Brunch with Friends
This post was written & photographed by Gretchen Powers – filmmaker, photographer, and writer with a passion for storytelling and capturing the essence of a person, place or thing.
It’s officially stick season in Vermont and while the bright leaves have left the trees we’re so famous for, the season of coziness is just beginning. That period of time between when the last leaves fall and the first snowfall that really sticks is infamously known as stick season. The days tend to be grey and cold and motivation to play outside is low. One of the best ways to celebrate the season is getting together a group of friends and pulling off a smorgasbord of a brunch spread. Inspired by the hero in Cabot’s lineup: Seriously Sharp Cheddar, we pulled off a cheese infused brunch spread worth bragging about.
After perusing the vast breakfast/brunch selection of recipes on Cabot Creamery’s website we picked a few to try out. First up: the Strawberry Hand Pies with Cheddar Crust. This dish was deemed the star of the show by everyone who got the chance to try it. The perfect blend of sweet and savory, these are on the “Make Again Immediately” list. Seriously sharp cheddar blended into the crust (made with King Arthur flour) marries sweet strawberry filling for a perfect brunch treat. We're planning on bringing these along on our next chilly hiking adventure with ideas of other fillings like blackberry ginger or sausage and caramelized shallots. We could shove a whole pile of Thanksgiving leftovers in one too - cranberry sauce, turkey and stuffing inside a cheddar cheese crust? Mmmmmm!
Potatoes are a favorite brunch dish for many and when feeding a crowd a casserole felt like a good choice. Cabot’s Healthy Hashbrown Casserole was a breeze to whip up and just required about an hour in the oven. Shredded potatoes, Greek yogurt, onions and cheddar all sizzling together in the oven give off an aroma that will have everyone’s tummies grumbling. Some ideas to spice this one up: add some other veggies into the mix or pre-cooked meats. Make sure to top it off with more cheese (because there is no such thing as too much).
Not to be overlooked - cheesy scrambled eggs and bacon (with Pete & Gerry's eggs of course). While they might seem simple in theory, to really perfect this dish we recommend adding the cheddar cheese once the eggs are almost done - think a wet scramble. This way the cheese and eggs don’t completely combine. Top them with a pinch of scallions or chives.
Add some brightness to the table with fresh fruit and make sure to have the coffee from our friends at Miir brewing, and the tea kettle boiling for refills of cozy warm drinks. When you’ve eaten as much as you can bear whip out a game, puzzle or plan an afternoon adventure to walk off the inevitable food coma that comes from this much yummy food. Check out this blog for some ideas of fun stick season activities all over the state. Before long the ground will be covered in snow and winter activities abound in the green mountain state. Want to give cross country skiing a try? Learn about the reciprocal pass program and some of VT’s best ski touring centers HERE.