Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Sweet Morning

Being in town this Christmas means lots of opportunities for hosting - and I think I'm finally ready to admit that I will find just about any reason to host a dinner, or any other kind of, party. So when we went through our Christmas week plans with everyone in my family, we thought starting a tradition of a Christmas Eve brunch would be fun - and no surprise, I jumped at the chance to have it at our house.

And of course, this meant pulling out all the stops... while I brainstormed for at least a month about the perfect menu, it only took a few seconds to decide that we'd use my new jewel-tone red chargers as a backdrop to our beautiful china to create a festive table. Suffice it to say, I'm not one of those people who's china won't get used.

I also came across these cute ornaments that I thought could double as place cards so each of us had one waiting at our appointed seat.

The menu did not come about quite so easily - but I think the final product was really delicious and hit the spot. We had a little beverage buffet of coffee, orange juice and holiday punch (a family favorite) - all ready when my brother's family arrived. Shortly after, we dug into a selection of cheddar cheese baked grits, a sausage and vegetable egg casserole, fresh sections of oranges dotted with sliced almonds, and homemade cinnamon rolls topped with cream cheese frosting. To round it all off, we had a mini dessert buffet of some Christmas candy and a tiered silver tray with brandy walnut balls and apricot crumbles.

I'm so thankful that mom and I work together in the kitchen so well because I definitely couldn't have pulled it off without her. Mom helped prep most of the entrees (and cut all the oranges!) the night before while I was delving into another attempt at yeast "bread" (Mom is an amazing cook but we both stay pretty far away from anything to do with yeast, aside from homemade pizza crust) with the homemade cinnamon rolls, which turned out to be so much fun to make and absolutely delicious!

After preparing the dough and letting it rise for just over 2 hours, it was perfectly soft and workable. I rolled it out and spread butter, cinnamon and brown sugar for the filling, all over the center of the dough. Then I rolled the dough into a long log and cut it into 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices and place them into two greased baking dishes.

I prepared the rolls last night, then I covered them tightly and placed the dishes in the fridge overnight. I took them out early this morning and let them rise for about 45 minutes and then baked them according to the directions. In the meantime, I prepared the cream cheese frosting so it was ready when the delicious-smelling rolls were finished; I frosted the rolls quickly after pulling them out of the oven and before they were devoured.

They were a hit and even though there were quite a few steps, it was worth it and each step was actually really simple. The cinnamon rolls could have been sweet enough to serve as our dessert but also provided the perfect complement to our savory casseroles for brunch.

Since the left-over cinnamon rolls doubled as our dessert earlier this evening and are sure to show up again on our Christmas plates, I'm sending them to JZ of JZ's Tasty Treats, host of Santa's Challenge.

We loved spending our Christmas Eve morning together and this brunch menu was just the icing on the cake!

Merry Christmas to my dear family!


  1. Thanks a lot for sending these delicious rolls to my event, Kara! They look irresistible!!

  2. Sounds great! Your table looked lovely. Hope your holiday was great!

  3. As usual, your menu and table set up look amazing! The apricot crumblers look delish!
    Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. It is my dad's mom who passed away. She had been very ill.
    I hope you and Chris have a very happy New Year!


Thanks for stopping by! I love hearing from you!

I do my best to post responses back on your own blog but if your question is applicable to everyone, I'll leave you a response here.

Related Posts with Thumbnails