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Asparagus Cheese Strata

From the kitchen of Cecelia Landin

Family-friendly food from Terri

1½ lbs. fresh asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
3 Tblsp. butter, melted
1 1 lb. loaf of bread, crust removed
¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
2 cups cubed, cooked ham, or 8 oz. package crab sticks (optional)
6 eggs
3 cups milk
2 tsp. dried minced onion, or 2 Tblsp. fresh minced onion
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. dry mustard

Steam asparagus, but not too long, it will be baked in the strata.
Drain and set aside.
Lightly brush 1 side of bread slices with butter.
Place ½ of bread, buttered side up into a greased 9 X 13" pan.
Sprinkle with ½ of cheese.
Layer with asparagus, and meat if desired.
Cover with remaining bread, buttered side up.
In a bowl, lightly beat eggs, milk and seasonings. Pour over bread.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Bake uncovered, at 325 degrees for 50 minutes.
Uncover, sprinkle with remainder of cheese and bake 10 minutes longer, until cheese is melted or a knife inserted in center of pan comes out clean.

Serve with fruit or a fresh salad and hearty muffins.
Makes a wonderful supper, with leftovers for breakfast the next morning! Good enough to make you happy to hop out of bed~

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