whole grain mornings (and a giveaway)

DSC_0035Trying to decide what I’m going to make for Christmas morning every year is a lot like trying to decide how I’m going to cook my turkey. In both cases, I have no tradition, no surety about the way it has to be. On the night before Thanksgiving, I’m still holding a box of salt in my hand, trying to decide whether to wet brine or dry brine or screw the brine and maybe rig up some sort of dangerous contraption in the backyard to deep fry it and set the woods on fire. In the same way, I scour cookbooks and blogs and the words of anyone who wants to share when it comes to what to make on Christmas morning. I search through my books as if we’ve never had Christmas before. I start out new, and I look for that dish that will call out to me in four-part perfect caroling harmony. I usually find it, and then I begin again the next year.

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These last few weeks, I’ve had a new book to help me.

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In all honestly, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen Whole Grain MorningsMegan sent me a pdf version of the book back in the summer, and I started cooking with it then. Her editor asked if I might have a few words of praise for the back of the book, and my first response was to laugh at the word “few.” A few words?  I could fill the whole back of the book talking about what I love about this book! But I did my best to pare it down, and then I saved the rest for now, when I get to share it with you.

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I still don’t know what that magic element is that makes me truly love a cookbook. Of course I like recipes that work, ingredients I can find, and a writer with whom I want to spend some time. But in the end, there are certain books that I reach for every time I’m not sure what I want to cook. I’ll take the book off the shelf and the couch in the kitchen will pull me to it, and then there I am, reading my way through the book again, folding down pages. It’s a quality I can’t pin down, but I don’t find a book with it too often.

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Whole Grain Mornings has it. Even Sadie felt it- she took the book to bed with her the first night it arrived and woke up early the next day to make the Hasty Pudding recipe. Megan is so warm and accessible, and her recipes are creative and inspiring, but also doable for anyone. There are recipes to make ahead for days when you eat breakfast running out the door, and there are recipes to slowly languish in as you drink a second cup of coffee on the weekend. But what I might love most about the book is how Megan’s love and appreciation for the ingredients comes through. It can be easy to slip into thinking of whole grains as (to borrow a term I love from Mollie Katzen) “remorse cuisine,” less delicious and more virtuous than their enriched relations. But these recipes (Zucchini Farro Cakes! Fresh Fig Parfaits with Popped Amaranth and Almond Cream! Bacon and Kale Polenta Squares! Huckleberry Cornmeal Custard!) are anything but remorse cuisine.  Especially if ingredients like millet, faro, and quinoa aren’t in your normal rotation, these recipes are the best introduction to how to prepare them in ways that show off how delicious they really are. And even if you and whole grains go way back, I think you’ll find lots of new inspiration here. The book doesn’t actually come out till New Year’s Eve, but that’s enough in 2013 to make it one of my favorite cookbooks of the year.

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Ten Speed Press has agreed to let me give away a copy of Whole Grain Mornings, and the winner will get their copy just as the book comes out. To enter, will you share your  Christmas morning menu plans? Or that recipe you always make, the one that really makes it feel like Christmas? (Of course, I still have no idea what I’m making. I could use help.) Or if Christmas isn’t your holiday of choice, tell us about another favorite breakfast tradition for one of these many December holidays. AND I’ve devised a plan to give you one more entry, if your so inclined. Here’s how it works: a comment gets you entered, but you’ll get an additional chance if you tell me you’ve preordered Whole Grain Mornings (from any source- even local bookstores usually offer the possibility of preorder). If you’re the lucky winner, and you’ve also preordered, then I assure you the book is one you’ll want to give as a gift. The giveaway is only open to people in the continental US, but I hope you’ll chime in to the conversation even if you’re farther away–just let me know you’re not in it for the goods. And one more note: if you’re sharing a link to a recipe or post in the comments and the comment doesn’t show up, it’s just my pesky (but awesome) spam filter watching out for me. Just send me an email, and I’ll find your comment. I’ll pick the winner On December 26.

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I know oatmeal doesn’t sound like a fancy Christmas morning type of breakfast, but when it’s baked and layered in with spice and fruit, it’s an entirely new animal. I tested this in my own kitchen by making it and letting it sit in the fridge for several hours before baking, and it worked great. So if you want to make this ahead of time and pop it in the oven in the morning, that works, too.

 

 

Thanks to Ten Speed Press for making this giveaway possible, and to Megan Gordon for writing a book that will get our days started off in such a good way.

 

 

 

 


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121 Responses to whole grain mornings (and a giveaway)

  1. Liz says:

    That oatmeal looks AMAZING! Our Christmas morning tradition is always my grandma’s pecan sticky buns, and I usually make cinnamon rolls, too.

  2. Karen says:

    This christmas I’m planning to make cinnamon rolls for breakfast. I usually make cinnamon rolls as gifts for a few friends, and I think I’ve made enough this year that we can enjoy some on Christmas without too much extra effort. :) Normally I don’t host christmas, so I’ve had everything from cereal to egg bakes to whatever else happens to be dreamed up. This time, it’s my turn.

  3. Jillian22 says:

    We stay at my mother’s every Christmas and on Christmas morning, my mom makes a wonderful egg, ham, and cheese casserole. She prepares it the night before, when we leave for Christmas Eve services and gets up early to pop it in the oven, just in time for opening presents. I look forward to it every year because Christmas morning is the only time it appears. Isn’t it amazing how certain recipes and meals can bring us so much joy and memory?

