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Brunch for Her

Celebrate the special women in your life with a great brunch

Article by Susan Lanier-Graham

Photography by @Lauren_Lane_Culinarian

Originally published in North Peoria Lifestyle

May is the perfect time to celebrate the special women in your life. Show your love by doing something from the heart. With the help of culinarian Lauren Lane, we offer a few simple but elegant recipes to help make your celebration special. For more recipes, see and on Instagram at @Lauren_Lane_Culinarian. We also have suggestions for brunch on the town.

Hummus with Toppings

makes: 6 servings

prep time: 15 minutes

skill level: Easy


  • Your favorite store-bought hummus, or make my recipe @

  • Topping Options:

    • 1 small zucchini or a few radishes, thinly sliced

    • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

    • 1 handful watercress or microgreens

    • Additional topping ideas: fresh basil, crumbled feta cheese, 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts or capers


  1. Spoon the hummus into a serving bowl. Using your spoon, make a few swirls on the top.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss toppings together. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss well to combine.
  3. Drizzle hummus with olive oil and top with the dressed toppings. Serve with pita chips and/or veggies for dipping.

Tomato Peach Burrata Salad

makes: 6-8 servings

prep time: 15 minutes

skill level: Easy


  • A few big pinches of Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tsp dried oregano or 2 tsp fresh oregano

  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes or cherry tomatoes (about 2 1/2 lb total)

  • Two peaches

  • 8 oz mozzarella balls

  • 4 oz burrata cheese

  • 1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves plus additional whole leaves for garnish


  1. Combine first five ingredients, salt through olive oil. 

  2. Place the burrata cheese on a platter. Arrange the tomatoes, peaches and mozzarella balls around the burrata cheese. 

  3. Drizzle with dressing from bowl. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper. Garnish with additional basil leaves and serve.

Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

makes: 6 servings (1 cup sauce)

prep time: 30 minutes

skill level: Moderate


  • 1 cup (packed) fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar

  • 1/4 cup (packed) fresh cilantro (optional)

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled

  • 3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 ½-2 pounds flank steak, or steak of choice


  1. Puree all ingredients except steak in food processor. Transfer to a bowl. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.)
  2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Sear steak for 6-8 minutes on each side until heavily browned on the outside and slightly pink in the middle.
  3. Thinly slice steak across the grain and top with Chimichurri sauce. 

Pitcher Vodka Lemonade

makes: 6 cocktails

prep time: 5 minutes

skill level: Easy


  • 48 oz homemade lemonade (or store-bought)

  • 12 oz vodka

  • Ice, for serving

  • 1 lemon, sliced thin

  • Fresh mint for garnish


  1. Make the lemonade or pour store-bought into a pitcher.

  2. Add vodka and lemon slices. (Steps 1 and 2 can be done a day ahead.)

  3. To serve: pour cocktail over ice and garnish with fresh mint.

Take Mom Out to Hash Kitchen

If your idea of the perfect brunch is taking that special someone out for a decadent meal, then we have you covered. We recommend that you head to Hash Kitchen at Park West. Brunch is first-come, first-served, but you can walk around Park West while you wait. 

For something sweet and decadent, start with the Cannoli Donuts, deep-fried and filled with sweet cannoli cream. Move on to the Banana Split Brioche French Toast (pictured here). That warm salted caramel drizzle is the best!

If you prefer savory, opt for the Braised Beef Eggs Benedict. 5-hour braised beef and a poached egg sit atop a crispy potato cake, topped with hollandaise.

Build a mega bloody Mary at the build-your-own bar. If you prefer, order a Mimosa Flight (add a cotton candy glitter bomb for fun) or the Giggle Milk (also pictured) with cotton candy flavored milk, vanilla vodka and blue curacao.

  • Photo courtesy The Maggiore Group
  • Photo courtesy The Maggiore Group