Holidays With Honey – Christmas Morning Casserole

sausage cheese strata

It probably isn’t surprising that cooking is a big part of Christmas in my family. After my children grew older, Christmas breakfast became really special. After we open presents, we sit down for a cozy meal with lots of chat and tea. It’s the best part of the day. 

We’ve had this spicy casserole for the past few years because it can be made ahead and cooked while we are opening presents. This year our darling Lucy will be able to eat some too!

photo (9)

Yield:  serves 4

Ingredients

5 Slices thickly-sliced white bread – crusts and all, buttered & cubed.

1 pound of mild sausage, cooked, crumbled and drained.

3 cups of grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese

4 eggs

2 cups of milk

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon of hot sauce.

Directions

Spray a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish with vegetable oil cooking spray. Place the bread cubes in the casserole. Evenly distribute the sausage over the bread cubes. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Combine the eggs, milk, mustard, salt, honey and hot sauce and mix well. Pour the egg mixture over the bread. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, remove the casserole from the fridge and allow it to sit on the counter for 15 minutes while you pre-heat the over to 350. Remove the plastic wrap, place the casserole in the over and bake for 1 hour.

Mini Strawberry Honey Pies

Spring and strawberries just go together. This recipe is for all of you fruit pie lovers out there, and who isn’t? These Baby Pies are fresh, dainty and delicious…

Ingredients

Crust:

  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 2 unroll-and-bake refrigerated 9-inch pie crusts (recommended: Pillsbury)

Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon arrowroot
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 8 medium strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces, to yield about 1 1/4 cups
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Special equipment: a 12-count nonstick mini-muffin pan, a 3-inch round cookie cutter, a 2-inch round cookie cutter

Directions

Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

For the crust: Spray a 12-count nonstick mini-muffin pan with vegetable oil cooking spray. Put a strip of parchment paper, 1-inch wide and 5-inches long into each muffin cup, allowing the excess paper to overhang the sides of the cups. Unroll the pie crust and using round cookie cutters, cut out 12 (3-inch) circles and 12 (2-inch) circles of dough. Lightly press the 3-inch circles of dough into the bottom and sides of the prepared muffin cups.

For the filling: In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, lemon juice, arrowroot, and orange zest until smooth. Stir in the strawberries.

Spoon the filling into the muffin cups and using a pastry brush, lightly brush the edges of the dough with beaten egg. Put the 2-inch circles of dough on top. Using the tines of a fork press the edges of the dough together to seal. Lightly brush the tops of the pastry with the beaten egg. Using the tip of a knife, make a 1/4-inch wide slit in the center of each pie. Bake until the crust is golden, about 14 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 30 minutes. Using the overhanging parchment paper as handles, remove the pies from the pan. Remove the parchment paper and serve