You want to have your friends over for the holidays, but coordinating evening schedules is basically impossible unless you plan six months in advance – which you did not. Fix: Throw a brunch. It doesn't have to be fancy (or it can be!) but morning schedules are usually a lot less packed than they are after the sun sets, so chances are your friends are free.
WHAT TO SERVE
Savory: An egg dish you can make in a flash is a must. The last thing you want to do is your short-order cook impression, sweating and slaving over a stove making huevos to order; forget that. The easiest option is a slow-cooker breakfast casserole you can set and forget the night before. For a more gourmet gathering, try a strata, a frittata, a bread pudding or a quiche. They're all easy to make for a crowd, come together quickly and are delicious even at room temp in case of stragglers.
Sweet: Head to one of our best bakeries early and pile a box full of muffins, kouign amann, croissants, streusel bars, or fresh donuts or bagels. Feeling ambitious? A ring of monkey bread in a Bundt pan (aka "tear and share" to you Great British Baking Show fans) is easy and can be adapted to plenty of different flavors. Impress further with a tin of fluffy fresh cinnamon rolls, but you'll have to start those sweet breads the night before to give them enough time to rise.
WHAT THEY CAN BRING
If your friends are any kind of decent people, they'll probably ask if they can bring anything to the shindig. Take them up on it and make your life easier by divvying up responsibilities for disposable tableware. Even better, ask them to bring a bottle of bubbly or a fun mixer for mimosas, bloody marys, bellinis or palomas.
– This story appears in the Dec. 3, 2019, print issue of Orlando Weekly. Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly Headlines newsletter.