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Top 10 Special Occasion Brunch Recipes

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Special occasions dining calls for long, leisurely meals that pull out all the stops -- brunch! But that doesn't have to mean heading to a restaurant. Fill your home buffet table with variety and foods that can stand up to the heat of a chafing dish. Remember to feed the eye first by arranging the food attractively on platters set at diferent heights, alternating colors and garnishing. Your guests will think you had the party catered! Offer fruit juices, hot and cold beverages, Champagne or mimosas, milk for the kiddies and you've got it made. Try these easy recipes at home.

1. Blintz or Pierogi Souffle Recipe

Pierogi Souffle
© 2009 Barbara Rolek licened to About.com, Inc.
Pierogi souffle is similar to Jewish Blintz Souffle recipe. The difference is the latter is made with sweet cheese blintzes. With pierogi souffle, you can make the dish sweet or savory. Potato-cheese, mushroom, sauerkraut, savory cheese all work, as do sweet cheese, blueberry, cherry and other fruit-filled pierogi. And you don't have to make the pierogi from scratch (or the blintzes, for that matter). This certainly can take the place of an egg offering at your brunch. Just remember not to use too much heat under the chafer because the sulfur in the eggs will turn them green. Green eggs and pierogi, anyone?

2. St. Martin's Day Croissants

St. Martin's Day Croissants
© 2009 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
It doesn't have to be St. Martin's Day (Nov. 11) to enjoy these crescent-shaped pastries. They're filled with poppyseed and almond paste, and serve as the breakfast pastry on your brunch table. Use purchased sweet roll dough to make this a snap.

3. Goat Cheese Cake with Slow-Cooked Quince

Goat Cheese Cake with Slow-Cooked Quince
© Ben Fink
Goat cheese cake with slow-cooked quince is a recipe from "Gale Gand's Brunch!" This one walks a fine line between appetizer and dessert. Either way, it will please the goat cheese lovers in the crowd and, maybe, introduce someone to two things they've never had before -- goat cheese and quinces. Did you know that quinces turn reddish-orange when cooked?

4. Leek and Potato Tart Recipe

Leek and Potato Tart
© 2009 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
This leek and potato tart recipe combines leeks, new potatoes and dill in a rich custard. Switch things up with peas and asparagus, and slim things down and speed them up by using ready-made bread stick or pizza crust dough instead of pastry crust. This dish can be entirely vegetarian or a carnivore's delight with the addition of bacon or ham.

5. Tomato Tart Recipe

Tomato Tart
© 2009 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
This tomato tart recipe can be made with any combination of dry curd (farmer's), Bulgarian feta or ricotta cheese, multicolored tomatoes and herbs of choice.

6. Easy Chilled Shrimp with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Easy Chilled Shrimp with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
© 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
This easy chilled shrimp with pomegranate vinaigrette can be made in advance and looks especially pretty arranged on a platter and served with Parmesan cheese crisps on the side. If smoked or brined fish is obligatory in your family for brunch, offer salmon-asparagus rolls, that can also be made in advance and look attractive on a serving tray. And the cukes and asparagus count as veggies. If your crowd likes caviar, consider less-pricey American caviar.

7. Smoked Turkey

Smoked Turkey Breast
© 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
Smoked turkey and smoked ham are the best meat choices to serve on a buffet table. Smoked turkey, in particular, is better at room temperature than heated, so no worries about your meat offering getting cold or drying up in a steam table. Offer a variety of breads and condiments for people to make sandwiches, if they're so inclined.

8. Cucumbers in Sour Cream

Cucumbers in Sour Cream
© 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
Cucumbers in sour cream is another do-ahead dish that holds up well on a buffet table. They can do double duty as a salad and a vegetable and it's served cold so, once again, no worries about keeping one more dish warm.

9. Blueberry-Almond Cake Recipe

Blueberry-Almond Cake
© 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
This blueberry almond cake recipe combines three ingredients Eastern Europeans love -- blueberries, almond paste and sour cream. You can expect a moist cake that holds up well to being sliced into portions but left whole on a pretty cake plate on your brunch table. You can serve it with a pitcher of blueberry sauce on the side, if you like. But it's great on its own.

10. Fruit Tart with Nut Crust Recipe

Fruit Tart
© 2009 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
This fruit tart with nut crust recipe is a visual stunner and the only thing that's baked is the crust. The filling is a no-bake combination of sweetened cream cheese and whipped topping. Yes, I said whipped topping. You can use whipped heavy cream, but it doesn't hold up as well on a buffet table and the calorie load is higher.

11. Top 10 Strawberry Recipes

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries
© 2009 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
Let's face it, it's not a party without something chocolate, and chocolate-dipped strawberries are among the easiest desserts to make and the most impressive. Ramp things up by securely anchoring a styrofoam ball in a pedestal vase or flower pot and, using skewers, insert the chocolate-dipped strawberries in the styrofoam so it looks like a bouquet of flowers. Use lemon leaves to fill out any bare spots. You can make several of these and place them at intervals on the table.
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