Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole

We had good friends over for brunch a few weekends ago and went to work brainstorming a delicious menu. It’s so easy to gravitate towards the same recipes over and over, so we wanted to break out of our shell and mix things up! For the main dish of our brunch menu, we chose to go with this Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole instead of shakshuka or quiche. We have thrown the whole kitchen sink in this bad boy, so has protein, carbs, and veggies all in one. We cut back on some of the cheese content compared to other recipes, so while indulgent, it isn’t as calorie heavy as some of the other recipes that you will find online. It’s a great anchor for any brunch menu, as you can mix and match the “add in” ingredients to suit any flavor profile you want to match!

Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole

  • Servings: 8
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A perfect anchor for any brunch menu. Feel free to mix and match the add ins with your favorite ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Italian sausage or breakfast sausage of your choice
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, seeds and stem removed and diced
  • 1 cup low fat cottage cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 russet potatoes, peeled and grated
  • 1 3/4 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 4 oz green chiles
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a large pyrex baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the sausage to the pan and brown on all sides, for roughly 6 minutes. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside on a cutting board.
  3. Add the olive oil and diced onion to the pan. Cook the onions until they start to caramelize, about 4 minutes. Chop the sausage into bite sized pieces and add it back into the pan with 3/4 of the bell peppers. Cook until the sausage is cooked through and the peppers have softened, another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  4. Make the egg mixture. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream, and garlic powder. Add the grated potatoes and 1 cup of the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If you are worried that it isn’t seasoned enough, you can pull a bit of the mixture out and fry it in a pan to taste. Add the green chiles and sausage mixture to the egg and potato mixture, mix well to combine.
  5. Pour the mixture into your baking dish and spread everything into an even layer. Top with the remaining shredded cheese and bell peppers, cover with foil, and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil after 45 minutes and bake another 10 minutes to melt the cheese. Wait a few minutes out of the oven before serving so that the casserole can set. Serve with hot sauce, if desired.


Almond Butter & Berry Smoothie

We are still on the smoothie train and love having a little something sweet to look forward to in the morning when it’s time for breakfast. This Almond Butter & Berry Smoothie is one of our favorites. We blend a mix of chia seeds and flax seeds into the smoothie which makes it thick and gives it the smoothie a great texture. It is packed with antioxidants, protein, and fiber- the perfect way to start the morning!

Almond Butter Berry Smoothie 
Makes: 1 serving
Prep Time: 5 minutes    Total Time: 5 minutes 

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup frozen mixed berries 
  • 1 tbs flax seeds
  • 1 tbs chia seeds  
  • 1 heaping tbs almond butter (peanut butter is fine too) 
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder 
  • 1 cup almond milk (or milk of choice) 
  • granola, for topping (optional) 

Directions: 

  1. Place all of the smoothie ingredients (frozen berries – almond milk) in a blender and blend until smooth. Top with a few spoonfuls of granola, if you wish, for serving. Enjoy immediately. 

Morning Mocha Smoothie

On mornings that the weather is unbearably hot, we love a cold coffee to shake the sleep off and get us going for the day. Lately we have been having coffee and breakfast as a two-for-one combo by adding cold brew to our morning smoothie. The combination of the coffee, almond milk, and chocolate protein powder tastes like we are having dessert for breakfast with none of the guilt! 

Morning Mocha Smoothie
Makes: 1 serving
Prep Time: 5 minutes   Total Time: 5 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 4 oz cold brew coffee concentrate**
  • 8 oz almond milk or milk of choice 
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder 
  • a few ice cubes, optional 

Directions:

  1. Place all of the smoothie ingredients together in a blender. Blend until smooth. If you prefer the smoothie a little thicker, add the ice cubes and blend. Serve immediately. 

** We like about 12 oz of liquid total in the smoothie. If we have leftover, refrigerated coffee, we will use 8 oz of coffee and 4 oz of almond milk as the coffee from home is not a concentrate.  


Nearly Eggless Quiche

This recipe dates back 2012 when we went to brunch at our cousin Deb’s house in Connecticut. While most of the world loves quiche, Tuck & Tate’s moms hate quiche, so we were a little panicked when we heard that quiche was on the menu. So much so that we made a pact to grab something afterwards knowing we would still be hungry. This is the most Neistat approach to any eating situation. Lo and behold, this was the most un-quiche-like quiche on the planet! It was basically all spinach and veggies, topped with cheese, and filled with just a dash of egg. It was so damn good. 

