A cookbook with recipes for Cody Cowgirl Casserole and Blueberry Crumb Cake is worth owning. Add another 150 or so recipes, all of which can be prepared ahead, popped into the refrigerator overnight and served the next day, and you have a culinary gold mine. Sleep On It, written by Carol Gordon when she was owner of Nantucket House of Chatham, a bed-and-breakfast inn on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, is that kind of book.
When Gordon and her husband bought the inn in 1999, they hadn't a clue about what it takes to be innkeepers. "But we always liked to entertain and figured, how hard could it be?" Gordon says. As it turned out, it wasn't easy, especially because Gordon had to get up at the crack of dawn to cook breakfast.
She reached out to innkeepers all over the nation for recipes that could be made ahead and easily finished the next day. What emerged was a collection of recipes, including appetizers, breakfasts, brunches, dinners and desserts, that she turned into a book.
Sleep On It is more than a collection of pancakes and egg-based casseroles. The book, in its fourth printing, has almost a dozen variations of French toast, including one with spiced pears and another baked like an upside-down cake. Brunch dishes, such as a quiche featuring smoked haddock, leeks and Gruyère cheese, tend to be more substantial. Every recipe is introduced with an anecdote from its contributor.
"Take it from someone who has served well more than 1,800 breakfasts," Gordon says. "I find if a recipe is fun for me to prepare, the guests enjoy it even more."
NOTE: The American Egg Board recommends cooking egg dishes until they reach an internal temperature of 160F.