We open our presents on Christmas morning. This is a departure from when I was growing up. My family opened their presents on Christmas Eve. However, that changed when I married my husband. His family opened presents on Christmas morning, so that’s when do the gift exchange now. (However, when my mother was still alive and we lived near her, we’d go to her house on Christmas Eve and open presents).
It’s hard to make the little ones eat breakfast first, then open presents, so I do a make-ahead casserole and pop it into the oven while we open gifts. Here are two of my favorites:
Baked French Toast
- 1 (1 pound) loaf French bread, cut diagonally in 1 inch slices
- 8 eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups half-and-half cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1 1/3 cups brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
- Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish. Arrange the slices of bread in the bottom. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, milk, cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour over bread slices, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
- The next morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar and corn syrup; heat until bubbling. Pour over bread and egg mixture.
- Bake in preheated oven, uncovered, for 40 minutes.
Texas Ranger Baked Eggs
From Mariposa Ranch Bed and Breakfast
1 cup milk
2 tsp sugar
4 oz cream cheese, cut into small pieces
1 lb small-curd cottage cheese
2 cups Monterrey Jack cheese
¼ cup green bell pepper
2/3 cup butter, melted
½ cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
Dash ground mustard
The night before: In a bowl, beat eggs, milk, and sugar together. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Spray a three-quart baking dish with vegetable oil and pour mixture in. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven 350°. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Serves 12.