We celebrated Christmas with both sides of our families this year.  Erik and I traveled to North Dakota to spend the holidays with his family, so my family celebrated the weekend before.  We invited everyone to our house and had a big brunch.

We had amazing food (fruit christmas tree arrangement courtesy of my sister, Katie).

I got this make ahead breakfast casserole recipe from my friend Emily.  She made it for a brunch a few months ago and I loved it and have made it twice since.  It’s a perfect dish to serve at a brunch because it’s hassle-free, you do all the prep work the night before.  Erik thinks the dish has a “bit too much bread” but I love that aspect of it.  It definitely is different than a traditional egg bake that has more of an egg base, this has more of a bread base.  

  • Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole (recipe via Cooking Light)

  • Ingredients
  • 8 ounces ciabatta bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 pound turkey breakfast sausage (I’ve used turkey sausage and pork sausage, both work well)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions 
  • 1 1/4 cups fat-free milk
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese 
  • large eggs
  • (8-ounce) carton egg substitute 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Preparation 
  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Arrange bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 8 minutes or until toasted.
  • Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sausage to pan; cook 6 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Combine sausage, bread, and onions in a large bowl. Combine milk, cheese, eggs, and egg substitute in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add milk mixture to bread mixture, tossing to coat bread. Spoon mixture into a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Uncover casserole. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Sprinkle with parsley; serve immediately.

My aunt made these cute mouse treats. My aunt also made a cheesy quiche, it was super rich and delicious with tons of cream cheese.  The holiday pounds began adding to the scale after this brunch.   Awesome cheesy potatoes, brought by my brother and sister-in-law.  Everyone should eat monkey bread (or caramel pull-apart biscuits) at least once in their life.  Preferably many more times than just one.  My mom makes this and it is freaking delicious.  My mom and aunt.  It was fun watching Juliet and her cousin Chloe open presents.  Babies this age generally just prefer to eat the wrapping paper (I watched her closely and made sure she didn’t actually swallow any). Juliet loved her push around pink buggy.  My brother Joel and his girlfriend bought Juliet this cute little Minnie Mouse chair.  She sits in it while I read her books.  She looks like such a big girl sitting there!

Juliet also got a bunch of adorable clothes from aunt Chris and some fun toys and more clothes from the other aunties and uncles.  Grandma and grandpa give Juliet money towards her college fund.  She got her first tea set and we had her first tea party that day.  So cute.

Thanks to my family for celebrating Christmas early with us and for all the wonderful presents for Juliet.