Slice of Life: Breakfast on Break

December 26, 2011

Please note: Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher food writer. The Orthodox Union makes no endorsements or representations regarding kashrut certification of various products/vendors referred to in her articles, blog or web site.

Winter break meals are not usually planned with the carefully plotted strategy of yuntif menus. Those are the ones that put the prequel to the Allied Forces landing in Normandy to shame. Nope, usually, all bets are off as to who’s going to be where at mealtime and food is usually eaten on the fly between seeing friends, texting, phone calls and doing laundry that hasn’t been done since your darling left for school at the beginning of semester.

My friends all tell me they’re lucky if they can get everyone to sit down together (except for Shabbat) for more than 5 minutes, as the kids are running around playing with a new iPad or other “OMG” electronic device that was a Chanukah present. I’m a cold cereal or throw-bagels-and-cream-cheese-at-anyone-that-wakes-me-before-nine kinda gal, so when asked what would be best to make ahead so that anyone can pop it in the oven and feed themselves – I gotta go with the breakfast casserole recipes.

Every reader that was sent me a recipe swears that his or hers is the best. Having no time to test them (hey, I got shopping and laundry to do, too!) I’m leaving it to you, my readers, to make these up the night before you need them (or that morning if you’re up and about earlier than the earliest early bird) and pop them in the oven the minute you hear the first foot fall on the stairs before the alarm clock goes off. Let me know how it goes – but please, not before nine.


Ez Bake Benedict (dairy)

Servings: 4


4 English muffins, split and buttered

8 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup milk

1/3 cup smoked white fish, flaked

1/2 cup black olives or mushrooms, diced

1 tablespoon margarine or oil

salt and pepper to taste

1 package Hollandaise sauce

4 green onions, sliced thin


1. In a bowl, combine the eggs and milk, season with salt and pepper, whisk.

2. Toast the English muffins and set them aside.

3. In bowl, combine the smoked fish and olives.

4. In a skillet heat the oil and add beaten eggs and cook for 3 minutes, then add the fish and olives.

5. Transfer English muffins to a 9X13 baking pan.

6. Divide the egg mixture over English muffins. Cover and refrigerate.

7. To cook: Preheat the oven to 350.  Remove the pan from the refrigerator and place it in the oven to warm.

8. Prepare Hollandaise sauce as per the directions on the package and set it aside.

9. Remove the pan from the oven when warm.  Place the muffin halves on a serving plate, top with the Hollandaise sauce and slice green onions and serve.

Tip: This recipe can be doubled or tripled.


Potato Lasagna for Breakfast (dairy)

Servings: 10 to 12


1 bag (30 ounces) frozen Southern Style hash browns (or 32 ounce bag shredded), thawed

salt and pepper

3 cups shredded pepper jack cheese, divided

2 to 3 tablespoons butter

12 ounces thinly sliced lox

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

1 large green bell pepper, chopped

1 large yellow or red bell pepper, chopped

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

2 medium tomatoes, sliced, optional

12 large eggs

2 1/2 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper


1. Spread thawed hash browns in a deep 11×14-inch lasagna pan; season generously with salt and pepper.

2. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the potato layer.

3. In a skillet saute the onion, peppers, and mushrooms in the butter until tender. Add more butter, as necessary.

4. Spoon vegetable mixture over the cheese layer. Top with sliced tomatoes, if using.

5. Arrange slices of lox over the vegetables, overlapping if necessary. Top with remaining cheese.

6. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and the milk; pour over the casserole.

7. Using a spatula, gently press all over to soak with egg mixture.

8. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

9. To cook: Preheat oven to 350. Bake casserole for 35 to 45 minutes, until set.

10. Cool slightly before slicing.

Sent by Charlie Montiese, New York, NY. Modified from


Orange Zest French Toast Casserole (dairy or pareve)

Servings: 10 to 12


1 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted

2 tablespoons maple syrup (the real stuff, not the table syrup kinda stuff)

1/2 cup chopped pecans

2 teaspoon orange zest

1 cup orange juice

1/2 cup 1/2 and ½ or almond milk

3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 eggs

12 (1-inch-thick) slices French, Italian or challah bread (about 1 pound) cut into chunks

½ teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons sugar


1. Grease a 9X13 baking dish and set it aside.

2. In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter and maple syrup and then pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

3. Sprinkle the pecans over the sugary mixture.

4. In the bowl where you mixed the sugars, combine the zest, orange juice, ½ and 1/2, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and eggs and whisk thoroughly to combine.

5. Arrange the bread chunks over pecans and then gently pour the custard /egg mixture over the bread. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or up to overnight.

6. To cook: Preheat oven to 350. Before placing the pan in the oven, push down the bread chunks to make sure they are completely covered with the egg mixture. (If you feel there is not enough egg mixture, whisk one egg with 1/3 cup milk or ½ and ½ and pour it over the bread.)

