Christmas morning is not always as magical as they make it look in the movies, especially if you’re in charge of feeding the early risers after they’ve destroyed your living room. But today I’ve got recipes and tips to at least help alleviate some of the kitchen duties… so you can spend more time putting in batteries, cleaning up wrapping paper, and enjoying your family!
The myth of the magical Christmas morning is an elusive one. But have you ever heard of the brown cow that makes chocolate milk?! Um, yeah… neither have I. And neither had our guest on WIBW this morning, Farm Bureau’s Serita Blankenship. In fact, she says that it’s gross misconceptions like these that motivate Kansas Farm Bureau to help educate the public about all things agriculture! Check out www.kfb.org for more information on how you can take advantage of their great workshops and resources.
As for Christmas Morning, here is my best tip for cooking the perfect make-ahead casserole (because you do NOT want to be cracking eggs all morning while your family is in the other room): pull it out of the refrigerator 30-45 minutes before you’re going to cook it. This will greatly reduce your cooking time!
Make-Ahead Bacon and Hash Brown Egg Bake
1 lb bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped (3/4 cup)
1 package (8 oz) sliced fresh mushrooms
2 Tbs. spicy brown mustard
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup milk
4 cups frozen hash browns, thawed
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp; remove from skillet and reserve.
Drain drippings from skillet, reserving 1-2 tablespoons . Add onion, bell pepper and mushrooms; cook 4-5 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in mustard, salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat milk and eggs together. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray. Spread half of hash browns in baking dish. Spread cooked veggie mixture evenly over hash browns. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the cheese. Spread remaining hash browns over top. Pour egg mixture over all. Cover; refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
Remove casserole from refrigeration and let rest on the cupboard for 30-45 minutes. Preheat oven to 325°F. Uncover casserole and bake 50-55 minutes, or until thermometer inserted in center reads 160°F.
Sprinkle casserole with remaining cup of cheese and the bacon. Bake an additional 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting to serve.
Make Ahead French Toast Bake
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
12 slices Texas Toast bread
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups milk
pure maple syrup, warmed, for serving
Place melted butter over the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 pan; top with 6 slices of bread. Combine brown sugar with cinnamon in a small bowl, then sprinkle half of the brown sugar mixture over bread slices in pan. Add second layer of 6 slices of bread. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs with milk and vanilla; pour this mixture over the casserole, then top with remaining half of brown sugar mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
To bake, remove casserole from refrigeration and let rest on the counter for 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and bake casserole, covered for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, or until casserole is set at the center. Let rest for 5 minutes before cutting to serve.
Now You’re Cookin’,
**This recipe was featured as part of Chef Alli’s Farm Fresh Kitchen on WIBW 13 News, December 2016. Special thanks to the farmers and ranchers of the Kansas Farm Bureau for making this segment possible!