Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Eve Brunch

We parents have a lot to juggle over the holiday season. Shopping, cooking, wrapping, decorating, juggling parents/in-laws/kids schedules, holiday parties, out of town guest. It can be very overwhelming.

But, we divorced parents juggle like only another divorced parent understands. We do all the same preparation stuff and more. We have to coordinate our schedules with someone else. Pick-up times. Coordinate gifts.  Holiday celebrations must be planned months in advance because they have to be shared.

Every year, I alternate the holiday season with my ex-husband. One year The Boy spends the time up to Christmas Eve with me and then the time from Christmas Eve to New Years with his dad. Then the next year, we flop it.  This year was my pre-Christmas time.

I use to be the only divorced person in my immediate family who had to juggle such a schedule. Now, my brother and sister-in-law are in the same boat.  We were fortunate enough that we all got our children for Christmas Eve. So, I planned a Christmas Eve brunch so the entire extended family could gather together.

I wanted to share some photos from my brunch as I am very proud of how it turned out.

Christmas Eve Brunch Menu

Honey Glazed Spiral Ham
Omelets to Order
Cheesy Potatoes
Hot Chocolate Bar
Papa's Pumpkin Bars
Homemade Key Lime Pie with Homemade Whipped Topping
Layered Peppermint Cheesecake Cake with White Chocolate Mousse Frosting
Various other Christmas Treats

Omelet's to Order: Using an old antique egg poaching pan as my display we had a variety of  ingredients to add to a basic egg omelet: sausage, bacon, red peppers, red onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, green chilies, jalapeno's, and cheese of course. 

Papa's Pumpkin Bars. I had to rename these pumpkin bars because my father-in-law LOVES these things. So I have now named them after him.

Miss Medical Student made a Key Lime Pie for our brunch. She is an amazing person to have in your kitchen. Food prep is one of her favorite things in life. She spent an hour or so grating the zest of the key limes. Then juicing the limes. And trust me, no store purchased whipped cream would be good enough for this pie!

A 5 layered Peppermint Cheesecake Cake. My  Christmas masterpiece!  Two layers of Peppermint Cheesecake in between three layers of Sour Cream Cake and frosted with White Chocolate Mousse Frosting decorated with Peppermint Meltaways and white chocolate shavings. If you include the 4+ hours it took to freeze the cheesecake layers, it took me over 9 hours to make this gorgeous cake! 

 The Hot Chocolate Bar! This part of the brunch was so much fun to put together!  We started off by deciding to NOT use any type of prepackaged hot chocolate mix. I do not care what anyone says, the homemade variety is simply yummy and can not be topped by anything premade. We put the homemade hot chocolate in my fancy coffee server (remember from this post, I got the server at a thrift store for $8.00!). My husband hates it when I purchase things and only use them once. So, I am happy to say, this is the second go round for this serving jar.

I am including the recipe we used to make homemade hot chocolate. Try it!

Classic Hot Cocoa
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4-1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • Whipped Cream or Mini Marshmallows
  1. Stir together sugar, cocoa and salt in medium saucepan; add half and half.
  2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil.
  3. Simmer 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Add milk; stirring constantly, heat to desired serving temperature. Do Not Boil.
  5. Remove cocoa from heat; whisk or beat until frothy. Top with whipped cream or marshmallows.

We got this recipe from Real Mom Kitchen but Miss Medical Student strongly believes you should increase the amount of milk to 6 or 8 cups of milk, depending on your preference.

I made marshmallow stirring sticks for the bar. I simply put marshmallows on the end of  stirring sticks, dipped them in dark chocolate and white chocolate and rolled them in crushed peppermints. They melted like heaven in the hot chocolate. Okay, and they were yummy to eat just off the stirring stick too!

Next, I put out a variety of toppings: Homemade whipped topping, chocolate syrup, strawberry syrup, caramel syrup, hard caramel candies, crushed candy canes, marshmallows, Nutella, Marshmallow Fluff, mini chocolate chips, mini Reese's Peanut Butter cups.

After brunch, we exchanged gifts, played with our presents, told stories, and played a game of Pictionary. The children left, one by one, heading off to share the holiday 

My brother and his girlfriend had the honor of eating first. They had to leave first to get my brother's little girl to her Momma's house on time. 

Merry Christmas Everyone! I hope your holiday's are full of great moments and memories.


1 comment:

  1. Lady, you just amaze me!!!