Breakfast Bagel Buffet

During the week, breakfast is often a cup of yogurt with fruit, honey, and granola or a lightly-toasted bagel with cream cheese or a favorite preserve slathered on. So when it comes to a decadent weekend or vacation, you need something else. Or do you?

If your August is turning up the heat while seeing you trying to relax and enjoy the moment, there's nothing quite like assembling a bagel buffet for your breakfast or brunch needs, particularly if you are feeding a crowd. I like to pick up 2-3 different varieties of bagels (mini bagels are perfect for this because you can enjoy more toppings) and arrange them on a large platter. Then grab two more platters -- one for sweet options and the other for savory options -- and get going!

Some ideas for savory options (this list is just inspiration - feel free to move beyond and expand to other favorites):

  • whipped cream cheese (pick flavored varieties if you'd like!)
  • fresh herbs (think sage, basil, etc.)
  • cured meats
  • smoked fish and/or lox
  • olives
  • capers and/or pickles
  • cheese (find some variety here - soft & hard varieties, mild & sharp)
  • fresh vegetables (sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, etc.)
  • tapenades (olive, roasted vegetable, tomato, and red pepper are all lovely)
  • hummus

Some ideas for sweet options (again, this list is just inspiration - feel free to move beyond and expand to other favorites):

  • whipped cream cheese (pick flavored varieties if you'd like!)
  • dark, milk, and/or white chocolate chips
  • yogurt (thicker varieties work better here)
  • fresh fruit (pick something with a lot of flavor that's in season)
  • nuts (I love cocoa-coated almonds!)
  • granola (coarse varieties tend to be prettier on the plate and finger-friendly)
  • preserves (try to pick a variety of flavors, colors, and textures)
  • cinnamon sugar
  • fresh herbs (think mint, lemon balm, etc.)

Finally, cover up the fact that you literally didn't have to do any cooking to assemble this glorious spread by arranging everything on the platters and setting them out on a brightly-colored tablecloth or blanket and popping a few fresh flowers into a vase as well. I just opted to put some sage blossoms from my garden into a vase that helped make everything smell light and fresh. That's the decadently casual feel I was going for with this fun spread that encourages everyone to taste, linger, and enjoy the summer together!

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