Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sausage Breakfast Strata

It's "Icepocalypse 2013" here in North Texas--or "Icemaggedon", as others are calling it. On Thursday, the 5th, an "Arctic Cold Front" blew into our region, causing cold, windy, damp weather to become icy rain and snow, which has frozen several inches thick and has completely covered every surface of the DFW area, rendering everyone housebound and mostly useless. There have, sadly, been multiple fatalities and some unthinkable traffic troubles (there were some people stuck on the highway for more than twelve hours one night!)
During this unexpected mini vacation, I'm here in the apartment by myself, and I'm loving every minute of it! I really enjoy my time alone, though (fully embracing my status as an introvert), so I don't really experience cabin fever or stir-craziness, (I've been fortunate); however, my Facebook news feed bears witness to the distaste people have for being restrained to the indoors for longer than several hours at a time.

Since Thursday, I have watched multiple Christmas movies (Home Alone 2, anybody? How about Miracle on 34th Street? SO heartwarming. I cried. Hahaha!), done approximately ten loads of laundry (Seriously. That isn't an exaggeration. Shoot me. I HATE laundry!), and of course, I've spent some quality time in the kitchen.
The madness started on Thursday night with a Frito Pie (great cold weather food!), followed by a Balsamic Brown Sugar Pot Roast on Friday (tasty, but I'll have to remake it so it's more savory next time, then I'll share the recipe), Oreo-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies (I know. I know. Ugh. I know.), Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls, and today's recipe: Sausage Breakfast Strata, a hearty egg, meat, and bread breakfast casserole. I'll have leftovers for days!
Be advised: this recipe is perfect to make ahead, maybe the night before, especially because of the refrigeration time. I didn't realize this when I made it, so it wound up being breakfast for dinner.

  • 1 loaf day-old Italian or French bread, cubed (I used half a loaf of Italian bread. You may also use a whole grain bread for more fiber)
  • 1 pound lean pork or turkey bulk breakfast sausage - mild or spicy
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Spray a 7x11 baking dish with cooking spray, or grease with butter. Set aside.

In a skillet or frying pan, cook and crumble the sausage for 5 minutes. Add the chopped onion and bell pepper and cook 5 to 7 minutes more until the vegetables are softened and the sausage is no longer pink. Remove from heat.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs and milk together. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Slice bread thickly and cut it into cubes, then spread in the bottom of the baking dish. Cover bread with sausage mixture, then pour the egg over it. Sprinkle cheese over the top of the bread-sausage-egg mix; then cover and refrigerate for 2-12 hours.

When ready to bake, place into a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour, or until eggs are set and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Nutrition Facts-- Servings: 6-8 Size: 1 slice, palm-sized Calories: 292 • Fat: 7.8 g • Carbs: 25.2 g • Fiber: 1.4 g  Protein: 29.4 g • Sugars: 4.6 g

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