Buffets are one of our favorite kitchen island trends. More casual than a traditional sit-down dinner, buffets are becoming increasingly popular because they take some of the stress out of hosting a party. If you have a kitchen island, you luckily have the perfect place to set up a buffet.
French for Sideboard, a buffet places food in a central location, allowing guests to serve themselves. And while buffets don’t require as much planning and entertaining, they still require a lot of cooking. Prepping a variety of dishes to cover your countertop is often a daunting task. Why not plan a party that is enjoyable for everyone, including the host? Here are three simple buffet ideas that are perfect for spring.
The Breakfast Bar
With Mother’s Day approaching, why not treat Mom, Mother-in-Law, and Grandmother to a lovely breakfast buffet? If you are a Mom yourself, you deserve a break as well, so keep the set up simple. Place a vase of freshly cut spring flowers on one end of your kitchen island, and set out some pretty plates and napkins. On the opposite end, place your beverages. We suggest a fruity alcohol-free punch, and a few pitchers of iced tea and lemon water.
Keep the menu simple as well, and include both sweet and savory options. Set out a platter of cinnamon rolls and scones as your sweets, fresh fruit salad, and a bunt or coffee cake. Finger sandwiches are ideal brunch fare, such as egg salad and chicken salad on mini croissants, herbed cream cheese and cucumbers on white bread squares, and sliced ham and Swiss cheese roll ups. Search Pinterest for easy egg strata recipes as well. A hot breakfast casserole will complete your menu nicely.
The Baked Potato Bar
This family-friendly option is fun and inexpensive when serving a lunch crowd. Purchase large potatoes that are uniform in size, and scrub them well. Rub them with olive oil and course salt, prick them with a fork, and place them on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake your potatoes in a 400-degree oven for an hour, or until soft. Remove them from the oven, cut across the top of each potato, and squeeze the ends together to open them slightly. Wrap your potatoes in foil to stay warm, and then place them in a basket on your kitchen island.
Set up your buffet with all the topping necessary for a delicious lunch. Basics like salt, pepper, and sour cream are a must. Then get creative with different types of shredded cheeses, fresh herbs, sliced avocado, roasted vegetables, chili, pulled pork, chicken, or brisket, crumbled bacon, pepperoni, sauces, salsas, and dressings.
The Taco Bar
Tacos are the perfect choice for a causal dinner buffet. Use festive covered baskets on one end of your kitchen island to house hard shells, soft corn, and flour tortillas. Serve a variety of seasoned meats like ground sirloin, shredded pork, and grilled chicken, plus roasted vegetables like corn, onions, peppers, and zucchini. Then add sour cream, shredded cheddar, crumbled cotija, guacamole, sliced avocado, lime wedges, jalapenos, chopped cilantro, lettuce, black beans, and a selection of salsas to finish the spread.
When you think of kitchen island ideas, setting up a buffet seems like an obvious choice. Contemporary homes have open floor plans and kitchen islands that are just right for entertaining. Buffets are no longer reserved for just weddings, and sit down dinners in the dining room are not a requirement. You’ve let go of the fancy presentation, so let go of the fancy menu as well with a simple, self-serve menu that is sure to please.
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