Happy national waffle day! I saw this being promoted at Whole Foods last week and wanted to do a post on it. Oh course I then realized that I make my waffles from a box so not exactly thrilling, artisan stuff. Then all of a sudden a dinner party menu popped into my head. Use the waffles as dessert and build a whole menu around breakfast foods. When I was in college the cook at my sorority house would do breakfast for dinner once a month and it was always the most popular night. It makes you feel like a kid to eat a stack of waffles for dinner and even better if you can pair it with a mimosa! For breakfasts and brunches I always try to get a good balance of salty and sweet. This menu brings all of that and appropriate sophistication so your friends don’t think you sold scrambled eggs as a dinner party. For the decor I tried to keep it somewhat rustic and simple since breakfast isn’t really the time for fussiness.
Everything Bagel Bilinis
I wanted an appetizer to start the meal that was classic breakfast with a twist. I spread room temperature marscapone cheese on plain bagel chips and sprinkled with sea salt and everything bagel spice. You could definitely use cream cheese but I had marscapone on hand and I think it added a richer sophistication to the canape. I have the Better Than Everything Bagel Seasoning Blend which is great but you could also make you own using poppy seeds, sesame seeds, crushed pepper, and onion and garlic flakes. I served these with champagne to start the meal.
Custardy Baked Orzo with Spinach Bacon and Feta and Toast with Chive Butter
This dish is the reason why I was able to do this dinner party on a weeknight. Instead of making eggs, frying up bacon and then trying to get a salad or veggie in there somewhere I threw them all into a casserole. This delicious recipe from Food and Wine magazine was a hit and the left overs were terrific the next day. It’s a lot like a frittata but even easier because you don’t have to worry about flipping it. The addition of greek yogurt I thought odd at first but it really gives the dish a nice tang and helps bind the whole thing together. I also toasted up some sourdough bread that I had in the freezer and whipped up a quick herb butter to serve along side of it. Just mash up room temperature butter with any herbs of your choosing, I went with chives here and some sea salt.
Kahlua Waffles with Coffee Gelato
I have tried making waffles from scratch and cannot tell the difference at all from those that came from a box. I like Trader Joe’s Buttermilk Pancake Mix but I honestly think any box mix will do. To class these up I substituted Kahlua for half of the water that the mix calls for. You can make the batter in advance and just keep it in the fridge until you are ready to make the waffles. I topped it with coffee gelato, sticking with the breakfast theme, and some dark and milk chocolate balls for texture. It was a delicious and fun evening with zero stress. Best of all any leftovers can be eaten the next morning for breakfast of course!