Pancake Bake with Cinnamon Streusel

And the Christmas brunch continues…

Yesterday was all about the savory, but today we’re all about the sweet.  This bread-pudding-esque breakfast casserole is filled with homemade pancakes that are soaked in an egg and cream mixture and then topped with streusel before baking to perfection.

This recipe is mostly make-ahead but does a require a little time the day before due to the batch of homemade buttermilk pancakes.  The pancakes are a simple mix of flour, a little sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, buttermilk, eggs and melted butter.  The pancakes are then cooked on the stovetop or pancake griddle, 1/4 cup batter at a time, for 4 minutes each side.  Once cooked, the pancakes are halved and then layered in the baking dish.

The cream and egg mixture that is poured over the pancakes to soak overnight, is a mixture of eggs, heavy cream, whole milk, sugar and vanilla.  The casserole is then refrigerated overnight.  Before cooking, top with the streusel, a mixture of flour, pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and butter. Cook for about 50 minutes.  The casserole can be served with maple syrup on the side, but we found it to be sweet enough without the syrup.

pancakebake

Just like your favorite stack of pancakes – but even better with the cinnamon streusel.

Other menu items included:

Country Ham Hash (Big Guy adored this dish)

Romaine with Creamy Olive Dressing (I really loved this crisp and fresh addition to the spread)

I also made sweet and spicy bacon from the magazine but the recipe is terrible with the instructions and we ended up with overcooked bacon.  I also set up a mimosa bar with cranberry juice, apple cider and orange juice along with cinnamon sticks and sugared cranberries to fancy the glasses up.  I had to stick to soda water spiked with apple cider.

So there you have it – my Christmas brunch menu.  What’s your favorite Christmas brunch menu item?

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Sausage-and-Cheese Grits Quiche

Like I mentioned yesterday, on Saturday we hosted a “Christmas” brunch at our house.  Since I’ll be eating Christmas brunch again on Christmas, I wanted to make sure, for my sake, that the menu was completely different.  In the latest issue of Southern Living, there was a spread on a “make ahead Christmas brunch.”  I decided it was fate and turned to the magazine for help this past weekend.  And while I wouldn’t say it’s “make ahead” because you still spend a few hours in the kitchen the day-of, I will say there were some show stopper recipes.

The favorite of the morning was the sausage-and-cheese grits quiche.  I have a feeling I’ll be making this quiche over and over again because it truly was delicious.  It actually combines two of my favorite breakfast casseroles that my grandmothers make on Christmas morning – cheese grits and a sausage and egg casserole.

The day before your brunch, prep the grits which are insanely decadent with whole milk, butter, cheddar cheese and Velveeta cheese.  Once the grits thicken on the stovetop, pour into a well-buttered springform pan (aka cheesecake pan) and allow to cook before placing in the fridge overnight.  I also cooked the sausage the day before our brunch, as well as sliced up the green onions.

The day of your brunch, whisk together the eggs and cream (more decadence), along with salt and pepper and Dijon mustard.  Fold in the green onions and the browned sausage before pouring on top of the grits layer.  Bake for an hour and ten minutes (it too mine a little longer).  When you take the quiche out of the oven, top with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and allow the casserole to stand for at least 20 minutes before removing the outer ring.  Before serving, sprinkle with chopped chives.

quiche

I would serve this at ANY brunch.  And you can keep it simple with just a side of fruit.  But of course since it’s the holidays, we didn’t keep it simple…a sweet breakfast casserole is coming your way tomorrow.

Everything Bagel Breakfast Strata

This past weekend we went to the last home ECU game for the season.  Might I also add that will be my last mimosa-less tailgate for a very long time.  (wink wink)  Since it was a noon game, I went with a breakfast theme for our tailgate meal.  I love a breakfast casserole since you can usually do all the prep work the night before and simply cook it the morning you want to eat the dish.  I deviated a little from this recipe and next time I would do a few things differently, too.

Some changes I made to the recipe:

  • I simply toasted the bagels and tore them – I did not add butter and honestly didn’t really miss the butter.
  • Instead of bacon, I used sausage because that’s what I had in the freezer.  I think bacon would be excellent and might try that next time.
  • Instead of cooked onion, I had plans to add green onion to the casserole.  But I forgot.  Despite cutting the green onion, I completely forgot to add it to the casserole AND forgot to use it as a topping.  I missed the onion flavor a lot.
  • I felt like 2 cups of a half and half was a little out of control – so I used 2 cups of whole milk.  I don’t think it made a difference.
  • The recipe called for a mix of cheddar and gruyere and that’s what I used.  Since I couldn’t taste the gruyere with everything else going on, I think that next time I’d just use cheddar and perhaps dot some cream cheese on top before baking for that extra bagel feeling.
  • Finally, I cheated and used Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel Seasoning instead of making my own.  It’s a pantry staple for me these days and I highly recommend using it on your scrambled eggs and avocado toast.

everythingbfastcass

The casserole was delicious and filling and I love the texture that the bagels brought to the casserole compared to your normal breakfast casserole made with sandwich bread.  The biggest thing I missed with a little onion flavor and was super bummed that I forgot the green onion.  And like I said, I think a little cream cheese would be amazing on top.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I know that this year I’m extra thankful for everything that I have – most importantly my family.

