When I lived in Saint Louis, my husband and I would spend the night with friends for New Years Eve. We would go out to dinner, make lots of tasty appetizers and beverages then for New Years we would make brunch to eat before going our separate ways. It was a really fun tradition that you can do whether you have guests or it is just you! Making brunch ahead of time can give you more time with your guests.This menu makes a great brunch for a variety of celebrations!

Make-ahead New Year’s Day Brunch Menu

Egg and Cheese Strata with Spinach


Pear and Cranberry Compote

Bloody Marys or Non-Alcohol Marias

Egg and Cheese Strata

I love the thought of making this the day before and just popping in the oven! It makes 4-6 servings without doubling.Many greens can be a local food this time of year!

  • Butter,or Earth Balance margarine for greasing the baking dish
  • 4 thick slices hearty whole-wheat/wholemeal or multigrain artisan bread {I used some wholegrain bread that my husband made)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup  milk
  • 8 oz grated Fontina cheese or locally made cheese {about 1 cup}
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup sauteed greens
  • 1/2 cup of caramelized onionsPreheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a small 4-cup ovenproof baking dish.
    Remove the crusts from the bread if desired and cut into slices; This should make about 3 cups. Lay the slices on the bottom of the baking dish, they can slightly overlap and some edges to hang over the side of the pan. Whisk together the eggs and milk in a large bowl. Add half of the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Pour three-fourths of the egg mixture over the bread cubes.Add sauteed greens and caramelized onions. Pour the remaining egg mixture over the top and finish with the remaining cheese. At this point, you can bake the strata immediately, or you can save to make later by covering with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to have all ready for your new years brunch! Bake the strata until just set, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve in the baking dish.Double this recipe easily for a large crowd, and watch it disappear at every New Year’s Brunch or potluck. Bake for 1 hour in a 9-by-13 inch pan.You can double the recipe if you have additional guests coming.

Pear and Cranberry Compote

It may be difficult to find local pears but you can substitute local apples for them in this recipes. I love this cranberry relish and it makes a great side dish to serve with the breakfast strata. The other great thing about it is that you can make it a day or two before so you will have more time to celebrate!

Holiday Survival: Thanksgiving Recipe & Menu Ideas

This relish is a refreshing change from the usual cranberry relish!

This relish is a refreshing change from the usual cranberry relish!

Bloody Marys or Non-alcohol Maria

This drink is rich in nutrients from the tomato or vegetable juice. With this beverage, the garnishes add to the fun! You will also not miss the alcohol in these with all the added flavor!

  • 3/4 cup tomato juice or vegetable juice
  • Dash of Tabasco sauce or other hot sauce like Smoking J’s
  • 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • Drop of fresh lemon juice
  • Sprinkle of celery seed
  • Garnish ideas: Sliced lemons, olives, local sausage and/or cooked shrimp
Shake all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and pour into glass. Serve cold, garnished with a lemon slice on the rim of the glass.
I hope that you enjoy this make ahead brunch recipe and that you have a safe and happy new year! Many people think about joining a weight management program or a gym after the holidays! It can also be a beneficial time to work with a registered dietitian to provide resources and support to help you succeed in the new year. I am a registered dietitian in Asheville, North Carolina and I would love to help you with healthy recipes and tasty menu ideas. You can read more about how I can help here.

Here is to a successful 2016!

 

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