With cooler weather on its way, it’s time for a cool new approach to entertaining. I vote for hosting a pancake brunch. It’s an easy way to entertain, whatever your budget and cooking expertise.

Here are three ways to make it your own:

  • Mix + syrup = done. Keep it on the cheap by buying a pancake mix and a bottle of syrup. The New Englander in me urges you to buy real maple syrup, not the imitation stuff, but that’s your call.
  • From scratch. Choose a sweet or savory pancake recipe from Epicurious. Make your own flavored butter to serve alongside. (Just whiz heavy whipping cream in the food processor and add brown sugar, fleur de sel, honey, cinnamon, or whatever else you like.)
  • Full-on pancake bar. In addition to making pancakes, set out a sundae-style bar of pancake toppings. I polled coworkers to find out what people liked on their pancakes: whipped cream, maple syrup, fresh fruit, nuts, chocolate syrup, caramel sauce, mascarpone cheese and peanut butter.

If you don’t have a pancake warmer, keep your ‘cakes warm in the oven until you’re ready to serve them. Set oven to low, put pancakes on a cookie sheet as they’re ready, and cover loosely with aluminum foil.

And seriously, people, peanut butter? Sounds good, but that’s a new one. What do you like on your pancakes?