The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Lifestyles

December 19, 2013

Amanda Stone: Easy Christmas morning brunch ideas

CARTHAGE, Mo. — As a grown-up, I look forward to the holidays for food, family and friends, listed in order of importance. Bulky winter clothes and weeks of holiday food was a plan well made and certainly no coincidence.

Christmas morning is all about making magic for my daughter. And brunch. After she's sure Santa and his reindeer have visited and I've had at least two cups of coffee, we'll visit family. Stockings will be pilfered, more coffee will be consumed and then we will have brunch. Finally.

Make Christmas morning brunch special, whether you're feeding a crowd or having a cozy meal in your jammies. Make whatever you can ahead of time, then gather interested parties into the kitchen to help with the final preparations. Dunk homemade biscotti in coffee and hot chocolate while you wait for brunch. Think of it as a breakfast appetizer. It's a special occasion Ñ live a little.

Or maybe you've lived a little too much as the holiday season stretches into several weeks of gluttony. If that's the case, and you want to take excess down a notch on Christmas morning, have a festive parfait. Layer strawberries, homemade granola and plain yogurt sweetened with honey and vanilla. Serve them in pretty glasses topped with a sprig of mint or rosemary. Make a crustless quiche with eggs, veggies and a sprinkle of cheese. Have spiced orange tea served in a fancy cup with a cinnamon stick and vanilla biscotti. Healthier food can be fun and festive, too.

After stockings are hung with care, break out the slow cooker. There are so many things I want to make, I really need several. Because of a lack of cabinet space, I will have to settle on one slow cooker masterpiece. Loaded hash browns, breakfast casserole, cinnamon coffee cake and creme brulee French toast are all in the running for a spot in mine.

It's no coincidence that all of these recipes can be made ahead of time. Now you won't have to spend Christmas morning in the kitchen, unless you're hiding from your family.

 

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