Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas Breakfast.... at HOME!

Spend Time With Your Family and Cook Ahead!

I've spent the year talking about where to go eat... so I thought I would use this blog to tell you to stay home and cook.

Merry Christmas.

A Christmas tradition at my house for as long as I can remember, is a Christmas morning brunch for all to enjoy, while those who decided to sleep in finally dragged themselves out of bed.

The main dish is prepared ahead and simply baked off, and the grits would go together in 10 minutes. When it was all hot, it could stay on the counter for hours next to a pot of hot coffee and cold orange juice. It just wouldn't be Christmas without it.

Unfortunatly, only 3 people on this earth have the recipe I am speaking of, so I scoured the trades for another that I though would be as good, and found the recipes below from author Tracey Koch. They are listed below... and look delish.

Enjoy a wonderful holiday... I'll see you right here in 2007.


Cinnamon Streusel Breakfast Bread Pudding with Warm Maple Syrup

Serves 6.

1 stick butter, melted
1 loaf French bread (cut into 1 1/2-inch slices)
4 large eggs
1 cup granulatedsugar
1/4 tsp. salt
3 cups whole or low-fat milk
2 tbls. vanilla
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans, optional
2 tbls. ground cinnamon
Warm Butter Maple Syrup (recipe follows)

Warm Butter Maple Syrup
4 tbls. butter
1 cup maple syrup

1. Place the butter in a microwave-safe dish and heat on high for 30 to 40 seconds or until melted.
2. Add the maple syrup to the melted butter and heat another 20 to 30 seconds or until the mixture is heated through.

1. Brush the bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch baking pan with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy.
3. Slowly add in the granulated sugar, salt, milk and vanilla and continue to whisk until all is incorporated.
4. In a smaller mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon.
5. Arrange half of the French bread slices in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. (The bread should fit very close together, touching, but not overlapping.) Then brush the bread with 3 more tablespoons of melted butter.
6. Slowly pour half of the egg mixture evenly over the bread, making sure to coat each piece. Then sprinkle half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the top.
7. Repeat the steps ending with the streusel topping. Allow bread pudding to sit at least 2 hours or overnight, covered, in the refrigerator.
8. To bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the bread pudding from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature.
9. Bake uncovered 45 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean and bread pudding is puffed and browned. Serve warm with Warm Butter Maple Syrup.
Kitchen helpers: Kids will be eager to help in buttering the bread slices and the pan, whisking the egg mixture and combining the streusel topping.

Sausage and Cheese Baked Grits

Serves 6.

1 lb. bulk breakfast sausage
4 cups water
1 cup grits
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbl. butter
1/4 cup milk
3 ozs. cream cheese
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1. In a large skillet, sauté the bulk sausage until browned well. Drain and set aside.
2. Bring water to a rolling boil and add salt.
3. Stir in grits and allow them to come back to a boil.
4. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to simmer until all of the water is gone, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
5. Remove from heat and add in the butter, milk, cream cheese and 1 cup of the Cheddar cheese. Mix until all of the cheese is melted.
6. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
7. Fold the sausage into the cheese grits mixture and pour into the prepared baking dish. Top with the remaining cheese and cover. Place casserole into the refrigerator until ready to bake. (This dish can be made one day in advance.)
8. To bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and bake, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove cover and continue to bake 5 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Kitchen helpers: Kids will be able to help in grating cheese, measuring the ingredients and mixing everything together.