Rise 'n Shine

The holidays are a great time to entertain, but it doesn't take long and you've filled every evening of every weekend. While you can always opt for a weeknight get together, there's something far more relaxed about weekend get togethers. So, why not invite some close friends and family to join you for a holiday brunch? And, instead of spending all morning fussing with difficult dishes, consider a simple strata like this for a main course and round the meal out with fresh fruit, a tossed salad, maybe a muffin or two and coffee and juice. It will be the perfect way to spend time with those near to you.

I recommend thick cut bacon since it holds its own against all the other flavors in the dish well. Also, choose the best Swiss cheese you can find, since it plays a very important role in this dish. As it melts, it will form a delicious crust over this savory bread pudding. One forkful will have you swooning and wondering when you can next host a brunch!

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

Bacon, Mushroom and Swiss Strata

  • 4 oz. diced, thick-cut bacon
  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • Cooking spray
  • 6 c. sourdough bread cubes
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 2 tsp. seasoned salt -- choose your favorite variety
  • 4 oz. Swiss cheese -- grated

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a skillet, fry the bacon until crispy. Set aside. Add the mushrooms and saute in the bacon fat. Remove and set aside.

Lightly spray a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Sprinkle the bread cubes in the pan. Add the bacon and mushrooms over the bread.

In a bowl, mix the eggs, milk and seasoned salt. Pour the mixture over the bread and sprinkle the Swiss cheese over the top.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until set. Or, cover, refrigerate and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes within the next 24 hours.

  • Yields: 6-8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes -- longer if refrigerating