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Seasonal menu planning for the perfect dinner party.

Serious Entertaining: A Fruity Brunch

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Fig Phyllo Breakfast Stacks. [Photograph: Carrie Vasios]

One of summer's greatest contributions lies in the excellence of its fruits. There are few sensations more satisfying than chomping into a ripe white peach or biting into a fresh fig. The produce at this time of year is bursting with flavor and sweetness, and that makes farmers' market fare easy and fun to cook with.

Here's a (somewhat) healthy, delicious brunch menu showcasing the fruit bounty of mid-July that will cool and refresh both your palate and person.

Fig Phyllo Breakfast Stacks

When making brunch, it's common for cooks to draw from the American breakfast canon: eggs of some sort, French toast or pancakes, and perhaps some starches and yogurts. This fig and phyllo dish is a fundamental departure from classic morning food, and it's a nice example of what Mediterranean chefs have been doing for years. The flaky, buttery phyllo is lighter than bread and pairs nicely with the honeyed Greek yogurt. Topping it all off are juicy mission figs, and these meaty fruits serve as the body of the dish. Though on the sweeter side, this is a light and yummy snack.

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Whole Wheat Pancakes with Boozy Peaches

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[Photograph: Sydney Oland]

Pancakes are an easy to make staple, but because they're so simple to make, they can sometimes lack for quality. Too many people whip up instant mix pancakes and slather them in syrup. This, my dear eaters, is the easy way out. There's much to be said about the virtues of adding marinated fruit to breakfast classics, and that's where this recipe fits in. For just a tad more effort and cash, you can create healthier, heartier, and tastier griddle cakes that pack a touch of booze as well. Summer peaches are incredibly sweet by themselves, and if cooked along with brandy and sugar, they soften and become more fragrant. This is a must for pancake lovers the world over.

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Easy Strawberry Danish

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[Photograph: Carrie Vasios]

While it's crucial to retain exterior crispiness in a Danish, the interior should be a hot mess of muddled and gooey fruitiness. Here, strawberries soften and release their natural sugars while baking and cream cheese-infused dough complements the fruit perfectly. Our recipe marries crustiness with gooey tenderness to create a perfectly balanced pastry.

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Apricot Breakfast Popsicles

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[Photograph: Anna Markow]

This apricot popsicle is a delicious variation on frozen yogurt with fruit toppings. It's like a new and improved version of everything at Pinkberry. The yogurt freezes around the apricots and then reverts to its natural form after you bite into it.

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Peach and Aperol Bellini

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[Photo: Heather Meldrom]

For those of you who like to follow up your night of drinking with an early afternoon of drinking, this is for you. Bellinis, though an irritatingly trendy brunch cocktail, are very refreshing and somewhat wonderful. Aperol adds both a nice color and tasty bitterness to the sparkling wine, and this sharp flavor balances out the sweet peaches. There's no better way to start your day of recovery than by sipping on one of these.

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Fresh Watermelon and Cucumber Juice

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[Photograph: Carolyn Cope]

Don't fear if you prefer saving your boozing for later. There are plenty of fruity virgin beverages that won't disappoint, such as this watermelon and cucumber combo. The former produces a light but deeply flavorful pink juice while the latter yields a clear but refreshing liquid. This cucumber's subtle flavor counteracts the sweetness of the watermelon to leave you with a cooling and perfectly seasoned mixture.

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About the Author: Sam Bresnick is a Serious Eats intern, rising junior at Brown University, and dumpling addict.

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