Since eating this brunch- and telling Deb the full story about the quiche conundrum- we asked Deb for the recipe and have recreated this dish over and over again. It is a go-to egg entree for brunch and a great addition to any Easter menu this weekend. We love to mix in different vegetables and cheeses depending on what is fresh and in season. We keep it on the healthier side with just vegetables, but tossing in some crispy bacon or sausage would make it even more of a treat! 

Nearly Eggless Easter Quiche 
Makes: 6 servings 
Prep Time: 25 minutes   Baking Time: 45 minutes   Total Time: 80 minutes 

Ingredients for Crust: 

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup cold water 
  • 1 tsp salt 

Ingredients for Quiche: 

  • 4 oz package mushrooms, finely chopped 
  • 20 oz frozen spinach, thawed, drained, and finely chopped**
  • 1 bell pepper, stem & seeds removed, small dice 
  • 1 tbs butter 
  • 1/2 white onion, small dice 
  • 1 shallot, minced 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 cup reduced fat milk 
  • 4 oz goat cheese 
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. To make the crust combine the flour, butter, and salt with your hands in a medium-sized bowl. Add the cold water as needed until the dough is the consistency of wet sand. Knead the dough just enough for it to come together. Spray a pie pan with cooking spray and press the crust into the bottom and sides of the pan in an even layer. Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
  3. To make the quiche, heat a large skillet on medium heat. Add the butter, onion, garlic, and shallot to the pan. Saute for 2-3 minutes, or until everything starts to caramelize. Add the mushrooms, spinach, and bell pepper to the pan. Saute for 6-8 minutes, or until all the moisture from the mushrooms and spinach is released and evaporated. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
  4. Whisk the eggs, milk and nutmeg together in a small bowl.
  5. To assemble the quiche, pour the vegetables into the bottom of crust. Spread them into an even layer. Add the egg mixture over top, again patting down to make sure that everything is submerged in the egg mix. Top the quiche with the goat cheese and bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes, or until the quich is firm on the top. 
  6. Let the quiche sit, covered, for 10 minutes before serving. 

** You can sub about 3/4 lb of fresh spinach if that is what you have on hand vs frozen. Just be sure to cook the spinach in the pan really well to be sure all the liquid drains from the spinach in step 3. 


Homemade Granola

If you are practicing social distancing these days, you might be itching for some entertainment beyond Netflix and reading the news on Twitter. This homemade granola recipe goes back to the first job that Tuck’s mom had out of culinary school. It is very healthy by granola standards and you most likely already have everything in your cupboards, so no need to go to the grocery store! We use it to top smoothies and yogurts and even eat it with milk like cereal. When it comes to the “toppings” in the recipe we really encourage you to use what you already have in your kitchen. Those little pre-made salad bags that come with cranberries and nuts? Throw those packets in there! That random, almost empty bag of almonds that’s been collecting dust in your cabinet? Yep, throw those in too. This is a great recipe to transform what you already have into something new and exciting. 

Homemade Granola 
Makes: 3+ cups (around 6 servings) 
Total Time: 35 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 tbs melted butter 
  • 2 tbs maple syrup or honey 
  • 4 tbs water 
  • 2 cups instant oats 
  • 2 tbs flax seeds
  • 2 tbs sesame seeds 
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut 
  • 2 tsp cinnamon 
  • pinch of salt 
  • 4- 1/3 cup measurements of toppings: this can be a mix of nuts and dried fruits. We used 1/3 cup each banana chips, dried cranberries, sliced almonds, and pistachios. Use what you have! 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. 
  2. Whisk the melted butter, maple syrup, and water in a large mixing bowl. Add the oats, cinnamon, flax seeds, sesame seeds, shredded coconut, and pinch of salt to the bowl. Mix very well so that everything is combined. 
  3. The next step is important for good results. We add a 1/3 cup measurement of 4 different toppings to mix it up. If you are using any dried fruit, leave the fruit out of the granola until after it has finished baking. The same goes for any nuts that have already been roasted. The only thing you should add before baking are raw nuts.
  4. Spread the granola into an even layer on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from the oven and give everything a good stir. Bake for another 10 minutes. Cool completely and add any roasted nuts or dried fruits to the mix. Store in an airtight container for up to three months. 

