Welcome to the Christmas morning breakfast we hosted for my mom, brother, sister-in-law, and niece. This is only the second year we've had them over for breakfast and gifts, but I've already grown to love it. I set and arranged the table the night before, making sure everything was just so. I had a lovely centerpiece, a bubble bowl filled to the brim with shiny round ornaments, but it had to be set aside to make room for the meal. My brother, who works at Starbucks, brought a fresh pound of coffee to serve. I had peppermint tea for my mom, who is battling a cold and wicked cough. We had a pretty pitcher full of orange juice too. I heart my Pottery Barn pitcher.
I made my version of Deb at Smitten Kitchen's Boozy Baked French Toast. This time around it took about 1 1/2 loaves of Challah, so it was certainly lucky for me that Josh suggested we get two loaves while standing in the bakery at Central Market. It was a big hit with everyone, and definitely less time consuming than the pancakes I did last year. I think I'll definitely use this recipe next year, maybe with a filling, or different flavorings to keep things fresh. Do you need to freshen up something that happens once a year? I don't know, I guess we'll see. I also made Sweet & Spicy Bacon. I found this recipe on Orangette many moons ago. It is one of the best recipes I could have ever come across. When my brother came by a few weeks before Christmas he asked if we'd have the bacon again this year. He said that his wife considered just asking me to make the bacon again as part of their Christmas gift. We love this bacon too and we rarely eat bacon any other way now. Consider this bacon a gift to everyone this year, ha.
Sweet & Spicy Bacon
Recipe from Gourmet via Orangette
1 ½ Tbs packed light brown sugar
Rounded ¼ tsp cayenne
Rounded ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 lb thick-cut bacon (about 12 slices)
-Position an oven rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
-In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cayenne, and black pepper.
-Arrange the bacon slices in 1 layer—not overlapping—on a foil lined rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan. Bake the bacon for 10 minutes. Turn the slices over, and sprinkle them evenly with the spiced sugar. Continue baking until the bacon is crisp and deep golden, about 15 minutes more. Transfer to paper towels to drain before serving.
*I had a 1.5 lbs of bacon, so I used two batches of the seasoning.
And last, but not least, I served up a little fruit to try and lighten things up a bit. Oh who are we kidding, fruit is the least when compared to the bacon, but we ate it anyway, ha. My niece especially enjoyed the banana and clementine wedges. My brother thought the banana combined with the french toast was stellar. And that pretty much wraps up the tour of our Christmas breakfast. I already can't wait till next year!