If you know me, you know I am a lover of MANY things. My list is long. What can I say? I like to get excited. On the very tippy-top though, standing proudly, with an ice-cold mimosa in hand- is a Nice. Long. Wet. Brunch with the people you love most. Brunch to me is a time to really reflect on your week, recharge for the coming week ahead, count your blessings, count your blessings again, and giggle your morning away. A mini Thanksgiving, if you will, that has the propensity to happen once a week, if you are lucky. There is just something magical to me about a Sunday morning. Kind of lazy, kind of anxious, kind of loopy from a long week of working, jam-packed schedule and probably too many sips from the night before (because you ‘earned it’). The perfect segue to your Monday and the best dang cure I know to beat the Sunday Scaries. We have rarely let a Monday morning stand in the way of a perfect Sunday Funday.
To me, brunch is a magical moment in time when I find the answer to most of life’s quandaries are “Sure! Why not?!”. Extra bearnaise? (I’ll run for longer tomorrow) Why not! One more glass of rosé? (the laundry can wait) WHY NOT!!! Italy? ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA. And…if it is a particularly successful brunch…Would you like to see the dinner menu???? WHY. THE. HECK. NOT. Life is short. Not to mention I always feel that my creative juices are flowing during these brunches, more so than any other time in my life. After all, MARKET was born over brunch, countless fun trips have been planned, dinner parties dreamed up and other fun moments to reflect on all started at brunch. Sunday brunches hold some of my most favorite and cherished memories. Brunch is a time of celebration. Not anything in particular, just the celebration of life and friendship and family. The weekend is kind of starting to be over…but you still have some precious hours to cram in things that make you smile. Mondays are a little bit happier reflecting on the previous day’s memories, and ok, ok, perhaps a bit slower too, but I’ll take it 😉
During the pandemic and our never-ending lockdown, I try to stay focused on what we have, versus what we don’t, and count our blessings, versus getting frustrated at where we are. Let’s face it, the world is crazy, and if you stare at it for too long, you might get a little nutty. However, if I ever let any longing seep in, and am honest, our Sunday brunches are some of the most missed during this crazy chapter. But chin up! We will be back there one day, hopefully sooner than later.
A couple of weeks ago, a good friend said “you should do a brunch-themed recipe one week” (shout out to WGS xxx). While I don’t think she had this casserole in mind (by a long shot)…I think it will make everyone happy, and I had the largest response to this recipe IG pic post than any other recipe, even my Bolognese. Somehow I came up with this when hurricane Iasias (is that really how you pronounce it?) was barreling straight for us. Although we were thankfully spared, there was something about the eminent sense of doom and end of life as we know it (according to the media) and a huge casserole with all of the things I never let myself have seemed to be just the ticket out. I have been making a ‘sensible’ and ‘dignified’ quiche for our weekends as of late, and thought I would make some magic happen…and boy did it ever. This might be one of the best things I have ever tasted, so I truly hope you enjoy it.
From our kitchen to your home,
Sayre's Insane Breakfast Casserole Recipe
- 1 package frozen or refrigerated hash browns
- 4 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 Cups of Quick-Cook Grits (plain)
- 6 Cups of Chicken Stock
- 2 Tbsp Ranch Dressing Mix
- 2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- ½ Cup Butter
- ½ Cup Milk
- 1 Cup Sour Cream (the fuller-fatter, the better)
- 12 oz. Velveeta (cubed)
- 1 Lb of Bacon (I personally think you need 1.5 lbs or 2 lbs….just sayin’)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9 x 13 inch pan (I used a large Pyrex) with cooking spray. Cook bacon, drain, chop into pieces. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix together hash browns and sour cream, and spread in an even layer on bottom of cooking dish with a spatula.
In a large saucepan or deep-dish pot, add chicken stock and ranch dressing, bring to a boil. Slowly start to add grits, and reduce heat to medium/low, stirring often for 5 minutes until grits begin to thicken. Be careful not to let burn to the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and add butter, and cubed Velveeta, stirring constantly to blend. Add milk, stir until mixed completely. Slowly stir in lightly beaten eggs. Fold in half of cooked bacon.
Pour grit mixture on top of hash brown mixture, and top with remaining bacon and shredded cheddar cheese.
Baked, uncovered for 40-45 minutes.
**Can be made ahead of time and sit in fridge for a couple of days. Can also be frozen UNCOOKED, then taken out to thaw to be baked. Easy peesy.
This dish is so crazy-pair it with whatever you want! Just get it from MARKET ;)
You can find the list HERE