A Southern Grace: morning person

March 2, 2015

morning person

Yum

Though it wasn't always the case, I'd definitely firmly label myself as a morning person.


Not only does the quiet calm of the dawn appeal to me, but my mind is sharp, my attitude is (usually) upbeat, and I attack my to-do list with vigor. These qualities seem to deteriorate as the day goes on, and often by supper time, I have very little motivation at all. That doesn't bode well if I want to eat a home-cooked meal, as I almost always prefer, and I'm sure my very significant other would agree.

I've come up with a few ways to circumvent this potential dinner disaster. For one thing, I've gotten to know my slow cooker pretty well. I simply throw some things inside before I leave for work and something aromatic and delicious is usually waiting for me when I walk in that evening. Another trick is to prepare a casserole in the morning and pop it in the fridge to be removed and baked that night. All the hard work is done in the morning and that means that my brain doesn't necessarily have to be functioning in order for me to get supper on the table in the evening.


This dish falls into the latter category, and it's a perfect example of breakfast for dinner. It makes use of some eggs from my brother's farm (I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again and again--farm-fresh eggs are noticeably superior to those from the grocery store!), crusty Krusteaz Sourdough Bread, crumbly porky sausage, and ooey-gooey cheese. I knew the sourdough bread would be perfect for a strata because it's firm and would absorb the egg and milk mixture wonderfully.


Putting this together took hardly any time at all--I needed about 15 minutes to fry the sausage and about 5 minutes to mix and layer everything into the casserole dish. I covered it with plastic wrap and put it into the fridge at 7 in the am and came home and baked it off at 6 in the pm. (I should note that you do have to bake it a bit longer if you've been refrigerating it for any amount of time.) Voila, (breakfast for) dinner is served!

Sourdough Breakfast Strata
Hands-on prep time: 25 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Effort: Easy
Number of servings: 12

Ingredients:
  • 1 loaf Krusteaz Sourdough Bread Mix, prepared as directed on package
  • 1 pound breakfast sausage
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 ounces (1-1/2 cups) cheddar or pepper jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallion greens
Directions:
·Heat oven to 350°F and spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
·Cut loaf of prepared sourdough bread into 1-inch cubes.
·In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat, stirring frequently, until browned and crumbly, about 10 minutes; drain well on paper towels.
·Arrange the cubes of bread into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the sausage.
·In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, maple syrup, mustard, salt, and pepper; carefully pour the mixture over the sausage and bread.
·Sprinkle the cheese and sliced scallions evenly across the top.
·Let the bread absorb the liquid for at least an hour, but you can leave the casserole in the fridge for several hours, if desired.
·Bake the strata until set and golden, about 40 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

26 comments:

~~louise~~ said...

Good moring Grace:)
I like to think of myself as a morning person too but lately I just can't seem to get as early a start as I'd like to. I'm sure semi-retirement has changed things a bit.

The crock is a wonderful way to have a nice meal ready but, sometimes that gets old too. Looks like you've come up with a work around. I'm sure both you and your significant other enjoyed this meal. Breakfast for dinner is a favorite around here so I'm sure we would LOVE it too!!!

Thanks so much for sharing, Grace...

Erica said...

What a wonderful breakfast casserole, Grace! Perfect for Easter!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I love mornings to, but I always get anxious at this time of the day...

Droolworthy!

Cheers,

Rosa

Angie Schneider said...

I am too a morning person! This is a fantastic breakfast.

Pam said...

Sounds and looks good to me, Grace! I'm a morning person all the way also and this would be a perfect meal any time of the day. You're right about the farm fresh eggs! And the hen looks totally cool!

Chineka Williams said...

This would make for a great and quick breakfast. I love my slow cooker as well.

Pam Greer said...

I'm a morning person too and I can't believe I never thought of assembling something like this in the morning for dinner than night!

Patricia Bacon said...

Holy Moly, I am still amazed that you have a full time job AND still have time to bake and write and photograph these great posts! I like how Erica said it would be great for Easter... Will keep it in mind.

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

Cute chicken alert! Your picture made my day! That strata looks pretty amazeballs, too! Husband doesn't normally consider breakfast for dinner an option, but this might get him to change his mind?

Food Gal said...

I love breakfast for dinner. It's so indulgent. You feel like you're pampering yourself -- even if it's just some nicely fluffy scrambled eggs.

Emily said...

I've never made a strata before! Yours looks amazing! I think this would be great to bring to a holiday brunch.

Joanne said...

I am definitely a morning person, especially when good hearty breakfasts are on the agenda! Yum to this!

bakeorbreak said...

This looks so good, Grace. I am so not a morning person, but this would be worth getting out of bed!

Pam said...

I am a morning person too. This casserole looks simple and delicious - my whole family would dig it!

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

I'm a morning person too and often get too lazy to cook dinner. This sounds great, you know I'm also a big fan of breakfast for dinner!

Juliana said...

Wow, what a nice breakfast...I would love to start the morning with this strata...so much flavor.
Have a great week Grace :)

Katerina said...

I am a morning person too! I feel like I am getting the full out of a day! Your breakfast is amazing!

Barbara said...

Funny photo of chicken! :)
Stratas are great...I used to make a ham and cheese one for the kids and now, every Christmas morning, I make a bacon and cheese one. It's a tradition. Yours looks yummy, Grace.
There was a set of 6 small cookbooks called Make it Now Bake it Later...they were my kitchen bible when the kids were small and I had no time. Think they're still available on Amazon.

I Wilkerson said...

I've always been a breakfast for dinner fan myself. I think of myself as an "afternoon" person, which doesn't bode well for dinner either if the day has been at all rough. Love your strategies!

Choc Chip Uru @ Go Bake Yourself said...

I wish it was always morning, I am so active and ready to do things then :P
Things like eat a veggie version of your delicious strata :D

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

Beth said...

A delicious solution! I'm much more a morning person too, and always love finding an easy dinner entree.

kumars kitchen said...

we are morning people too...but if we were not this scrumptious strata would have definitely made us rise early for breakfast...such delicious flavors,thanks for inspiring :-)

Lily Lau said...

Being morning people is all advantages, I see! :)

lisa is cooking said...

This is such a smart dinner plan! And, who doesn't love breakfast for dinner?

Amy (Savory Moments) said...

This dish looks delicious, Grace and I love that it is easy! I tend to be a morning person as well because I just can't stay awake at night anymore like when I was in my teens and 20s!

Gloria Baker said...

Im a morning person and love this Grace! Look amazing!!