Casseroles are a funny thing. You aren’t likely to see them lauded as the hot new food trend any time soon. Yet make a great one, and suddenly folks clamor for the recipe. My favorite casserole is one that typically is served for breakfast or brunch. It’s called an egg strata, and I love it because it’s easy to prep ahead of time, and bakes up light and fluffy, and yet is substantial and satisfying — a perfect choice for a romantic breakfast in bed come Valentine’s Day.
When it comes to entertaining, I often find that the casual gatherings and impromptu parties outshine more elaborate affairs. I think it’s the combination of a relaxed atmosphere and last minute inspiration. This summer, for example, I was visiting friends when one of the hosts spontaneously began making homemade crackers from corn and flour tortillas. It wasn’t planned, but it was delicious. They were positively addictive and I’ve since started making them myself.