OK guys here it is…finally…our brunch menu from Christmas Day plus the recipes to go with it.
Overnight Brunch Casserole (I know…so descriptive!), muffins, fruit, juice, and coffee/tea. It’s a basic combination that works for most brunch occasions and requires minimal work in the kitchen the morning of. Since the whole point of brunch is that you want to be able to sleep in, right?
These are all go-to things for me…the casserole gets made on weekends, especially long weekends, when we have overnight guests, and I bring it to brunch potlucks. The original recipe was given to me a long time ago at a ladies’ potluck brunch actually. The version I make is still almost the same and it’s a great one for tweaking to your own preferences.
I only really make about three different kinds of muffins that I know everyone likes, are healthy, and school-lunch friendly. So these Flax Banana muffins are part of the regular rotation. They’re only slightly adapted from a recipe by Anne Lindsay in her Lighthearted Everyday Cooking. And that is to substitute chocolate chips for her raisins, since banana chocolate chip is a thing. Banana raisin is not a thing. You will have to adapt her nutrition information accordingly I guess. Also I sometimes use plain yogurt in place of the buttermilk if I don’t happen to have any, and they turn out just as well. They freeze perfectly and you can warm them up in the morning while your casserole is in the oven. So the muffins are easy and the recipe is at the bottom of the post.
The casserole is easy too and like I said you can switch it up according to your preferences and what you happen to have in the fridge. Here’s the way I make it and the recipe is also at the end.
You start with a pound of sausage removed from the casings and browned. So right away here come the shortcuts and change-ups. I like to keep some pre-cooked sausages in the freezer just to help with dinner prep time in general. So whenever we are going to have sausage I buy a Costco sized package and brown or grill it all, putting the leftovers in the freezer. If I have that then I just take it out to thaw and slice it up and that’s the first step done. Of course you can also switch up the meat and use ham cubes or bacon too. I’ve recently discovered Piller’s Simply Free products and they don’t contain any allergens including sulphites which I’m sensitive to. So I’ve started eating prepared meats again…yay!…and I used the Simply Free smoked breakfast ham in this one.
Then you’re going to buy a loaf of really good dense bread like a sourdough or rye or anything you like and cube it up. The recipe calls for twelve slices but obviously it depends on the size of the loaf. The idea is have enough to fill up a lasagne sized casserole dish. Just a tip…because I want to make life easy for you…if you are making this around Thanksgiving or Christmas, and you know you’ll be pressed for time, some grocery stores will sell large bags of cubed bread close to the turkeys to use for stuffing. Just sayin’.
So you’ll lay out the bread and browned meat in the casserole dish, and all the rest of the ingredients are going to get whisked together in a large bowl. You’ll pour the wet mixture over the bread in the casserole, mix it up a bit and press the bread down if necessary to moisten it, then cover it tightly with cling wrap and put it in the refrigerator. And you’re done! You can do this any time the day before when you get a chance and then not worry about it till the next day.
In the morning it needs to bake for about an hour at 350 while you’re putting the coffee on, or visiting with your guests. Or run and put it in the oven and crawl back into bed for awhile. I’m not judging!
Along with some fruit and some hot/cold drinks, this is the basis of my go-to brunch menu. Something for everyone whether they like substantial or light. And if you have a bigger crowd then start adding in some other dishes or have people contribute. Personally I love a brunch…they can never happen often enough for me!
Flax Banana Muffins
Dry Ingredients 1 cup ground flax seeds – 3/4 cup whole wheat flour – 3/4 cup all purpose flour – 1/2 cup granulated sugar – 1 tbsp baking powder – 1/2 tsp baking soda – 1 tsp cinnamon – 1/2 tsp ginger – 1/2 tsp salt – 1 cup chocolate chips
Wet Ingredients 1 cup buttermilk or yogurt – 3 tbsp canola oil – 2 eggs lightly beaten – 1 cup (2 whole) mashed ripe bananas
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl stir wet ingredients together. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just moistened. Spoon into non-stick or paper-lined muffin tins. Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes or until firm to the touch. Makes 12 large muffins.
Overnight Brunch Casserole
12 slices dense bread cut into cubes – 1 lb sausage removed from casings and browned – 2 2/3 cups milk – 2 cups grated sharp cheddar – 8 eggs beaten – 1 tsp salt – 1/4 tsp pepper - 1 tsp worcestershire sauce – 1/2 tsp dry mustard (or 1 tbsp prepared mustard)
Lay bread and sausage in bottom of large casserole dish. Whisk remaining ingredients together and pour over bread and sausage. Cover tightly with cling wrap and refrigerate. In the morning bake at 350 for one hour until eggs are set and top is browned.