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'Tis the Season...For Brunches!
by Jennifer Wojenski

‘Tis the season!  (Thank goodness it’s not that season yet!) Springtime brings
many familiar holidays, festivities, and celebrations such as Mother’s Day,
graduations, and first communions. In New England we are not yet into the
barbecue season although we long for those days (oh…do we ever)! So, when
one of these events comes into my life I use a brunch menu that works for any
of these events.

The menu is quite simple and not expensive if you are having a large crowd.  
And I especially like it because you can make it all ahead of time. I will be
using the time-bake feature on my oven to cook the soufflé while we are at
church. When we come home the soufflés will be ready and we’ll be hungry….

Here’s a menu you can use for any of this month’s busy season of celebrations:

Standard Brunch Menu:

Ham, Cheese, Broccoli Soufflé
Fruit Salad with Honey –Orange Yogurt Dressing
Spinach Salad with Purdue Dressing

Ham, Cheese, Broccoli Soufflé

12 slices bread
¾ lb. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach
2 c. ham, chopped
6 beaten eggs
2 ½ c milk
½ tsp. salt
2 T. minced onion
¼ tsp. dry mustard

Cut off crusts of bread and but bread into triangles. Line soufflé dish with
bread. Layer broccoli, ham, cheese, and bread (about 3 layers). Top soufflé with
broken up pieces of bread crusts. Blend milk, eggs, salt, mustard, onion, and
pour over layers. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.  Bake at 350 degrees
for 1 ½ hrs. Start cooking with foil on and take it off during the last half hour.
Serves 8-10 people.

Spinach Salad

2 lb. fresh spinach
1 red onion, chopped
½ lb. Swiss cheese, grated
1 pkg. mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 lb. bacon, cooked and chopped
3 hard boiled eggs, sliced

Toss with the Purdue dressing:

¼ c. sugar
1 t. dry mustard
1 t. salt, 1 t. celery salt
¼ medium onion, grated
½ c. balsamic vinegar
1 c. olive oil

Fruit Salad:
Chop up any fruits in season and put in a bowl!

Honey –Orange Yogurt Dressing

1 c. plain yogurt
2 T. honey
2 T. orange juice
½ tsp. grated orange rind
½ tsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a bowl; stir well. Cover and chill before serving.

For my daughter’s first communion I may make some blueberry muffins just
because they are a favorite of hers but  French bread or  lemon poppy seed
bread also complement the standard brunch menu very well.

Jenny Wojenski, a freelance  writer, is owner of Hors D’Oeuvres Unlimited, a
catering service based in Keene, New Hampshire.  To contact her, drop her
a line at
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