Strawberry Coconut Overnight Oats

One of our biggest challenges when getting out the door in the morning is making sure that we are put together and fed before starting the work day. The. Struggle. Is. Real. To combat the “Sunday scaries” and make the weekday mornings easier, we put together this quick and easy overnight oats recipe. After 10 minutes in the kitchen on a Sunday we have a full week of breakfasts ready to go in the refrigerator. 

We love this base recipe for overnight oats. Flax seeds give the oats protein and fiber while the chia seeds add antioxidants and omega-3s. We chose to make these strawberry and coconut flavored with spring on the way, but the base recipe lends itself to nearly any flavor profile you can think of. Feel free to add some toppings like additional strawberries, coconut, and hemp seeds as we have in these photos if you want to feel extra fancy on a weekday morning. We, however, will be slamming them down in the car while attempting to put on makeup and get to work on time. 

Strawberry Coconut Overnight Oats
Makes: 5- 8 oz servings 
Prep Time: 10 minutes     Inactive Time: 24 hours 

Ingredients: 

  • 5 – 8 oz mason jars or travel containers 
  • 1 1/3 cups instant oats 
  • 3 cups coconut beverage (almond milk or any dairy item will work)
  • 2 tbs honey or agave 
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 1/3 cup flax seeds 
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut 
  • 6 strawberries, stems removed and sliced 

Directions: 

  1. Combine all of the above ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir well to make sure everything is combined. 
  2. Carefully pour the oatmeal mix into each of the five mason jars- they will be almost all of the way full. Seal each with a lid and place in the refrigerator. 
  3. Refrigerate overnight and serve chilled, with additional toppings if you desire. The oats are good for up to five days in the refrigerator. 

Prosec Ho Ho Ho Mimosas

Here at Tuck & Tate we love a festive cocktail. We think it’s a small touch that adds a lot to any celebration, even breakfast! We chose to put a spin on a traditional mimosa by making these Prosec Ho Ho Ho cocktails with prosecco and kombucha. We chose to use Elossa Hard Kombucha, partly because the ginger would keep the cocktails from being too sweet, and also for the fact that it would help turn the cocktails red. We also didn’t mind that this brand has a alcohol content to it…. Merry Christmas morning!! If you can’t find Elossa’s at your grocery store, any berry, pomegranate, or beet flavored kombucha will work fine! 

Prosec Ho Ho Ho Cocktails
Makes: 6 servings 
Prep Time: 5 minutes      Total Time: 5 minutes 


Ingredients: 

  • 1 bottle prosecco, chilled 
  • 12 oz kombucha
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds 
  • red sugar for the glass rim, optional 

Directions: 

  1. To create the red sugar rim on the champagne flutes, fill one small ramekin with enough water to cover the bottom of the ramekin. Fill another with red sugar (sprinkles), so that the red sugar just covers the bottom of the second ramekin. Dip the top of each glass in the water and then the sprinkles, shaking off any extra sugar before filling each glass. 
  2. Combine the prosecco and kombucha in a pitcher and lightly stir to combine. You want to be sure not to stir too much as the prosecco will lose its carbonation.
  3. Put 1 tbs of pomegranate seeds in the bottom of each champagne flute. Fill with the kombucha/prosecco mix. Serve immediately. 

Vegetable Frittata

his recipe dates back to the first cooking job that Tuck’s mom had in culinary school. She was working for a chef that specialized in health foods and really developed her love of healthy cooking during that summer in Philly. One of the most fun parts of the job was Tuesday CSA deliveries. If you don’t know, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, which means that people pay in advance for a “share” of a farmers produce throughout the year. The financial advance helps farmers fund their yearly costs and in exchange, “shareholders” get a box of produce every week or every other week throughout the growing season. Depending on the CSA, shares can include fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, dairy products, and even flowers. 

Tuck’s mom became obsessed with the CSA because of the abundance of new vegetables it exposed her to. The restaurant would make a daily breakfast frittata using the CSA vegetables, and for the last nine years she has used this recipe nearly every time she entertains for breakfast. It’s quick, easy, and can use any veggies you have on hand or veggies that are in season. We have kept this version vegetarian, but you can easily use chopped bacon or sausage if desired. 

