January 1: HECK YEAH! Let’s do this! Bring it, 2015! This is gonna be awwwweeesome!!!!!
January 2: Zzzzz-zzzz. Shh. No talkee before coffee. More coffee please. How am I already behind and it’s only the second day of the new year? Yawn.
New Year’s Day Pajama Party
I might be slightly more tired than usual because yesterday we hosted our annual New Year’s Day Pajama Party. It was loads of fun! I love starting out each new year with a house full of good friends, lots of laughs, and plenty of good food. We had a huge container full of mimosas and beer growlers offering a variety of beers, plus red, white, and bubbly wine.
Our main table was packed with food, such as bruschetta, my Avocado Corn Salad, Soft Almond Cookies, large meat & cheese, veggie and fruit trays, and my favorite: Honey Bourbon Meatballs. Plus, guests brought some delicious eats such as Christmas Crack (Averie Cooks has a great recipe for it), Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and a tasty tayberry & cream cheese croissant. Nobody goes home hungry from my house! ;) (Watch for my recipe for Honey Bourbon Meatballs next week!).
We keep it casual, kid-friendly, and open house style, so people can stop by anytime during a four-hour period of time. Pajamas are welcome, as are party dresses from the night before (we don’t judge). However, I am noticing as we all get older that fewer friends are actually arriving in pajamas. . . I might have to just change the theme next year.
One of my favorite things from our New Year’s Day party was the waffle bar we set up. It was SO easy, and so much fun. Great for kids and grown-ups alike!
I originally had the idea of having some batter pre-mixed and ready for guests to choose add-ins, and then they would make their own waffles. However, we decided to pre-make the waffles ourselves, then guests can simply choose their own toppings. It turned out to work really well, but I think the original idea would work if you have a small group.
Over the holidays I received the Chef’s Choice Classic Prof 4-Square Waffle Maker to try out, compliments of Chef’s Choice. It sells for around $130, but you can find this particular waffle maker on Amazon for less. It arrived at the perfect time, just as I was planning our annual New Year’s Day Pajama Party. I immediately thought of hosting a waffle bar!
The Chef’s Choice Classic 4-Square WafflePro does exactly what it looks like it does: it makes four square waffles at a time. And, it couldn’t be any easier. Simply mix your batter of choice (I love Bob’s Red Mill GlutenFree Pancake Mix), pour about one cup into the center of the waffle maker, close the lid, and then wait!
We like the “Crisp Texture, Moist Interior” setting, which gives you waffles with a nice slightly crispy outside and softer inside. This setting takes about 4-5 minutes. You’ll hear a beep when it’s done.
We were able to make so many waffles in a short amount of time thanks to this waffle maker!
Waffle Bar Toppings
Next to the waffles, we set out bowls filled with various toppings, including:
* whipped cream
* mini chocolate chips
* fresh bacon crumbles
* maple syrup
* butter (cut into small thin squares to make it easy for guests to serve themselves)
Other topping ideas:
Waffle Bar Tips
* If you have guests with food allergies or sensitivities, consider setting out labels to let them know which items might be gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, etc.
* Have a small batch of pre-mixed pancake batter ready to go, in case guests go through all of the waffles you made.
* Have a bar towel on hand right next to the batter to help quickly clean up any batter spills.
* Waffle makers can get pretty hot quickly, so be sure to keep them high away from little kid hands.
The waffle bar was definitely a wonderful addition to our annual New Year’s Day party, and I would highly recommend it for small brunch gatherings or baby showers, birthdays, even bridal luncheons. It was a great way to start 2015!
What toppings would you use on YOUR waffle bar creation?
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links, which help support original content on this blog. I was given the waffle maker featured in this post but was under no obligation to write about it in any way. All opinions and photos are, as always, my own.