Make-Ahead Christmas Brunch
We get it. On Christmas morning, the last place you want to be is in the kitchen, missing out on holiday merriment. You won’t be left out of any of the Christmas celebrations with our Test Kitchen Director’s make-ahead Christmas brunch recipe guide. Choose from two cheesy, savory, make-ahead Christmas breakfast casserole recipes for a hearty start to day’s festivities. A light, sweet winter fruit compote is a perfect Christmas brunch side dish. For a morning Christmas dessert, skip the complicated holiday pies, and bake a batch of fluffy, warm muffins instead. Our Cranberry-Orange Tea Bread Muffins, served with a cream cheese glaze and candied Kumquat fruit garnish, are the ultimate make-ahead Christmas dessert. They can be baked and frozen up to one month ahead of time. Of course, no list of Christmas brunch recipes is complete without something for the adults to enjoy. The spicy bite of a Bloody Mary adds a fresh kick of flavor to a sweet Christmas brunch. So skip the stress and actually enjoy Christmas morning for once with these make-ahead brunch recipes.
Twas' the Night Before Christmas
My husband, Kane, and I have always enjoyed a fireside brunch on Christmas Eve morning while listening to A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols on National Public Radio. This menu is mostly make-ahead―so like us, you can relax and enjoy the beginning of the holiday.
Follow this timeline for a stress-free Christmas morning brunch.Up to two months ahead: Bake Cranberry-Orange Tea Bread Muffins, but leave them unglazed. Freeze in a zip-top plastic freezer bag. Day before: Make Candied Kumquat Slices for muffins. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature. Make Gruyère Cheese Sauce for Gentlemen’s Casserole. Cover and chill. Make Winter Fruit Compote, and chill. Bake puff pastry shells for Gentlemen’s Casserole. Store at room temperature in a zip-top plastic freezer bag. Day of: Make Kane’s Peppery Bloody Mary. Make Orange-Cream Cheese Glaze. Thaw muffins at room temperature; top with glaze and kumquat slices. Reheat puff pastry shells on a baking sheet at 350° for 5 minutes. Microwave Gruyère Cheese Sauce. Scramble eggs, and fold in Cheese Sauce.
Continue to the next slide for recipe links.
Take a Casual Approach
Now that you have a timeline for prepping your make-ahead Christmas brunch, here's how to make the mains. When serving, be casual! You don’t have to sit at the dining room table to break out your best. Gather around a merry fire and make some holiday memories.Recipe Links: Gentlemen’s Casserole Chicken-and-White Cheddar Casserole Gruyère Cheese Sauce Cheddar Cheese Sauce Winter Fruit Compote White Grape Winter Fruit Compote
Kane's Peppery Bloody Mary
Recipe: Kane’s Peppery Bloody Mary
It's hard to beat the spicy bite of a good bloody mary on holiday mornings. Seasoned with fresh basil, cilantro, and chives, this drink received the highest rating from Southern Living's test kitchen.
Pass It Down
As our family grows, so do our traditions. Old ones become new again when they are passed to the next generation. Here are a few traditions that my family treasures; yours may enjoy them also.
Start a themed ornament collection for your children. Each year my father gave me a silver ornament. Last year I began my daughter’s collection.
Serve a signature dish at each holiday. My mother is famous for her scalloped oysters. One year oysters were sold out at the grocery, and my brother complained that it just didn’t feel like Christmas without that dish on the table.
Celebrate each addition to the family with personalized stockings. This is the perfect way to mark the birth of a child or make a new daughter-in-law feel like a member of the family. All of our stockings are hand-knitted and have our names on them.
Use your holiday china for the entire season, not just one day. Mom always used her Christmas china the entire month of December. This was our first clue that Santa was on his way.
"Christmas Eve Fun" is from the November 2008 issue of Southern Living.