Recipes

5 Great Brunch Recipes In Time For The Holidays

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The holidays are approaching very quickly and with holidays comes company! Having family and friends stay all Thanksgiving weekend or for an extended Christmas? It’s hard enough to have to plan the actual holiday meal, but what about feeding your guests for the remainder of their visit? These recipes don’t have to be brunch-exclusive, they can also be used for breakfast or even dinner! These are just five of the MANY out there. Don’t forget the sides like fresh fruit, bacon and sausage and make sure you stock up on butter and syrup! Just click on the picture of each item to get to the original recipe.

Sausage Hashbrown Casserole

hashbrown breakfast casserole low carb
This is a classic breakfast/brunch recipe and can be found in numerous places on the internet as well as in many cookbooks. I chose this recipe because the steps are clear, there are a lot of pictures and it got a lot of good reviews. This recipe can be put together ahead of time and then just popped in the oven when ready to bake.

Overnight French Toast Casserole

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This is another recipe you can prep ahead of time and cook when ready. So easy to wake up pull out of the frig and pop in the oven. The nice thing about French Toast is that you can put out toppings to everyone’s liking. We love cinnamon and sugar on ours, but maple syrup, fresh fruit and powdered sugar are all yummy too!

Good Old Fashioned Pancakes

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We used to be Bisquick pancake eaters, but one weekend morning we ran out. Upon looking for a recipe to make pancakes, we came across this one and will never go back to a packaged pancake mix. This recipe is SO good. They are so good on their own, but we’ve also done a chocolate chip version and a blueberry version- YUM!

Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal

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I am not a huge fan of oatmeal, but this recipe is really good! There are many variations to the flavor of this dish by adding different fruit. Just a note, mine took a bit longer to cook then the recipe states. Could have been my oven.

Crock Pot Cinnamon Roll Casserole

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How easy is this? Your guests will love waking up to the smell of cinnamon buns and if you have any children or children guests, they are bound to love this!

Oven Roasted Breakfast Potatoes

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We can’t forget the potatoes! Breakfast potatoes are my favorite breakfast food! This is a simple recipe and definitely can be put together the night before and baked in the morning.

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What would brunch be without a little kick? Below are a few variations (click on the picture for the recipe) that are sure to please you and your guests!

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Classic Bloody Mary
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Ultimate Bloody Mary
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Tomatillo Bloody Mary
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Classic Mimosa
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Strawberry Pineapple Mimosa
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White Cranberry Mimosa

Apples!

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DSC_0857It’s that time of year in New England when we take a day to go to an orchard and pick apples. But there are so many varieties. Which ones do you pick? What do you do with them when you get home? To be honest, even though we do this every year, I had no idea what each variety is good for, we just picked! So I decided to do my research and share it in case there is anyone else out there who is clueless as to what to do with a bowl full of apples. I’ve put together a guide of the kinds of apples you might find at your local orchard and what each variety can be used for (besides eating of course)!

We live in Connecticut and enjoy going to March Farm in Bethlehem. They have a lot of trees in their orchards to pick from as well as playgrounds, corn maze and shop.
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And look at the size of those apples!!
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Thanks to ctapples.org, I am able to provide myself and you with some information. Epicurious also has a great guide on varieties http://www.epicurious.com/archive/seasonalcooking/farmtotable/visualguideapples.

SEPTEMBER

Macoun

With their wine-red color with gold accents, Macouns are highly regarded for their aroma and sweet-tart, juicy flavor. Excellent for snack and desserts and good for all culinary uses. Developed in 1909 from Jersey Black and McIntosh parents. Ripens in mid-September.
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Gala

Red-orange, with yellow stripes. A sweet crisp flavor and texture. Very good for salads and sauces. Introduced in 1934. Ripens in late September.

Cortland

A larger apple good for baking, with a deep, purple-red color. Moderately juicy and fairly sweet. Their white flesh doesn’t brown when sliced so Corlands are a standout for fruit salads, dipping in toppings, or eating wit a plate of sharp cheddar cheese. Developed in 1898, across between a McIntosh and Ben Davis. Ripens late September.
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Ida Red
Bright golden red. Their tangy taste mellow at maturity. Excellent for snacks and all culinary uses. Developed in 1942. Ripens in late September.

