The Perfect Breakfast Casserole for Your Next Brunch

I love brunch. Sleep in, have brunch with a mimosa or a good cup of strong, hot coffee, relax in your loungewear and, if you are like me, maybe go back to bed! I hosted a bridal shower recently for a dear friend whose son is getting married. I wanted my friend to be celebrated along with the bride-to-be, so I hosted a bubbly and brunch.

For decor, my springboard was the bride’s color scheme navy, pink, and blush. I found beautiful custom invitations on Basic Invite and used my navy and white urns as the vases for the flowers.  I always purchase the florals from Trader Joe’s because they are affordable, and they are long-lasting. This centerpiece took three bunches of white hydrangeas and one bunch of pink roses.  Mother’s white milk glass buffet plates looked fresh and pretty on the table. I already had the blue and white checked tablecloth from Sur la Table.

It’s important to me to plan a menu that’s traditional with a twist. I like breakfast casseroles because they are a “one and done” meal encompassing eggs, meat, bread, and cheese. But, I was getting tired of making, and eating, the same old egg and sausage casserole.

On a recent getaway with girlfriends, we popped into Euna Mae’s kitchen store, and I purchase the cutest cookbook – The Southern Sympathy Cookbook by Perre Coleman Magness.  The Southern Sympathy Cookbook includes unexpectedly humorous obituaries and anecdotes alongside staples of Southern funerals – comforting casseroles; jugs of sweet tea; creamy, cheesy potatoes― providing sympathy and sustenance for the bereaved.  Whether feeding a congregation, delivering a meal to a friend in need, or cooking with weekday leftovers in mind, home cooks will embrace these recipes, guaranteed to comfort and to please a crowd. 

I flipped to the brunch section and knew this book was for me. I made Perre’s Biscuits and Gravy Breakfast Bake, and I will never look at another egg casserole the same. This recipe is heaven.  It has a drop biscuit base with eggs on top, grated cheddar cheese, then a sausage gravy layer with more cheese. It came out of the oven all bubbly and delicious. There was maybe one tablespoon left – no kidding.  I served it alongside Mother’s recipe for cheese grits – a staple we always had Christmas morning. You can find her recipe in a vintage post here.

I made Ina Garten’s Morning Glory muffins you can find on my Pinterest board.  Full of plump raisins, grated carrots and crushed pineapple, they make about two dozen muffins that freeze beautifully.  And lastly, I set up Greek yogurt, a big bowl of fresh berries, granola, and almonds for a “make your own parfait” bar. We washed it all down with cold-pressed orange juice mimosas and southern pecan-blend coffee.

Here is the printable recipe for the Biscuits and Gravy Breakfast Bake to file in your recipe box!  Let me know if you give it a try. I can’t wait to try other recipes from Perre’s book.

Pumpkin French Toast Roll Ups

I follow Dixie Crystals Sugar on Instagram and they shared a recipe created by The Novice Chef for Pumkpin French Toast Roll Ups.  I had a loaf of white texas toast (which I never purchase but it was left over from a BBQ), and I had a can of pumpkin.  All the other ingredients are in my pantry.  My Saturday was set for these.

This is a recipe you can definitely get your children or grandchildren to help with — rolling the bread with a rolling pin, and dipping them in the egg mixture.  The filling was just enough for 12 roll ups.

These turned out perfect.  Not too sweet, you can definitely taste the pumpkin.  We didn’t serve them with syrup as the recipe suggests. I think they are sweet enough on their own without syrup, but Miss Bee suggested a dollop of whipped  cream would be nice.

Here’s the recipe and you can also find a video here on the Dixie Crystal Sugar website.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup canned plain pumpkin
  • 2/3 cup Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 12 slices white sandwich bread
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • Butter, for coating skillet

Recipe:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together pumpkin, 1/3 cup granulated sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.1
  2. In another dish, mix remaining 1/3 sugar and cinnamon, set aside.2
  3. Cut crusts from slices of white bread, and flatten bread with rolling pin.3
  4. Spread pumpkin pie filling on one side of each slice of bread. Tightly roll up the slice of bread. Continue for remaining slices.4
  5. In a shallow dish, beat eggs, and milk with whisk.5
  6. In 10-inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat to coat inside of skillet. Dip each roll into egg mixture, and place in skillet.6
  7. Cook in batches of 4 or 5, turning until roll is browned. Dip into cinnamon sugar, and roll until completely covered. Serve immediately.

These are #Saturdaymorningapproved.

Blueberry-Cornmeal Muffins with Thyme Glaze

I love to bake and try out new recipes, especially with cookbooks I haven’t opened in a while.  If you want to impress your company with a beautiful breakfast bread, try this recipe for Blueberry-Cornmeal Muffins with Thyme Glaze from Bake from Scratch.  I own their Bake from Scratch cookbook and it’s full of artisan recipes for the homebaker featuring cakes, pies, breads, cookies and pastries.  But you can also access tons of great recipes from their site Baked from Scratch and sign up for their Preheat enewsletter.

Makes 8 large muffins or 12 regular size muffins
Ingredients
  • 1⅔ cups (209 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (150 grams) yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1⅓ cups (293 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole buttermilk
  • 1½ cups fresh blueberries
  • Thyme Glaze (recipe follows)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 8 jumbo muffin cups with parchment or paper liners, or spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and brown sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Fold in blueberries.
  3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake for 5 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F, and continue baking until muffins are golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes. Drizzle with Thyme Glaze, and serve warm or at room temperature.

Want to add a twist to your baked goods?  Try my trick – instead of baking them bare or in regular cupcake liners, use parchment lotus cups from Paper Chef sold at Target.

Thyme Glaze

Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups (150 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • Thyme Syrup (recipe follows)
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar and Thyme Syrup until smooth (the icing will be very thick).  Drizzle the tops of cooled muffins.

Thyme Syrup (try planting Thyme in your garden.  It’s cold and heat tolerant and very fragrant.  I have a patch of it right outside my front door, easy to pick for this recipe).

Ingredients
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan, bring sugar, ¼ cup water, and thyme to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool completely. Remove and discard thyme sprigs.

If you put a tray of these out for your guests, they will surely think you bought them and then you can take all the credit.  Happy baking!