Cinnamon Apple Baked French Toast

If you have been following along with us at Tuck & Tate, you know we love a good brunch situation. Our easy, go-to brunch menu includes a savory egg dish, a sweet dish, and either a fruit salad or a vegetable salad. When it comes to the sweet section, we love a good baked french toast. We have made this Cinnamon Apple Baked French toast a few times now, and the dish is always a crowd pleaser. Thick slices of challah, a sweet and cinnamony batter, all topped with a thick layer of baked apples. A winter dream dish! While tasting decadent, we have modified the ingredients from a traditional baked french toast with some healthy substitutes. We like serving dishes that taste sweet but won’t leave us in a sugar coma after eating. It has the perfect balance of flavors that will have everyone asking for seconds.

Cinnamon Apple Baked French Toast

  • Servings: 8-10
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A decadent brunch dish that will satisfy any sweet tooth.

French Toast Ingredients

  • 1- 1lb challah, crust removed and sliced, left out on a counter to dry out
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups oat milk or milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch of salt

Baked Apple Ingredients

  • 3 tbs butter
  • 3 large apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the all of the ingredients for the french toast batter with the exception of the challah (eggs – salt). Whisk well to combine. Set aside.
  3. Make the apples. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter to the pan and get it nice and melted. Add the apples and remaining apple ingredients (through vanilla extract). Toss well and let the apples cook until they are softened but not flimsy, about 4 minutes. We like them to have a little bit of texture after they are baked. Turn the apples off the heat and set aside.
  4. Spray a 9 x 11 baking dish with cooking spray. Dip the pieces of challah into the french toast batter covering both sides of the slice. Layer the challah slices into the baking dish. You want to have a mostly uniform layer and be sure the bottom of the baking dish is fully covered. Pour any extra batter over the top of the challah.
  5. Add the apples on top of the challah in an even layer. Cover the baking dish with a sheet of foil and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes. Serve with maple syrup, our Bourbon Salted Caramel, or cinnamon whipped cream, if desired.


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.


Jewish Deli Brunch Board

We aren’t sure if our Yom Kippur “break-the-fast” dinner is one of our favorite meals because it is breakfast-for-dinner on steroids, or if it’s one of our favorite dinners because we have spent the previous 24 hours abstaining from food. In normal (non-Covid) years, our mom hosts a huge Break-The-Fast with a bunch of our family friends. Everyone contributes to the menu and we usually have everything from Baked French Toast, to our Green Chili Egg Bake, to coffeecake and cookies. The star of the show, however, is the giant buffet of Jewish deli bagels and accompaniments. Today we are giving you a quick rundown of our favorite must-haves, and how to present them to wow your starving Yom Kippur guests or anyone coming over for a fun weekend brunch. As with any of our board recipes, you can make as much of the board ingredients as you like from scratch, but can easily cut back on time and effort by purchasing the items pre-made.

Break-The-Fast Jewish Deli Board

Makes: 8 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes if you buy everything pre-made

Ingredients:

  • 8 assorted bagels, sliced
  • 16 oz whipped cream cheese
  • 16 oz smoked white fish
  • 16 oz egg salad
  • 1 lb lox (smoked salmon)
  • 2 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • 8 oz cherry tomatoes, halved if they are large
  • 1 cucumber, sliced on a bias
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 boiled eggs, cut in half
  • 8 oz mixed olives (we used kalamata and castelvetrano)
  • Mixed herbs (dill, parsley, chives) for garnish, optional

Directions:

  1. Put the dips (cream cheese, white fish and egg salad) into small ramekins for serving on the board. Top each with appropriate garnishes and place on the board. We like to top the white fish with dill sprigs, the egg salad with chives, and the cream cheese with Everything Bagel Seasoning. Place each of the ramekins on the board, along with the smoked salmon.
  2. Add to the board with slices of tomato, cucumber, red onion, and avocado in various places, alternating with different vegetables in different spaces to distribute colors and ingredients to all sides of the board.
  3. Fill in the board with cherry tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, and mixed olives. Serve with sliced bagels and utensils for each of the spreads.

