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I love brunch-I love breakfast too, but let's face it, not many people love to get up early.

Here are some of my best tips for a successful brunch get-together:

Think classic with some twists.  Bagels with gourmet cream cheeses, different nut butters, fancy jellies and jams.  Have some great smoked salmon, lunch meats, other smoked fish and a fry pan ready.

This is also a great meal to chop up tidbits of cooked veggies, cheeses, chicken, turkey, ham and such and make a huge frittata.  Let it cook till room temperature and cut up into appetizer bites.

Instead of a fruit salad, which is a mess to make and time consuming-use slices of melon, sprays of grapes and platters of fresh berries.  If you want to take the time, use wood skewers and make fruit kabobs and have a variety of "dips" for your guests.  My favorite is melting bittersweet chocolate, a bit of rum flavoring and cool whip together.  

Have waffle batter pre-made and make up a waffle station and let your guests make their own!  Then have heated and varied syrups and fruit toppings and some whipped cream available.  This takes almost no time if you use either gourmet canned or bottled pie fillings and mix some of your favorite berries or roasted apples and pears into it.

For me, nothing says a great breakfast like having great coffee-so again, set up a fun bar:  coffee, flavored creamers, cinnamon sticks, sugar-free and regular flavoring syrups, move the whipped cream over to the bar (or set in between), sugars, cocoa powder, nutmeg and whatever else floats your boat! I was thinking some aperitifs, but that's obviously your call.

Make it simple and let your guests join in on the fun!  Make sure to have plenty of fresh juices and some favorite side dishes (depending on your menu!).  If you're serving the frittatas, have some salsas, chili, hot sauces and even a mock hollandaise for topping it with.  Have some crispy corn beef hash and hash browns in warming trays.

Like themes?  Set one:  Tropical?  Serve tropical fruits and give everyone a fake lei.  Like Latin themes?  Go for specialty salsas, hot sauces and use coffees grown in that part of the world.  Prefer deli?  Get some specialty mustards and serve up some cole slaw and potato salads.

Feeling really youthful?  Make it a pajama party!

Just remember-breakfast is easy, fast and very conversation friendly, especially after some coffee!

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