Holiday Breakfasts By Jean Dixon Sanders

If you are entertaining over the holidays, or have wayward college students wandering into the kitchen at all hours demanding more food, or even if you are going to be visiting family or friends over the holidays, it is a good idea to have some easy peasy breakfast recipes on hand that you can whip up with the minimum of fuss, or trips to the grocery store.

We always have day old French bread (in fact we have a collection of French bread in the freezer – we will never starve) and it always seems a sin and a shame to pitch it, so this is a delightful and economical way to be frugal consumers. And Best Beloved loves the added kick of the rum on these festive mornings…

Weekend French Toast

Serves 4
1 cup milk
1 pinch salt
3 brown eggs
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 generous dollop rum
1 tablespoon brown sugar
8 1/2-inch slices day old French bread

Whisk milk, salt, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, rum and sugar until smooth. Heat a lightly buttered griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Soak bread slices in mixture until saturated. Cook bread on each side for a couple of minutes, until golden brown. Serve with maple syrup and powdered sugar. If you add some raspberries and whipped cream it will remind you of the Belgian Waffles from the World’s Fair in the 60s. Childhood bliss!

Here are Amanda and Merrill from Food52 preparing Weekend French Toast.

Also in our Christmas Cornucopia of Necessary Foodstuffs are

Sausage Balls!

The Tall One loveslovesloves these. Of course, he is a tall, lanky, long drink of water and can afford the calories. The rest of us will have to get by smelling the blissful clouds of temptation…

1 pound ground sausage (we like the “Hot” variety, just for a little morning kick)
3 cups Bisquick
4 cups grated Cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

(We are never certain how many this recipe serves, but it seems to keep someone very satisfied…)

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a cookie sheet with miraculous parchment paper. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. (Living as we do in the South  this might be as close to making snow balls as we come this year.) Form into 1-inch balls, shmushing the balls so they hold together. Place the balls on the cookie sheet and bake for 18 to 20 minutes. They should be golden brown. If you are the fussy sort with lots of spare time on your hands, you can turn the balls halfway through the baking time. Drain on paper towels and stand back. They are excellent warm for breakfast, but the Tall One can attest to their delicious qualities cold, right out of the fridge. We bake them the day before Christmas and re-heat in the morning.

The folks at Food52 also have some clever breakfast ideas up their sleeves, and I have included their links below. You can always whip up a batch of cornbread for dinner, and repurpose it in the morning, though you may want to do a double batch, since it never lasts long around here. And while I will not share the Roman Punch with the visiting undergrads, I will probably enjoy a cup or two of its cheer when we are gathered around the Christmas tree, playing with our new gadgets and toys.

“When the girl returned, some hours later, she carried a tray, with a cup of fragrant tea steaming on it; and a plate piled up with very hot buttered toast, cut thick, very brown on both sides, with the butter running through the holes in it in great golden drops, like honey from the honeycomb. The smell of that buttered toast simply talked to Toad, and with no uncertain voice; talked of warm kitchens, of breakfasts on bright frosty mornings, of cosy parlour firesides on winter evenings, when one’s ramble was over and slippered feet were propped on the fender, of the purring of contented cats, and the twitter of sleepy canaries.”

Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

Happy Holidays!