A Breakfast Casserole and An Ode to Holiday Gorging

Christmas is over and I’m rolling myself out of bed and out the door every morning to get to work (begrudgingly of course). Is it normal for one’s clothes to be THIS tight after the holidays?! As in, the band of my skirt is cutting off blood flow to my lower extremities unless I hike that baby up to indecent heights? Hmmm….

It may have something to do with this:

Christmas dinner at my sister and brother-in-law's - green beans, roasted carrots, beets, ham, turkey, stuffing, sweet potato casserole and mac 'n cheese.

Christmas dinner at my sister and brother-in-law’s – green beans, roasted carrots, beets, ham, turkey, stuffing, sweet potato casserole and mac ‘n cheese.

or this:

Christmas morning Chinese breakfast with the in-laws - congee, Chinese donuts, soya sauce chow main, beef with rice noodles, fried rice noodle rolls, sticky rice and pork dumplings.

Christmas morning Chinese breakfast with the in-laws – congee, Chinese donuts, soya sauce chow main, beef with rice noodles, fried rice noodle rolls, sticky rice and pork dumplings.

and most definitely this:

The spread for my annual day of baking.

The spread for my annual day of baking.

These aren’t even all the deliciously decadent and fattening meals I’ve enjoyed since I started holiday feasting on December 21st. I’m still over indulging. That’s what January is for, right? The time when earnest, well-meaning and often short-lived determination to start exercising and dieting sets in. Psssshhhhh (that’s my sound for disbelief and disgust). As IF that’s going to happen for me.

To make up for my holiday-induced hiatus this past week, I figured I’d share with you a few items I made for my Annual Day of Baking held on Boxing Day. For non-Canadians, this falls every year on December 26th, which is our version of America’s Black Friday (except without the fear for loss of life or limb). I don’t think I’ve gone Boxing Day shopping in at least 5 years. Why should I when the sales start in mid-October and last until the end of January? Plus, if it’s anything other than clothes you’re after, there’s something called the Internet. Check it out – you can actually (gasp) buy things on it from the comfort of your own home. It’s a Christmas miracle!

Ok, I’m being unnecessarily snarky here. There are many many insane people who head out on Boxing Day to snag good deals. Me? I stay home where it’s cosy, blast Christmas music and bake sweet treats for all of my friends.

On the menu:

The fabulous copycat Cranberry Bliss Bars from Averie Cooks that I made in November. This time they looked way better than my first attempt.

The amazing molasses chocolate ginger cookies that I previously made from Averie’s recipe.

This is an old photo.  Sorry, I didn't take a new one - I'm a busy woman up in here!

This is an old photo. Sorry, I didn’t take a new one – I’m a busy woman up in here!

Easy peasy rolls filled with Nutella:
and peanut butter and chocolate chips:

Beauty shot

Beauty shot

I got this idea from Averie Cooks of course – this woman is a domestic goddess! She made them recently with Pillsbury crescent rolls, Nutella, cinnamon and a vanilla glaze – see here for her post.
I used Pillsbury crescent roll dough, rolled it out on my counter, slathered as much peanut butter as I wanted, sprinkled it with chocolate chips and cut the dough into strips 2 inches wide. Rolled them up, placed them in a buttered dish and baked for about 15 minutes in a 350 degree F oven. So easy, soooooo good.

For something savoury so that people wouldn’t overdose on sugar, I made a breakfast casserole based on this recipe from Savory Sweet Life.

Breakfast Casserole
The beauty about this recipe is that it’s totally adaptable, you prep it the night before and simply pop it into the oven the morning.

1 package of mild sausage (I was afraid I didn’t have enough so I added the meat from two pork sausages)
1/2 onion, chopped
frozen tater tots (enough to cover the bottom of your casserole)
1 loaf of French bread, cut into 2 inch cubes
3 cups of grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
8 eggs
1 cup heavy or whipping cream
1 1/2 cups of milk
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

In a medium skillet, brown the onion. Add the sausage and cook until the sausage is no longer pink. Grease a 9×13 casserole dish. Cover the bottom of the casserole dish with an even layer of tater tots, followed next by a layer of bread cubes. Spoon the sausage and onion over the bread and cover with an even layer of cheese.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, milk, mustard, salt and pepper. Drizzle the egg mixture over the top of the casserole. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, remove the casserole from the refrigerator and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. When the oven is ready, remove the plastic wrap and bake for 1 hour.
This casserole was crazy good. Of course, Alice Currah is a genius in the kitchen so I had no doubt that it would be. I didn’t take any pictures of what it looked like inside because it was immediately attacked by my friends like a swarm of locusts. I don’t blame them – only a person without taste buds could resist this dish. It’s layer upon heavenly heart-clogging layer of fatty, carby, meaty goodness, smothered in a crapload of melted cheese, and bound together by a savoury, eggy custard.

