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Adlen Robinson: Easy make-ahead Christmas Day brunch
Adlen Robinson

Nobody wants to be slaving away in the kitchen on Christmas morning making a big breakfast while everybody else opens gifts and enjoys visiting. This is a delicious and simple menu you can make almost everything the day before Christmas. Just pop the casserole into the oven and soon your home will be filled with the delicious aroma of a delicious breakfast casserole. You can make the bacon ahead of time, but it is really best if you make it right before serving.

Sausage, Egg and Hash Brown Bake

1 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed (or buy it in bulk)

1 medium onion, minced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

6 eggs

1/3 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

1 (20-ounce) bag hash browns, thawed

2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

2 green onions, sliced (for garnish)

In a skillet, cook the Italian sausage until cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. Discard grease except for 1 tablespoon. Cook the onion and red bell pepper until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Pour into bowl with the cooked sausage. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Add hash browns and then combine with sausage mixture and 1 ½ cups cheese. Pour into dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Top with remaining cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight. When ready to bake, let casserole sit at room temperature for 45 minutes before baking. Bake, covered in a preheated 375-degree oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for another 15 minutes. Sprinkle with green onions before serving.

Candied Bacon

Who doesn’t love bacon? When you make bacon slathered in brown sugar, your love of bacon will go to a new level! The salty sweet flavor is delicious and is highly addictive.

1 pound thick bacon

1 tablespoon pepper, preferably fresh

1 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Place a wire rack on a foil lined, rimmed baking sheet. Arrange bacon strips on wire rack. Sprinkle bacon with black pepper. Lightly press the brown sugar on each bacon strip. Bake 25-minutes. Remove from oven and cool another 10 minutes. Serve at room temperature.

Ambrosia Salad

Another make ahead classic, ambrosia is always a hit with children and adults.

1 cup sour cream

1 cup mini-marshmallows

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut flakes

1 cup pineapple tidbits, drained

1 ½ cups mandarin oranges, drained

In a bowl, gently combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.


Buttermilk Biscuits

You can make these the day before and just reheat them in a low oven before serving. Set out a few types of jam and some honey for topping.

2 cups flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup butter, very cold, and cut into cubes

1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450-degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter cubes until mixture is the size of peas. Add buttermilk. Knead a few times, folding over. Cut out 8 to 10 biscuits. Bake 10-12 minutes.