Birthday Brunch

The morning after the lovely Salad Nicoise, I made a special brunch for my Mom's birthday. I was amazed at how easy it was to create a delicious and hearty brunch once I made a game plan. I just think that taking the time to sit down and create a plan saves you tons of time when you're actually preparing food.

Birthday Brunch Menu

Crab and Roasted Red Pepper Strata
Rosemary and Mustard Breakfast Sausage
Pecan Praline Bacon
Fruit Salad
Cranberry Orange Scones

The Crab and Roasted Red Pepper Strata can be made the night before and left to soak in the fridge until morning. The Rosemary and Mustard Breakfast Sausage can also be mixed the day before and even formed into patties. The Cranberry Orange Scones can also be made in advance.

So when you get up in the morning, you don't really need to do very much work. The strata and sausages can go directly into the oven. The scones are done and just need to be set out on the table. The bacon is extremely simple and takes only a few minutes to make. The most time consuming thing would be cutting up all the fruit for the fruit salad, but you could technically cut it up ahead of time and store it in the fridge. You can put on a delicious and elegant brunch without getting up at six in the morning to cook!

Crab and Roasted Red Pepper Strata
~This is a really simple but elegant recipe~

  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped drained roasted red peppers from a jar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 green onions (scallions), chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 lb fresh crab meat*
  • 8 cups 1 inch bread cubes from a French Baguette (keep crust on)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Prepare a baking dish (rectangular casserole dish) with cooking spray or butter.
  2. Whisk eggs and half and half in a medium bowl to blend.
  3. Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery and saute until soft (about 5 minutes). Add peppers and garlic and saute 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Stir in green onions, parsley and thyme. Transfer mixture to large bowl and add crab and bread crumbs, tossing to combine.
  5. Add egg mixture, salt, and pepper. Mix until well combined, taking care not to break up the crab too much. Transfer to prepared baking dish.
  6. Let stand at least 30 minutes, but overnight in the fridge works even better.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake until browned and puffed (about 1 hour). Cool on rack 20-30 minutes (could serve sooner, if needed). Using a sharp knife, cut into pieces and serve.
*If you don't want to buy fresh jumbo lump crab meat, which can be really expensive, you can also use jumbo lump from a can or fresh crab meat that isn't jumbo lump and is less expensive.

I really enjoyed preparing this brunch because I don't often entertain in the morning. It's a great time to experiment with some new recipes!

Happy Birthday, Mom!

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