Holiday Tradition Breakfast Casserole
What are your best memories of family get-togethers or the holidays? Mine is definitely the company, and then THE FOOD. Holy cow. It is not all fancy, but it is ALL delicious. There is something about when someone makes you food, it makes it taste so much better! I swear, my mom can make toast taste divine! I guess it is just the love.
One of my Grandma Richardson's go-to family get-together meals was her famous cackleberry breakfast casserole! It has sausage, eggs, bread, and cheese as the main ingredients. The trick is getting it to set in the middle (like most egg casseroles), and I just never could get it to set right.
As you may have noticed, I have been lacking on new posts lately. I have a laundry list of excuses, but I won't bore you with those. When I was thinking on what would be the best thing to write next, I had a lot of ideas... but of course, food was the winner! I was thumbing through one of my favorite cookbooks, and came across this "make it mine" breakfast casserole recipe. The bread in the recipe reminded me immediately of Grandma Richardson's famous cackleberry, and all of the wonderful memories I have of her.
This especially hit me, because normally, we would celebrate "Thanksmas" on the Saturday after Thanksgiving with this side of the family. It's like the best combo of Thanksgiving and Christmas, and of course, full of fun games and wonderful memories. This year is the first year we are not celebrating Thanksmas. I am going to miss this tradition, but I think I am going to have to make Thanksmas continue to be a thing even with just my own little family.
ANYWAY - to the recipe. The best thing about this recipe, is you can make it your own VERY easily. We chose to use pumpernickel rye bread, bacon, spinach, green onions, half-and-half, and cheddar cheese.
My husband described it as "tastes healthy, but in a good way." I would agree.
First, you have to pick which ingredients you want to use. You can choose your own bread, meat, vegetable, cheese, dairy, and seasoning. The best thing about that, is you can basically make it with whatever you have in your fridge. Makes for a really easy and fun recipe. I think this could be one that we make as a tradition, and maybe make it different each time! I imagine making it with my kids over the years, making it different each time!
5 cups of bread cubes (french bread, english muffins, pumpernickel, rye, wheat/white, etc)
Meat (8 strips of cooked bacon, 6-oz can lump drained crab meat, 2 C cubed ham, 8-oz cooked and crumbled breakfast sausage)
Vegetable (1 C fresh spinach, 3/4 C chopped sweet peppers, 1 1/2 C blanched broccoli or asparagus, 1/2 C canned, sliced mushrooms or 1 C fresh sautéed mushrooms, 1 C frozen hash browns, etc)
6 oz shredded cheese (cheddar, Italian blend, Monterey jack, Swiss, pepper jack, etc)
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 C dairy (half-and-half, milk, 1/2 C sour cream + 1 C milk, etc)
Seasoning (1 tbsp dijon mustard, 1 tsp dry dill weed, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/4 chopped green onions, 1 tbsp parsley or basil, etc)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 2-qt square baking dish (which you can see, I did incorrectly). Spread bread 1/2 bread crumbs on the bottom of the pan. Top with meat, vegetables, shredded cheese, and then the rest of the bread crumbs.
Wisk together the eggs, milk and seasoning. Pour over the layers in the pan evenly.
Bake, uncovered, about 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Make ahead! Put the whole thing together, cover, and refrigerate for 2-24 hours. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 60-65 minutes.
The recipe I made, included fresh spinach, bacon, pumpernickel-rye bread, green onions, shredded cheddar, and half-and-half.
Check out more egg casserole recipes by Better Homes and Gardens!!