my new go-to breakfast strata...from Midwest Living #CBias

We have a very small's just me & my husband & our brother, his wife & their kids and my parents. Everyone in my husband's family lives too far away for us all to be together for the we usually spend Christmas Eve together at my parents' house...and then have a quiet Christmas with the just 5 of us at home. I love it that's really comfy & lazy & wonderful.

Of course, this year we'll have church on Christmas Day, but that's really it...I can't wait. OH! And if there is snow on the ground we go sledding...(fingers crossed).

This year we're going to my parents' house for brunch...and my sister-in-law and I are each cooking a few dishes to pass. I had no idea what to bring...seriously, no idea. I wanted something breakfast-y, but filling...and it had to be yummy.

So, I headed to the grocery store to search through some magazines...and I found the perfect one of my favorite magazines...Midwest Living. To see our entire grocery store adventure, check out my album on Google+.

So here's what we decided on:

And, of course, I had to give it a trial-run...just to make sure it would go over OK next weekend...

Here's what you need:

*6 or 7 purchased croissants
*8 slices bacon
*1 cup chopped onion
*1 cup chopped red and/or green sweet pepper or sliced, halved zucchini
*1 cup sliced fresh cremini or button mushrooms (I left these out b/c my husband is NOT a fan...)
*1 1/2 tsp. dried basil, oregano or thyme, crushed (I used oregano)
*2 cups lightly packed, coarsely chopped fresh spinach
*8 oz. colby & Monterey Jack cheese or American cheese, shredded (2 cups) (I used Kraft colby-jack)
*6 eggs
*2 cups milk
*3 tbsp. Dijon-style mustard
*1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

And here's what you do:

1. Preheat the broiler. Slice the croissants in half horizontally. Arrange croissant halves, cut sides up, in a single layer on an extra-large baking sheet (I don't have an extra-large baking sheet, but a regular one worked just fine for me). Broil 4"-5" from the heat for 1-2 minutes or until light brown. Set aside.

See, I just overlapped mine a little...and it worked out great...

2. In a very large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels, reserving 1 tbsp drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon; set aside.

3. Cook onion, sweet pepper, mushrooms & basil (again, we used oregano & no mushrooms) in hot bacon drippings 5 minutes or until onion is almost tender, stirring occasionally. Add spinach; stir until wilted and well coated. Transfer onion mixture to colander set in sink; drain. Stir in bacon.

This smelled so amazing with the oregano...just like pizza cooking...yum.

4. In a greased 13x9x2-inch baking dish, arrange croissant bottoms, cut sides up, in a single layer, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle cheese over croissants. Spoon onion mixture over cheese; add croissant tops, cut sides down.

...before I put the croissant tops on...

5. In a large bowl, whisk eggs; beat in milk, mustard and black pepper.

Carefully pour over strata; gently press down on croissants. Cover, chill in refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours. (we chilled ours for about 18).

I can not even tell you how amazing this smelled at this point...

So then I put the strata in the refrigerator and waited until the next's what you do next...

6. Uncover strata. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Bake, uncovered in 325° oven 50 to 55 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean and strata puffs, covering with foil the last 15 minutes to avoid overbrowning. Remove from oven. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 10-12 servings.

OK...this is soooooo good. And it's really relatively easy to fact, it's not hard AT ALL, it just takes a little time. I'll definitely be making this again next weekend...I think it will be a huge hit. And it's a recipe that will be added to my collection...

Thank you so much, Midwest Living & Kraft for helping me make the perfect brunch strata!

DISCLOSURE: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias.  All opinions are my own...but I'm totally willing to share the's awesome.

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