The hustle and bustle of the Christmas season is no joke. There are presents to buy and wrap, meals to prep, houses to clean and decorate, family members to be picked up and holiday events to host and attend. And that's just todays list.🤣 Just thinking about everything that I have left to do before Christmas, makes me tired. 😂
I feel like my to-do list is longer than Santa's naughty and nice list. I love a good list though - no matter how long it may be. Anyone else find that writing down goals and then crossing them off as you accomplish each one gives you a little endorphin boost? If you're a list maker, like me - you get it.
Lists are my kryptonite. They give me the power to organize and plan. Some (who shall remain nameless) have described me as an over-planner.😂 What can I say? I like to be prepared. 🤷🏻♀️ And if extreme meal planning is a thing - I'm pretty sure that my strategic menu plan would qualify. (Hey, Lifetime - this would make a great, new series. You're welcome.) Planning meals in advance just makes my life easier and a little less stressful.
Baked Creme Brûlée French Toast with Raspberry Preserves is the perfect, plan ahead, breakfast treat. It's delicious enough to serve to guests but it's also something that can be prepped ahead of time. The raspberry sauce can be made up to a week in advance and I assembled this sweet breakfast bread the day before I wanted to serve it to give the hearty egg bread a chance to soak up all the rich, creamy custard. All that was left to do in the morning was take it out of the frig and pop it into the oven to bake to sweet perfection.
Anything with the words "creme brûlée" sounds fancy and pretentious. Creme brûlée recipes usually have lots of ingredients, require fancy equipment and have more steps to it than it takes to assemble a barbie dream house.🤣 This recipe is different. Baked Creme Brûlée French Toast is decadent, elegant and luxurious AND it's actually easy to make.
Baked Cinnamon Crème Brûlée French Toast with Raspberry Preserves
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 Tablespoons butter, melted
8 large eggs, beaten
2 1/2 cups whole milk
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier or orange liqueur
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 loaf challah bread
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
10 ounces raspberry preserves
whipped cream, for serving
Slice challah loaf into thick slices.
Pour the remaining egg mixture over the bread slices. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Sprinkle the top of the french toast with sugar and bake 45-50 minutes at 375.
Serve french toast with raspberry sauce and whipped cream.
The recipe is so easy - it's almost goof proof. Assemble your Creme Brûlée French Toast on Christmas eve, tuck it safely away in the refrigerator overnight and then pop it in the oven when you start the coffee in the morning. Your family will not be disappointed in this scrumptious treat.
Too soon to start planning Christmas breakfast? 😂 If you share my love of breakfast food, you'll agree that it's NEVER too early to start planning that all important morning meal. 🥞 🧇🍳 Most important meal of the day, am I right? 😅
There's a lot happening on Christmas morning in our house. We unpack stockings and exchange gifts and in between, we sneak in sips of coffee and nibble on pastries.🥐 ☕️ Now that we have adult children, I feel like every year, the time spent unwrapping our Christmas presents gets longer and longer. If you would have told me, 20 years ago, that celebrating Christmas morning with 20 somethings would be just as much fun as celebrating with toddlers, I never would have believed it. But it's absolutely true.
Just to state the obvious - Christmas morning with adults is more leisurely and relaxed than Christmas morning with babies and toddlers.😂 And in this season of unhurried Christmas mornings, we find ourselves eating Christmas brunch, later and later every year. If you ask me though, breakfast food is good ANYTIME of day.
Typically, I make cinnamon rolls on the 24th of December and I get up on Christmas morning and pop them in the oven to bake while we open gifts. But every tradition needs a little shake up now and then. Like a French Toast Roll Up shake up. These delicious little gems are super easy to put together and they would make the perfect Christmas morning treats.
French Toast Roll Ups
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
8 slices thick, soft bread
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Drizzle icing over rolls.
Merry Christmas! Ciao!
Every December, I choose one type of Christmas goody that I can make at home and pass out as Christmas gifts. And this is usually the week, that I launch myself into overdrive, turn my kitchen into a sugary wonderland, bake mass quantities of the "treat of the year", wrap them up with pretty bows and hand them out to friends. 🎁 Banana bread, chocolate babka, sugar cookies, fancy cakes, the 12 Cupcakes of Christmas, chocolate truffles and hot chocolate bombs are all treats that I've gifted to friends, family, delivery drivers, teachers and neighbors.
Usually around the third day of my Christmas baking extravaganza, I start to ask myself, why in the world did I take on this crazy project? I mean, what was I thinking when I decided that baking The 12 Cupcakes of Christmas for 24 people, was a good idea? 🤣 🧁 The logistics of baking, frosting and decorating nearly 300 cupcakes over just a few days, is exactly as crazy as it sounds. 😅 #lessonlearned
My goal at Christmas is to show some much needed appreciation by blessing the people in my life with a sweet little treat. #mylovelanguageisfood😅 If you're thinking about making a homemade treat to share with your loved ones, you should consider, easy to make, crunchy biscotti. Bake up several different flavors or just stick to your most favorite and turn your kitchen into biscotti world for an afternoon. One recipe makes enough biscotti to share with several families or at least a couple of hungry teenagers.
