As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……more family breakfasts! The week of Thanksgiving offers so many fantastic opportunities for reconnecting. The college kids should be trickling in from near and far, while the kids at home have a shortened schedule (unless you attend the Be All and End All Academy; those poor souls have school until their customary 2:35 pm dismissal on Wednesday. I’m kind of surprised class isn’t in session on Friday…..). With most offices being closed for business mid-week, it’s the perfect time to make a great big breakfast for the family!
While Thanksgiving dinner is a super big deal, you still have to eat in the morning. Besides, what’s better than nibbling on a hearty breakfast as you watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (or run in a Turkey Trot, play touch football in a Turkey Bowl, or like us, cheer on your favorite hockey team on day one of a four day Turkey Tournament)?
I recently made these two do-ahead casseroles for a birthday brunch and they were spectacular. Serving breakfast couldn’t be easier; in the morning, pop the casseroles in the oven, mix a pitcher of mimosas, put out a few snacks and you’re ready to roll.
Hearty Breakfast Casserole;
(Perfect for anyone on a gluten-free diet, too)
1 Tbsp oil
1, 32-oz package of frozen hash brown potatoes (such as Ore-Ida)
1 cup green peppers (3/4 cup for the casserole, ¼ cup reserve for the topping, set aside)
¾ cup onion, chopped
18 eggs, beaten
1, 16-oz package of cooked and crumbled breakfast sausage (I’m partial to the maple flavored. You can also use 2 cups of chopped, cooked ham or bacon)
1 ½ cups tomato (1 cup for the casserole, ½ cup reserve for the topping, set aside)
2-4 cups of shredded cheese, your choice, though I chose cheddar (I would recommend adding 2 cups to the egg mixture and topping the casserole with the other 2 cups. Otherwise, if that’s just too much cheese for you, then just sprinkle it on top)
1 tsp each, salt and pepper
In a large skillet, heat the oil and then add;
Frozen hash browns
Cook until tender, approximately 10 minutes
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs
Salt and pepper
Grease a 13 x 9 baking sheet
Add casserole and refrigerate over the night.
To cook, Pre-heat the oven to 350°
Place in the oven, uncovered, and cook for approximately 50 minutes, or until golden
Top with reserved green peppers, tomato and cheese
French Toast Casserole:
Because the bread lies in a single layer, each 13 x 9 baking dish will only accommodate 6-8 slices of French bread. You may need to make several trays.
1 cup of brown sugar, firmly packed
1 stick of butter
2 Tbsp corn syrup
French bread, sliced thick, at least an inch
1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream (or half and half, or 2% milk, but it’s the holidays, you should splurge)
2 tsp (heaping) vanilla
½ tsp salt
Spray bottom of 13 x 9 baking dish with non-stick spray
In a sauce pan, combine;
Stir until nice and syrupy
Pour over the bottom of baking dish
Arrange slices of French bread on top of syrupy mixture
In a bowl, whisk together;
Heavy whipping cream
Pour the egg mixture evenly over the French bread
Cover and refrigerate over night
Pre-heat oven to 350°
Bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until a nice golden brown
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with your favorite maple syrup
Because we are a bacon loving people, I made 2 pounds with my favorite bake in the oven method (lay the bacon out in a single layer, on aluminum foil lined, rimmed baking sheets. Cook in a 350° oven, for approximately 30 minutes; just keep an eye on it. Once it’s finished, I store the strips of bacon in layers, lined with paper towel, to absorb the grease, in a container with a lid. The best part is, of course, making the mess the day before.). I also served mini croissant, which were so darn cute, and fruit.