I recently invited some girlfriends over for a morning of delicious recipes from "Savor the Moment." Breakfast on Sunday is probably one of my favorite meals of the week and the girls were sweet enough to come on over to Chez Miskew and help me out with some dishes from "Savor the Moment's" decadent Bread & Breakfasts chapter!
I went with a "Breakfast at Stephanie's" theme, giving everyone their own tiara and a CD with songs from Audrey Hepburn movies including "Moon River Cha Cha" from Breakfast at Tiffany's, a new favorite, and "Think Pink" from Funny Face - perfect tunes for chilling out on a Sunday morning. We also wore our tiaras throughout breakfast - I think Holly Golightly would be proud!
The French Toast Baked in Honey Pecan Sauce was also delicious with its praline topping and accompanying Honey Butter. I'm not the biggest French Toast fan but I reeeeeally liked this recipe. Maybe it was the fact you could also do most of the prep the night before, but I think it had more to do with the flavor combo. The French bread "marinates" overnight in a mixture of eggs, half and half, brown sugar and vanilla and awakes to a warm reception in a 350 degree oven where it bakes atop a mixture of butter, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup and pecans until puffed and golden brown. The result is some pretty phenomenal French toast with the perfect amount of sweetness.
In light of the previous two recipes, I thought I should probably throw in a token "healthy" dish to ease the guilt so I went with the Tropical Fruit with Mango Cream. As it turns out, this recipe calls for most of my favorite fruit including mango (obviously), nectarines, kiwifruit, pineapple and honeydew melon. It also called for passion fruit which unfortunately was not to be found in Delray Beach this particular day. Also, for the Mango Cream, in lieu of the kirsch, a clear, colorless fruit brandy made from distilled cherries, I used Chambord, a raspberry flavored liqueur, and it turned out just fine. This is the only dish of the three you will be making the morning of, since neither the fruit nor the Mango Cream holds up too well overnight. This dish also made a beautiful and delightfully colorful presentation and the fruit with the Mango Cream definitely had me going back for more - delicious!
My husband, Steve, was kind enough to rock out some fabulous batches of the Honeydew Mimosas for us girls. They were delicious and a beautiful, light green color that went down veeeeery smoothly - thanks, Hon! All in all it was a fun and delicious Sunday morning. Thanks to Carrie, Lee Ann and Reagan for your taste-testing help and for wearing tiaras throughout the entire breakfast. I've included the recipe for the Ham and Cheese Strata below, but you're going to have to buy a copy of "Savor the Moment" for the rest of the deliciousness. Enjoy!
Ham and Cheese Strata (pg. 102)**
1 loaf French bread, cubed
1 pound ham, cubed
1 pound Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 green onions, chopped
15 medium eggs
2 egg yolks
4 cups half-and-half
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Combine the bread, ham, Cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, and green onions in a large bowl. Beat the eggs, egg yolks, half-and-half and mustard in a medium bowl. Pour over the bread mixture and stir until moistened. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or longer.
Stir the mixture and pour into an oiled 10-inch springform pan; place on a baking sheet. Bake at 325 to 350 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, covering with foil if necessary to prevent overbrowning. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Place on a serving plate and remove the side of the pan. Cut into wedges and serve. Serves twelve.
**Better me than you cooking tips!
- I baked the strata at 350 degrees so it could bake in the oven with the French Toast. It cooked for about 1 1/2 hours
- I cubed the ham into big chunks to give it some nice texture
- Be sure to run a knife around the inside of the springform pan to loosen the strata before unlatching it