    I love baked oatmeal and delicious breakfast options, so I will definitely be finding a copy of Whole Grain Mornings! Thanks for always introducing us to new writers, cooks, and cookbooks, Alana! And happy holidays to you and your family. For me, YOUR cookbook is the one you describe above- the one I curl up with to read and reread, the one where I can always find something wonderful to add to my pantry, fridge, and table. So thank YOU! :)

  4. Louise says:

    Our Christmas breakfast routine is still fluid, because we’ve spent so many Christmases at other people’s houses, fitting in with their traditions. One thing that is definite, however, is that my husband and I work in the kitchen together. My dad always made Christmas breakfast (scrambled eggs with sausage and cheese, and english muffins), and so did his dad, and while Carl isn’t quite sure enough of himself in the kitchen to be willing to take the entire responsibility on his own yet, he always does at least participate. This year he’s making blueberry pancakes while I do the scrambled eggs.

  5. Sara says:

    My 8 year old had a writing assignment this year to describe a favorite holiday memory. He wrote about having scones with homemade strawberry jam for breakfast. It’s what we’ve done the past couple of years, but after such a loving tribute, it may be what we have always.

  6. Cyd says:

    We don’t have a lot of hard and fast rules about what we eat (or when) for Christmas but last year I did host a brunch for my husband, our daughter, my stepdaughters, their mother, our stepdaughter and a family friend. I made a lot of different things but the “centerpiece” dish was banana fritters with pineapple ginger rum sauce. (I found these recipes on line and since my computer died this year of course I’ve lost the bookmarks and am not now finding them :-( )

  7. ellen says:

    I usually make French Toast for Xmas morning breakfast. There is a great local bakery that makes a special holiday fruit bread with hazelnuts, golden raisins, etc and that makes a very special French toast. Sometimes I even pick up their chocolate chunk bread and make that as french toast well – totally over the top!
    Would love to win the book!

  8. Becky says:

    Christmas morning always without fail (even when we celebrate Christmas on a different day than the 25th) is started off with our holiday cinnamon rolls. Except they’re not true cinnamon rolls. They’re more like ooey gooey pull apart mounds of dough and sugar and caramel and spices. My mom only makes these on Christmas and sometimes birthdays if we’re lucky. But last year, I took the plunge myself and finally tried to make them for my own little family on Christmas. They came out amazing! The best part about the rolls is that while they’re delicious warm out of the oven, they’re even better after a few hours when the caramel syrup has cooled and hardened into a candy-like topping. Best breakfast ever!

  9. For breakfast on Christmas morning, we usually have a breakfast casserole. It’s super easy: eggs, bacon, pepper, onion, mushroom, whatever catches your fancy. And for dinner, we still do a turkey even though we just did one a few weeks ago for Thanksgiving. We so rarely get a chance to enjoy turkey that I don’t even mind eating them two months in a row. Happy holidays!

  10. Anna says:

    We are still figuring out our traditions and I haven’t decided what I’ll make. I’m leaning toward some sort of caramel or cinnamon roll but have also been considering waffles since we have no big plans on Christmas and have plenty of time to enjoy breakfast as a family with no where to rush off to. So looking forward to checking out this book!

  11. I’m totally the same way, combing through every cookbook, magazine and recipe I own before the holidays, trying to figure out what it is exactly I want to make. Always indecisive haha! I think this year we’re going with traditional cinnamon rolls for our Christmas morning breakfast. Sounds like an awesome cookbook, I look forward to checking it out!

  12. Heather says:

    This will be our first real Christmas morning waking up in our own house (usually we’ve traveled) so I’m both excited to *get* to make something for Christmas morning and overwhelmed at the idea of hosting Christmas Eve and then having to follow it up with something else! But (at the risk of adding one more voice to the chorus of cinnamon rolls) I’m really loving the sound of Food 52′s Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Orange Cream Cheese Icing. They can be made ahead and frozen, so I just may give them a go.

  13. I love love panettone!! BUT I can’t make panettone from scratch in the morning. So I’ll make it the day before and in the morning I’ll make some panettone French toast. YUM!!

  14. Rachael says:

    After receiving our first jar of actual maple syrup (from a tree, not a factory) I was determined to make making waffles on Christmas morning a tradition. Not really grasping exactly how much batter I was supposed to be using, I ended up with a counter completely covered in batter and a pile made half of oversized fluffy waffles and half that resembled thick pizzelle. And of course it was way too many for two people to ever eat. Five years later, I still don’t have a compete idea of how much batter to use, ( does anyone really end up with a clean counter after making waffles??) but at least I’ve discovered the art of freezing any and every leftover waffle! That way we can still have a lil piece of Christmas morning in the middle of February.

  15. Mary says:

    Pancakes for Christmas breakfast! My mom always made them when I was a kid, and now that I’m married I make a whole-grain version with oats and whole wheat flour added in (and a sprinkling of dark chocolate chips) for my mom and husband.

  16. Christina says:

    I’m still searching for the perfect Christmas breakfast, too. I love my mom’s walnut and cinnamon coffee cake, though. It might be that, or eggnog french toast, or oatmeal pancakes, or something I find on a blog I read between now and then. At any rate, I hope I win this cookbook and even if I don’t I’ll be ordering it!

