Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Brunch Favorites + A Recipe

I LOVE a good Christmas morning brunch. As a kid, we'd wake up, race to the tree to see what Santa had brought and then after all the gifts were open, my Mom would make a special breakfast while we played with our new treasures. Now that we have our own family, I still like to continue that tradition!

This is what I'm making for Christmas brunch this year.

Spinach Strata: I've made this spinach and egg strata from Smitten Kitchen numerous times. It looks super fancy, but is SO easy, and again you make it the night before so it's easy to pop in the oven. Plus, it doesn't have meat so it's not as heavy as some other breakfast casseroles (although, you could add some if that's a make or break for you!). 

Now for the sweets ... For our Ugly Sweater party brunch, I made these lemon cranberry muffins with lemon zest glaze topping and they were a big hit! (Loosely based on this recipe). I also made them the night before so they were ready to go without any work. Here's the super easy recipe:

Lemon Cranberry Muffins (makes 24 muffins) 
1 box lemon cake mix
2 boxes instant vanilla pudding
1/2 cup veggie oil
1 1/4 cup water
4 eggs
1 cup fresh cranberries (or more depending on how you like it!) 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cake mix, puddings, oil, water, eggs with a mixer until well blended. Carefully fold in cranberries by hand until well-mixed. Add more if you like! Line muffin/cupcake pan with liners. Fill halfway with batter. Bake for 15-18 or so minutes (check back of box for cupcake cook times and check with toothpick until toothpick comes out relatively clean). Let cool. 

Lemon Glaze 
1 cup powdered sugar
2 TBL water
1 TBL lemon zest 

Mix all together until desired consistency (add more water if too thick, or more powdered sugar if too runny). Then, I coated on a spoon and drizzled high above the muffins for a messy glaze. Then, grate a bit more zest on top. 

To round things out, serve with bacon and fruit! We always have mimosas on Christmas morning as well! DELISH!

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