7. Mix together the ½ teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar. Sprinkle the top of the casserole with the cinnamon sugar mixture and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Bake for 35 minutes or until lightly browned.


Sweet Potato Oatmeal Breakfast Casserole (dairy or pareve)

This recipe was sent to me by a reader who had no idea where she got it from but swears it’s amazing, awesome and downright delicious (her words). If the author of this recipes sees this please let me know, I’d like to thank him/her.

Servings:  4


1/2 cup regular oats

1 3/4 cups milk or almond milk

1 small sweet potato, peeled, chopped (2 cups raw or 1.5 cups cooked)

1 ripe large banana

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8th teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

2 tablespoons maple syrup

Crunchy Pecan Topping:

1/3 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons margarine or butter

2 tablespoons flour

1/3 cup brown sugar


1. Bring several cups of water to a boil in a medium sized pot.

2. Add in the peeled and chopped sweet potato. Cook over medium heat, for about 5 minutes, just until its fork tender. Drain and set aside in a bowl.

3. In the same pot (you don’t have to clean it), add the oats and milk.

4. Mix to combine and bring the mixture to a boil.

5. Reduce heat and cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently until done but not too dry. Remove from heat immediately.

6. With a fork, mash cooked sweet potato with the banana (mash really well) and then add to the oatmeal.

7. Stir in the cinnamon, maple syrup, nutmeg, and salt (to taste). Add more cinnamon if you like.

8. Cook on low for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

9. Grease a 9X9 pan and place the oatmeal mixture in the pan.

10. In a bowl, add the pecans, flour, butter, and brown sugar with a fork. Mix until combined.

11. Sprinkle the pecan topping over the top.

12. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook (can be made 24 hours in advance).

13. To cook: Preheat oven to 350. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

14. After 20 minutes, remove the pan from the oven, set it to broil and when it reaches broiling heat cook for 2 to 3 minutes just until the topping gets bubbly.

15. Remove immediately and serve.

Tip: This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

Source unknown, from my files titled: Inspired by This Ain’t Grandma’s Sweet Potato Casserole.


Apple Brown Sugar Bake (dairy or pareve)

Servings: 8


2 large tart apples (such as Jonathan or Granny Smith)

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons corn syrup

4 tablespoons margarine or butter

2/3 to 1 cup pecan pieces

4 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cup ½ and ½ or whipping cream or non dairy substitute

2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

8 to 10 croissants cut into pieces


1. Peel, core, and slice apples (approx. 2 cups).

2. In a sauté pan, combine apple slices, cinnamon and 2 tablespoons butter.

3. Stir to coat, and then reduce the heat to low.

4. Cook, covered for 6 to 7 minutes, until apples are tender, stirring occasionally.

5. Set aside the apples in a small bowl.

6. In the same pan, combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, and margarine or butter.

7. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture just comes to a boil.

8. Remove from heat and immediately pour the mixture into a 9X13 square baking dish.

9. Sprinkle pecans over the sugar mixture.

10. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the eggs, ½ and ½, vanilla and nutmeg.

11. Arrange a layer of half the croissant pieces in the baking dish atop the caramel mixture. Spoon the cooked apples evenly over the croissant layer. Arrange remaining croissant pieces on top.

12. Carefully pour the egg mixture over the croissants, pressing the down gently to moisten the slices completely.

13. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.

14. To cook: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake, uncovered for 40 to 45 minutes. The top should be golden and puffy.  Remove the pan from the oven and gently run a knife around edges.

15. Let stand for 10 minutes for the custard to set.  This can be served warm or cold.

Submitted by Loren Goldenberg West Rodgers Park, IL


Cheesy Pear and Mock Bacon Brunch Casserole (dairy)



1 cup fake bacon bits

1 1/2 cup pears, peeled, chopped

3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 cups Original Bisquick® pancake mix

1 1/2 cups milk

4 eggs

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese


1. Grease a 9X13 glass baking dish.

2. In a small bowl combine the pear sugar and mix to combine. Sprinkle the mixture on the bottom of the prepared pan.

3. In large bowl combine the Bisquick®, milk and eggs and mix until combined. Pour the mixture of the pears on the bottom of the prepared pan.

4. Sprinkle the top with the cheese and fake bacon bits. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake.

5. To cook: preheat oven to 375 and bake uncovered 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Submitted by Laura Carsun from Baltimore, MD; modified from a Bisquick® recipe.

Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher food writer who was born and raised in the Chicago area. She graduated from Indiana University and the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris. She lectures on various food-related topics across the U.S. and Canada and writes weekly columns for the Chicago Jewish News, and the OU Shabbat Shalom Website. She is the author of the Perfectly Pareve Cookbook (Feldheim) and is a contributing writer for the Chicken Soup for the Soul Book Group, Chicago Sun Times, Detroit Free Press and Woman’s World Magazine. You can visit Eileen’s blog by clicking: Cuisine by Eileen.