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Christmas Brunch Makes Memories

December 16, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFamily traditions can vary regarding meals and Christmas. Some have a dinner on Christmas eve then smaller meals on Christmas day, while others have Christmas dinner midday and some in the evening with a Christmas brunch.

For many families Christmas morning is full of the sounds of tearing paper as gifts are opened followed by gathering for a Christmas brunch. This is something that can be done easily by setting up much the night before. If you have a Christmas Eve dinner you can ‘make’ a casserole while putting away leftovers!

For example, if you had ham on Christmas eve, dice up about a pound of it beat a half dozen eggs with a 13 ounce can evaporated milk (not condensed!) slightly. Mix in the ham (or a pound of browned sausage), 1 ½ slices of bread, cubed and 2 cups grated cheese. You can substitute a little stuffing or crumbled leftover biscuits or rolls for the bread. Cover and refrigerate. In the morning pull it out, uncover and bake for45 minutes at 350F or until firm and done clear through. Serve with sliced fruit if desired. This can easily be stretched if company comes by adding up to 3 cups of shredded potatoes. You can also add peppers, onion or other seasonings to taste.

Another easy casserole that can make use of leftovers is slightly different, using two pounds hash browns/shredded potatoes, 4 cups grated cheese, a can of cream of chicken soup, 2 cup sour cream, ½ cup melted butter, 1 cup chopped onion and a pound of bacon or sausage, cooked, drained and crumbled. You can also use diced leftover ham or turkey. Reserve ½ the cheese but combine all other ingredients. Place in a buttered casserole dish and bake at 350 for 40 minutes, removing to top with the reserved cheese then baking an additional 10 minutes to melt the cheese.

As with most casseroles you can vary the ingredients according to taste. Other popular items for brunch include pancakes or waffles with syrup, fruit or whipped cream, or French toast, cinnamon rolls or other standard breakfast fare.

The nice thing about the casserole dishes is it allows a no-fuss little time way to provide a hot meal. If organizing waffles or pancakes make up the batter the night before and store in the refrigerator. Organize helpers to prepare the meal with the least time, allowing for memories making brunch as well as spending time together for one more meal. It’s precious memories…enjoy them as life changes so quickly and next year may be different. Enjoy the holidays!

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