On Christmas morning we pretty much follow what has become a family tradition: coffee, juice and miniature muffins to assuage growling tummys, then we move (with the former in hand) to the living room and take down the stockings, which Santa hopefully filled with goodies and not coal. Often, depending on the age and impatience of the kids, we let them go and peak at their stockings right away. We're not Scrooges, after all.

Gifts under the tree come next. We adults leisurely take turns, keeping half an eye on the kids who are at this point madly ripping and tearing. Long about 10 or 10:30, someone suggests Bellinis. Ah yes. Good timing. Excellent thinking. I'm up for that. Mmmmmm. We follow with brunch around 11 or 11:30.

This year we're going to start with some Limoncello-drizzled fruit and a heavenly lemon curd/yogurt topping. I served it for the first time last year and it was a smash hit. You can find the recipe HERE. Then out comes our "souffle". Now my brunch dish is another tradition in our family... I have been making it since my kids were little. I must confess other than the egg to milk to bread proportion, I kind of fudge with the cheese and bacon amounts- sometimes using more than called for. And I often double or at least 1 1/2 the recipe. Everyone likes to pick at it in the kitchen all afternoon. You make it the night before and it bakes while we are opening gifts; the bacon and cheese aroma wafts through the house...can anything smell better in the morning? I think this year, just to add insult to injury, I may serve Ina's sticky buns. You will find Ina's recipe HERE. Do you think I've planned to serve enough fatty foods so far? On the 26th we're all going to need those wretched green drinks that (supposedly) cleanse our systems! And yet there is more to follow: we have our main Christmas meal in the evening!

Any traditions in your family? Please share.

My Christmas Brunch "Souffle"

7 big slices bread- I use challah

8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
3 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
3 strips bacon, cut in half
6 large eggs, beaten

Tear the bread in pieces and put them in a buttered baking dish. I use an oval one...see the photo. Beat eggs, add milk and then add the remaining ingredients. Sprinkle the cheese over the bread and pour the milk/egg mixture over everything. Lay bacon on top. Seal and refrigerate overnight. Bake 350° for 50 to 55 minutes. I bake it on a foil-lined baking sheet in case there is any spill over. Serves 6-8.


  1. There is something about the food traditions of this holiday that moves me. I love reading what other people do for xmas morning! We were stockings first, then english muffins and fruit - and a chocolate! Then it was the gift opening.

  2. I loved reading about your family's traditions! At my parents' house on Christmas morning we open our stockings and then have brunch (usually with some kind of egg dish, fruit, and always cinnamon rolls!). Then comes the gifts.

  3. I dont know, i dont think you can ever have too many fatty foods when its a holiday or a celebration. Calories dont count on those days right ;)?

  4. Oh yum! That looks so delightful!

    What is a bellini?

  5. I am always in food heaven when I stop by your blog. My guy and I like to bring cinnamon rolls over to my family for Christmas morning, and we always have a big Christmas dinner that evening after opening all of the presents :)

  6. Cathy: I agree..it's such fun to hear what others do.

    Faith: Hmmm. Interesting. We all eat first! ;)

    HH: Absolutely. No counting calories on holidays!

    Duck: I commented on your blog.

    Phoenix: Pleased you like my blog! We all eat before gifts. Difficult with little kids.

  7. How wonderful to read about your family Christmas day tradition and your souffle looks just heavenly! So good with bacon!

  8. Your table looks beautiful, your souffle impressive and your tradition fabulous. I made limoncello for the first time this year. It's been steeping for almost two months and I sneaked a taste yesterday and it's DELICIOUS. So I now have a new traditions to give friends. Love the drizzle on fruit idea.

  9. That souffle looks positively perfect! I love any type of baked egg dish - so this is one I will have to try!

  10. What a gorgeous Christmas table! And I love your traditions! Mimosas?! Sticky buns! I think I'm going to have to add those to my traditions as well!

  11. what lovely traditions! food is definitely the center of christmas at our house too! and i love that look of that souffle, delicious!

  12. My Dear that souffle looks divine, and your table is filled with Christmas magic, I just want to pull up a chair and spend the next 10 hours eating and chatting. I love holiday traditions. We always enjoy cinammon rolls, coffee and lots of music while opening gifts Christmas morning and then its off to other families homes throughout the day.

  13. How interesting...we celebrate on the 24th, late supper and the kids open the gifts around midnight, therefore on Christmas day we take it easy, the kids usually play with their new toys...by the way your souffle looks yummie, light and full of flavor :-)

  14. What a lovely post! Celebrating Christmas sounds wonderful in your house. Thanks too for the amazing recipes - I'll have to try them, especially the one with limoncello. When I go back to my parents', we start off with tea and toast, then go and drag my Dad downstairs because he's not very good at getting up before 10am and then we go into the living room and exchange gifts. Then we start early with the dinner; as there's only three of us, we prefer salmon and I always make hollondaise sauce for that. Dessert is mince pies with custard which leaves us all stuffed. To work it all off, we go for a nice, long walk on a (hopefully) dry and frosty day when everything is so silent - magic! Then my Mum and I make trifle for the next day and we watch an old movie like Casablanca.

