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Breakfast boats make Sunday brunch a breeze

Why do we love brunch dishes so much?

Because they’re so versatile. They work for breakfast, brunch, lunch or a light supper. Also, they can be served hot, cold or at room temperature, making them perfect for stress-free entertaining or a lazy Sunday with the kiddies.

This breakfast boat is especially drool-worthy. If French toast and quiche had a love child it’d be a breakfast boat. You’re basically baking a quiche in a loaf of bread, the eggs soak into the bread as it bakes and it’s just crazy delicious. It smells amazing as it cooks and looks gorgeous on a platter. Slice thin to serve as an appetizer or cut a nice thick slab for a hearty meal.

As with many ideas I share through Divas On A Dime, this is an adaptable technique rather than a specific recipe. You can adjust the ingredients to suit the occasion, your family’s taste and most importantly your budget. You can use any kind of unsliced loaf (French bread, whole wheat, Italian bread) as long as the crust is, well … crusty. Day old is preferable because it absorbs the eggs better and is less likely to leak.

SAUSAGE AND VEGGIE BREAKFAST BOAT

Time – Prep 15 minutes Bake 25 minutes Yield – 4 to 6 servings

1 loaf French bread

1 pound breakfast sausage

2 cups diced veggies – I used – ½ cup each: diced onion, red pepper, sliced mushroom, roma tomato

8 eggs

¼ cup half and half

1 cup shredded cheese – cheddar or your favorite

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place the whole bread loaf, upside down, on the sheet and warm the bread in the oven for 10 minutes, set aside.

Meanwhile, cook the sausage until no longer pink and crumble quite small. Next add the veggies to the sausage and sauté until soft. You want nearly all of the liquid from the veggies to cook out so the mixture isn’t wet.

Remove from heat and let cool. Whisk together eggs and add the half and half until very smooth. Slice the top inch from the loaf of bread, scoop out some of the center of the bread being careful not to damage the outer crust. Be sure to save the bread you remove to make bread crumbs. Spoon the sausage and veggie mixture into the bread and top with half the cheese. Pour the eggs over the sausage and top with remaining cheese and bake immediately for 25 minutes. It’s done when a knife in the center comes out clean.

I told you this is a technique; you can swap out different meats, vegetables and cheeses to vary the flavor. As long as you have about 4 cups total goodies, proceed with the recipe as shown. Here are some ideas:

Quiche Lorraine – bacon, onion and Swiss cheese;

Pizza – pepperoni, onion, peppers, olives and tomato;

Tex-Mex – taco seasoned hamburger, green chili peppers and Mexican blend cheese;

Italian – Italian sausage, peppers, onion and mozzarella;

Frugal food finds contributed by Patti Diamond, author of Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! www.divasonadime.com Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom.

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