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Easy Christmas brunch ideas with fresh Ontario eggs

This season, add delicious, protein-packed Ontario eggs to your festive table with these easy-to-make Christmas brunch ideas and recipes.

Easy Christmas brunch ideas with eggs | Pumpkin French Toast Bake

As the holidays draw near, we're dreaming of turkey-laden tables, festive cocktails and, of course, Christmas brunch ideas. Perhaps even more special than the big dinner, Christmas brunch has a certain magic to it. Tucking into a beautiful brunch spread is a big Christmas morning tradition and no brunch is complete without Ontario eggs.

This season, try these Christmas brunch ideas made with Ontario eggs. The Easy Festive Brunch Bake is simple to make and can be a great way to use up leftover turkey or chicken. And you can get creative with the addition of different peppers, mushrooms and cheese to a delicious foundation of Ontario eggs. It can also be served as a light dinner at any time of year.

For a sweeter Christmas brunch idea, try the Pumpkin French Toast Bake. Delicious aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg will fill your kitchen as this dish is baking. Make it ahead of time, then just slide it into the oven on Christmas morning — or any morning for that matter. It will satisfy your sweet tooth while also providing a hint of savouriness and protein from eggs.

When you set out to make these delicious Christmas brunch ideas, be sure to use local Ontario eggs. In just four to seven days, Ontario eggs go from farm to grocery store shelves. Eggs found in grocery stores are always fresh and full of high-quality protein, giving you enough energy to get through your day.

Buying Ontario eggs also supports our local farmers and our local economy. Ontario eggs come from local farm families, some of which are multi-generational.

Canadian egg farmers follow a national Animal Care Program that requires them to provide hens with a clean and comfortable environment, a nutritious diet and fresh water at all times. The program is based on a national Code of Practice. So you can always feel good about buying Canadian eggs.

As an affordable and versatile option, Ontario eggs belong on any and every holiday table. When you're grocery shopping, look for cartons with the Canada Grade A or Egg Quality Assurance (EQA) symbol to ensure you're purchasing farm fresh, Canada Grade A eggs.

For more delicious recipes with local Ontario eggs, head to getcracking.ca/recipes

Easy Festive Brunch Bake

For a tasty brunch or light supper, combine cooked turkey or chicken, sweet peppers, onion and mushrooms with eggs and cheese, and bake. It's great for using leftover turkey!

Easy Christmas brunch ideas with eggs | Easy Festive Brunch Bake recipe

Serves 4–6

Preparation time 25 minutes

Cooking time 38 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 small sweet red pepper, diced
  • 1 small green pepper, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup cooked turkey or chicken, diced
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried sage
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • ¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¾ cup shredded Havarti or Cheddar cheese

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 F. Lightly butter a 6-cup shallow baking dish or 9-inch pie plate.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Stir in the onion, red and green peppers and mushrooms, and cook, stirring often, until well softened, about 7 minutes.
  3. Stir in the turkey, thyme, sage, salt and pepper, and cook until turkey is heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in breadcrumbs. Spoon into baking dish.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs and milk. Pour over filling. Sprinkle with cheese.
  5. Bake until filling is firm, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.

Tip: If serving for supper, serve with a mixed green salad. The red and green peppers give this dish a festive look, but feel free to change the colour of the peppers, even try some hot pepper, if desired.

Pumpkin French Toast Bake

Warm pumpkin pie spices will fill your kitchen with a wonderful aroma as this is baking. Here's a make-ahead dish to bake the next morning for breakfast or brunch.

Easy Christmas brunch ideas with eggs | Pumpkin French Toast Bake recipe

Serves 6

Preparation time 10 minutes

Cooking time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 6 cups (6–7 thick slices) day-old cinnamon raisin bread, cubed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup unsweetened pumpkin purée or mashed pumpkin
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Maple syrup

Method

  1. Place bread cubes in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, pumpkin purée, brown sugar, melted butter, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and vanilla until smooth. Pour over bread and gently combine.
  2. Spoon mixture into a buttered 8-cup (2 L) shallow baking dish. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Uncover dish and bake until golden and set, about 1 hour.
  4. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving with maple syrup.

Tip: Look for smaller, meatier pie pumpkins rather than the large style used for Jack O' Lanterns when cooking pumpkin for recipes. Cooked mashed squash or sweet potato can be used in place of pumpkin.

Bread that is a day old, or a few days old, rather than fresh-baked is best for this dish to allow the pumpkin custard to soak in. If using a plain white or whole grain bread, increase cinnamon to 1 tsp and add ½ cup raisins or dried cranberries.

Leftover pumpkin purée can be frozen for six to eight months.

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