Easy Holiday Cooking: 7 Make-Ahead Breakfasts

overnight french toast photoThere’s nothing I love more than starting a special day with a festive breakfast. But, when it comes to the holidays, it seems there’s no time for such indulgences. There’s too much cooking and straightening and organizing to be done.

But I can’t give up a my festive breakfasts! So I’ve mastered the make-ahead breakfast. And I’m here to help you do the same.

I know that we’re busy the night before a holiday, too. But there’s more breathing room. And the kids are asleep. You can pour a glass of wine, put on some music or a movie and cook. Most importantly, you can delegate clean up and not have to worry about pushing whoever is helping along so that you can get back in the kitchen.

Then, the next morning, you have a celebration-worthy breakfast in 10-30 min mostly unattended cooking time. It’s satisfying and gets everyone in the mood. Even the busy family cook.

Here are my favorite make-ahead breakfasts, including my recipe for Make-Ahead Orange Cardamom French Toast.

Poached Eggs
Poach eggs the night before, keeping them slightly undercooked. Allow them to cool in a large bowl of cold water. Remove and refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, immerse the eggs in barely simmering water for 1 to 2 minutes.

Spinach and Cheese Strata
This is basically a savory bread pudding. You let it soak overnight and bake completely unattended the next morning. It’s easy, elegant and endlessly adaptable, my favorite combination.

Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake
A delicious bundt made with great, bright morning flavors. A perfect pick-me-up that can be baked the night before.

Jelly Donuts
While I admit that these are most delicious straight out of the fryer, these jelly donuts can certainly sit overnight. And what a fun treat on a holiday morning!

Shakshoukah
Make the sauce ahead of time. You can store it right in your sauce pan in the fridge overnight. When ready to serve, bring the sauce back up to heat and resume recipe by slipping eggs into the sauce. They will cook in a matter of minutes and you’re done!

Egg Casserole
Sausage, egg, cheese and potatoes in one make-ahead dish. Perfection?

One of my favorite festive (or, really, anytime) breakfasts is french toast. This Orange Cardamom version has warm flavors perfect for holiday mornings. Douse with warmed maple syrup and serve, straight out of the oven.

Overnight Orange Cardamom French Toast
serves 6-8

butter
1 dozen eggs
2 c milk
1 c orange juice
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp cardamom
20 pieces thick cut challah or french bread

1. Liberally butter the bottom and sides of a large baking dish. Arrange slices of bread in the dish in a single layer.

2. Whisk together eggs, milk, orange juice, vanilla, cinnamon and cardamom. Pour the mixture over the bread. Turn bread to coat well on both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, turning bread after 10. Remove from pan and serve immediately.

Got other make-ahead breakfast ideas? Share!

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