  17. Tori says:

    I love baked oatmeal!!! We often do bagels and lox for breakfast. Ridiculously easy but still indulgent (especially with mimosas as well).

  18. Jennifer W says:

    We don’t have a traditional breakfast yet, but I’m sure we will as our daughter gets older and more aware of the holiday.

    This year, though, I’ll probably bake a loaf of chocolate babka. There’s no way we could eat a whole one by ourselves, but we’ll have family over to assist. :)

  19. Katie L says:

    Christmas morning breakfast (and Christmas Eve church, and Christmas Eve stories, and Christmas present opening and Christmas Day movies….) have a very deep root in tradition at my house (I refuse to have it any other way!). For breakfast, every year without fail, we have:

    OJ (and champagne!), Milk, Coffee (my little sister and I used to get hot chocolate so that we could “drink coffee” with our parents), Bacon, Sausage, Homefries, Stolen, Strata, Cranberry-Orange Bread, and Scrambled Eggs. All homemade, all delicious.

    Happy Holidays and a fantastic New Year! Thanks for being a part of my kitchen this past year.

  20. Michele says:

    The timing of your post is perfect- I was just making my Christmas morning breakfast decisions last night! I received Marion Cunningham’s ‘The Breakfast Book’ for my birthday last month so I am going to give a few of her recipes a whirl. We have several batches of family members who will be dropping in throughout the morning so we usually put out a small buffet of food that can be served at room temp and still be delicious. My choices for this year are Marion’s Frittata with Cheese and Crumbs, her Simple Vanilla Coffee Cake, and Baked Apples. Along with a selection of fresh fruit, egg nog, mimosas and screwdrivers, it should be a yummy (and festive!) christmas morning. :)

  21. Kate says:

    My family has cinnamon rolls from the recipe I sent you. I love making them because you make the dough a day or two before and it rises in the refrigerator. I just roll them out on Christmas morning and bake. It’s so easy. I’ve since learned that the recipe originally came from The Pepperidge Farm cookbook that my mother had in the 1960s. There are a lot of great old cookbooks out there.

    Growing up, we always had oatmeal because that’s what my brother would eat. I decided to change that tradition when I had a home of my own.

  22. Robin says:

    We have not had a big breakfast with our kids for many years-since they got married. But this year my daughter and her family will be here-and I am preparing Christmas breakfast. We are having a breakfast burrito bar, and I am very excited!!

  23. Rachel says:

    My brother makes the best crepes! We have mashed bananas, jelly and/or powdered sugar on our crepes.

  24. --anu says:

    We don’t have a tradition but I might make Smitten Kitchen cranberry rolls (like cinnamon rolls but with cranberry filling). I made them for Thanksgiving morning and loved the ease of preparation and they tasted divine!
    I have made scones once or twice in the past but honestly, it is not a big deal meal. Partly because I am from Europe and we open our gifts the evening below leaving just the stockings for the morning :)

  25. Pamela says:

    Cinnamon rolls. Or bacon and pancakes. Something fun that we don’t normally take the time to make just any day. Good luck picking your menu!

  26. Pamela says:

    the oatmeal looks amazing, and i really want this book! i’ve been dreading breakfast time lately, i think out of both laziness and boredom. this sounds perfect. last year i made heidi swanson’s cardamom cinnamon rolls and i think they are for sure a keeeper! http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/cinnamon-buns-recipe.html

  27. Christina says:

    Panettone it is! I made mine last weekend and shipped them to family members, so we’ll all be enjoying it, toasted, on Christmas morning. My parents are both church musicians so even when I was little, we would go to church on Christmas Eve, and then my parents would have to go back to work on Christmas morning! So breakfast is kind of ad hoc, and we don’t get to open presents until after noon. Lately we’ve then been enjoying chicken saltimbocca and risotto for a nice lunch, and then my parents take a nap. Ah, traditions.

  28. Liz says:

    I will be making Monkey Bread! The kids love it, and I love it because it’s simple, especially on a day that I will be cooking a lot. ;)

  29. We always head over to my aunt and uncle’s house for Christmas brunch. This year I was going to offer to bring Liana Krissoff’s baked oatmeal, which I love. But I may just have to give this one a try!

  30. Karen says:

    We have Alton Brown’s overnight cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning, along with fruit salad and chocolate from the stockings. We love that these cinnamon rolls are not too sweet and the recipe makes it easy to fit the work into our busy holiday schedule.

    Baked oatmeal has long been on my list to try one weekend morning and I think the recipe you’ve posted is the top contender!

  31. Lisa M says:

    We always have a big breakfast at my mom’s on Christmas morning. She makes so many great things but everyones favorite is her sausage gravy. It’s yummy!

    I looked at that book on amazon the other day and thought it would be a good one. And now I have a chance to win it :-) Thanks!

    Merry Christmas!

  32. Lisa M says:

    My mom makes a huge breakfast on Christmas morning. Our favorite is her sausage gravy.

    I looked at that book on amazon the other day and thought it would be a good one. And now I have a chance to win it :-) Thanks!

    Merry Christmas!

  33. Jennifer says:

    It has been pretty casual the past few years, but I used to make these individual puffy pancakes that you topped with fruit, brown sugar and sour cream. I think I need to bring back that tradition.

