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3 Genius Brunch Shortcuts
1. Bake the bacon. Durand pops it in a 375-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until it's crispy. "You can fiddle with the temperature a little bit so that your casseroles are baking at the same temperature as the bacon--just slide the bacon in on the top rack during the last 15 minutes the casserole is baking."
2. Use that oven for toast, too. After the casseroles and bacon are finished, take them out and turn on the broiler. Slide in a tray of sliced, lightly buttered bread, and keep an eagle eye on it (it'll only take 2 to 4 minutes to toast). Flip the slices once so they brown on both sides. "This is so much quicker and more efficient than making rounds and rounds of toast in the toaster--and your oven is already heated up. Might as well use it!" Durand says.
3. Keep the fruit low-maintenance. Bright, refreshing fruit is a nice complement to heavier foods like bacon. Durand likes orange wedges, since "a lot of fruit salads are too much work for the return they give you; I find it hard to spear halved grapes in the morning...." Or, she'll cut melon into cubes the night before and chill them so they're ice-cold for breakfast. One more alternative to labor-intense fruit salad: green salads. "A small, fresh salad of peppery arugula with a squeeze of lemon and squirt of olive oil makes the most delicious complement to a rich breakfast casserole--and you start your day off eating vegetables, so it's just good all around," Durand says.
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