Two ways to get your Thanksgiving off to a perfect start

Let us take you for a moment to your kitchen on Thanksgiving morning. Picture it: You’re busy in the kitchen. The menu is set and preparations are underway: turkey, potatoes, stuffing, vegetables… you’re peeling, seasoning, mixing, measuring… and in the midst of all this, your family sits down to a hearty breakfast of eggs, potatoes, bacon, and French toast. It fuels you up and powers you through the morning so that you can get the holiday dinner on the table in spectacular fashion and with a smile on your face.

Sound impossible? It’s not!

With just a little bit of pre-planning, you can have a delicious breakfast that will tide your family over as they wait for the main event. These make-ahead dishes are assembled the night before. One goes in the slow-cooker overnight, while the other gets popped in the oven first thing in the morning. Just add juice and coffee, and you’ll get Thanksgiving Day off to a great start!

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Slow-Cooker Breakfast Casserole

We’ve tried this recipe from All Kinds of Yumm and adapted it to put our own spin on it. Our Cottage Bacon adds a delicious smokiness to this breakfast casserole and fills the whole house with a wonderful aroma. You can prepare this the night before and start the slow-cooker right before you go to bed. It’s best if you have a digital slow-cooker that you can program to cook at just the right time or that will switch to “keep warm” mode once the cooking time is complete.

Ingredients

1 (24–28 oz.) bag frozen hash browns
1 (12 oz.) package Lobel’s Cottage Bacon, diced
16 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
12 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon ground mustard
Salt and pepper

Directions

1. Spray slow-cooker with non-stick spray.
2. Add hash browns, diced bacon, and cheese to slow-cooker. Stir gently to mix.
2. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the milk and ground mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Pour the egg mixture over the hash brown mixture.
4. Cook in the slow-cooker on low for 6–8 hours.

Optional add-ins that you can stir in during step 2:

Baked French Toast

One of our employees found this recipe on Pinterest and tried it last year on Christmas morning. She said it was a hit with her family and would recommend it for any busy holiday gathering! We adapted this recipe from Rach’s Blog.

Ingredients

1 (3 oz.) tub Epicurean Maple Butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 loaf thick-cut bread (if you can find it, use Texas toast or French toast bread)
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions
The night before:
1. Beat together the eggs, milk, and vanilla. Set aside.
2. Stir together melted butter and brown sugar and spread in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.
3. Lay a single layer of bread in the pan.
4. Spoon 1/2 of egg mixture over the bread.
5. Add a second layer of bread. Spoon remaining egg mixture over the top.
6. Cover and chill overnight in the refrigerator.
Thanksgiving morning:
1. Remove from refrigerator and bake, covered, at 350°F for 30 minutes.
2. Remove cover and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Serve with maple syrup, fresh fruit, or a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

Optional: Add cubes of cream cheese and/or fruit between the layers of bread for a “stuffed” French toast casserole.

Do you cook breakfast on Thanksgiving Day? What do you usually have for breakfast on Thanksgiving? Would you try these make ahead options for a hot breakfast on a holiday morning? What mix-ins would you add to either dish?

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