Friday, December 26, 2014

Egg Strata

With so much going on during the holidays, it's great to have a breakfast recipe that can be prepared a day ahead to bake just for breakfast or brunch the next morning. I made this Egg Strata dish on the afternoon of Christmas Eve to bake and enjoy after opening gifts with the kids on Christmas morning. I pulled it from the refrigerator at 7 a.m. to warm until time to bake and serve later in the morning. I will be serving a version of this dish this coming Sunday, when we enjoy another holiday brunch with our family in Bend, Oregon. Serves 8

Egg Strata


14 Eggs
2 cups Coconut Milk beverage, unsweetened (I used SoDelicious brand)
2 Baguettes, Udi's gluten-free (defrosted and cubed) OR 12 slices gluten-free bread (cubed)
4 Green Onions, sliced
1-1/2 cups fresh Mushrooms, chopped
1-2 cups fresh Spinach, chopped
1/2 tsp. Lawry's Seasoned Salt
Pinch or two of Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
2 cups of shredded Cheddar Cheese 

Optional Ingredients: Red Bell Pepper (chopped or minced), Butternut Squash (cooked and cubed, small), Herbs (garlic, thyme, oregano, with Paprika and/or Goat Cheese (crumbled) for a topping.

  1. Grease a 13X9 inch glass baking dish with butter or a butter substitute (my preference).
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, coconut milk, Dijon mustard, Cayenne pepper, and seasoned salt.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, blend together the cubed bread, shredded cheese, fresh mushrooms, spinach and green onions and any optional vegetable or herbs you wish to add.
  4. Add the bread mixture into the buttered baking dish, and spread evenly.
  5. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread mixture in the baking dish.
  6. Refrigerate overnight covered with plastic wrap.
  7. In the morning, set the Egg Strata out on the counter to warm to room temperature.
  8. Pre-heat oven to 350-degrees.*
  9. Bake at 350-degrees for 50-60 minutes, until set and slightly browned on top.
  10. Let rest for 10 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving.

*NOTE: If the glass baking dish is still cool when you are ready to bake the Egg Strata, place the egg dish in the oven as soon as you begin to pre-heat the oven, and bake for 1 hour.

The day after Christmas and all through the house...

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and are now looking forward to the New Year with hope in your hearts for many good things ahead for you and your's in 2015!

The day after Christmas and all through the house are signs of the holiday... cards, gifts, wrapping papers and bows, and sweet and savory homemade snacks to enjoy this coming week.

I made gluten-free cookies, white chocolate covered popcorn (addicting and so bad for you I won't share the recipe), and spicy pretzels, which I gave for gifts. Too big to be stocking stuffers, I put the spicy pretzels in decorative holiday bags and tins. Below is the spicy pretzel recipe our delightful neighbor, Andi, shared with me. Thanks, Andi! My batch was gluten-free. This snack will be great to enjoy while ringing in the New Year!

Spicy Pretzels


1/2 cup Canola Oil (I used Safflower Oil)
1 envelope dry Ranch Dressing mix
1 tsp. Garlic Salt
1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper (For the grandkid's sake, I reduced to 1/2 tsp. Perfect!)
1 large (20 oz.) bag of Pretzels (I used gluten-free)

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200-degrees.
  2. Put the pretzels in a large mixing bowl. 
  3. Whisk together the oil, dry dressing mix, garlic salt and cayenne in a small bowl.
  4. Drizzle all of the oil and spice mixture over the pretzels, and toss gently until completely coated.
  5. Spread the pretzels out evenly over the two baking sheets.
  6. Bake at 200-degrees for 75 minutes. 
  7. Cool completely before packaging.
  8. Instructions say to stir once during the cooking time, but I did not. They turned out great!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Holiday Brunch Fruit Salad

This colorful and zesty fruit salad is simply delicious; quick and easy to prepare and marinate ahead the night before your brunch. Serves 12-16.


2 cups green Grapes, halved

2 cups Strawberries, sliced

2 cups Peach, sliced or chunked

2 cups Orange (Mandarin Oranges), segments

1 cup Kiwi, peeled and sliced or diced

2 Bananas, sliced

1 cup, Blueberries, fresh or frozen

1/2 cup Orange Juice

1/2-cup orange-flavored Liqueur (Cointreau®)

2 tablespoons white Sugar

  1. If using canned fruit, drain before adding.
  2. Add the prepared fruits, except the bananas and blueberries, to a large bowl.
  3. Whisk the Orange Juice, Cointreau, and sugar (until dissolved)
  4. Gently stir the orange mixture in with the fruit medley until coated.
  5. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  6. Before serving, gently stir in the freshly sliced bananas and blueberries, tossing with the orange dressing to coat.