  34. Beth says:

    Our Christmas breakfast will be an egg casserole. Very easy for Christmas morning. This book looks fabulous!

  35. Anna says:

    It will be cinnamon waffles ( with the egg whites beaten separately and folded into the batter, a la The Joy of Cooking) with homemade applesauce and real maple syrup! Seriously delicious. This is the best time of year.

  36. oh, I’ve been looking forward to this book! Breakfast is my FAVORITE meal. Our Christmas breakfast used to be salted homemade bagels with butter, fruit salad, and homemade eggnog. Then I found my grandma’s Christmas bread recipe (it’s here: http://thriftathome.blogspot.com/2013/01/grandmas-christmas-bread-russian-kulich.html) and so that has replaced the other stuff. Maybe I’ll still make the eggnog – it’s so luxurious and creamy.

  37. Kate says:

    Growing up we always had cinnamon bread while we opened presents, followed by a second breakfast of “Special Day Waffles” as they are known. The recipe is from my mom’s well used circa 1960 Good Housekeeping cookbook. I think they have a whole pound of butter in them. A few years ago I started making stollen, so that has replaced the cinnamon bread. But Special Day Waffles, always.

  38. noreen says:

    Every year, for as far back into my childhood as I can remember, my father has served french toast, bacon, homefries, beans, and fruit cocktail for Christmas breakfast. It’s one of the (maybe) six times he cooks all year! My brother and I now bring our own families to my parents’ house for breakfast before opening presents.

  39. Rebecca says:

    I always want to have cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning. They’ve never been homemade, and many years I forget to get them. This year, I’m determined to make them. I saw a picture of a pan with heart shaped rolls that I think my daughter will love!

    Your book is definitely one that finds itself in my lap on my couch over and over.

  40. Heather says:

    Our kids are little, 2 and 4, so no traditions yet. I was considering starting the Cinnamon Roll tradition so many others have. Problem is, I don’t want that to be our breakfast when we’re going to indulge in too many cookies that night. And birthday cake! We’re a porridge or ww pancake, or cold cereal and yogurt for breakfast family SO I think this year I will make this baked oatmeal and hopefully start a wonderful tradition! Thanks : )

    • Heather says:

      Well, I didn’t get to make this for Christmas morning but I made it today! I made a few changes. I used all toasted pecans and I used oatmilk. I prepared up to pouring the milk and butter on top and refrigerated over night. This morning I baked in a 350 degree oven (glass dish) and baked for additional 15 minutes. I did not add the milk or butter on top. I turned out great. My 2 year old loved it. My 4 year old tried it and said she didn’t like it as much as she thought she would. I loved it. We ate a third, and I froze a third. The other third is in the fridge for breakfast tomorrow. Not sure if it will freeze well but wanted to try.

  41. Michael Schneider says:

    > “Even Sadie felt it- she took the book to bed with her the first night it arrived and woke up early the next day to make the Hasty Pudding recipe.”

    Johnnie kids. I love ‘em.

    > “To enter, will you share your Christmas morning menu plans?”

    I don’t want to enter the drawing but, geesh, everyone knows one doesn’t eat •anything• on the morning of December 25: there’s a ton of Chinese food coming later in the day!

    So I guess my menu for that morning is coffee.

    ~MS

  42. Jennifer says:

    Since we are a ski bum family and for some reason it is usually a powder day on Christmas, we are out of the house early to go make some turns…so it is Stollen and satsumas for this household.

  43. Tanya says:

    We don’t really have a breakfast tradition. I’m usually at my sister’s and it depends on what they all want…. I love the cinnamon roll idea and maybe a frittata or eggs scrambled with spinach and cheese. We do often have panettone, thought it’s never homemade. Perhaps I should try my hand at that
    Thanks for the giveaway, this book looks great!

  44. Michelle says:

    Panettone bread pudding, is the plan this year. This will be our first Christmas that we aren’t sharing with my family so we are creating new traditions.

  45. Candy says:

    Every two years I get frozen link sausage and “just add water” pancakes at my in-laws house. Thankfully, this isn’t that year : ) We don’t have a traditional breakfast for the years we’re at home, but I did start a Christmas Eve dinner tradition of homemade pizza way back when I was single, that the kids probably don’t even realize is a tradition since they only get it every two years.

  46. Lynn says:

    My neighbor just gave me some from scratch caramel rolls ( I ate one right away and am hoping the rest will make it to Christmas morning. Kinda iffy really!) and my mother will make an overnight egg/sausage/bread dish.

  47. Kat says:

    orange sweet rolls are what mean Christmas morning to me. growing up, it was the kind in the pop open can you bake. last year, i tried making them from scratch and they were (dare i say) even better! :)

  48. Melissa says:

    It is tradition for me to make french toast with some fresh fruit on the side for Christmas breakfast

  49. Teresa says:

    Between opening stockings and the opening of gifts we always take a break and have a big ol’ breakfast of eggs. bacon and oranges (found in the toe of the stocking of course!)

  50. The years that I make candied orange peel, and then panetone…we nibble from it (or homemade challah). But many, many years now it’s been cinnamon rolls arranged into a large tree (centers decorated like ornaments with jam splotch, and drizzled glaze lights/tinsel).
    The arranged rolls also are seen at other holidays in other shapes…even a few years of elaborate many masted ships for a now somewhat discredited discoverer. My 18 yo has asked for less modified rolls this year (orange, etc., and whole grains usurping the general effect is not the same!)

