The Family Stone Breakfast Strata

I hope your holidays were more than fabulous!   Now that it is time to recover from all the festivities (and family), join me for the December round of Food ‘n Flix and The Family Stone.  

You can read my announcement post here.

I do love a good holiday movie.  My favorite has to be Love Actually but The Family Stone  is a close second.   I love the vintage post cards during the opening credits.  They set the scene foretelling a idyllic holiday family gathering.   The Stones are a large family living in a picturesque snowy Connecticut town.  There’s the successful son, the slacker son, a deaf son and his partner,  the “good” daughter, and the rebel daughter.   This year, the Stones find an interloper in their mix, Meredith, the girlfriend of Everett (the successful one).   Meredith just doesn’t fit in, so much so that she calls her sister, Julie, as backup.

Of course, everyone loves Julie.  (But, this is after Meredith has put her foot in her mouth more than once.)

The Stones are also dealing with a major family crisis that no one really wants to talk about.

There’s lots of family drama but along with that comes a lot of family comedy.

It is the holidays and so a lot of the action in the movie takes place in the kitchen or around the dining room table.   Here’s what I spotted:

  • Bunch of carrots
  • Stuffing recipe
  • Millie’s famous brownies
  • Granny Smith apples
  • Green grapes
  • coke and diet coke
  • pizza
  • Wine
  • Cranberries and popcorn
  • Pizza
  • Coffee
  • Onions
  • Cereal
  • Strata
  • Beef tenderloin (Patrick is seasoning something beef-like)
  • Orange juice
  • Dinner (the beef dish, roasted potatoes, green beans, rolls)
  • Beer
  • Turkey and artichokes and the rest of the holiday food prep (on the floor)

Meredith tries to redeem herself and contribute to the holiday food festivities by making her own family’s famous breakfast strata.  Her recipe calls for oregano, mushrooms, parmesan, tomatoes, and star-shaped bread.  I thought the bread shape was totally overkill.  Stratas and breakfast casseroles become one soaked up glob anyway.  (They are delicious globs though.)  There’s a lot of irony revolving around her strata too.  As she adds the mushrooms everyone gasps because Everett (her fiancé) is allergic.   She didn’t know.   That doesn’t say a lot about the future of this relationship

Here’s my rendition.  I incorporated some more pizza-like ingredients because (a) the recipe just screamed for it; and (b) the family also dines on take-out pizza.

Pizza Family Strata

Debra (based on a recipe found here)


  • 6-8  slices sour dough bread
  • 8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 oz. pepperoni
  • 1/4 c. sliced green olives
  • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 (13 oz.) can sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3 c. milk
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. dried oregano
  • 1 pinch garlic powder
  • Sprinkle of parmesan or Italian cheese  mix (shredded)
  • Italian seasoning


  1. Place a single layer of bread on the bottom of an 4 quart rectangular baking dish (11/5 x 1.75″).
  2. Sprinkle about half of the mozzarella over the bread.
  3. Layer the pepperoni, green olives, half of the tomatoes and all of the onion rings and mushrooms over the cheese. Cover with the rest of the mozzarella.
  4. Combine slightly beaten eggs, milk, salt, oregano and garlic powder. Pour over the bread.
  5. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (or cheese mix)  and Italian seasoning. Cover. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
  6. Bake 1-1/2 hours in a 325 degree F oven, or until knife comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes or until firm.  Serve.

Yield: 8-12

I made this dish for breakfast on Christmas morning.   It was met with rave reviews.  I would probably use more tomatoes next time because I had just enough remaining to put one tomato stripe down the middle of the casserole.

Now, back to the film…the ending makes me tear up a bit  (but maybe not as much as the Heathrow scene of Love Actually) but still….  No spoiler alert, but it’s just sad and nostalgic.

My favorite character is Ben, played by Luke Wilson.   He’s wise, cool, and laid back.   I am a Sarah Jessica Parker fan, however Meredith is just annoying but she is shown with some redeeming qualities toward the end of the film.    A lot of that might be due to Ben’s influence.   I am not a huge Diane Keaton fan, but her portrayal of the Stone matriarch (Sybill) is one of my favorites.

One of the best foodie scenes (and one that influenced this post) is when Sybil is trying to console a strata-splattered Meredith:

“I’m just as good as you all” (Meredith)

“Actually, you’re probably better, dear.” (Sybill)

And, Ben’s bar counseling session with Meredith is priceless as well.  He tells her, “You have a freak flag. You just don’t fly it.”   Words to live by.


Here’s our family getting ready to enjoy Christmas brunch.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!



You have a few more days to join in the fun.  If you are lucky enough to have some down time between now and New Year’s Eve, grab some popcorn and watch the film and join us.  (Guidelines can be found at the announcement post.)

Look for the round up post here after the first of the year when I will feature everyone’s holiday posts inspired by The Family Stone.

5 comments to The Family Stone Breakfast Strata

  • Mae

    Strata used to be one of my favorites to make for brunch. It’s been a long time since I actually invited people to have brunch at our house — long before the pandemic. I guess I used to entertain a lot more! And the problem is, you can’t really make strata for just 2 people.

    best… mae at

  • Great movie. Bad ending! Love your post.

  • Loved this movie Debra. Thanks for sharing your family brunch with us. May 2022 be filled with many blessings for you and yours.

  • Oh I do like your rendition of this strata. Ever since seeing the movie I’ve wonder what the dish was that ended up all over the floor. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  • this dish sounds good but i’d go for fresh garlic and fresh mushrooms. happy new year!