For Entertaining With Ease, Try These Brunch Ideas

IN THE KITCHEN

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Who doesn't love brunch? It's how great weekends begin. Besides, as warmer weather beckons us outdoors, it's a perfect way to draw loved ones together. And if you're celebrating something, a brunch for family and friends is guaranteed to create a comfy-cozy gathering.

Many have discovered that when they come together to eat, they share lots more than a meal. Even though sitting down together links body and soul of a family in a special way, it's also important to spare the cook a major production. That's what's behind this collection of easier-than-it-looks dishes. The shortcut is using some of that frozen dough you can find in your grocer's freezer. It cuts preparation time, but still gives you that homemade in minutes, yeasty-good flavor everyone wants.

These ideas are sure to produce brunch bravos, and if truth be told, some of these simple dishes work as well for dinner as they do for brunch. So, spring-clean those old recipes and sample some neat, new ones.

Can you think of anything to do with the time you saved making these simple, soon-to-be favorites?

Cheddar Bread

1 loaf frozen yeast bread dough or 12 frozen yeast dinner rolls, thawed

1 egg, beaten

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

3 tablespoons dry ranch dressing mix

Cut dough into 1-inch pieces. In a medium sized bowl, toss dough pieces with egg. Add cheese and ranch dressing and mix well. Place mixture on a cutting board and chop with a sharp knife into smaller pieces. Make sure mixture is well combined. Place in a 4-1/2-inch-by-8-1/2-inch loaf pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise to the top of the pan. Remove wrap and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 8 servings.

Coconut Caramel Pecan Rolls

1 package frozen yeast caramel or cinnamon rolls*

1 caramel packet (included with rolls)

1/2 cup flaked coconut

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Remove rolls from pan. Microwave caramel packet on high for 20 seconds (or thaw in hot water). Squeeze softened caramel into bottom of pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle with coconut and pecans. Return frozen rolls to pan, arranging evenly on top of caramel, coconut and pecans. Put pan on a baking sheet and place in center of cold oven, then turn oven on to 350 degrees. Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately invert onto serving platter. Spoon any caramel, coconut or pecans left in pan over rolls.

  • If using frozen cinnamon rolls use recipe below for the caramel sauce.

Caramel Sauce

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons water

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

Combine above ingredients and spread evenly in bottom of pan. Follow recipe above for Coconut Pecan Caramel Rolls. Makes 6 servings.

Monte Cristo Biscuits

10 frozen buttermilk biscuits, thawed

6 ounces sliced turkey breast

6 ounces sliced ham

6 ounces sliced Swiss cheese

1/3 cup strawberry jam

powdered sugar

Press 5 biscuits into an 8-inch square pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray to

form a crust. Layer half of the turkey, ham and cheese on top of crust. Spread strawberry jam to 1/2-inch from the edge of the pan. Repeat layers of meat and cheese. Press remaining 5 biscuits together to form a top crust and place on top of the cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar before serving. Makes 8 servings.

Easy Cheesy Chicken Rolls

6 frozen dinner rolls, crusty style

12.5 ounces can chicken breast, drained

1/2 cup sliced celery

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

1/2 cup mayonnaise

3 green onions, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper seeded and chopped, if desired

crushed red pepper and seasoned salt

Place 6 crusty rolls on a plate. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high 20 seconds. Combine chicken, celery, cheese, mayonnaise and onions. Add jalapeno pepper if desired. Cut rolls in half lengthwise and spread mixture over the cut side. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper and seasoned salt, then toast under the broiler until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Makes 6 servings (2 rolls each).

Recipes courtesy of Rhodes Bake 'n Serve

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