  51. Julia in St. Paul says:

    Cinnamon rolls, every time.

  52. Holly says:

    We have a delicious baked apple French toast on Christmas morning. It’s terrific because you do all the prep the night before. When our kids were little it was such a relief to know that a yummy breakfast was waiting for all when the present frenzy died down. Now that they’re teenagers we make it because we love it…..it just gets put into the oven a little later than it did when they were 4 or 5 years old!

  53. Sarah M says:

    We are still new to having our own family and are visitingon Christmas morning. A favorite Christmas breakfast memory is the shift from a too much chocolate first thing stomachache to that satisfying protein feeling of simple scrambled eggs and ham. Merry Christmas Alana, Joey, Sadie, Rosie and my fellow reader-stalkers!

  54. Bonnie says:

    Our new tradition is apple turnovers. We recently moved close to a wonderful apple orchard so I’m excited to use their apples this year.

    Thank you so much for the make ahead oatmeal recipe. The school bus comes early to our house so I’m always on the lookout for new make-ahead breakfast recipes so that I can get just a few more minutes of sleep but still feel good about a homemade breakfast for the kids!

    Thanks also for your wonderful cookbook. My husband gave it to me for my birthday and I’m about half way through it and loving everything I make.

  55. Heather S says:

    We have to travel an hour to my in laws for Christmas brunch this year, which isn’t a terribly long drive, but we are hoping that going forward we will spend Christmas at home. My husband did something rare and incredible- took Monday and Tuesday off! So I’m.thinking of what I can make those days. Pancakes and waffles, oatmeal and eggs are regular players here, but I was thinking cinnamon rolls or toad in the hole or maybe a quiche Lorraine. I’d like to come up with an easy buffet of a lunch so we can eat as we please with little fuss. Nothing is coming to me.

  56. Megan Gordon says:

    What a generous, generous review of the book Alana and I’m so, so pleased and honored that you’re cooking from it and it’s finding a place on your shelves. Thank you so much for the tribute and kind words; I giggled because we do the same thing at our house Christmas morning … this year, my sister who finished culinary school a few years ago decided to start the conversation early and we’ve given the whole sha’bang to her, so baked eggs florentine it is! Happy Friday and Merry Christmas. xox

  57. Kristen says:

    Our Christmas morning tradition sounds so boring, but it is so delicious and satisfying for some reason! Buttered English muffins and sausages. That’s it. Of course, you’re allowed a few links extra from the normal limit. Maybe it’s that decadence that makes it special. Or the breakfast sausages we get from a local famous store, Pekarski’s. We look forward to it all year. Can’t imagine it tasting as good on any other day.

  58. Stephanie says:

    As Hanukkah celebrators, Christmas morning is a wonderfully quiet, slow time. Because it’s a rare time when I’m off for a few days in a row, though, I will hopefully have made cinnamon rolls the day before, will have woken up to take out the dog and set them on the counter for another rise, and we’ll all get delicious cinnamon rolls for breakfast!

    The oatmeal bake looks wonderful, and I would absolutely love this book!

  59. Michael Schneider says:

    But then Chinese food later, right?

    I mean, we Chanukah celebrators can’t skip our December 25 Chinese food–it would be a hardship for the Chinese restaurant owners.

    ~MS

  60. Melissa says:

    Hmmm….here is my dream breakfast for Xmas morning: eggs florentine or benedict (maybe both?!), with German pumpkin seed bread (Kürbiskernbrot) – it’s to die for! I’ve never found it in the States, but you can get it at any market in Berlin. Fresh fruit. Coffee. And some chocolate.

  61. Jess says:

    I wanted to share my mom’s Christmas morning tradition before there was an incentive, just because I love it so much.

    Being a clever lady, my mom decided early on in her motherhood that she absolutely did not want a stressful Christmas or to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, because she also wanted to relax and be with us opening presents and enjoying the holiday. So she decided first of all to have Christmas dinner on Christmas eve, and second of all to embrace our Scandinavian heritage and have smorgasbord on Christmas day. So when we would wake up on Christmas morning, we would have cardamom bread (which is essentially challah with cardamom in it) toasted with cinnamon butter, or just on its own, and tangerines and nuts from our stockings. Over the course of the morning, she’d bring out more and more small dishes of things–havarti with dill, gouda, aged cheddar, smoked oysters and pickled herring, olives, carrots, radishes, crackers, some sliced ham left over from dinner the night before, spicy dilly beans, bread and butter pickles, and a block of cream cheese slathered in Pickapeppa sauce to be spread on melba toast.

    The other two “holiday”/special occasion breakfasts my mom had were pancake cake (which is a stack of pancakes layered with your favorite jam), which we had for our birthdays every year, and “ungspankaka”, a Swedish “oven pancake” which is mostly just eggs, flour, and milk baked in the oven and drenched with maple syrup, and which would also be such a great Christmas breakfast that I think that’s what I’ll have this year, along with my cardamom bread.

  62. Chrystal says:

    We make breakfast casserole. I put it together the night before and slip it in the oven when we get up. By the time the presents are opened the casserole is ready to eat.