There’s one more recipe I want to share from my baking day but that’ll just have to wait for another post.

I hope that your holidays have been as delicious as mine have been!

23 thoughts on “A Breakfast Casserole and An Ode to Holiday Gorging

  1. Oh my gawd girl!! You’ve certainly been busy in the kitchen and eating!!! 🙂 I LOVE it!! Maybe I will try the Cranberry Bliss Bars. . they look so good! wow! Everything looks so good!! I think I gained 5 lbs just by reading this post! 🙂 LOVE it. 🙂

    • Lol, can you also take the 5 pounds that I’ve physically gained? I’d totally appreciate it 😉 You should definitely try the bliss bars – it’s the second time I’ve made it this holiday season. My sister in law is in love with the recipe – I’ve lost count of how many times she’s made it. It’s DE-LIC-IOUS! You’re a fellow follower of Averie so you know she can do no wrong in the kitchen. You were no slouch over the holidays either – I can’t believe the crazy good food you were cranking out in Texas over your vacay. Welcome back!

    • Thanks, Brandi! I try and outdo myself every year with the day of baking. I actually wanted to make 6 dishes but could only handle 5. I’m weak – I need to step it up next year! 😉 And you telling me that I made you laugh is the best compliment I can receive. Enjoy the rest of 2012 and here’s to another wonderful food-filled year!

    • Lol, I know! Tater tots make everything better! I unfortunately can’t take any credit – it’s the recipe of the brilliant Alice Currah of Savory Sweet Life. But I give kudos to myself for making it 😉 The Chinese breakfast is a tradition with the in-laws – I look forward to it as much as I do the traditional western meal of turkey.

  2. I’m honored to have the Cranberry Bliss Bars, the cookies, AND the Nutella rolls all in one post – well, I also wish I was eating at your house with all this food in one place because you made three of my very fave recipes – all in short order. Oh yum 🙂 Have a wonderful 2013 and keep me posted when you try other things, too!

    • I’ve been obsessed with your blog lately, Averie, but for good reason – you make the most insanely delicious things! I want to devour every single item you feature. Thanks for being such a fabulous source of recipes, inspiration and lovely, entertaining blog posts. I’ll definitely be baking more of your recipes and will definitely keep you updated.

  3. I had a similar christmas eve dinner, but if I had to have that chinese breakfast the next morning I don´t think I could´ve made it out the door in one piece! So much good food. And your table full of goodies, wow Nancy, it´s mind blowing. And you work all day! It´s been so great knowing you this year, let´s toast for an even better 2013!

    • I know! I stuffed my face on the evening of the 24th and literally woke up next morning just to stuff it again. Ahhh, I love the holidays! Thanks so much, Paula. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you too – your blog is one of my favourites! I’m so thankful for #SundaySupper and to all of of you. Here’s to a delicious 2013!

  4. …and now MY pants are tight ;P (as if they weren’t already…). Seriously, I laughed so hard, because I saw the first picture and thought “oh, that’s not so bad”…and then the second picture was sheer indulgence! And the third. I love it! Hey, these meals only come a couple of times a year, may as well enjoy. Wishing you a very happy new year, Nancy 🙂

  5. Perfect holiday breakfast casserole…and I’d make it for company any time of year! Love looking at all your wonderful baked goods…mmmmmm….

  6. Your casserole is similar to one my mom always made, but I think that I love the tater tot addition! I’ll be trying yours very soon. I still have college kids at home for a couple more weeks, so it will be eaten (devoured) quickly. Thanks!!

  7. Nutella scrolls or any scrolls are an absolute favourite of mine. As for breakfast casserole I think it’s a brilliant idea. Sausage mince is hard to come by (but I’ve often just squeezed the goey middle out of the casing.) it’s the kinda thing I want to do for a big group of folk at brunch and something I reckon my guy and his blokes friends are going to looove!

    Happy noms for 2013!

  8. Oh my goodness – I can totally relate to the over eating, the tight skirt (and hiking it up to very indecent heights), the copious amounts of foods, and the endless baking! I think we’re soul sisters 😛
    You have just written my life over the past month! haha, it’s totally comforting to know I am not alone in this!! lol Happy New Year to you and your fam! xo

  9. love this dish nancy. Going to make it today for my cousins get together. Used turkey sausage instead just to cut down the guilt.

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