No brunch menu is complete without a cheesy grits casserole. The perfect recipe for your Christmas morning breakfast!
So far, my plan has worked.
Remember how I said I was lowering expectations this holiday season in hopes it would lessen the pressure? This Thanksgiving was one of our better holidays of late. Instead of frantically trying to rush around to three or four different family dinners all on Thursday, we opted for take-out barbecue one afternoon, a brunch one morning and only one "turkey day" meal. I'm neither overstuffed, nor overstressed. It's an early holiday miracle.
The brunch was especially eye-opening. We often think of brunch on Christmas Day, but doing one on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving was new for us. I admit I started second guessing myself at some point and wondered if we were short changing the opportunity to enjoy copious amounts of turkey, dressing and all the goodies that accompany the day.
But when I started thinking about how little my kids actually ate last Thanksgiving (they aren't fans of most Thanksgiving dishes), how much they love breakfast foods and then realized that all the "extra" cooking I had to do in advance was make this loaf of gluten free pumpkin bread (thanks Pamela's for the flour sample and for the recipe)...
.., I knew it was going to be a good day. I did wash some fruit, scramble some eggs and cook some bacon in the oven. Plus, my mom made a hash brown casserole, so it wasn't like we underfed anyone. But compared to years past, it was a low-stress event that left us all more time to visit and less time prepping, serving, cleaning up and most importantly, fewer thoughts of "why did I go to all that trouble and have THIS much food leftover."
It may seem odd for a food blog to encourage you to cook less at the holidays. But if you're like me and tired of "too much" to do, cook, pack, transport and clean up, and you crave more time visiting with family and friends, then maybe brunch is the answer.
To get you started menu planning, here's a classic brunch favorite from my days over at The Professional Palate Blog -- Lightened Cheddar Grits Casserole. Whatever meals you plan this holiday season, I hope they're as stress-free as they are tasty. Enjoy!
Lightened Cheddar Grits Casserole
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
- 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine water and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; gradually whisk in butter and grits. Reduce heat, and simmer, whisking frequently, 5 minutes or until grits are done. Remove from heat.
- Whisk in yogurt, dill, black pepper and egg. Pour into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with grated cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until mixture is set. Serve warm.