  63. missfrizzly says:

    We really like bagels with lox, cream cheese and onions for special breakfasts. We celebrate Hanukkah but I am off on Xmas so may have time to make something special like the cinnamon rolls that everyone keeps mentioning! Would love to win a copy of this book!

  64. Joan Sussman says:

    Well our traditions varies but we try to make it special since we don’t celebrate Christmas & when our son was young he missed that his friends were busy with their families so if were in The Berkshires we made a hardy breakfast of pecan sticky buns or waffles or challah french toast or whole-grain hazelnut pancakes then hit the slopes before everyone else.
    If we were in NYC we would have dim sum then look at store windows on Fifth Ave. We’re here this year so I’m contemplating making pecan sticky buns which I haven’t made in years or maybe ginger scones with hot cocoa & sit by the fire. Then catch a movie & have Chinese food which is a TRADITION.

  65. No tradition here, but hubby frequently makes french toast and bacon for us. Sometimes I’ve made a pull-apart sweet roll of some kind. This year the plan is a casserole with bread, eggs and sausage and maybe a fruit salad. I was tempted to do a make ahead french toast casserole, but I’m carefully watching the sugar levels this year, so the egg casserole seemed a safer bet for me.

    YOUR cookbook is one of the ones I sit and read whenever….it’s like a good friend. But I would love to win the giveaway book! Thanks for the chance. Have a lovely holiday, Alana and family.

    • Manal says:

      I am a single mom of two. I am doing my best to proidve for my kids. I do not make enough money to give them a christmas. This year is mine and my childrens first christmas by ourselves . i would really like for them to have a good one.Thank you

  66. annette says:

    I’ve been stuck on mini-chocolate-chip pancakes for a few years, simply because my kids request them. I usually do a fabulous fruit smoothie, made festively red by raspberries and/or cranberries, and since it’s a holiday we might dollop some whipped cream on top…. That baked oatmeal does look delicious, though. This new book might just help get me through the dregs of winter!

  67. Kelly says:

    Christmas morning will be with the in-laws this year. The tradition is died scones.

    My husband asked that tomorrow morning I start a tradition for our nuclear family as it is our daughter’s first Christmas. I will be making bread pudding out if a walnut boule.

  68. Kelly says:

    Fried scones! What a typo…

  69. Kristie says:

    I’m making these whole grain oat nut pancakes:

    http://darkredcrema.com/2010/02/whole-grain-oat-nut-pancakes/

    I’m not a big fan of traditional pancakes (too much white flour and sugar and they never keep me full!), but I love making these for guests. My husband requested I make them for his family for Christmas breakfast, and because we’re traveling to see them, we pre-made 5 batches of mix (the dry ingredients). We’ll serve them with maple syrup produced by my husband’s uncle, plain greek yogurt, and fruit.

    I’ve been eying Megan’s book and look forward to its release!

  70. Ashley says:

    My family has always made whole-grain waffles for Xmas morning–a variety of kinds over the years. This cookbook would help us expand our repertoire!

  71. Julie says:

    I don’t know either! That is my task this weekend. Something sweet and something savory. Usually bacon is somewhere on the menu!

  72. golden ginger scones with sausages and eggs. my mom is english.

  73. Natalie says:

    I usually make a overnight casserole but this year we will be traveling. The islands have wonderful fresh fruit!

  74. Krista says:

    My mother always made a Swedish dried fruit soup for Christmas breakfast. We ate it with her braided cardamom loaf. It was/is to die for. I find it quite difficult to eat cardamom now at any other time of year!

  75. Elyse says:

    On Christmas morning we always make a quiche lorraine and a fantastic spinach and feta quiche with cheddar on top. This year we’ll have fresh OJ to go with it!

  76. Kelly Bancroft says:

    We always had waffles.. My parent’s have a waffle iron that was probably from the 1950s with tiny little squares. I plan on making waffles and adding ground pecans to the mix for a little substance and flavor.

  77. Ingrid says:

    I love to bake and I especially love to bake for breakfast, so I couldn’t choose just one dish to have as a Christmas tradition because there are always new and exciting things to create. I’m still trying to figure out what I’ll make this year on Christmas morning. Biscuits with jam? Banana pancakes? Something cinnamon-y? I’ll probably still be trying to decide on the 24th. Thanks for posting the banana oatmeal recipe. It looks great and I can’t wait to try it!

  78. Julie says:

    I’m still working on tradition…though my oldest is 7 and youngest is 2. We all love ginger muffins (Orangette/Miriam Cunningham) so I am going to make them in the hopes that they will keep tummies from getting too rumbly with all of the chocolate and cookie eating that happens first thing every Christmas morn.
    Thanks for the chance to win! Happy Holidays, y’all!

  79. NM says:

    Some very nice ideas in the comments. We have different things. A baked oven pancake with apple or sour cherry topping is a favorite festive breakfast, especially with homemade tofu bacon. But am leaning away from sugar these days, so I might make a quiche, instead, the day before. Or an omelet, filled with sauteed potatoes, peppers and onions, or scrambled eggs, with fried mushrooms and tofu bacon. Fried mushrooms — sliced, dredged in whole wheat flour, and fried crisp in pounds of butter, with plenty of salt and pepper — is another of our favorite breakfast treats. If anyone wants to make it, be sure not to overcrowd the pan; they refuse to get crisp if piled up on each other. And use a heavy pan, like cast iron.
    The book sounds wonderful.

