Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Brunch

We had sunshine on Easter Sunday.  It was a welcome "gift"!  Our special friends joined us for brunch.  I can't remember how many Easters we've spent together but there have been many.  We missed our children who used to be around the table.  Of course, talk turned to them.  A new house for one.  The awarding of a PhD and upcoming wedding for another.  Two celebrating on the West Coast.  Two in New England.  All much loved and missed.

This is a little like putting all one's eggs in the same basket!

Our brunch strata made from a recipe that I first prepared over twenty-five years ago.  It's on a recipe card.  I'm fairly certain that I copied it from a magazine--probably Southern Living since we were in Charleston, S.C. at the time.

Holiday Strata from an uncertain source

10 slices day-old white bread, crusts removed
10 ounces baked ham, chopped fine--about 2 cups
6 oz sharp cheddar, grated--about 2 cups
1 cup scallions, some green top, chopped
8 large eggs
1 1/2 cups finely chopped red and green peppers
3 cups milk
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 tsp Hungarian paprika

1.  Butter an oblong (9 x 11) pan and arrange the bread in overlapping rows in the bottom.
2.  Sprinkle with the ham, cheese, peppers and scallions.
3.  Beat eggs, mustard, pepper and paprika together. Pour egg mixture over the ingredients in the baking dish.
4.  Cover and chill for one hour or overnight.  Bring to almost room temperature before baking.
5.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until set and a knife comes out clean.
6.  Allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving.


Oven roasted potatoes were a nice accompaniment.

Fresh strawberries and blueberries on the side.

Andrew made scones!

We were all inducted into the "clean plate club".

A happy Oliver who had just polished off a jelly bean he found on the floor--careless Easter Bunny!


  1. This all looks so yummy! I see that everyone enjoyed themselves, especially oliver!

  2. Bonnie,

    I make something very similar and it is always a hit. Glad you had a good time with friends.


  3. sounds like you guys had fun and ate well even without all the kids! I'm loving the looks of that strata!

  4. I love to read your posts, I don't always leave comments, but I appreciate your beautiful photography and yummy recipes. This is one I can definitely try. I shall have to cut it down a bit! This must have been enormous! LOL!
    Lovely to see Oliver!
    Hugs xx

  5. Looks delicious. My mother has a similar one we make at Christmas .. and she adds cornflakes (buttered) on the top for some crunchiness.

  6. Looks like a great brunch with good friends:@)

  7. Sounds just scrumptious! I think I must have tha same recipe card! A lovely way to spend Easter. And glad to hear you had some sun!

  8. since i love ALL things dog, Oliver is my favorite today. but all of your dinner looks really really good even the empty plate. those little peeps in the egg carton are adorable. sounds like your children are really doing well in their lives and that is a wonderful blessing to celebrate not matter what the day. I often think about 100 years ago or more, when family's were living in different parts of the world and USA, they did not have email and photos and phones, only snail mail. it is so wonderful ow that even though they are thousands miles away you can celebrate with them

  9. I would be your latest member of the clean plate club with all that delicious food!!!

  10. Looks like a delightful and delicious Easter celebration.

  11. Everything looked good. Glad you had a great time.

  12. Ha! The Doberhound would polish off anything she found on the floor, too. Love brunch bakes- they are so easy and decadent! Glad you had a lovely holiday!

  13. Sorry I haven't been over, This looks yummy.. Glad you had a good Easter weekend.


  14. Looks like a fun time with good friends and a delicious brunch! The breakfast strata looks scrumptious! I'm always on the lookout for a new breakfast casserole so I can't wait to try this. Always love to see pics of Oliver! :)

  15. Ha! That must have been one good jelly bean :) Oliver looks absolutely content. Love the holiday strata. Gonna have to give that a try...the Royal Wedding counts, right? I mean, its a public holiday here!

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  16. Nice looking brunch!!
    This Easter was bittersweet for us as well, because my oldest daughter and her husband are moving to London this coming May, and I was thinking that this would be the last Easter we spend with them for a while :( Good times were still had though.

  17. So good to read you had a good Easter and with good friends and family. Also a wedding? That always brings families together.

    Bless his heart... what a sweet photo of ollie.

    Hugs and glad to know you all are okay.

  18. Bonnie your Easter brunch looked scrumptious! I hope you had a joyful holiday! I also have children who live in diverse parts of the country so I have to chose where to spend each holiday. This Easter our new baby grandson lured us to Colorado :)

  19. A food journal of your Easter day!! I'm down with that, all so yummy looking! I'm glad you had such a wonderful time together. The strata looks yummy and easy. I have just printed it out and will be trying it. Now on to those oven roasted potatoes. I make tham a lot and have about six good recipes for them. The two best are from Cook's Illustrated and Tyler Florence. I'd be interested in seeing your recipe, they look very brown and crispy without being burnt, so delicious!

  20. Fantastic brunch; I can almost taste those roasted potatoes; great photos.
    I know what you mean with our kids not being around anymore. I always miss them a little more with holidays.

  21. Looks like a great Easter brunch!

  22. OMG! I've got that recipe too, and it's an oldie but goodie! Love strata anyway 'cause you have to do them way ahead. I make one with bacon for Christmas breakfast, but this one I love for dinner!

  23. I love stratas. They are so easy and yummy!!!

    Your Easter with friends sounds lovely. We were a little blue this year, as we were wishing we were elsewhere. My sister-in-law and her family have recently moved "home," so they were with Mom and Dad this year. We were wishing we were there as well. We miss family all the time, but holidays are especially hard on us.

    I enjoyed hearing your story about Gregory Peck. Imagine that...meeting that man in person. I think he had a fabulous voice....it would have been nice to hear him speak in person.

    And by the way, I'm thinking you are my blog reader who met Montgomery Clift while he was filming "Raintree County." I know it was one of my "midwest readers," who met him when she was about 6...not sure if it was you. If so...wow,how fun to have known TWO great (and handsome!) actors.


  24. What a great meal you enjoyed!

  25. It would be great if our families could be with us all the time, but sadly that isn't always the case. In such times it's wonderful to have good friends! What a wonderful brunch you shared.

  26. I like your analogy of putting all of your eggs or chicks in a basket. So cute! What a wonderful meal! The holiday strata looks like a great time-tested recipe.

  27. Better a jelly bean than a chocolate...bad Oliver, bad.

    Bonnie, your Strata seems quite close to what my 'Nonna' used to make...a couple of twists from your recipe is probably what I would adapt...looks delicious.

    Ciao for now,

  28. I did not have fake nails like yours, but i did sneak to my cousins house and curl my eyelashes and put on mascra and lipstick and SLEEP with it on allnight, then wash my face and go home because i was a good little southern baptist girls to


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