Gobble, Gobble!

Biscuit Cinnamon Sweet Rolls

Haines, my niece, has two favorite foods:  cinnamon rolls and bacon.  I’m pretty sure she couldn’t choose between the two so we went for it on Sunday morning and made both for a late breakfast.

These cinnamon rolls are different from ones that I’ve made in the past in that you don’t have to prep anything the night before.  They also start with a biscuit base.  That’s right – these rolls are the perfect marriage of a buttermilk biscuit and a cinnamon roll.

Holy moly.

There are two very important steps to the dough portion:  make sure your shortening is FROZEN (I lied, I put this in the freezer the night before) and make sure you chill the dough for 10 minutes before adding the buttermilk.  This is the KEY to perfect biscuits.

Another important step once the dough is rolled out:  make sure the butter is super soft to spread over top.  And yes, it looks like a lot of butter and that’s because it is a lot of butter.  But you only get to cook bacon and sweet rolls for your favorite niece every once in a while.  So deal.

Once the sweet rolls are baked, they are drizzled with a delightful glaze that Haines LOVED (of course she did, it’s sugar).  I used whole milk in place of the heavy cream and it worked just fine.

biscuitcinnamonrolls

Incredible.  You MUST try this biscuit + cinnamon roll.

And bacon, please serve with bacon.

Fluffiest Multigrain Pancakes with Almond Butter Drizzle

Oh man!  I wish we were devouring this breakfast right this moment.

fluffypancakes

We enjoyed this plate of flapjacks and bacon on Sunday after a long, long walk.  And while the bacon isn’t the healthiest breakfast option, the pancakes are incredibly good for you.  The pancakes start with soaking rolled oats in buttermilk.  While the oats are soaking, mix together the remaining ingredients (the only change I made was using gluten-free flour instead of whole wheat) and making the drizzle.  I think the drizzle was my favorite part because well, I love nut butter.  The drizzle was made by thinning out the almond butter with some warm water and a little maple syrup for sweetness.

The pancakes were fluffy but didn’t make you feel stuffed.  I also loved the almond butter drizzle as I’m not really a “sweet” breakfast kind of gal.

Do you call them “pancakes” or “flapjacks”?

They’re definitely pancakes in my world.

Sausage Potato Pie

Big Guy and I have never really been brunch people.  On the weekends we typically eat a light breakfast, light lunch and then have a killer dinner.  Until lately.

Over the past several months, I’ve truly started to love Sundays.  Gone are the days of complaining about Monday being just around the corner.  And gone are the days of not having brunch at home.

I’ve really enjoyed our slow mornings that start without an alarm clock.  After waking up, I make coffee, enjoy a cup with a small breakfast and then we go on a walk.  After we’ve worked up an appetite, it’s time for brunch.  And have I got a deliciously comforting yet incredibly easy brunch dish for you.

Sausage Potato Pie is full of potatoes (I used pre-shredded hashbrowns, oh yes I did), sausage, eggs and cheese.  A little milk helps bring it all together along with some spinach for nutrients and any seasoning you desire (I used a Savannah Summer Salt).  Simply brown the sausage and then whisk together the eggs, milk and seasonings.  Then fold in the potatoes, some of the cheese (we used a smoked gouda), spinach and cooked sausage.  Pour into the prepared pie dish, top with more cheese and bake.

sausagepotatopie

Add a mimosa on the side and you’ll really be living.

#brunchgoals

 

Tailgate Thursday {sweet potato and sausage strata}

The Pirates haven’t been on a winning streak this season.  And because of our record, we’ve been playing in the noon time slot more weeks than not at home.  Honestly, I don’t really mind the early start time.  We head to Greenville fairly early, enjoy a few mimosas and a little food and we’re home in time for dinner.  It’s kind of perfect and totally shows my age.

Anyways, a few weekends ago I made a sweet potato and sausage strata for Big Guy and me to enjoy on Saturday and it turned out better than ever.  It’s a little sweet, it’s a little savory and it’s absolutely perfect for the holiday season.  The strata can be assembled in advance and simply bring to room temperature and bake in the morning.  This recipe could also easily be doubled or tripled if you have a crowd to feed.

sweetpotatocasserole

I used turkey breakfast sausage instead of chicken (due to what our grocery store offered) and that’s the only change I made in the recipe.  I loved the texture that the sweet potato chunks gave to the dish and the addition of the maple syrup paired with the flavors of the sausage was perfection.

This recipe is a keeper!