  80. Rebecca says:

    We have a new little man in our lives this year (he’s 12 weeks today!) so my usual month of careful holiday planning and preparing is a bit off kilter. This year for Christmas morning, I’ll be baking a sort of banana bread that I’ve been making all fall. In fact, it’s the first thing I made after having baby boy and its been calling me back to the kitchen for months now. It’s a riff on a shiksa in the kitchen banana-yogurt bread and the ingredient list quite similar to your oatmeal recipe above. Basically I double the required amount of bananas, double the spices, cut the sugar to almost nothing, add in some honey, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, toasted walnuts, ground flax seeds, homemade Vermont applesauce, and whatever else I have on hand that looks good, mix it all into the basic recipe and toss it into the oven. Makes the house smell like heaven and the bread doesn’t last more than 2 days in our house. It’s the perfect thing to sneak a slice of every time anyone happens to breeze through the kitchen and is fantastic under the broiler for a few minutes with a thick smear of pastured butter. I’m thinking of adding some oats to the Christmas morning version – maybe soaked in coconut milk. Love all the comments to this post with yummy ideas and so looking forward to seeing the book!

  81. Sarah says:

    This book is going on my wish list. My daughter has celiac disease and I’ve been looking for alternatives to the Chex that seem to be multiplying in our cabinet. I know that not all the recipes here will fit our diet, but they look so inspiring. Thank you.

  82. Hannah M. says:

    As Jews, christmas morning isn’t really a thing for my family, but with the holiday we do have the extra time for something a little special anyways-pancakes, maybe, or bagels and lox :)

  83. Allison says:

    We make kitty buns, which are a Swedish cardamom bin shaped like a cat’s face.

  84. Celia says:

    I don’t have set plans for this year. It’s our first year we haven’t traveled to visit family, so other than remembering my mom’s orange sticky rolls from when I was a kid I’ve got nothing. Usually Christmas Day for us started with coffee and rolls, then progressed with a fairly typical Swedish spread of meats, cheeses, pickled herring,… and a fair amount of adult beverages.

    I’m trying to decide between a baked oatmeal with pears and rosemary (from Not Without Salt, maybe? I forget. I have it committed to memory now, it’s so good… topped with nuts, etc.) and a grain-free lussekatter recipe. Not because the latter is grain-free, but because it’s the best gluten-free recipe for them that I’ve found. And always coffee. Lots of strong coffee. My kids will be up before the sun, after all. :)

  85. Heather says:

    My kids and husband aren’t huge breakfast people, so we will have some kind of bread. I am thinking about making poticza, but I still hasn’t made up my mind.

  86. Leah says:

    Trying to convince my parents to let me cook this year! A roasted vegetable galette with goat cheese, pumpkin bread, and salad.

  87. charj says:

    We didn’t have a Christmas morning tradition; but the next morning my Mom would make grits and gravy using the leftover turkey.

  88. Jennifer says:

    That looks delicious.
    Our Christmas is very much a ritual:
    coffee with Santa gifts and stockings….
    Then we pause for my mom’s homemade pecan cinnamon rolls and sausage rolls that a friend makes and generously delivers every christmas eve.
    wrapped gifts with more coffee…
    Then we bake a Goat cheese and Artichoke (no smoked ham) Strata from an old bon Appetit. All decadent and heavenly!!! but we only have it once a year and always look forward to each part. (The Strata recipe is on Epicurious and is great because it can be made ahead or even frozen, I use half and half instead of cream and whatever milk I have on hand)

  89. Jennifer Geisinger says:

    Usually just bleary eyed coffee and Christmas cookies and whatever orange or chocolate Santa has blessed my kids with for breakfast, but lasagna I’ve made ahead is cooking while we open presents and afterward everyone has to bring all their loot out to their cars and we set out a potluck lunch and cram everyone at the table. Good times.

  90. margo says:

    Overnight French toast casserole! I like to have it prepared the night before so all I need to do in the morning is bake it.

  91. Hmm…Usually, but not always we have waffles made with corn meal served with warmed blueberries in maple syrup or jam. Sometimes lox and muffins and eggs. But, Jonathan makes great waffles, and they are mostly what we have. Pannetone is usually our mid-morning coffee. But lately, our 16 year old cook has been making varieties of oatmeal with fruit and spices. I think we may have this recipe for breakfast this year. Printing it out now. xoo Happy Holidays to you and yours! S

  92. Erin Anderson says:

    Christmas morning breakfast at my house the past few years has been an egg casserole with cheese, spinach, and ham and Heidi swanson’s baked oatmeal. If I get industrious enough today or tomorrow morning, I will also make a Swedish cardamom coffee bread from the cookbook Swedish cakes and cookies.

  93. Bianca says:

    We always have my mom’s pumpkin bread with pecans and raisins, cream cheese, and clementine oranges on Christmas morning. This year, due to travel and other circumstances, we’ll open presents the afternoon of the 26th, but we’re still having pumpkin bread – it just wouldn’t be right any other way. (I love baked oatmeal – it’s a great breakfast for my hungry toddler too)

  94. Cynthia Holt says:

    I’m with you. I have no clue what to make for breakfast. We travel to New Jersey right after we open gifts and get dressed, so it has to be easy, with a very easy clean up. I’m thinking I may make sweet potato muffins, but we shall see…

  95. Laura says:

    I will probably get up and eat some cookies for “First Breakfast” (ala Frodo Baggins.) My daughters have requested their daddy make crepes with Nutella filling. So if we’re lucky, that will be “Second Breakfast.”

