Why do you enjoy entertaining during brunch? Brunch just tends to be more casual, and you can have both the sweet with the savory on the menu. Having people over for brunch tends to be more fun and flexible. Since we’re usually eating after church, it’s early enough that people still have things they want to do with their day, and yet late enough that — as far as meal preparation goes — it’s one and done for me.
My family loves corned beef hash as a brunch staple and also these mimosas. There’s always plenty of food to eat when we’re serving this drink to the adults. That goes back to how I was raised.
Tell me about your food roots. I grew up in Kearney, Mo., and my mom, Frances Gudde, taught me how to cook, and my dad, Jesse, is the baker of the family. For him, the more chocolate, the better he likes making and eating it.
My mom taught me the art of making gravy and that there are two distinct ways to make it. If you’re frying something and need to make gravy, you create a roux by whisking flour in the pan with the drippings, and then pour in stock or milk to the thickened roux.
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However, if you’ve roasted something in the oven, you just need to add cornstarch to the meat juice to make the gravy.
My mother seemed to make gravy with every meal when I was growing up, and I guess I took it for granted. I now make gravy for my husband because he enjoys it so much, but not as often as my mom would make gravy when I was growing up.
Does your husband, Andy, also enjoy these mimosas? He always makes sure we have the ingredients for these mimosas on hand in the house. We used to live in Colorado, and I got this recipe out of the Denver Junior League cookbook and it’s a keeper.
Instead of using orange juice, as with a traditional mimosa, this drink mixes the sweet and the tart using the lemonade and honey. I also grow herbs and will sometimes muddle fresh basil or mint in this drink.
Andy really likes Mexican food, and sometimes I will make this drink with muddled sprigs of cilantro, which complement a spicy spread of food.
You volunteer your time to Kansas City’s Medicine Cabinet, which helps people receive the emergency medical care and prescriptions they need. Do you also believe that food can be medicinal? Of course, there are healing properties to some foods, but I also believe that food, when shared with family and friends, is good for the soul. Food can provide comfort and is a touchstone for people to gather around. And that just feels good.
I’m just a family gal and, to me, cooking is not a chore. It’s a way for me to be creative and share my love through the food and drinks I make for others.
Mary G. Pepitone is a freelance writer who lives in Leawood. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to nominate a cook.
Occupation: Trained physical therapist, homemaker and community volunteer.
Special cooking interest: Thinking outside of the (cereal) box when it comes to morning meals.
Family: Andy, her husband of 28 years; three children and two granddaughters.
To help provide emergency medical assistance to those in need, go to: KCMedicineCabinet.org
Honey Brunch Mimosas
Makes 6 to 8 flutes
1/4 cup orange-flavored liqueur
2 tablespoons honey, slightly warmed
1 (6-ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, defrosted
1 (750-milliliter) bottle dry champagne, chilled
Cleaned strawberries for garnish, optional
In a large pitcher, whisk orange-flavored liqueur and honey together until honey is dissolved. Stir in lemonade concentrate and place in refrigerator.
Just before serving, stir in bottle of champagne and pour into flutes. Garnish with fresh strawberries, if desired.
Note: For earthy notes, muddle a few fresh sprigs of cilantro, basil or mint and stir in with lemonade concentrate. Strain mixture before adding champagne.
For an additional bit of fruit to float in the flute, surpreme an orange: Slice an orange at the navel and then the opposite end. Set the fruit on its end and using a sharp knife to follow the contours of the orange, cut away the peel and white pith. Use the knife to cut a “v,” removing the flesh of each segment from the membrane.
Per flute, based on 6: 214 calories (none from fat), trace fat (no saturated fat), no cholesterol, 26 grams carbohydrates, trace protein, 1 milligram sodium, no dietary fiber.