  15. Ho ho how cute is that table setting! Thanks for your brunch ideas - great timing because this year we're having Christmas at our place and I'm planning brunch, then a beach visit, then an early dinner. Every year before, we've headed down to the in-laws and have a very Aussie Christmas lunch which includes lots of seafood, ham and sometimes a turky roll.

  16. Not really any food traditions... I plan on making one though - croquembouche - from now on :) hehehe. That is quite a full table - where will the food fit?? :P

  17. Sounds heavenly, I love that it bakes up while your are doing stockings!
    We have coffee and Baileys in the morning, with clementine oranges. The kids have hot chocolate. We do stockings first, then prezzies. Then a more substantial breakie - bacon and eggs and hashbrowns or waffles.

  18. christmas is all about indulgence, so bring on the fatty foods! This souffle sounds delicious. And you can never go wrong with cinnamon buns.

    My family goes straight for the rpesents and then the cooking for Christmas dinner begins! There is no time for brunch. However much I try to convince my parents otherwise. Your traditions sound like so much fun though!

  19. Rebecca: Everything is better with bacon!

    Lea Ann: I'll have to make my own next year! (After I polish off the bottle I already have!)

    Jolene: Thanks!

    Teanna: Adding to our traditions is fun!

    Teresa: My entire family loves food and will try anything new.

    Bunny: Loved your blog today!

    Julianna: Thanks for letting me share in your traditions.

    Vanessa: Love the idea of salmon! But then you get traditional with mince pies. Love Casablanca!

    Shaz: Isn't it fun to go to the beach on Christmas day?

    Anita: The food goes on the sideboard!

    Natashya: Our traditions sound alike!

    Joanne: Have to eat brunch to get energy to make the dinner!

  20. Barbara, I love your Christmas things and a lovely Christmas table, nice.
    Well Barbara, ere I place some things and the Advent wreath(did you know ? with 4 candles wait the Jesus born?
    Well the kids dressed the Tree (they love make it) and I place the PESEBRE, wit the little Christmas crib, The Moter, Saint Johsep, the chips, etc.etc. is lovely.

    Sorry by my Engish.
    This souflee look amazing!!!! regards, Barbara, gloria

  21. Barbara your the best. Happy to try these new recipes. Your table was set beautifully & your family traditions soundlike such fun. We too always had lots of traditions. Sadly everything has changed since my mother's illness and my husband & I being 2000 miles from home. But once we move, at least closer, I will give it my best to recreate those wonderful Christmas recipes that my mom would work so diligently on. We'd have German coffee cake, champagne & orange juice, orange rolls, & yes a yummy egg dish. So much goodness. Thanks for this fun post Barbara & happy week to you x

  22. Christmas Eve we do a buffet of sundry items, and all the little kids on my wife's side of the family open their gifts from aunts&uncles..
    Christmas morning is a sleep in for everybody but me and my wife, with sons and their girlfriends showing up around 11am to open gifts, then followed by a sit down full blown feast.. food varies, but always top end stuff!

  23. ooooh, breaking out the limoncello--what a fancy way to start your day. :) and that souffle looks amazing. bacon is a magical, magical food, and that's all there is to it.
    there's something so comforting about traditions and i always get flummoxed when they waver at all. :)

  24. Sophie: I agree. My family does allow me some leeway with veggies and dessert.

    Gloria: Advent calendars are lovely. My children always had one when they were small. I actually have one as a screen saver; there is a tree in the snow and each day a new animal, bird or ornament appears. (Your English is just fine.)

    Deborah: My parents are gone but I still carry on with a few traditions from my childhood; many new traditions started when my kids were little. We combine them.

    BD: Looking forward to hearing what you mean by "full blown feast"! Bet it's a doozy!

    Grace: That Ina has some goodies in her repertoire, doesn't she? The fruit dish is delicious! And I agree (we all do) with you re bacon.

  25. What a great idea! I love how fast it is to make this as I don't like to cook on Christmas day!

    We have different way of celebrating Christmas as I live in Europa, we are celebrating Christmas evening on 24th December. In Latvia we are going to the church in the evening, then we come home and eat a festive meal. Then the Santa is comming and gives presents to everyone, and we have to tell Christmas poems to get them. And a good dessert conludes Christmas evening. :)

  26. Nice family tradition. Love your photos.

  27. That is a great time of the year! Your soufflé looks marvelous and so flavorful!



  28. Barbara, Sounds like a wonderful way to ease into Christmas morning. I like your souffle ~ not only does it have wonderful ingredients, it is easy to make. Which a course is needed on a busy holiday morning. Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe.

  29. Chocolaty: I loved hearing about Christmas in Latvia! What a lovely idea...poems in exchange for gifts. Followed by dessert- what could be better?

    Judy: Thanks and congratulations again.

    Rosa: I love this season too!

    George: Yes, a nice way to ease into a busy day. The Bellinis help a little too.;)

  30. As soon as I saw the bacon, I knew it was for me! YUM!

  31. Lovely traditions and beautiful table! I have been admiring your blue countertop and I see you have a blue dining room. Love your style. By the way we have friends who had an old large cottage in Leland with views of Lake Leelanaw (sp?)