Dark Chocolate Peppermint Biscotti is likely to get labelled as a dessert biscotti with its chocolate bottom and dark chocolate drizzle. But don't let that stop you from enjoying one for breakfast. It is a biscotti, after all - which means that it's perfectly acceptable to nibble on one of these decadent cookies with your morning coffee. ☕️😂 Trust me - it's equally delicious as a morning meal as it is when the sun goes down.
Dark Chocolate Peppermint Biscotti
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coarsely crushed hard peppermint candies
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate, melted
Cut into 1/2" slices and place on cookie sheet.
Bake 10 minutes. Flip. Bake another 10 minutes. Cool.
Dip the bottoms of the biscotti in melted chocolate. Drizzle tops with chocolate and sprinkle with remaining peppermint.
I've been making so much gingerbread lately, I feel like I live in a real life gingerbread house. The good news is that there's no need for scented Christmas candles anymore. 🕯 The downside? The fact that every square inch of my counter space and kitchen table are covered with gingerbread, icing, sprinkles and coconut snow. Which really is only a problem when we want to sit down and eat. But, who has time to sit and enjoy a leisurely meal now, anyway? 😂
Taking on the task of making homemade gingerbread houses is not for the faint of heart. I don't know how long it's supposed to take but it takes me multiple days to make gingerbread houses. Day one is baking day. I make the dough, roll it out, cut it into pieces and then bake them all to perfect crispness. Day two is assembly day. I learned the hard way that decorating freshly assembled houses can end in disaster. 😭Firm, dry gingerbread houses hold up much better to the pounds of embellishments that get added to it - which happens on the third day.
So why bother going through all that effort just to make a gingerbread house that gets tossed in the garbage the day after Christmas? It's a Davis family Christmas tradition, for one thing. Gingerbread house kits also make great gift for friends, family, teachers and neighbors. AND, gingerbread parties are awesome! Last night, we invited some friends over to build gingerbread houses. I provided the assembled houses and all of the supplies and the kiddos took it from there.
Since I was clearly in gingerbread mode, I decided to continue with the theme and bake a gingerbread snack cake too. 🤣 But truthfully, I actually made it because I had already had all the gingerbread ingredients. 😅 I mean, I never need an excuse to make a new cake but if I can use up extra supplies - it's an added bonus.
Gingerbread Snack Cake
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup brewed coffee
1/4 cup orange marmalade
8 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup barley malt syrup
1/2 cup canola oil
Let cake cool 3 hours before slicing into squares.
I'm doing my best to embrace the mini gingerbread factory in my kitchen this month. Any chance I can convince my guests that all of the powdered sugar on my floor is festive indoor snow? ❄️ 🤣
Chicken noodle soup might just be the most beloved soup of all time.🥣 It makes a scrumptious lunch in the middle of summer but it's also the perfect way to warm up on cold and blustery days.❄️ And I think we can all agree that chicken soup has magical powers to heal colds, flu or any illness, really.🤒 This is especially true if it's homemade chicken noodle soup.
My mom makes some of the very best chicken noodle soup that I've ever eaten. I don't know what she does to make it so good but I don't even try to recreate her recipe because I know that it would never compare to the original. So instead of trying to copy an already great recipe, I've decided to chowerize my chicken soup recipe. I swapped potatoes for noodles as a way of reinventing the Amy Davis version of homemade Chicken Soup.🥔
I've declared my undying love for potatoes on the blog so many times before, I'll spare you the details about my fondness for the starchy vegetable but, you should know that I'm a fan. What you might not know is that I'm also a lover of corn and carrots so it just made sense to combine all my favorites into one pot of delicious chicken soup. 🌽 🥕
There's no reason for me to reinvent the wheel - chicken soup is perfect just the way it is. So with that as my inspiration, I set out to create something new, delicious and unique. I realized, after I tasted it, that the soup that I made was clam-less clam chowder.😅 That was not my original intent but I've gotta say - chicken chowder is mighty tasty!
4 slices cooked bacon, chopped (I used turkey bacon)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 cups chicken broth
½ cup whole milk
½ cup sliced carrots
½ yellow onion, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 cans yellow corn, drained
1 pound baby red potatoes, quartered
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
fresh basil or parsley - for garnish
Combine bacon, chicken, broth, carrots, onions, celery, half of the corn, potatoes in slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
Cover and cook for 10 -15 minutes longer.
Garnish with black pepper, grated parmesan cheese, and fresh herbs.
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