife and cutting board on a towel to collect the crumbs for easier clean-up. If you don’t want bread or toast, how about muffins? You can make a variety of them ahead to store in the refrigerator or freezer. Don’t forget to set the jams, jellies and peanut butter nearby. Why not have a plate of sliced cheese and fresh fruit cups? Like the other items, this can all be prepared ahead.
When you want to have hot foods, overnight breakfast casseroles are great. There are so many to choose from — all of our wonderful cookbooks are filled with them. There are overnight French toast casseroles, the sausage breakfast ones, and of course the egg and ham ones. Overnight coffeecakes are delicious too. Probably one of the favorites would be overnight cinnamon rolls or anything that is yeast bread. There is just nothing like the aroma of warm yeast breads.
If you want to really go simple set out several boxes of different cereals so people can help themselves to their favorite. Make sure to have the raisins, dried cranberries, sugar and some fresh fruits like bananas and oranges nearby. Remember all this can be set out the night before.
By planning ahead and asking others to help, you can be a hostess who enjoys the company vs. a short-order cook. Enjoying company and the conversation over good food is what having family and friends to your home is all about.