    The cookbook looks inspiring, would love to try it!

  96. Pierogies were always the standard Christmas meal, and they make great leftovers for Christmas Day breakfast. Now that I live with my husband and we’re making new traditions, we try and make something that we normally wouldn’t – last year was biscuits and gravy, this year is french toast.

  97. Dani says:

    We make overnight French Toast very year for Christmas morning. I’m a big fan of it, because Christmas morning with 4 children is crazy enough without trying to to cook anything too complicated in the middle of all the wrapping paper. Now it’s so entrenched with Christmas memories, there would be a mutiny if I tried to change it up. I’m always looking for new ideas for every other morning, though. Breakfast is typically our most boring meal by far.

  98. melissa says:

    oh I love breakfast so much and this book would make me incredibly happy. This year I am making a family favorite called oven omelet. It has eggs, sour cream, cream cheese, regular cheese, green chilis and olives. Oh yum. Its kindof heavenly. My sis in law is making baked french toast. I can not even wait.
    Merry Christmas!

  99. Lisa says:

    French toast made from challah bread and eggnog from a local creamery.

  100. Monica says:

    The book sounds wonderful! We usually have something with cranberries: either my family’s traditional cranberry bread, or a cranberry coffee cake from smittenkitchen, or maybe this year it will be cranberry-orange sweet rolls also on smittenkitchen recently. I can’t wait!

  101. Shawn says:

    Tommorow morning will see me rushing out of the house at 7 am to drive 4.5 hours to visit my boyfriend’s family. While I wish there was going to be a special holiday breakfast to partake in, we will most likely take a freshly made smoothe with us in to-go cups. Maybe there might also be a stop down the road for a fast-food breakfast biscuit, assuming we find a place open…

  102. Pat says:

    I’m going to give this recipe a try and serve baked oatmeal for our Xmas breakfast tomorrow! It looks delicious. I was going to make a breakfast casserole but that fell through.

  103. Michelle says:

    This oatmeal looks delicious! Our Christmas morning tradition is cinnamon rolls. Not from scratch, but since I’ve pinned so many recipes to make them from scratch on Pinterest I should make it a point to try to make them from scratch next year!

  104. Carolsue says:

    This recipe looks amazing! I love the bananas on top!
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  105. Susan says:

    We often have this recipe from Susan Branch http://www.susanbranch.com/christmas-coffee-cake/, but we also have had cinnamon rolls (from a recipe in the local paper, that doesn’t require getting up at 2 am) or chocolate chunk and dried cherry scones.
    I think when I was little Sticky Buns might have made an occasional appearance at Christmas. This book looks really interesting and I will definitely check it out! (for some reason I don’t like hot bananas…could you mash them, so the result is more like banana bread?? Or substitute apples or other fruit??)
    Hope you and yours have the best of holidays and a joyous New Year!

  106. Kim McCallie says:

    Our Christmas morning routine includes coffee and whatever Christmas goodies were left over from the Eve festivities.

  107. Beka says:

    No strong traditions here … we’re always traveling to relatives on Christmas morning! But French pressed coffee by the Christmas tree is a non-negotiable. As our family grows up and the relatives start coming to us (when we have a house), I’m thinking poached eggs, hash and sweet rolls. ;)

  108. Michelle Stahnke says:

    l did an egg casserole with green chilis, pepper jack and salsa. Served with a side of fresh fruit, it was simple and tasty!

  109. Jeanne says:

    My favorite breakfast is a fruit parfait from cooking light magazine. Fruit, yogurt and granola is always a bit at my house. Jeanne

  110. Rebecca BP says:

    Cranberry cinnamon rolls, but I’m still looking for our tradition too. This was the first time I made these and while I did like them I don’t think they’re going to be the winner. Maybe I can find something I my new cookbook. ;)

  111. Kris says:

    This was the first Christmas of my adult life I didn’t make cherry streussel coffee cake (AKA Christmas coffee cake in my family). This was an off year for a lot of holiday things around my house.

  112. Rebecca says:

    Alana, what did you end up having?

    • alana says:

      Cinnamon Buns! I made Heidi Swanson’s cardamom cinnamon rolls and they were pretty perfect. That, and pomegranate strawberry smoothies, clementines, and nuts from stockings. A perfectly well-rounded meal :)

  113. Jenny C says:

    We made – and have made for about 8 years in a row now – baked french toast. Traditional preparation (milk & egg, soak the bread overnight, we use challah). Then lay on cookie sheets in the morning and bake. No slaving over the skillet and worrying about whether the egg is cooked in the middle. Serve with syrup, fresh fruit salad, jams/compote, etc. Some years we also make baked eggs – put some chopped tomato in a small ramekin, plus herbs, maybe diced ham; top with an egg and then bake until set. Like a poached egg but with yummies added!

  114. alwayshungry says:

    Swedish pancakes. No use fighting it. Every Christmas so long as my sister is around.

  115. Pingback: Pomegranate Parfaits with Popped Amaranth, Pistachios & Almond Cream | thelittleloaf

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