December 6, 2011

Sweet and Savory Christmas Morning Brunch

The Maine House will be celebrating the Christmas season in Hot-Lanta this year with the Divine Miss M, her hubby Jay and baby Luke. Do you remember when you were a child and the sheer happiness that Christmas morning brought? We would run into the living room and just stand there in awe taking in the entire picture before us.....the secretly wrapped packages under the tree, the unwrapped toys from Santa Claus, the twinkling bubble lights on the blue spruce and mother and daddy sipping their second cup of coffee! When was there any other time in your life when the world seemed so magical?

A Maine House Mosaic

The Mori family went to the Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Saturday night so Little Luke could take in the parade and the lighting of the town tree! Miss M said, "through the eyes of a child at Christmas.....simply blissful!"

Luke at the Milton Tree Lighting Ceremony

We plan to have two scrumptious brunch dishes for our Holiday menu....
One Sweet and One Savory!

1 cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1 (2-lb.) package frozen bread roll dough
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

Stir together granulated sugar and 3 tsp. cinnamon. Coat each roll in butter; dredge rolls in sugar mixture. Arrange in a lightly greased 10-inch tube pan; sprinkle with pecans. Cover and chill 8 to 18 hours.
Preheat oven to 325°. Beat whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form; stir in brown sugar and remaining 1 tsp. cinnamon. Pour mixture over dough. Place pan on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 1 hour or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes; invert onto a serving plate, and drizzle with any remaining glaze in pan.

Italian Bread Pudding
5 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
1 (9.5-oz.) package frozen mozzarella-and-Monterey Jack cheese Texas toast, chopped
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
6-8 links of sweet Italian Sausage, cooked and crumbled
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
Garnish: fresh basil leaves

 Whisk together first 6 ingredients until blended. Layer half of Texas toast in a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish; sprinkle with half each of tomatoes, Italian sausage, and cheese. Repeat layers once. Pour egg mixture over toast and cheese. Cover and chill 4 to 24 hours. Preheat oven to 325°. Bake casserole 50 to 55 minutes or until center is set. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Garnish, if desired.

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