By Sloane Taylor
After we entertain Christmas Eve, we tear through the house cleaning up before the kids and grands come for brunch Christmas Day. This meal is wonderful because so much can be prepared well in advance and stored in the fridge until it’s time to cook.
Fresh Fruit Salad
Christmas Cookies & Leftover Desserts
1 lb. (½kg) ham, bacon, or breakfast sausage
9 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups (750ml) milk
1 tsp. (5ml) dry mustard
Diced green, red, and/or yellow pepper to taste
½ lb. (57g) sharp cheddar cheese, grated
½ lb. (57g) Swiss or Gruyere cheese, or a combination of the two, grated
Diced onion to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 – 1 in. (2.54cm) slices Vienna or French bread, cubed
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
Dice ham or bacon. If you use ham, set aside in the bowl you use for the eggs. Fry bacon to the crispness you prefer. Drain on paper towels. If you use breakfast sausage, fry meat until no longer pink. Be sure to break up any clumps. Drain meat in a colander while you continue to prepare the soufflé.
Add all ingredients, except the bread, to eggs. Stir well. Gently stir in bread.
Pour mixture into an ungreased 9 x 13-inch (33 x 22cm) glass baking dish. Bake 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the center has no egg clinging to it.
This dish can be assembled one or two days ahead of time. On serving day allow the soufflé to sit on your counter 1 – 2 hours before you bake it.
Leftovers are excellent from the microwave.
If you need to increase the hash browns recipe for a larger group of people, it’s best to sparingly add more garlic powder. As is this recipe serves 6. Leftovers reheat beautifully.
3 russet potatoes (about 1½ pounds), peeled
1½ tsp. (7.5ml) garlic powder, not salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
¼ cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
Shred potatoes on the large holes of a box grater or use the coarse grater disk on a food processor. Transfer them to a bowl of cold water. Allow them to soak for 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and then rinse under cold water. You do this to remove the starch that makes hash browns gummy.
Transfer shreds to a kitchen towel. Gather together ends of towel and twist over sink, squeezing firmly to wring out as much liquid as possible. This step creates crisp hash browns. Transfer potatoes to a medium bowl and toss with garlic powder and pepper. Be sure to evenly distribute the seasonings.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes, press down to form a thin layer and cook for a minute or two. Stir and then press down again. Cook until a dark golden crust forms, about 5 minutes.
Turn potatoes in sections. This is easier than trying to turn the food as a whole. Continue to fry until hash browns are crisp and browned all over, 5 minutes or so. Transfer to paper towels to absorb excess oil.
Fresh Fruit Salad
1 banana, peeled
1 pear, cored
1 tbsp. (15ml) lemon juice
¼ pineapple, peeled, cored, and diced
1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
10 seedless red grapes, halved
10 raspberries, optional
Slice banana into bitesize pieces. Scoop into a medium-sized bowl. Dice pear and add to bowl. Sprinkle lemon juice over fruit to stop it from turning brown and mix well.
Gently fold in remaining fruit.
Spoon into a glass bowl, cover with cling wrap, and chill until time to serve. Leftovers are still good the next day.
1 bottle sparking white wine or champagne, cold
1 carton orange juice, cold
Tall slender glasses
Fill glasses half full with wine. Tip the glass slightly as you pour to retain the fizz. Top off with orange juice. Don’t stir. That will destroy the bubbles.
May you enjoy all the days of your life filled with good friends, laughter, and seated around a well-laden table!
Sloane Taylor is an Award-Winning romance author with a passion that consumes her day and night. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.