Sunday, December 23, 2007

Day 23: Christmas Eve Casserole

Another recipe is just imperative----- truly. I would have to say that it is one of my longest running holiday traditions and something I make every Christmas Eve for Christmas morning brunch. Fabulous. And delicious! Don’t ask me why but I never make it any other time, which is pretty weird, but perhaps it just solidifies it as WHAT you eat on Christmas Day!

The first time I made this my youngest daughter was enjoying her first Christmas. She as the 'end of the road' child was super special on so many counts. First of all perhaps because she grew in my heart and not my body, she joined our family from Korea as this perfect, tiny, always squalling little person with a head full of thick black hair that stuck up all over her head like Don King. Every one of my noble attempts to slick her hair down, or put it in tiny barrettes fell short of the mark and her hair just did its’ own thing. She had (and has) the attitude to match so it was all good! I’d gone to one of the pricier grocery store in town, at that time in life it wasn’t the store that I did the majority of the family food shopping at but surely did enjoy popping in for specialty items and just to look at all of the goodies. They had, as many of the higher end stores still do, a tv show kitchen and a staff of home economists who created all manner of culinary delights. Christmas Eve casserole was such a dish but one they made for purchase and didn't necessarily give you the recipe for. This was a 'begged for' recipe. I remember making it that first Christmas Eve with my precious baby sleeping like an angel and knowing that the night would be a short one as the older siblings would have the house awake at o’dark’thirty to check and see what Santa brought them. Getting up the next morning I preheated the oven while coffee was brewing and I could slip away and put the casserole in the oven and know that when the gifts had been opened, brunch was ready. The kids have all asked for the recipe and make it for themselves on Christmas Day if they are not home for the holidays. Bless their hearts they always say it never tastes as good as when the family enjoyed it together. I agree with all my heart! We won't have full crew on board this Christmas Day but somehow it will taste great knowing that this delight will be enjoyed in two households on the U.S. mainland, each sending hugs over the miles and toasting each other with love and laughter.

Christmas Eve Casserole aka Jenny’s Eggs

  • 6 cups (generally one large bag) frozen hash browns, thawed
  • 3 cups sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 2 cups milk
  • 16 ounces bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 10 eggs, well beaten with the milk
  • 2 packages of broccoli florets cooked and drained
  • 1 package of fresh mushrooms, sliced (I use Baby Bellas)
  • 2 packages of Knorr (or good quality) hollandaise sauce mix
  • 3 teaspoons of lemon juice

In a greased or sprayed 13x9 pan layer the potatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, bacon and cheese. Pour over the milk/egg mixture.

Bake, covered with foil for ½ hour in a 350 degree preheated oven

Uncover and bake for another 30-40 minutes

In the last ten minutes of cooking, prepare the packaged hollandaise sauce adding the lemon juice

Cut into squares and serve with the hollandaise sauce.

You can make this the night before, or the day of--- just adjust the cooking time a bit upward if preparing from a refrigerated cold state.

I’m telling you, this is just amazingly wonderfully ho ho ho good.

Of course, we serve this with Orange Biscuits and a variety of juices.


A GREAT Saturday before Christmas was enjoyed at my house yesterday! My son and I sat and watched a movie (his choice) while I knitted a bit on my hat. It’s over halfway done and I think I must have had a brain freeze because somehow I had to get more yarn. The beauty of that plan was that a run into my LYS, Knitorious was in order. Thanks Rachel for reminding me about the big sale after Christmas. Not that I needed the reminder you know!

We all went out for the yarn expedition and did a bit of afternoon bummin’. Lunch was enjoyed at Fitz’s, St. Louis’ extraordinary stop for burgers and root beer right across from Blueberry Hill. My son bought his girlfriend a fabulous piece of jewelry (a necklace if you must know) from a gallery in the Loop. It was by a local artist and really and truly great, she will love it! I don't think Miss Thang reads the blog (yet, she's a somewhat new girlfriend) but just in case I won't give you a photo or more details. Then it was time to stop by Starbucks for my beloved Venti Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha. A last minute stop just before getting home took us to Gringo Jones and The Bug Store, local favorites for eclectic and really fun merchandise.

It’s Christmas Eve Eve Blitters! Finish up your loose ends (and maybe pick up the makings for Orange Biscuits and Christmas Eve Casserole while your out buying the necessities) so you are ready to relax and enjoy.

After all, the day will come whether you are ready or not so you might as well get ready to sink into the spirit of the season and smile.


Oh----- the Gingerbread Martini? Seriously good. Getting back into the fitness groove is just going to deeply and profoundly suck.

1 comment:

Jenni said...

What a sweet story about your daughter, her first Christmas brunch food, and her wild hair...