"Home for the Holidays" Brunch

Between Thanksgiving and the New Year, your home may double as a bed-and-breakfast. Use this brunch menu, the timeline, and these suggestions to make your guests feel at home. It may result in a stress-free and positively memorable holiday season.


Enlarge Image Crowd-Pleaser Cinnamon Rolls

Though some people pale at the thought of waking up the night after a dinner party and having to make yet another meal, hosting friends and relatives in my home is my favorite way to entertain. I like to sip coffee in the morning with dear ones, catch up on news (and yes, exchange gossip saved for no one else), all while casually throwing together a feast of a meal that will get us through the day.

We'll hang out in the kitchen, put on another pot of coffee for the sleepyheads who've just arrived, and before you know it, the homemade cinnamon rolls will be ready to pop into the oven. It seems we've waited all year to not be rushing through those precious moments -- to have time to talk and time to let the dough rise.

Cherished memories are made around the kitchen table. Everyone remembers hospitality like this.

Brunch Menu for the Holidays
Poinsettia Mimosas

Add sparkle to your brunch. Orange juice and champagne start the day in style. If you prefer, there is also a nonalcoholic version.

View Poinsettia Mimosas recipe

Turkey-Asparagus Brunch Bake

If you have turkey left over from your holiday dinner, chop it up and add it in place of the uncooked ground turkey. Depending on which vegetable you prefer, you can use frozen asparagus or broccoli for this colorful morning meal. Mix and match the herb and vegetable to create a different flavor combination each time you serve this cheese-laced egg casserole.

View Turkey-Asparagus Brunch Bake recipe

People-Pleasing Cinnamon Rolls

Imagine the wonderful aroma of freshly baked rolls. It's a simple feat -- let the dough rise overnight in the refrigerator. The next morning, give the rolls a little warm-up time at room temperature, then bake them until golden.

View People-Pleasing Cinnamon Rolls recipe

Minted Fruit Compote

Winter's best-loved fruits team up with fresh mint, kiwifruit, and pomegranate seeds. The season for pomegranates is short, but they keep in the refrigerator for up to two months. Buy one when you shop for your Thanksgiving turkey and save it for Christmas morning.

View Minted Fruit Compote recipe

One day ahead...
  • Combine the cranberry juice, Triple Sec, and maraschino cherry juice for the mimosas.
  • Saute the veggies and turkey for the Brunch Bake and place in baking dish. Cover and refrigerate. In a separate bowl, prepare the egg mixture together for this same dish. Cover and refrigerate.
  • Make the Minted Fruit Compote.
The night before...
  • Assemble the dough for the People-Pleasing Cinnamon Rolls through step 7. Cover and refrigerate the dough overnight.
Two hours before brunch is served...
  • Take the cinnamon roll dough out of the refrigerator and let stand for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven for baking and continue with recipe.
  • Set the table or a buffet if you have not already done so.
30 minutes before brunch is served...
  • Complete the Turkey Asparagus Brunch Bake (the rolls should be out of the oven by now).
  • Take the fruit compote out of the refrigerator to let it warm up a bit.
  • Make the glaze for the cinnamon rolls.
10 minutes before serving time...
  • Make a fresh pot of coffee.
  • Assemble the cocktails.

There's more to being a great hostess than food, of course. During the holidays, everyone feels a little spent, so it's important to make sure the guest room can be a restful getaway. Here are a few tips for making your home the best hotel in town.

  • Place nightstands with reading lamps on both sides of the bed.
  • Have an extra chair, side table, and other storage space available so your guests can really settle in and feel at home.
  • If you can, clean out a space in the closet, too.
  • Have a nice variety of pillows (soft, firm, down, hypo-allergenic) and blankets (light cotton to heavy wool) on hand.
  • Flowers, a portable CD player, or even a small television are nice touches.
  • Don't overschedule your guests -- give them the option of resting or touring about town on their own for a bit.
  • Purchase any special foods, like cream for coffee, that you know your guests prefer.
  • Show guest how to find their way around your kitchen in case they are up late at night or early in the morning.
Biscuits with Scrambled Eggs and Basil-Cheese Sauce

Down-home biscuits go upscale for this elegant brunch dish.

View Biscuits with Scrambled Eggs and Basil-Cheese Sauce recipe

Farmer's Casserole (for 12)

Our readers rave about this easy-to-prepare brunch favorite.

View Farmer's Casserole (for 12) recipe

Bacon Popovers

Bacon makes everything better.

View Bacon Popovers recipe

Cranberry Ring

Dazzle your guests with this delectable homemade holiday pastry.

View Cranberry Ring recipe

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