Empire
Deep red skin brushed with gold and green. The Empire is mildly tart-sweet and has juicy quality dessert apple, good for all culinary uses. A newer variety introduced in 1966 from McIntosh and Delicious parents. Ripens late September.
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Pippin
Green with yellow highlights. Tangy sweet. Best for cooking and baking. Dates back to 1700. Ripens in September.

Honey Crisp
Deep red over yellow skin. Produced from a 1960 cross of Macoun and Honey-gold. Exceptionally crisp and juicy texture. Its flesh is cream colored and coarse. A large apple excellent for desserts. Ripens late September.
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Spartan
Red and green skin. Juicy, tart-sweet taste is good for snacks and salads. Introduced in 1936. Ripens in late September.

OCTOBER

Fuji
Red blush with green and yellow stripes. Crisp, firm, juicy flesh. Developed in Japan in 1939. Ripens in October.
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Jonagold
Bright red with gold. Crisp and juicy, Jonagolds are good fresh, in salads, and for cooking and baking. Introduced in 1968 from Golden Delicious and Jonathan parents. Ripens in October.
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Eastern Red Delicious
The unique shape of this red apple tapers to a five-knobbed base. Sweet, tender and juicy. Best for crunching out of hand and in fruit cups and salads. Developed in 1872, Red Delicious is America’s most plentifully grown apple. Ripens early October.
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Golden Delicious
Golden or light-green, with pink blush. Tender, mellow, sweet. Wonderful fresh and in salads. Developed in 1912. Ripens in October.
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Rome

A medium large, bright red, round apple with a slightly tart taste. Rome is considered on eof the finest baking apples available. First propagated from seed in 1828. Ripens mid-October.

Liberty
Green-yellow skin witha red semi-stripe. Flesh is cream-colored, sweet and juicy. Introduced in a 1978, a cross between a Macoun and Purdue. An all-purpose apple. Ripens in early October.
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Crispin (Mutsu)
Greenish yellow to yellow. Good for cooking. Introduced in U.S. in 1968. Ripens mid-October.
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You can find recipes for all varieties here: http://www.ctapples.org/#!recipes/c1ydi.  I used a mixture of the apples we picked to make homemade applesauce and it was so good! (see below)

Homemade Applesauce Recipe
Makes 6 servings (baed on a two tablespoon serving size) 

1. I chose only three apples because they were so big.
2. Peel the apples and slice them.
3. Put the apples in a pot over medium heat and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over them. I used a premixed cinnamon/sugar that we bought at the farm. Stir to mix the cinnamon and sugar in well with the apples.
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4. Cover and cook over medium/low heat, stirring frequently.
5. When apples are soft and tender, you can use a fork or a potato masher to mash the apples into a sauce.
6. Mix well and serve warm or cold.
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Homemade Nachos

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Last night at 5:15 pm, I had to come up with dinner. So as I browsed the pantry, I saw some leftover tortilla chips and thought – Nachos! I happened to have most of what I needed to make them, but usually this takes some planning so you can put on exactly what you like. When I do plan to make these, I like to use Tostitos Garlic and Black Bean chips as the base. They are packed with flavor and taste so good with the toppings I use. The toppings are also up to you and your preference. I have used salsa, black beans, ground beef…you can use chicken, chili, jalapeños, other types of beans, the possibilities are endless. Last night’s recipe I used regular tortilla chips, blue corn tortilla chips, chopped tomato, fresh scallion, Mexican blend cheese and chopped black olives.

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I hate it when you order nachos and after you get through the top layer, its just a pile of chips so I make mine in layers. First I place a layer of chips. and then repeat.

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Then I put a layer of cheese and some toppings.

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Repeat with chips, cheese and toppings.

IMG_4107I bake them on 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. I serve them with a side of sour cream, but you can also do a side of salsa and/or guacamole. We place the trays on the counter and stand around eating them family style. Yum!

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