Thursday, April 10, 2014

Easter Brunch Made Easy


This is just the kind of recipe that Sandy Archer, in my sweet romance A DADDY FOR LUKE, would like to make. She's a busy single mom with the added challenge of being legally blind. She likes to make casseroles so she can freeze leftovers for another day. When she asks David Winston to dinner, and invites him to help in the kitchen, it is a casserole she chooses to make. She wants to impress him and finds an opportunity for a steamy kiss at the same time. Read an excerpt of A DADDY FOR LUKE here

I like making casseroles, too. There's the benefit of fewer dishes to wash, and the leftovers are often tastier the next day. I'm making this dish this coming weekend because my nephew will be visiting next Monday and Tuesday and I know he'll like it. ~ Christy

Delicious Make-Ahead Egg Casserole

(Family Features) Plan an Easter gathering everyone can enjoy with a make-ahead menu that includes crowd-pleasing brunch casseroles packed with everyone’s favorite flavors – and leaves you plenty of time to spend with the family.

“Combine all-star breakfast ingredients like eggs, bacon and cheese into a single dish in this Cheesy Bacon & Egg Brunch Casserole, seasoned with ground mustard and nutmeg,” said Chef Kevan Vetter of the McCormick Kitchens. “The best part about this recipe is you can assemble it the night before – just add an additional 1/2 cup of milk – chill it in the refrigerator and bake it off in the morning.”

Serve a spring-inspired dessert topped with an array of fresh fruit to complement your brunch casserole.

Find everything you need to create a complete brunch menu and more easy Easter-themed recipes at www.McCormick.com, www.Facebook.com/McCormickSpices and www.Pinterest.com/mccormickspices.

Cheesy Bacon & Egg Brunch Casserole
Serves: 12

8          slices bacon
1          medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
1          loaf (8 ounces) Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (5 cups)
2          cups (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
1          cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1          cup cottage cheese
5          eggs
1 1/2    cups milk*
2          teaspoons McCormick® Mustard, Ground
1          teaspoon McCormick® Black Pepper, Ground
1/2       teaspoon McCormick® Nutmeg, Ground

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook bacon in large skillet until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels; crumble and set aside. Remove all but 2 tablespoons drippings from skillet. Add onion to skillet; cook and stir 3 minutes or until softened.

Spread 1/2 of the bread cubes in 13x9-inch baking dish. Layer with 1/2 each of the onion, bacon, Cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese. Spread evenly with cottage cheese. Top with remaining bread cubes, onion, bacon, Cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese.

Beat eggs in medium bowl with wire whisk. Add milk, mustard, pepper and nutmeg; mix well. Gradually pour into baking dish. Press bread cubes lightly into egg mixture until completely covered. Let stand 10 minutes. (*To prep the night before, add an extra 1/2 cup of milk and refrigerate overnight.)

Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until center is set and top is golden brown.

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