Layered egg casserole for a lazy Sunday

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Happy Easter. When I was growing up, days like this were spent as lazy days with the family, eating a couple hard-boiled eggs and toast before diving into the Easter candy. I still like to have an easy breakfast on Easter. This year, I decided to put together a make-ahead egg casserole. It was surprisingly simple, though I’d use smaller dishes next time so the portions are smaller.

I have a set of baking dishes that were branded as ramekins, but are actually quite huge. I used two of those for this recipe, but you can use a muffin tin and divide the layers accordingly. This would likely make four or five muffin-size casseroles.

Ingredients
1 Field Roast Mexican Chipotle Sausage, crumbled
1 head of broccoli, chopped
8 eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt
Beecher’s Smoked Flagship Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray ramekins with cooking spray, or grease with butter.

Put 1/4 of the crumbled sausage at the bottom of each ramekin. Put half of the broccoli on top of the sausage. Pour half of the eggs in each ramekin. Top with the remainder of the sausage. Bake for 30 minutes, or until eggs are cooked.

Once the casseroles are done, use a knife to separate the casseroles from the sides of the ramekins. Overturn onto a plate and grate some cheese on top. Serve warm.

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Banana pancakes to savor for brunch

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I like to take my time getting up on weekends, when my cat lets me, and making a big breakfast before starting my day. I usually go for omelets or silver dollar pancakes, but sometimes I like to try something new.

I had a couple bananas ripening on my counter last week, but wasn’t in the mood to make banana bread. So I transformed them into these banana pancakes from Williams-Sonoma. Of course, just reading the recipe got Jack Johnson’s “banana pancakes” song stuck in my head, so I had to dig it up to play while I got to work in the kitchen. It set the tone for a lazy Sunday.

These were the best banana pancakes I’ve ever made. They were fluffy and — because I chose not to completely mash the fruit — had tiny chunks of banana in them. I used almond milk because I didn’t have regular milk on hand and it worked surprisingly well.

I cut the recipe in half since I was only cooking for myself and it made six pancakes, so I had them for two breakfasts. They were beyond delicious both times.

So get your Sunday started right by heading to the kitchen and making a batch of these pancakes. You’ll be glad you did.

Ingredients
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (use 2 teaspoons if at high altitude)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 small, very ripe banana, peeled
1 cup milk (almond milk can also be used)
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Maple syrup for serving
Sliced bananas for serving

Cut the butter into 3 equal pieces. Put 2 of the butter pieces in a small saucepan and set the remaining piece aside. Set the pan over medium heat and stir with a wooden spoon until melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a pot holder, remove the pan from the heat and set it aside to cool.

In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix with a fork until well blended.

Put the banana in a small bowl. Mash with a fork until almost smooth. Add the milk, eggs and vanilla and stir with the fork until well blended. Pour the banana mixture and the melted butter into the flour mixture. Mix gently with a rubber spatula until the batter is just blended. The batter should still be a little bit lumpy.

Put a griddle over medium heat until hot. To test if the griddle is hot enough, flick a drop of water onto it. It is ready if the drop dances quickly and evaporates. Put half of the remaining butter onto the griddle and spread it with a metal spatula. Drop the batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto the griddle, spacing them about 3 inches apart.

Cook until a few holes form on top of each pancake and the underside is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Carefully slide the metal spatula under each pancake and turn it over. Cook until the bottom is golden brown and the top is puffed, 1 to 2 minutes more. Using the spatula, transfer the pancakes to a serving plate.

Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve the pancakes while still hot with maple syrup and sliced bananas. Makes 12 4-inch pancakes.