Breakfast Frittata
Makes: 6-8 servings 
Prep Time: 15 minutes    Baking Time: 25 minutes    Total Time: 40 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 10 inch, oven safe, skillet 
  • 12 eggs 
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk 
  • 2 tsp salt 
  • 2 tsp black pepper 
  • 2 tsp garlic powder 
  • 1 tbs butter 
  • 1/2 red onion, diced 
  • 1 package broccolini, stems removed 
  • 3 tbs sun dried tomatoes, drained of their oil as best you can  
  • 3/4 cup grated cheese – we used Fontina 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Heat the 10 inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and onion to the pan; saute for 3-4 minutes, or until the onion starts to caramelize. Add the broccoli and sun dried tomatoes to the pan. Saute another 3-4 minutes.  
  3. While the veggies are cooking, whisk the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and garlic powder together in a large mixing bowl. Whisk really well so that all ingredients are blended. 
  4. Gently pour the eggs into the skillet. Add the cheese and gently stir the top of the egg mixture so that the cheese mixes into the eggs. Let the skillet sit on medium-high heat for another 2-3 minutes, or until the eggs just begin to bubble at the top. This helps give the frittata a nice caramelized color.
  5. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked through in the center. Remove from the oven and let it sit for a minute. Carefully put a plate on top of the skillet and flip the frittata onto the plate. Serve immediately (with hot sauce, if desired). 

Eggnog French Toast

Nothing screams holidays quite like eggnog. Rich, creamy, and spiced with nutmeg – it is truly the ultimate holiday drink. Tuck’s dad and Tate’s mom are two huge fans of the ‘nog and so we have decided to incorporate it into the batter for french toast. The result? A truly delicious, sweet way to start your Christmas morning! 

Eggnog French Toast
Makes: 6 servings 
Prep Time: 10 minutes      Total Time: 30 minutes 


Ingredients: 

  • 1 challah (recipe here, or you can just as easily use store bought!) 
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups eggnog
  • 2 tsp nutmeg 
  • 2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • maple syrup (optional, for topping) 
  • fresh berries (optional, for topping) 

Directions:  

  1. Whisk the eggs, eggnog, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. Whisk well to combine. 
  2. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. 
  3. Cut the challah into thick slices. Dunk each of the slices of challah into the egg nog batter, giving it a second to soak up the liquid, before adding the slices to the pan. Cook the challah for roughly 4 minutes per side, or until each side is crispy brown and the bread is cooked through. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan! Do the cooking in batches and keep the cooked french toast on a cookie sheet, covered with foil, until ready to serve. If you are doing this for a very large crowd, you can keep the cooked french toast in the oven at 250 degrees until you are ready to serve. 
  4. Top with maple syrup or berries, if desired. 

Christmas Brunch 2019

Tuck & Tate did not grow up celebrating Christmas, but adopted the holiday when their parents got married. What they have learned over the years of celebrating is that Christmas breakfast should be quick and easy. No one wants to spend their morning slaving in the kitchen when there are presents to be opened and an exciting day getting started. With that in mind, we have created a quick and easy tablescape and menu to help you plan your Christmas morning festivities. We chose red and gold for our theme and used items that we have collected over the years to keep the cost of this look festive but at a reasonable price.  

The Look: 

Red Placemats (see similar) -Houzz- (Red Pomegranate Crock Placemat)

White plates (see similar) – Crate and Barrel-18th Street Dinner Plate 

Coffee Mugs – Starbucks – You Are Here Coffee Mugs (not available online)

Prosecco Glasses (see similar)- Reidel – Gold Champagne Flutes

Ornament Flower Vase

The Menu: 

Our menu this year is great for breakfast for a crowd. If you have some helping hands in the kitchen, everything can be ready in less than 45 minutes (including down time to get started drinking our Christmas themed cocktails). We wanted to have things feel decadent and special, but not so overkill that everyone needs a post-breakfast nap. 

Christmas Breakfast 2019 

Prosec Ho Ho Ho Cocktails 

Coffee For Those Needing a Caffeine Boost 

Egg Nog French Toast 

Vegetable Frittata 

Thick Cut Bacon 

Cookies for Santa