  32. Barabara, this looks wonderful. It's perfect for a holiday breakfast or a breakfast for dinner meal. I really like this recipe.

  33. Barbara, I don't think I know your sister. Our friends who owned a cottage in Leland for many years dating back to his parents were the Jacobs. Paul and Peggy. Would be interesting if your sister knew them.

  34. The souffle is absolutely stunning and I would love to wake up to that on Christmas morning. I may just have to stop by for a bellini!

  35. Hi Barbara,

    Your Brunch Souffle looks and sounds divine. What lovely traditions you have. My parents used to let us open one gift Christmas Eve because we were so giddy with excitement. It's something we still do.

    Your table setting is gorgeous!

    I want to thank you for your visit and prayers, your kind words mean so much to me.

    Love and hugs,

  36. The Fuzzy Duck would love a hug!

  37. I love Christmas time because of this: Tradition. Your table set is beautiful
    The soufflé sound fabulous.

  38. Your Christmas morning traditions are much like mine. And we all love the cheese casserole too. It's hard to believe it's only a few days away. Where did the year go?

  39. TKW: I know, I know!

    Penny: I asked my sister, the answer is no.

    Mary: Thanks!

    Bridget: Those Bellinis are soooo tasty!

    Karyn: I love hearing about everyone's traditions!
    Thinking about you.

    Duck: He is so fuzzy and cute!

    Sylvia: I agree!

    Cathy: It's frightening how fast- it flies by. I remember my kids saying it was so slow!

  40. I always enjoy hearing about others' traditions -- especially at Christmas. Ours have changed over the years depending on how old my boys have been, what people's work schedules are, and whether we're hosting Christmas dinner or not. We never had a holiday breakfast when I was growing up, but I started that tradition and it sticks to this day. We'd love this souffle and I'm always looking for new recipes to try. Gorgeous table. Makes me want to decorate!

  41. Having children at home enhances the wonderful feeling of christmas... We plan on leaving cookies and milk for santa in the night before we go to bed...and then daddy ( opps).. I mean Santa will snack on them when he stops by to leave the presents : ) ... This will be the first time we celebrate chistmas with my daughter being more understanding of what it really means ( she just turned 3)....so we are all really excited... I love your breakfast caserrole Barbara...sounds/ looks delicious... ! and so easy to put together for x'mas morning... ( PS : Its me Nat.)

  42. My in-laws announced at Thanksgiving that Christmas brunch was going to be doughnuts from the gas station down the road. I'm sorry, but I'm just not going to let that fly. I might have to make this to bring along. :) Doughnuts? For Christmas brunch? FROM A GAS STATION? No way.

    Your "souffle" looks divine!

  43. Wow, what a Christmas setting! Don't worry about the fatty foods, it's holidays, totally expected!

  44. Kellypea: I know, we all go through stages, but I sure try to keep the old traditions alive and well!

    Nat: I couldn't remember what age Santa began to mean something. We have a 2 1/2 year old coming this year and I wasn't sure. Hopefully, he gets it.

    Karly: Your comment made me laugh out loud! Love your sense of humor.

    Jessica: I know and we'll all pay for it later!

  45. How lovely! We live far from any family, and most years spend Christmas just by ourselves, with our little traditions that are not very traditional, to speak the truth, but ours nonetheless!

  46. What a beautiful table you've set. So festive and the food looks yummy!
    I set the coffee up the night before and have scones and muffins ready for the morning. My husband usually makes pancakes or Omelets. Last year the nephew and his girlfriend spent the night, we all took our time opening gifts. Did I mention the gifts must be jokes? No one outside of our immediate family is allowed to spend money on a gift, it must be recycled, regifted or just plain crazy! These are our favorite gifts! Pam

  47. That looks divine-I love bacon that you can see! Traditions for us at Christmas are eating lots of seafood-it's hot here so we don't tend to roast turkeys etc although I have the urge to roast a goose every now and then...

  48. We have a few small traditions, like I like to fill lots of bowls with candy on the brunch table. But, the menu is different every year. I haven't decided on menus yet, but your souffle looks great!

  49. Yummy! Can I come, I promise I don't need gifts just the food, or maybe the bellini!!!! It all sounds so good, I just love reading your recipes and the stories that go with them!!!
    margaret B

  50. WOW, can I come to your house Christmas morning?! I always host Christmas breakfast for my entire immediate family...I am the only one with kids so far, so it's easier for everyone to come to our house. I loved this post because I am always looking for ideas for what to serve that morning! And, ya, we are on the eat...open gifts...eat some more cycle at our house Christmas morn too!!!

    :) T

  51. Wow, I love everything about this post. That table! Amazing! I want to start the bellini tradition this year...

  52. This looks really delicious! Though I'm not celebrating X'mas I would love to try this out too. And the table decorations look so beautiful too....

  53. That looks delicious! I love reading about traditions1 beautiful table.

  54. That souffle looks mighty yummy & I love the Bellinis on Christmas morning idea - cheers to you!



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