Christmas has passed, but many of us still have family and guests at our homes. New Year’s Day brunches are just around the corner.

Breakfast casseroles are the perfect solution for those hungry appetites. They can be made in advance so you aren’t in the kitchen in the early morning. Enjoy that second cup of coffee.

I hope you will give these recipes a try. Thanks for reading, and have a happy new year.

OVERNIGHT FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE

½ cup butter

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1 (8-ounce) loaf French bread, cubed

2 cups milk

6 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with Pam. In a small saucepan, heat butter and brown sugar until sugar is dissolved. Pour in bottom of prepared baking dish. Arrange bread cubes on top of brown sugar mixture. Whisk together milk, eggs, vanilla, salt and cinnamon. Pour over bread cubes. Cover with foil, and refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and bake uncovered for 30 to 35 minutes.

HAM AND CHEESE CROISSANT CASSEROLE

3 (5-inch) large croissants

1 (8-ounce) package chopped cooked ham

1 (5-ounce) package shredded Swiss cheese

6 eggs

1 cup half and half

1 teaspoon dry mustard

2 tablespoons honey

Salt and pepper to taste

Chop croissants into 10 to 12 pieces. Place in a lightly greased 9-by-9-inch deep dish pan. Sprinkle ham and cheese on top. Whisk together the eggs, half and half, dry mustard, honey and salt and pepper. Pour over croissant mixture. Press croissants down to submerge into egg mixture. Cover with foil, and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours. Bake casserole covered at 325 degrees for 30 minutes or until set. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

SAUSAGE AND CREAM CHEESE GRITS CASSEROLE

1½ pounds pork sausage

1 (8-ounce) cream cheese, softened

6 cups chicken stock

2 cups quick-cooking grits

12 ounces Velveeta, cubed

½ cup butter, cubed

½ cup milk

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with Pam and set aside. In a large skillet, cook sausage and drain fat. Stir in cream cheese, break into crumbles and set aside. In a large saucepan, bring chicken stock to a boil and add grits. Reduce to medium low, and cook covered for 5 to 7 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat, and add Velveeta and butter. Stir until melted, and add milk. Slowly stir in eggs until blended. Stir in half of sausage mixture. Transfer to baking dish, and sprinkle with shredded cheese and remaining sausage mixture. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes.

This can be frozen unbaked. When ready to bake, place in refrigerator and let thaw overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking, and increase baking time to 1 hour.

• Contact Lee Ann Flemming at lafkitchen@hughes.net.

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