Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Christmas Review

Helloooo!! Home at last, everything is a chaotic mess and I think everything needs a good deep-cleaning and re-organization as soon as I am able to take down all of the Christmas decorations. Laundry is washing and drying, dishes are cleaning and Ivy Belle is snoring happily on the floor at my feet. Somehow in the past two weeks my camera has managed to disappear...no bueno. Thus, I hardly took any pictures at Christmas, minus a few that I snapped with my phone.

This could have quite possibly been the most relaxing Christmas ever had in our household. Most of my extended family did their own thing this year, leaving a quiet, intimate holiday for us at my parents' farm. Emily arrived home late Friday night, and as per her wish, we ate duck gumbo for Christmas Eve and drank home brewed Holiday Ale. 

As a family tradition, we all sat around the fire on Christmas Eve, sipping eggnog and reading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.

Christmas morning started with the reading of the Christmas story and the opening of stockings. After a scrumptious holiday brunch, we all gathered around the tree to open our gifts. I received a ton of wonderful presents, but my tippy top favorite was my Kindle from my sweet hubby.

Bryan and I drove halfway across the state to be at his parents' house in time to go with them for Christmas dinner at his grandmother's house. The food was wonderful and the gifts were beyond generous. I do not know what time we crawled into bed, but it was pretty late that night.


A new recipe I made for our brunch was Cinnamon Toast Pudding. I cannot believe that I do not have a picture of this to share! It was delicious beyond words. Pinterest and Google do not show any pictures that look remotely similar to the one I made, so trust me when I say you just need to make it.

Cinnamon Toast Pudding

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for baking dish
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 (1-inch) thick slices day-old brioche bread (or French)
5 eggs 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup orange juice
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup grapes, halved
Powdered sugar, for garnish
1/4 cup maple syrup
8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Butter baking dish and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine butter, 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon and salt.
Generously butter both sides of brioche bread with butter mixture.
Toast on a baking sheet in the oven 5 to 10 minutes, or until bread turns golden brown.
Cut toast on a diagonal into triangles and arrange in the prepared baking dish.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, heavy cream, yogurt, orange juice, salt, remaining sugar, and vanilla.
Stir in grapes and pour over bread slices in baking dish.
Let rest 10 minutes for bread to absorb some of the egg mixture, gently pressing down a few times to help absorb.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes until crust is golden and crispy in parts and custard is set.
Remove from the oven, dust with powdered sugar, drizzle with maple syrup and serve.


Tomorrow I will post about our New Years Eve weekend. There are a ton of wonderful recipes that I cannot wait to share!


  1. It sounds like a wonderful Christmas! May 2012 be full of blessings!

  2. Sounds like you two had a great time & ps duck gumbo ugh I dont know sounds so different & I can honestly say I have never ate duck!