There is definitely starting to be a little Easter buzz going on around our home front! Spring cleaning is almost finished up and our Easter decorations are all in place. This spring has been so warm and sunny that there are even more blooming flowers around the house than usual - my tulips, daffodils and crocus are in full bloom, and even my lilacs are getting ready to make an appearance!
Speaking of lilacs, I've discovered my favorite new cleaning product - Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day in Lilac scent. I've been trying to steer away totally from harsh stinky chemicals in our house, and this stuff is CRAZY good! Aromatherapeutic essential oils and naturally-derived ingredients clean like the dickens and I can't believe how gentle they are on my skin! The scent is just out of this world - I feel like I'm standing in the middle of a lilac bush! The Lilac Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner, Dish Soap and Hand Soap are my definite favorites this spring! I've found the best selection and prices at Target.
And another family favorite is this Ham, Egg & Cheese Strata, which will be making its usual appearance at our Easter brunch.
It has been a while since I tweaked this recipe on the blog, and thought it was also time to take some new photos to share with you.
COOKING SCHOOL TIP: Use blocks of cheese and shred or grate fresh for all your recipes, as you will get a creamier melt. Packages of pre-shredded cheese that you buy at the grocery store contain all kinds of chemicals (including wood pulp) to stabilize it and keep the cheese from clumping together.
This wonderful breakfast strata (which is just a fancy word for casserole) is everything that you want - custardy egg filling, textured bread that doesn't get all mushy on you, and wonderful flavor from ham and sautéed onions. And don't forget the cheese! I usually use a combination of Swiss, provolone and cheddar, but you can certainly substitute your favorite cheeses!
This one is ALWAYS a family and guest favorite - at Easter and every other time that I make it. It's also pretty nice that you can make it the night before in about 15 minutes, and just pop it in the oven the next morning when you get up. SO GOOD!
8 cups bread cubes (croissants – cut into 1” pieces, or 1 large loaf unsliced rustic bread (Italian,
French or Challah) bread with crusts removed and torn into 1-inch chunks)
4 tablespoons butter
1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
3 cups ham, diced or cut into strips
1-1/3 cup half & half
2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1-1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese (shred from a block of cheese)
1-1/2 cups shredded provolone cheese (shred from a block of cheese)
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (shred from a block of cheese)
Chopped parsley (garnish)
HOW I MAKE THIS:
YIELD: 8 to 10 servings
Originally posted April 2012; text and photos updated April 2017.
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