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What’s for breakfast on Christmas?

Stacy/Wikimedia Commons

Warm up your tummy with a hot beverage to go along with these caramel pecan sticky rolls.


Christmas morning is usually a busy, if not hectic, time for many families. But even when we are busy, our tummies still clamor for food.

To give us enough energy to keep up with the excitement, it’s a good idea to include breakfast as one of the activities for the day.

December is halfway over at this writing, and my tree has been sitting outside in a bucket of water for a week. I hope you are more organized than I am this time of year.

Enjoy every day, and as usual, stay safe and warm this holiday season and all through the winter.

Healthy veggie and egg bake

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (about 6 medium), peeled and diced

1/2 cup water

1 cup frozen chopped broccoli, thawed

6 green onions, thinly sliced

1 small sweet red pepper, chopped

6 eggs

8 egg whites

1 cup (8-oz.) 1 percent cottage cheese

1 cup (4-oz.) shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup fat-free milk

2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place potatoes and water in a microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for 7 minutes or until tender; drain.

2. Spread potatoes in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with broccoli, onions and red pepper. In a large bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients until blended. Pour over vegetables.

3. Bake, uncovered, for 35 to 40 minutes or until center is set. Makes about 8 servings.

Eggnog muffins

This recipe calls for rum (yum).

1 1/2 cups eggnog

1/2 cup rum

2 eggs

2/3 cup canola oil

4 cups flour

1 1/3 cups sugar

2 tablespoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 350. In large bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Stir in eggnog, rum, eggs and oil; blend well.

2. Fill greased muffin tins about 2/3 full; sprinkle top of batter with a little bit of extra nutmeg, if desired.

3. Bake in preheated oven about 20 minutes or until done. Makes approximately 2 dozen muffins.

Butternut squash, bacon, kale and goat cheese frittata

5 slices bacon, diced

1 shallot, sliced

4 cups (loosely packed) raw kale, hard stems removed

2 cups cooked and cubed butternut squash *see note

8 eggs

3/4 teaspoon salt

Black pepper, to taste

4 ounces goat cheese

*Any hard winter squash, (such as kabocha, acorn, or delicata), cooking pumpkin or sweet potatoes may be substituted. Simply dice and roast the squash in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until tender, then proceed with recipe.

1. Preheat oven to 400. Place the bacon in a cold, heavy bottomed, oven safe pan (cast iron is best), and bring to medium heat. Cook the bacon until it’s just beginning to crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the shallot to the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until it turns translucent and just starting to brown.

Add the kale to the pan with a splash of water, and stir for a few minutes, then place a lid on the pan and let it steam for 2 to 3 minutes, or until tender. Remove the lid and add the cooked squash, then gently stir until the mixture is warmed through.

2. Crack eggs into a medium bowl, add salt and pepper, and whisk until thoroughly blended. Pour the eggs over the vegetable-bacon mixture and use a rubber spatula to spread them out evenly. Crumble the goat cheese over the top, then place the pan in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until puffed up and golden on the outside. The inside should be totally set. If it is still runny, place back in the oven for a few minutes more.

3. Allow the frittata to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Caramel pecan sticky rolls

For dough:

1 packet (1/4-oz.) active dry yeast

3/4 cup warm water (use the temperature range suggested on the packet)

3/4 cup warm milk

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 eggs

5 to 5 1/2 cups flour

Cooking spray

For filling:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

For topping:

2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup honey

1/4 teaspoon salt

1. For dough: Place water in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the yeast and allow to dissolve in the water for 1 minute.

2. Add milk, sugar, butter, salt, eggs and 5 cups of flour to the bowl. Beat for 2 to 3 minutes or until a smooth dough forms. If the dough is sticky, add more flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.

3. Switch to the dough hook and knead dough for 3 to 4 minutes or until smooth and elastic.

4.Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray. Cover dough with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

5. For filling: Place butter, sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Stir until well mixed.

6. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a rectangle that measures 18-by-12-inches. Spread filling evenly over the dough.

7. Starting with the long end of the dough, roll it up tightly, jelly-roll style. Pinch the seams to seal the end of the roll. Cut roll into 12 equal slices.

8. For topping: Melt butter in a small pan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, heavy cream, honey and salt; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes until the glaze is smooth and shiny.

9. Pour 2/3 of the topping mixture into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch pan that has been coated with cooking spray. Reserve the rest of the topping for later use.

10. Sprinkle the pecans over the sugar mixture, then place the rolls on top. Cover and let rolls rise until they have doubled, about 1 hour.

11. Preheat oven to 350. Bake rolls for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown. Let the rolls rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then invert pan onto a serving tray. Warm the reserved topping and drizzle it over the top before serving.

Note: The dough can be prepared the night before. Cover and refrigerate the dough, then allow it to sit at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours or until doubled in size before proceeding with the rest of the recipe.

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