recipesA League of

Their Own
Raleigh's best bites


By Mary Avant


With this month’s hustle and bustle — dawn-to-dusk shopping, multiple office parties, visits to out-of-town relatives — your hectic life may seem even crazier than usual. So if it’s your turn to host a gathering, consider something a little lighter — brunch.

“You’re Invited Back,” the Junior League of Raleigh’s new cookbook, features menus for various celebrations, including a delish holiday brunch. From a girls’ night cocktail party to an elegant evening meal, the book includes the best recipes from its members’ kitchens. (Be sure to check out the section on soups, salads and sandwiches — sponsored by, ahem, Carolina Woman.)

Wake up and smell the coffee: Here are some recipes for a happenin’ brunch.

recipesOrange Coconut Balls
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
One 1-pound package
confectioners’ sugar
One 12-ounce package vanilla wafers, crushed

One 6-ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 large can flaked coconut

Cream the butter and confectioners' sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the cookie crumbs and orange juice concentrate; mix well. Shape into balls and roll in the coconut. Place on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Chill for 1 hour or longer before serving.
Yields 3 dozen


Old-Fashioned Stollen (German Coffee Cake)recipes
For the cake:
1/2 cup sugar
6 tablespoons shortening
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 envelopes dry yeast
3 eggs
6 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
Butter for spreading
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the icing:
3 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
One 10-ounce bottle maraschino cherries, drained and chopped

Bring the milk just to a low boil in a saucepan and remove from the heat. Stir in 1⁄2 cup sugar, the shortening and salt. Cool to lukewarm. Mix the water, 2 tablespoons sugar and the yeast in a mixing bowl. Add the milk mixture and mix well. Stir in the eggs. Add the flour and mix to form a dough.

Preheat the oven to 100 degrees. Knead the dough with a dough hook until smooth. Place in a greased bowl, turning to coat the surface; cover with plastic wrap. Place in the oven and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Knead with a dough hook for 3 minutes.

Divide the dough into two portions. Roll each portion into a 12 x 27-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Spread each with butter. Sprinkle with a mixture of 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle with the maraschino cherries.

Roll the rectangles from the long sides to enclose the filling. Shape into circles and press the ends to seal. Cut shallow slits in the tops of the stollen.

Place in greased round pans. Place in the 100-degree oven again and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake the stollen for 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Place on serving plates.

Combine the confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla in a bowl and mix until smooth. Drizzle over the stollen.
Makes 2 stollen

recipesSausage Breakfast Casserole With Mushroom Sauce
12 ounces sausage
1 cup chopped onion
10 slices bread, cut into cubes
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) each shredded Swiss cheese and sharp Cheddar cheese
12 eggs, lightly beaten
2-1/4 teaspoons milk
1 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
4 cups crisp rice cereal
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
One 10-ounce can cream of mushroom soup
One 10-ounce soup can water
2 cups sour cream

Brown the sausage with the onion in a skillet, stirring until the sausage is crumbly; drain. Layer half the bread cubes, the sausage, Swiss cheese, Cheddar cheese and remaining bread cubes in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine the eggs, milk, sage, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and mix well. Pour over the layers in the baking dish. Chill, covered, in the refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Toss the cereal with the butter in a bowl, coating evenly. Sprinkle over the casserole. Top with the Parmesan cheese. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cut into squares. Heat the soup, water and sour cream in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently. Serve over or with the casserole squares.
Serves 12

Cranberry Apple Bakerecipes
3 envelopes cinnamon-spice
instant oatmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
3 cups chopped peeled apples
2 cups fresh cranberries
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar

Pecan halves and additional fresh cranberries, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the instant oatmeal, 1/2 cup flour, brown sugar and chopped pecans in a bowl. Add the butter and mix well.

Combine the apples, 2 cups cranberries and 2 tablespoons flour in a bowl; toss to coat evenly. Add the granulated sugar and mix well. Spoon into a 2-quart baking dish. Spoon the pecan mixture over the top. Bake for 45 minutes.

Garnish each serving with pecan halves and additional cranberries.
Serves 6 to 8

recipesOvernight Bloody Marys
One 48-ounce can vegetable juice cocktail
One 48-ounce can tomato juice
1 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
3 cups vodka
Celery stalks or shrimp cocktail skewers for garnish

Combine the vegetable juice cocktail, tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt and seasoned salt in a large pitcher; mix well. Chill in the refrigerator for 8 hours or longer. Stir in the vodka at serving time. Serve over ice with a celery stalk or shrimp cocktail skewer.
Serves 12