Best Brunch: Prepare ahead for Sunday breakfast

Published on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 00:44 - Written by Christine Gardner,


Thoughts of Easter morning bring memories of new church clothes, shiny shoes, colorful ribbons, chocolate bunnies and a special Easter Sunday breakfast.

It’s a great time for family and friends to gather around the table after the morning service and before the kids head out to the yard for the Easter egg hunt.

But don’t use all those eggs for deviled eggs and decorations. Save a few for a delicious quiche, French toast or eggs Benedict.

Each recipe is easy to prepare and most can be prepped the night before – keeping you out of the kitchen on Easter morning and your Sunday best crisp and clean.


Creamy Fruit Salad



2 grapefruit

3 pears

1 container fresh blackberries

1 cup strawberries, quartered

1 cup seedless red grapes, halved

1 banana, sliced

1 kiwi, peeled and sliced

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons honey



Slice the top and bottom off the grapefruit and discard. Place top side up on a cutting board and cut down and around the length of the grapefruit slicing off the skin and strings. Do this all the way around the grapefruit until all skin is removed. Cut the sections out of the grapefruit by running a knife down the edge of each of the membranes that hold the segments together. Place each grapefruit segment in a large bowl. Core the pears and dice. Toss with the grapefruit to prevent browning. Add all fruit to the bowl and combine with the yogurt, lemon juice and honey. Stir gently and serve chill for two hours or overnight before serving.


Sausage Puffs



1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed

1/2 pound Italian sausage

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 egg

2 teaspoons mustard



Crumble the sausage and brown in a skillet over medium heat. Drain off the fat and place the sausage in a large bowl. Combine with the cheese, egg and mustard. Place the puff pastry on a floured surface and unfold. Roll the pastry sheet out to 10 inches by 15 inches. Cut the pastry sheet into 24 squares. Press the squares into a mini muffin tin. Place a tablespoon of sausage filling in each muffin cup. Fold the corners over to cover the sausage or they can be left open. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes or until pastry puffs and turns golden. To make in advance, reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds or assemble puff for baking, cover pan with foil and refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes.


Cream Cheese & Tomato Quiche



1 9-inch pie crust

4 ounces cream cheese

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 shallots, julienned

1 cup sliced mushrooms

6 eggs

1 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large tomato, sliced



Place the cream cheese in the freezer for 1 hour. Roll out the pie crust and press into a 9 inch tart or quiche pan. Prick bottom and sides of the crust and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Place in a preheated 400 degree oven and bake for 10 minutes to set. When finished remove and set aside to cool. Remove the cheese from the freezer and cut into 1/4 inch cubes and set aside. In a skillet add the oil and shallots and cook over medium heat until softened. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until lightly browned. About five minutes. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Stir in the cream cheese, shallots and mushrooms. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour the egg mixture into the crust. Bake for 20 minutes and then place the tomato slices around the top of the quiche. Bake for and additional 20 minutes or until the middle of the quiche is just set. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. To prepare the night before, blind bake the crust for 20 minutes instead of 10 minutes. Assemble quiche and cover with foil. Refrigerate overnight. Take out of refrigerator, preheat oven to 350 degrees and follow previous baking except times should be extended to 30 minutes each time instead of 20 minutes.


Peach French Toast Bake



Cooking spray

1 large baguette (about 8 ounces) , sliced into 1 inch cubes

4 whole eggs

4 egg whites

1 cup low fat milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 cups sliced fresh peaches (or frozen, thawed)

1 lemon, juiced

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons powdered sugar combined with 1 teaspoon cinnamon, for dusting



Spray a 9-by-13 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Arrange bread in a single layer in the baking pan. Whisk together the eggs, egg whites, milk and vanilla. Pour the egg mixture over the bread in the pan. In a medium bowl, toss peaches with the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar. Scatter the peach slices evenly on top of the bread. Combine the remaining brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the top. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Uncover and bake for 40 minutes. When ready to serve sprinkle with powdered sugar and cinnamon.

Sweet Potato Hash Browns



1 tablespoon canola oil

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup onions, diced

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 garlic clove, minced

3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and grated coarsely

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste



Heat oil and butter in a skillet and fry onions over medium high heat until softened, about 2 minutes. Add garlic, brown sugar, cinnamon and sweet potatoes, season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook 10 to 15 minutes, until potatoes are cooked through and crispy. You can either stir occasionally to keep them loose and separate, or allow them to form a cake, which can be flipped halfway through cooking to ensure even browning. To make ahead, follow complete cooking instructions. Brown lightly. Cover and refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, heat a skillet on high with two tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add the hash browns and spread evenly. Heat through and brown on one side. Gently turn and brown on the other side.