The holiday season is a nonstop bustle of shopping, parties, decorating and other activities. Holiday brunches can be a great way to get together with friends in a relaxed setting and get away from the scheduling conflicts that come with evening gatherings. Whether you decide to entertain, or are attending a brunch potluck, we’ve found some special recipes that are sure to please.
A variety of drinks go very well with holiday brunches. For example, it wouldn’t be brunch without Mimosas! Why not try a holiday twist on this traditional champagne cocktail?
Pour 2 ounces cranberry juice into a champagne flute. Add champagne to fill the glass. For garnish, you can still use a traditional orange slice, or drop a few frozen cranberries in to decorate the cocktail while keeping your drink chilled.
Pancakes, French toast and waffles are all very popular brunch favorites. For adults and kids alike, it’s a great idea to have a dish to satisfy that sweet tooth. It doesn’t get much more decadent than Paula Deen’s Baked French Toast Casserole.
Baked French Toast Casserole
1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 oz)
8 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
One-Fourth tsp ground cinnamon
One-Fourth tsp ground nutmeg
Dash of salt
Praline topping (recipe below)
Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch each. (Use any extra bread for garlic toast or bread crumbs). Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Half pound (2 sticks) butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tbsp light corn syrup
One-Half tsp ground cinnamon
One-Half tsp ground nutmeg
To make praline topping, combine above ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well.
Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup. This recipe will serve 6-8 as a main course or up to 12-15 as part of a larger buffet.
Holiday brunches can also be a great way to celebrate on Christmas morning, or to pull off a last minute get-together with friends. Whether you’re home or popping next door for some holiday cheer, this easy and delicious frittata recipe is a quick and easy option for feeding hungry mouths.
Easy Cheesy Frittata
1 and one-half cups frozen hash brown potatoes
Vegetable oil spray
1 and one-half cups shredded cheese
2 cups any combination of vegetables and/or meat
8 eggs, beaten together
Microwave potatoes 3-5 minutes on high, or until hot. Drain if necessary. Spray a pie plate with vegetable oil spray and pour in eggs. Layer these ingredients: potatoes, salt, pepper, vegetables and meat and 1 cup cheese into a pie plate. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until the center is set. Cool slightly before serving.
One great thing about this dish is that it’s so easy to customize. Use Monteray Jack and Cheddar cheese with chilies and onions to create a Mexican Frittata or use Swiss cheese, chopped ham, spinach and mushrooms for a French Frittata. The combinations are endless!
Whether you’re entertaining on Christmas morning, or sharing a special holiday brunch with friends or family, these recipes are sure to provide smiles. Why not relax and take a break this holiday season with an easy, relaxed and delicious brunch.