Posts Tagged ‘brunch’


Twisted Strata

May 1, 2011

I made a new version of french toast strata last week for brunch.  I’ve been wanting to kick up my strata recipe for a while and thought using banana bread was a perfect way to do that.

I love a good strata.  I love that you can make it the night before and then just stick it in the oven in the morning.  Strata is perfect for brunch, or a Sunday morning after church.  I made a strata the night before my wedding to serve to the girls as they got ready for church.

This version came to me after I had a wonderful banana bread pudding a few weeks ago.  I’ve also been reading about how soaking nuts is a great way to have a healthy snack.  So pairing them together seemed like a no brainer.  I was right.  Of course, if you have a nut allergy, I don’t think that omitting the pecans will alter the recipe that much.

I used my banana nut recipe as the base of the strata and just omitted the pecans.  I’ve actually been making the bread that way that last few times lately.  It’s the number of bananas that really makes this recipe so moist and yummy.  You could use whatever banana bread you like, though.  I won’t judge.  Just make sure that whatever bread you use, it’s cool.  Making the bread a few days ahead would be best.

Banana Bread Strata

  • For the Bread:
  • 2 1/2 C flour
  • 1 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 3/4 C butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 C light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 7 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 t vanilla

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Grease 2 loaf pans.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, soda and salt with a wire whisk; set aside.  In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar.  Add the eggs, bananas and vanilla.  Beat at medium speed until thick.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add the flour mixture and blend at low speed just until combined.  Do not overmix.  Pour the batter into the prepared pans.  Bake for 60-70 minutes.  A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean and the bread should pull away from the sides.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Turn the pans on the side; cool to room temperature before removing and slicing.

I usually make this bread once I have 7 ripe bananas.  I just accumulate them and stick them in a bag in the freezer until I have the right amount.  The riper the banana, the better the bread!  (You can also add a cup of pecans to the bread, but then I wouldn’t add them to the strata.)

  • For the Strata:
  • 1/2-3/4 of a loaf of banana bread
  • 3 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 C Half and Half (or whole milk)
  • 1/2 C Caramel (use your favorite jar caramel)
  • 1 T Vanilla
  • 1/2 C Pecans, chopped (optional)

Cut the bread up into 3/4 inch cubes.  Place the cubes in an even layer inside a 11×7 prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle the chopped pecans on top of the bread.  Beat the eggs, half and half, caramel and vanilla in a separate bowl until combined.  Pour the egg mixture over the bread.  Cover, refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.  Cook in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes.  Garnish with leftover caramel, syrup or powdered sugar.


A Great Morning

April 10, 2011

When I was first married, there was a grocery store we used to frequent that made the best almond poppy seed muffins.  My husband and I loved those muffins. 

We ate them a lot.  As a matter of fact I failed a random drug screen because of one of those muffins.  So I suggest that you may want to enjoy these babies in moderation.

I came across this recipe while searching for things to make for Easter brunch this year.  I love to serve muffins for brunch.  You can easily make them ahead and they’re a great finger food.  I made these for breakfast this morning and they were wonderful.  As good as I remember from when I was first married. 

I had to make them in the large muffin tin, as well as the regular sized one.  I also made them without a liner.  You can make them with a liner, but to me a muffin stands alone and the liner is for a cupcake.  If you like it with a liner I won’t judge.

Almond Poppy Seed Muffins 

  • 1 C Butter, softened
  • 1 C Brown Sugar
  • 1 T Almond Extract
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 ¼ C Flour
  • ¾ t Baking Soda
  • ¾ t Baking Powder
  • ½ t Fine Sea Salt
  • 2 T Poppy Seeds, rounded
  • 1 1/2 C Half and Half (a little more if batter seems too dry)
  • ½ cup sliced almonds, plus additional for the top

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add the extract and the eggs and combine until creamy.  In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix, then half of the liquid and mix, continue until both the dry and wet are incorporated.  Add the almonds and stir until just incorporated.  Scoop into greased muffin tins.  Sprinkle the top with sliced almonds.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until baked through and the tops are just golden brown.  If you use the Texas size muffin tins, bake for about 30-40 minutes. 

Makes about 2 dozen regular size muffins and 1 dozen Texas sized ones.

Here’s the original.


Blueberry Bread Pudding

January 18, 2011

I love bread pudding.  This one is unique because it uses croissants.

My girlfriend Carol gave me this recipe a while ago.  I finally gotten around to making this.

I’m so glad I did. 

The hardest thing about this recipe is finding croissants.  Which says a lot about how easy it is.  The flavor of this pudding is divine.  You could easily substitute other fruit if you don’t like blueberry.  I think that strawberries or cherries will work well in this pudding.

I actually had some vodka infused blueberries in the freezer that I used.  The vodka added another layer of flavor but it’s not necessary.  If you add vodka, I would suggest adding 1-2 T.

Blueberry Bread Pudding

  • 8 Croissants
  • 2 C Fresh or Frozen Blueberries
  • 5 Large Eggs
  • 2 C Half and Half
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 1 t Cinnamon
  • 1/2 t Nutmeg
  • 1 t Vanilla
  • 2 T Slivered Almonds

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. 

Cut the croissants into 2 inch pieces, toast them in the oven for 10 minutes.  Remove and cool. 

Raise the oven heat to 400 degrees.  Butter a 9-inch square glass baking dish.  Combine the toasted croissants with the blueberries in the baking dish.  Whisk together the eggs, half and half, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Stir in the vanilla.  Pour over the croissants and sprinkle with the almonds. 

Place the baking dish in a large baking pan.  Add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the dish.  Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the pudding is set and the top is golden.  Make sure to check the pudding after about 10 minutes.  Take a spoon and push the croissants down in the egg mixture. Remove the baking dish from the water, cool on a wire rack. 

Serve warm or at room temperature.

This pudding would be a wonderful addition to a brunch.

This makes 6-8 servings.


How’s your Keaster this fine Easter?

April 3, 2010

I’ve been working petty hard the last few days getting ready for Easter.  I’m having brunch.  I love brunch it has everything good about lunch and breakfast. 






Cake pops.

Lamb cake.

Look at these!


 Meeshie decorated these.

Look at her go!


Oh and these.  She did a good job.  I used the empires recipe.  I just used the frosting left over from the lamb cake.

I even made these.  I saw this post and it reminded me of the raisin bread my mom used to make at Easter when I was a girl.  I made them on Good Friday and forgot that I had given up bread for lent.  I’m dreaming about these puppies and can’t wait until Sunday.

I’m making a few more things like kugala and something called Indian Bread pudding.  I’ll be posting about those later.  I need to get back to coloring eggs, cleaning, and ham.

I’m making a spiral ham that I cook in vodka that has pineapple fermenting in it.  I started the process back in October.  Just take some pineapple rings and put them in a jar (I actually have well glasses that come with lids that are perfect for many things, this being one of them) and fill the jar with vodka.  I use just canned pineapple rings that are drained.  Stick it in the back of the fridge and forget about it.  Then when you make your ham, put the pineapple on the ham and pour the vodka on top.  No need to make a glaze.  Cook the ham according to the directions and enjoy.  The alcohol will cook off and all you have is this yummy tasting ham. No glaze is needed. 

Happy Easter!

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