By Katie Crenshaw
Food makes the holidays special! Getting together for elaborate lunches and dinners can be fun, but don’t forget it’s possible to entertain family and friends over a breakfast or brunch. During “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” whether you are having company over or keeping it simple and staying home, indulge in these recipes which will make your holiday get-togethers all the more memorable.
Strawberry-Stuffed Cinnamon Toast Roll-Ups
They say, “Cinnamon and spice make everything nice,” and that holds true for these decadent roll-ups. With a crunchy, buttery, cinnamon and sugar crust and gooey strawberry and cream cheese filling, what’s not to love? The best part? You can eat these with your fingers!
20white bread slices
8 ounces cream cheese
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups strawberries, diced small
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
¼ cup melted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut crust off of each slice of bread.
Flatten each slice of bread with a rolling pin.
In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
In another bowl combine sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
Spread cream cheese mixture evenly on each slice of bread.
Sprinkle strawberries along the bottom of each piece of bread.
Roll bread up tightly starting with the strawberry end. Cream cheese filling will keep it sealed.
Brush melted butter on the entire outside of each roll.
Dip and roll each roll-up into the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until a golden brown. Serve.
*Note: You can make these ahead and freeze them. Cook roll-ups according to directions. Once cooled, align them on a cookie sheet and freeze. Once frozen, store in a sealed, airtight container. Reheat roll-ups in oven at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, or until completely warm.
Jalapeño Cheese Grits
Here in the South, grits are a breakfast staple. Some cook grits in a little bacon grease while others like them sopping in melted butter. This recipe has a little butter and A LOT of cheese. Jalapeños offer a heated kick to your taste buds.
4 cups water
1 cup Quaker Quick Grits
8ounces cream cheese
1teaspoon crushed garlic
¼ cup melted butter
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup jalapeño, finely chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large pot, heat water to a boil and add salt. Slowly pour grits into boiling water. Cook for five minutes, stirring continuously while cooking. Remove from heat.
Stir in butter, cream cheese and ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese. Mix until melted.
Add eggs, garlic, cayenne pepper and mix.
Pour grits into a greased 8×8 casserole dish.
Sprinkle remaining shredded cheddar cheese over top of grits.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven. Let it rest 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
Black Forest Ham, Egg & Cheese Cups
This is an egg recipe worth waking up for! Black Forest Ham creates a smoky, salty and crispy crust for the creamy, cheesy egg filling. Chives and roasted red pepper enliven egg cups with color and flavor. This simple recipe is perfect for entertaining.
4 ounces cream cheese
¼ cup whole milk
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup chives
½ cup roasted red pepper, finely diced
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
12 slices Black Forest Ham
Preheat oven for 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, milk and cream cheese. Add in salt and pepper and mix.
Mix in red peppers and chives.
Lightly grease muffin pan. Insert a slice of ham in each muffin cup and gently press down in the middle until a cup shape forms. Be careful not to tear. Make sure there are no gaps or holes.
Evenly distribute cheese in each of the ham cups.
Using a scoop or measuring cup, evenly distribute egg mixture in each of the ham cups.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until cooked. Serve.
Make Ahead Raspberry French Toast
Challah is a braided egg bread traditionally baked to celebrate the Jewish Sabbath. Its slightly sweet and mildly decadent flavor of the bread also makes the most delectable French toast. Everyone is sure to love this crowd pleaser. Assembling this dish the night before saves time in the morning.
16ounces Challah, cubed
8ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces
3 cups half and half
¼ cup melted butter
1/3cup real maple syrup
2 cups fresh raspberries
110-ounce jar of raspberry preserves
Arrange half of cubed bread in a lightly greased 13×9 casserole dish.
Sprinkle cream cheese pieces evenly over bread.
Top with remaining bread.
Whisk together eggs, butter, half and half and maple syrup.
Pour over bread, pressing bread cubes to absorb egg mixture.
Cover and chill eight hours.
Bake covered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Bake an additional 30 minutes uncovered.
Heat raspberry preserves in a saucepan over low heat until completely melted.
Top French toast casserole with raspberries.
Drizzle raspberry preserves over the French toast casserole. Serve.
*Note: You can substitute French bread for Challah bread.
It is said, “Cooking is love made edible.” I hope you have a wonderful holiday season filled with amazing food and endearing moments. If you enjoyed these recipes, check out my blog, A Fork’s Tale: A Love Story of Food & Travel, at www.aforkstale.com.