Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Make Ahead Holiday Mornings

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While many folks are thinking about what to serve for the holiday dinners coming up, let's not forget about the mornings! Growing up, our Christmas mornings usually consisted of leftovers of our Noche Buena, a feast of dishes served just after midnight mass on Christmas Eve. As much as I loved our Noche Buenas leftovers as a child, I've looked forward to more traditional American breakfast favorites on Christmas morning. Rather than getting up at the crack of dawn to prepare breakfast favorites, I'm all about making things ahead of time so I can sleep in and ease into the day. But the question is, what are some make ahead breakfast options? This is what a reader recently asked that sparked this post. So here are some sweet and savory Make Ahead Holiday Mornings ideas so you can get some extra sleep,  have less stress and enjoy a lot more time with loved ones...

Muffins & Scones make great make ahead pastries because you can bake them up, cool, wrap and freeze ahead of time. To freeze, you can place them in a gallon sized freezer bag or individually wrap each muffin/scone with plastic wrap before placing them in a freezer bag. The night before you plan on serving them, just take them out of the freezer and set them out on the counter to come to room temperature. By morning, they'll be ready as is or a quick warm up in the oven. Aside from the link above, here's an additional 10 Muffin Recipes to Wake Up To...

One of my son's favorite breakfasts is pancakes. The beauty about pancakes is that they can also be made ahead, frozen and heated up quickly to serve up. At our house, I tend to have more pancake batter than I expect when making a recipe so there's always plenty to make and freeze to enjoy later. Have fun jazzing up the batter or including some add-ins like fresh fruit, sweet spices, chopped nuts, or even chocolate. Prepare the pancakes as you normally would and cool completely. You can then transfer the cooled pancakes onto a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze until firm... or stack them with parchment or wax paper in between each pancake before placing them in a freezer bag. You can either toast them in the morning straight out of the freezer or defrost the night. Here are 5 Pancake Recipes for Christmas Morning...


After my son was born, we lived on these burritos every morning. I made a large batch using up a full package of burrito sized tortillas, wrapped each one up in foil and froze. In the mornings, we'd remove the burrito from the foil wrapper, wrap it in a damp paper towel and popped it in the microwave for a few minutes until warm. Heaven in a tortilla! In fact, I should make some more soon because it's been awhile since I've had these. (Which, by the way, are much better than any breakfast burrito from a fast food chain!)

If you don't want to fuss with the oven or stovetop, this recipe is for you. Forget buying those flavored cream cheeses at the store and make it yourself. Chop up fresh, colorful veggies and combine with softened cream cheese, fresh herbs and seasonings for a delicious spread on bagels!


Those fancy, 'gourmet' breakfast sausages can be pricey but did you know you can make them yourself at home for a fraction of the cost? Try these chicken and apple breakfast patties which you can prepare in advance and freeze. They're versatile too in that you can form them into meatballs, crumble in other dishes or just make patties to enjoy for breakfast! Some other sausage ideas include these Spicy Pork Breakfast Sausage Patties,

Consider this monkey bread that you'll go ape for. Packed with fresh chopped apples seasoned with cinnamon sugar and glazed with a brown sugar and butter sauce, who could say no to a piece? This breakfast treat is one you can prep the day (or two) before and bake up as you're getting ready. Paired with a cup of coffee, you're good to go!

These crescent rolls are so easy to prepare and even tastier to fill! As a ham & cheese sandwich lover, it's no surprise that's what I filled these with first. After that went deliciously well, I plan on playing with other savory fillings. Another reason why I love this recipe is that once baked, the rolls freeze beautifully and can be heated in the oven, toaster oven or even the microwave. Once heated up, they're as delicious as they were fresh out of the oven the first time. So if you're looking for a make ahead sandwich that can even be frozen, this is it!

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