Susan S. Yeske: Dining In - Recipe of the Week

What Mom really wants is a meal with the family

This breakfast casserole can be prepared the night before and baked in the morning as the centerpiece of a Mother’s Day breakfast or brunch.

Jewelry, flowers and cards are nice, but according to an Ebates survey, moms say that spending quality time with their families is their top choice for what they want for Mother’s Day. One way to accomplish that is by having a meal together – preferably one that Mom doesn’t have to cook.

According to the National Retail Federation, Americans are expected to spend more than $21 billion this year for Mother’s Day gifts and dining out. That’s an awful lot of money when dining in together is less expensive and more relaxed.

Having a meal together that Mom doesn’t have to cook should feature dishes she enjoys, no matter whether it’s breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.

A cookout is always nice, especially since Dad can man the grill. Brunch is popular too, whether dining out or dining in. With brunch you can eat early, then head somewhere to enjoy the sunshine at a local winery or a special event such as the Bucks County Designer House & Gardens or the Mommy & Me Colonial Craft Event at Washington Crossing Historic Park.

Brunch can be anything you want it to be, and doesn’t have to be complicated since breakfast is the easiest meal of the day. Many egg dishes are simple to make and can be made the night before and cooked while you are getting ready in the morning. The breakfast casserole shown ere is from and was adapted from one created decades ago for Jimmy Dean Sausage.

You can serve this casserole with sides of bacon, fruit or green salad. If the mom being celebrated likes mimosas, those would be a nice touch.

Whatever you make or do, the most important thing is spending time together.

Make-Ahead Breakfast Casserole

1 (16-ounce) package pork sausage
10 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
6 cups cubed bread
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup diced red pepper, optional
sliced green onion, optional

1. Butter a 9x13x2-inch casserole dish.

2. In large skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until thoroughly cooked and no longer pink.

3. In large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and salt until thoroughly combined.

4. Evenly distribute half the bread into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle with half the cheese, half the black pepper, half the red pepper, and half the sausage. Repeat layers.

5. Pour egg mixture evenly over casserole.

6. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or bake immediately.

7. When you’re ready to bake the casserole, preheat oven to 325°F. Bake uncovered for 55-60 minutes, or until eggs are set. If the top begins to brown too quickly, loosely cover the casserole dish with foil.

8. If desired, sprinkle the casserole with sliced green onions. Serve warm.


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