Brunch…with Bubbles

Time to hit the bottle! No, not THAT bottle—the bottle of seltzer. Everywhere I look, I’m seeing new varieties of sparkling water on the shelves. They beckon me with tantalizing (and increasingly exotic) flavors like “golden peach,” “mountain raspberry,” “key lime” and “pomegranate sangria.” How could I not want to taste those? But how could I find a reason to buy all the flavors I’ve had my eye on? Brunch. Brunch is always the answer. This weekend I’m having some friends over to sample my small collection of upgraded bubbly water and enjoy my favorite better-than-a-restaurant recipes. If you find yourself in the same boat (as if you need a reason to make brunch), here are the dishes at the top of my list …dishes best accompanied by bubbly water.

To start with, you can’t go wrong with French toast—especially when it’s stuffed with a chocolatey cream cheese filling and topped with syrup, raspberries and almonds. This Chocolate-Stuffed French Toast Brunch Bake version is extra tender and custardy, thanks to already egg-tastic challah bread, which sits in the fridge soaking up flavor while you greet your guests. The pleasant tingle of berry- or vanilla-flavor seltzer is the perfect partner to the richness of this easy breakfast casserole.

brunch bake breakfast casserole

In the savory breakfast time casserole category, this Sunday Brunch Bake is the best way to go. Check out the recipe to learn how to use sour cream to get the lightest, fluffiest eggs you’ve ever made at home, then top them off with a heap of sausage, tomatoes, onions and mushrooms—oh, and obviously cheese too. The understated sweetness of flavored sparkling water is a lovely complement to each bite of this melty, memorable dish.

banana pancakes for brunch

Pancakes may seem like an obvious choice, but these Fresh Banana Pancakes are anything but basic. Ditch the boxed mix for our super-simple DIY version featuring oats for some extra texture. Instead of typical blueberries, go with bananas—they caramelize and get extra gooey-sweet on the griddle. A touch of cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar adds just enough subtle homestyle goodness to make these pancakes unbeatable. Just about any flavor of seltzer will flatter this crowd favorite.

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