The Perfect Brunch

Lisa Gamble recently celebrated her 50th birthday at a brunch in her honor. Hosted by her mother, Donna Hambuchen, sister, Kimberly Hambuchen, and sister-in-law, Lorri Hambuchen, friends gathered at Donna’s home to honor Lisa on her special day. The ladies dined on traditional brunch recipes, along with store-bought goodies purchased locally at pattiCakes. Donna’s home and the lovely floral arrangements provided by Kathy Denys were the perfect backdrop for entertaining friends and family. However, you don’t have to celebrate a milestone birthday to enjoy a ladies brunch. Brunch is a relaxed occasion in the South where some of the best of breakfast and lunch ideas come together to create a delicious meal. Sip a mimosa and discover some of Donna’s favorite brunch recipes!

Walnut Cheese Squares
• 1 pound cheddar cheese
• 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese
• 4 egg whites, not beaten
• 1 pound soft butter
• 3 cups chopped English walnuts
• ½ teaspoon garlic powder
• ½ teaspoon salt
• Drops of cayenne
• 2 loaves white bread
• Hellman’s mayo to make spreadable

1. Mix ingredients and spread on bread slices, trimming crusts.
2. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

Cheese Grits
• 3 jars of Kraft Old English cheese
• 4 cups water
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup uncooked grits
• ¼ cup butter
• 1 small can green chilies, chopped
• 1 teaspoon garlic salt or powder (or more if you prefer)

1. Bring salted water to a boil, slowly add grits. Bring to a second boil, reduce heat and cook over medium heat for 4 – 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
2. Add cheese and butter to grits, stirring until melted and blended. Add chilies.
3. Pour into an ungreased (I always spray my dish) 1 ½ quart casserole. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Serves 6-8.

Fruit Salad with Orange-Vanilla Syrup
Orange-Vanilla Syrup:
• 1 cup sugar
• Zest and juice of 1 orange
• 1 vanilla bean
• 4 pints strawberries, hulled and halved
• 2 pints blueberries
• 2 cups green grapes, halved
• 2 cups red grapes, halved
• Fresh mint leaves

1. Place the sugar, 1 cup water, orange zest, juice and vanilla bean in a small pan and stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil.
2. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes to thicken. Set aside to cool.
3. Prepare all the fruit in a large bowl, pour the cooled syrup over the top and toss together.
4. Decorate with mint leaves and chill until ready to serve

Hawaiian Roll Sliders
• 1 package of 12 King’s Hawaiian rolls
• 1 ½ pound of Virginia baked ham (not honey baked)
• 12 slices Swiss cheese
• 1 ½ stick butter
• 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
• 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon onion powder
• 1 teaspoon poppy seeds

1. Slice rolls in half to have a top and a bottom. Place bottoms
on baking sheet. Layer ham, then a slice of cheese. Replace tops.
2. In a sauce pan mix butter, mustard, Worcestershire sauce,
garlic, onion and poppy seeds. Melt butter and mix all
ingredients together in butter.
3. Brush over tops of sandwiches. Cover with foil and
refrigerate overnight.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, covered. Remove
foil and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
5. Serve warm or cold. Better warm.