The last few days leading up to Christmas can be so busy with last minute shopping, relatives arriving, and the usual festivities, I’m thankful for a few simple holiday recipes that my family looks forward to every year. They help keep me sane and enjoying the day with the rest of them.
Christmas Eve is traditionally unpredictable for our family as we work around when our pastor-dad will be home after church services. So rather than be frustrated that dinner was getting cold or being exhausted single parenting for the whole day, while finishing the wrapping and making a meal, I had a genius idea last year–sushi! I ordered it ahead, picked it up on the way home from church, set the table fancy and it felt like such a treat for my teenage daughters.
I’ve known friends who enjoyed the simplicity of take out Chinese food or even pizza on Christmas Eve. The idea is to keep Christmas Eve simple because, be honest, you have worked hard wrapping, dressing, entertaining family, churching, etc. Keep this one easy. We make a yummy dessert to enjoy around the tree after dinner, and we were ready to turn our attention to the Christmas Eve festivities.
Depending on the ages of your children, Christmas morning festivities may start before the sun comes up, so prepare a little snack table with the holiday treats you received as a gift, a yogurt parfait station, cheese and crackers, a few fun cereals you don’t normally let your children indulge in. Keep it simple and encourage your family to serve themselves as they get hungry throughout the morning.
In my book, the perfect ending to the craziness of Christmas morning is a lazy brunch, followed by naps, movies, puzzles, with the focus on lazy togetherness. So, here are my family’s favorite Christmas brunch recipes. All of them can be made the day before if you prefer. Or, plan about an hour of prep work the day of for all three recipes. Get your kids or husband to help if that makes it easier or more fun for you.
It’s more of a quiche than a pizza, honestly, but it’s super simple and always a hit.
1 package crescent roll dough
2 1/2 cups grated Swiss cheese
6 eggs, well beaten
1 1/2 c milk
1 1/2 Tbsp instant minced onion
12 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
Grease a 9×13 glass casserole dish. Roll crescent roll dough out into pan and pinch seams together, spreading dough to edges of pan. Spread grated cheese over dough. Beat eggs, add milk, beat again. Pour over cheese. Sprinkle onions, crumbled bacon and parsley. Can be refrigerated overnight. If so, take out of refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Edges should be golden and eggs should be set in the middle.
Cinnamon Coffee Cake
Warning. You will want to eat this cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Highly addictive. You’ve been warned.
1 box yellow cake mix
1 small pkg instant vanilla pudding
3/4 c water
3/4 c oil
1 tsp vanilla
Combine all above ingredients. Blend well for 4 minutes. Pour half of batter in greased 9×13 baking pan. Make cinnamon/sugar filling.
3/4 c sugar
3 Tbsp cinnamon
Combine in small bowl. Sprinkle 1/2 cinnamon sugar mixture over first half of cake in pan. Take a butter knife and swirl it into the cake batter in the pan. Repeat. Spread remaining half of cake batter over cinnamon sugar mixture. Spread remaining half of cinnamon sugar mixture over second layer of cake batter. Swirl with butter knife again. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Make frosting. Frosting will be more like a thin glaze. Drizzle frosting over cake while warm.
1 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp milk
Cinnamon Fruit Dip
Again, nothing super impressive. Easy, yummy. Your youngest kids can help you make this one.
1 c sour cream (I’ve also used plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream.)
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Combine all ingredients with a whisk or spoon. Chill until ready to serve. Serve with strawberries, cantelope, pineapple, grapes, whatever your family’s favorite fruits are.
Keep the main thing the main thing, momma. Be present for your children. Include them in the kitchen. Be kind to yourself. Ask for help. Take a nap. Be in the pictures. Enjoy whatever “new normal” is for your family this year. Breathe.