Green Shakshuka

Here at Tuck & Tate we love a good weekend brunch. Now that Tate has a human brother, brunch gatherings sometimes feel easier to pull off than dinners. When preparing a good brunch we always try to plan a menu of both sweet and savory dishes so that there is a little something for everyone. Shakshuka is one of our go-to dishes for the savory portion of brunch and one of our favorite ways to cook eggs. Shakshuka is traditionally made with a tomato base and is served eggy and cheesy. We took what we loved about this dish and swapped the tomatoes for mixed greens. The result is a healthy, creamy and delicious start to the morning and a must-add to your next brunch menu! 

Green Shakshuka 
Makes: 4 entree servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes    Total Time: 40 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced 
  • 1 white onion 
  • 3 large bunches of Swiss chard, stems removed and roughly chopped 
  • 16 oz spinach leaves 
  • 1 bunch parsley, roughly chopped 
  • 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped 
  • 1 tbs garlic power
  • 1 tbs cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock 
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese 
  • red pepper flakes

Directions: 

  1. Prepare the ingredients by chopping the onion, Swiss chard, spinach, parsley and cilantro. The chopping does not need to be fine or exact – all of these ingredients will wilt and be blended during the cooking process.
  2. In a deep pan (at least 1.5 inch), saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the Swiss chard and spinach and saute until the greens are completely wilted, about 10 minutes. You may need to do this in batches if the raw greens overflow out of the pan. 
  3. Add the parsley, cilantro, garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper and stir until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed together. 
  4. Stir in the chicken broth and bring the entire mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer. Using an immersion blender, blend roughly 70% of the greens together. You want to leave some of the greens whole for texture, but blending a majority of the greens provides a nice base for the eggs and gives the shakshuka a thicker texture.
  5. Keeping the heat on the stove, use a spoon to create little “wells” for the eggs. Crack an egg into each well and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes until the egg whites are cooked through. 
  6. Sprinkle the feta cheese and red chili flakes on top and serve hot! 

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze

We have been seeing versions of this cake online now for weeks, and finally Tuck’s mom caved and had to make it on a Saturday morning. We based our recipe off of King Arthur Flour’s recipe for Farmhouse Buttermilk Cake and tweaked it to add fresh strawberries and a little lemon zest to give it a brighter taste. We added a brown sugar glaze to the cake which brought it to a whole new level of decadence. We aren’t sorry about it. This cake is the perfect addition to a weekend brunch menu; it’s perfectly sweet and seasonal for spring. 

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze 
Makes: 1- 8 inch round cake (6-8 servings)
Prep Time: 30 minutes Baking Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients for the Cake: 

  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature 
  • 1 cup light brown sugar 
  • 1 egg, room temperature 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 lemon 
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature 
  • 1 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 
  • 12 large strawberries, stemmed and hulled (plus more for garnish if desired) 

Ingredients for the Glaze: 

  • 1/4 cup butter 
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk 
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • a tiny pinch of salt 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 inch cake pan with extra butter or a good layer of cooking spray; set aside. 
  2. Stem and hull the strawberries. Slice 6 of the strawberries vertically; these will go on the bottom of the cake pan. Chop the other 6 strawberries, which will be folded into the batter. 
  3. Beat the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with a stand mixer or hand mixer. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and lemon zest and fully combine.
  4. Add the baking soda, salt, and 1 cup of the flour to the bowl. Mix until just combined, scraping the bowl with a spatula as necessary to get everything out from the bottom. 
  5. Add the buttermilk to the bowl and mix until just combined, again scraping the bowl as necessary. Add the remaining flour and chopped strawberries to the bowl.
  6. Arrange a layer of strawberries in the design of your choice on the bottom of the cake pan. If you have extra slices, fold those into the cake batter before pouring the batter in to the cake pan. Use a spatula to gently even out the batter before placing in the oven. 
  7. Bake the cake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean from the center of the pan. 
  8. While the cake is baking in the oven, make the glaze. 
  9. Combine the brown sugar and butter in a small pot on the stove over medium heat. Whisk the ingredients to combine and add the buttermilk. Add the baking soda- the mixture will start to bubble- continue whisking until the mix thickens up. This can take a good 5 minutes on the stove, but mix until the glaze is the texture you desire. Add the vanilla and salt and remove from the heat. Whisk again to combine and set aside.
  10. When the cake has finished baking, give it at least 15 minutes to rest before removing it from the pan. Serve with a generous pour of brown sugar glaze and additional strawberries, if desired. 

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 entrée 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. 


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). 

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