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Spring brunch

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Poached Egg Spinach Salad

WARM AND COLD The Poached Egg Spinach Salad from Peace Meals is a refreshing brunch option, perfect when paired with Cold Tomato Soup from The Star of Texas. (Photo: The Junior League of Houston)

Cooking Buzz is produced in partnership with the Junior League of Houston, a women’s charitable and education organization founded in 1925.

Spring breathes new life into the world around us. One of my favorite spring events is brunch, a leisurely meal served between breakfast and lunch and savored at a much slower pace. Whether hosting a shower or spending time with friends and family, brunch is a perfect way to enjoy a spring weekend.

I always do as much preparation as possible the day before since there is not a lot of time to prepare everything before guests arrive. Bright seasonal flowers with mixed greenery arranged in unique vases and crisp white plates and linens provide a fresh and relaxing atmosphere.

Nothing sets the tone for a good celebration better than a themed drink. A casual brunch for girlfriends is a perfect time to enjoy the Champagne Punch from the Houston Junior League Cookbook. Make this the day before so it will be frozen when served. It is fun to display and can be garnished with fresh fruit for a pop of color. The punch can be served in traditional champagne flutes or in mason jars.

Since brunch combines the best flavors of breakfast and lunch dishes, I like to choose menu items that offer hints of both to give guests options depending on their mood.

For the breakfast eaters, you cannot go wrong with a hearty egg dish, and the Hash Brown Quiche from Stop and Smell the Rosemary is an excellent choice. While this requires preparation immediately before serving, it will definitely lure your guests back for seconds.

The Mini Whipping Cream Biscuits filled with Diced Chicken Pecan Salad with Cranberries from Stop and Smell the Rosemary are always a hit and a nod to lunchtime fare. The chicken salad can be made the day before and is delicious served with the warm biscuits, which are very easy to prepare as they require only two ingredients.

The Poached Egg Spinach Salad from Peace Meals is a lighter option and is perfect paired with the Cold Tomato Soup from The Star of Texas. The crisp salad is refreshing, and most of the soup can also be made ahead of time. You can add some fresh basil on top of the soup for a nice spring touch.

No brunch menu is complete without something to satisfy your sweet tooth. The Blueberry Pine Nut Coffee Cake from Peace Meals will melt in your mouth, especially when offered with fresh coffee.

This brunch menu can be served buffet style and enjoyed for several hours. Your guests will leave filled, grateful and ready to take on the rest of their beautiful spring day.

Editor’s note: To buy a Junior League of Houston cookbook, see jlh.org or call 713.871.6608.

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