This holiday season, do brunch, but make it extra AND easy. How’s that for an idea? For our fellow brunch aficionados, we’ve taken three classic brunch items and honed in the tastiness and turned up the easy factor. Armed with your favorite Inked bread, and some simple ingredients, your day-of brunch prep will be minimal while still wowing your tastebuds. Seriously.

Linger in the magic of Christmas morning longer by putting together most of your Christmas brunch in advance. Savory breakfast casserole and fresh fruit and herb salad will anchor any brunch buffet, and french toast sticks are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Keep the coffee flowing for anyone who was up late doing some last minute elving, and boom, Christmas brunch is served.  

Savory Breakfast Casserole 

This classic casserole is indulgent and delicious, and it’s best when made ahead of time— it’s a Christmas brunch miracle! Keep your attention on the beauty of the holiday morning rather than spending half of the morning in the kitchen. All you’ll need to do is remember to preheat the oven and pop the casserole in.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 lb. uncooked pork or turkey breakfast sausage
  • cooking spray or olive oil
  • 12 large eggs
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)
  • 6 slices of your favorite Inked Bread 

Instructions:

  1. Brown sausage in 1 tsp oil for about five minutes, until it is starting to brown.
  2. Combine eggs, half-and-half, dry mustard, kosher salt, and black pepper in a large bowl and whisk until combined.
  3. Coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray or olive oil. 
  4. Tear 6 slices Inked Bread into 1-inch pieces, approximately 6 cups. 
  5. Add half of the cheese (1 cup) and all of the bread to the egg mixture.
  6. Transfer the sausage into the egg mixture and gently fold until everything is evenly combined. 
  7. Pour into the baking dish and spread evenly and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  8. Cover with foil and refrigerate for at least 8 or up to 24 hours. 
  9. About 2 hours before your holiday brunch, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Let the casserole sit at room temperature while the oven is heating.
  10. Bake uncovered for 50 to 55 minutes, until the top is golden-brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

make french toast sticks with Inked Bread this holiday season

French Toast Sticks

Another solid make-ahead holiday brunch option is french toast sticks. Easy, tasty and sure to be appreciated by all of your brunch attendees, french toast sticks are a winning choice. With your favorite Inked Bread, your french toast sticks can be a healthier addition to the Christmas brunch spread. Easy to gently reheat, you may find french toast sticks on your everyday breakfast meal menu after your brunch success.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 slices white bread, cut into thirds
  • nonstick cooking spray

Instructions: 

  1. Mix eggs, powdered sugar, milk, maple syrup, brown sugar, and cinnamon together in a bowl with a fork until well blended. Dip each breadstick into the egg mixture.
  2. Coat a skillet with nonstick spray and heat over medium heat. Place sticks in the hot skillet and cook until brown, 2 to 3 minutes; turn over and cook until browned on the other side, 2 to 3 minutes more. Repeat with the second batch.
  3. Make these french toast sticks in advance and gently warm them in the oven before serving. So easy!

Fresh Herb Fruit Salad

Balance out your holiday brunch spread with a big bowl of fresh fruit and herb salad. Your favorite fresh fruit, plus freshly chopped basil and mint leaves, tossed in citrus and honey— now we’re talking. 

Ingredients: 

  • 6 cups fresh fruit, chopped (choose your favorites or what’s in season)
  • several large basil leaves, finely chopped
  • several large mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1-2 TBSP liquid sweetener (honey, maple syrup, or agave)

Instructions: 

  1. Combine the fruit in a large bowl with chopped basil and mint. 
  2. Whisk together the lime zest, lime juice, and honey.
  3. Pour the dressing over the fruit and stir to combine.
  4. For the best flavor, chill and let the flavors combine for at least 2 hours before serving.
  5. Store in an airtight container for up to 48 hours.

This holiday, take the tastes of the season up a notch with Inked Bread. You won’t regret it. And, as always, if you share your Inked Bread masterpiece online, make sure to tag us with #thatsmybread!