Best Mummy & Real Mothers Eat Quiche

Mom_SusieWhen we were little, life was filled with absolutes and superlatives. Either our mother was the best mummy in the world or the worst. No, make that the meanest mummy in the world. That’s when she insisted that we go to bed at our regular time, even if it was summer and the streetlights weren’t even on yet. But mostly she was the best. And for those of you who care to argue, don’t bother. My mummy is still the best in the world. Yours can only run a distant second. So there.

If you need to ask why my mother wins the Best Mummy Contest, it’s obvious you’ve never met her. If you are interested, I’m happy to share what makes her great.

She’s never climbed Everest although she may have made the summit of Kearsarge once, maybe twice. She’s never championed groundbreaking legislation but she did write a scathing (for her) letter to the editor several years back. The targets of her ire were the big box stores and businesses that left their lights on all night. There are no scientific breakthroughs to her credit. She is not the genius behind a life-changing cure or even a mini miracle like Spanx. That said, she served a mean orange Popsicle when I had a bout of tonsillitis. Her ministrations were so successful that I was able to avoid a tonsillectomy.

So no, my mummy will not go down in history as IMPORTANT. However, she will go down in the personal histories of everyone who knows her as important. Quite simply, my mother is the nicest person I know. Sometimes intuitively, sometimes with a bit of effort, she makes everyone around her feel good. Feel good about themselves and feel good about life. She’ll make you smile and help you laugh.

That’s it, not terribly grand just terribly important.

My mother is now well into her eighties and suffers from Alzheimer’s. Several years ago, a friend (another Susan) whose mother had Alzheimer’s told me that she learned something from her mother every day. Feeling more than a little overwhelmed and frightened by my own mother’s declining condition, I was humbled by my friend’s comment. This other Susan was obviously a much better daughter and person than I would ever be.

Mom had another idea. Although she didn’t witness our conversation, she has always been more than certain that I am just as good a daughter as any other Susan, Jane or Joan.

Alzheimer’s has stolen many things from Mom but it can’t take her smile. It lights up the room as soon as she sees me. Then she’ll tell me a story. If words fail (and they often do), she covers it up with her easy laugh or a song. Although her words are increasingly few, Mom isn’t shy with superlatives. Forget good, in my mother’s eyes I am very good. In fact, more often than not, she assures me that I am very, very good.

Like that other Susan, I continue to learn from my mother. Every day she teaches optimism and joy. With that optimism, with that joy and that smile, she shows me how to be a nicer person.

And that’s what makes my mother important.

Happy Mother’s Day to all and, most particularly, to the Best Mummy in the world. Bon appétit.

Real Mothers Eat Quiche
At one point, quiche was all the rage. Now it’s a bit (okay more than a bit) passé. But everyone loves it and quiche is a great dish for Mother’s Day brunch or lunch. Give it a try and enjoy!
Serves 6-8quiche_04

6 ounces bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Pinch nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups whole milk or half & half
Savory Flakey Pastry (recipe follows)

Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crispy. Remove from the pan, drain on paper towels and reserve. Drain most of the bacon fat from the skillet, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and arrange the rack in the middle of the oven.

Roll out the pastry dough on a lightly floured surface. Line a deep, 9-inch pie pan with the pastry and crimp the edges, leaving about 1/4-inch for shrinkage. Cover and store the pie shell in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Combine the cheeses in a medium bowl, add the flour, season with nutmeg, salt and pepper and toss to combine. Add the onion and bacon and toss again. Put the cheese mixture in the pie shell.

Put the eggs and mustard in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Slowly whisk in the milk. Gently pour the custard over the cheese mixture, leaving at least a 1/4-inch margin at the top.

Carefully place the quiche in the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Lower the temperature to 375 degrees and continue baking for 25-35 minutes or until the custard is set and the quiche is golden brown on top. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Savory Flakey Pastry
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening, cold, cut into small pieces
2-4 tablespoons ice water

Blend the flour and salt in a food processor. Add the butter and shortening and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Sprinkle with ice water, 1-2 tablespoons at a time and process until the dough comes together in a ball. Remove the dough from the food processor and flatten into a disk. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or parchment paper and chill until firm, at least 30 minutes.

If you have a big crowd for Mother’s Day, make a few quiches. Mix it up with different combinations. Try mushrooms and sausage with Fontina and Parmigiano-Reggiano or spinach with mozzarella and feta.

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One Year Ago – Lemon-Lime Squares
Two Years Ago – Tarte à l’Oignon (Onion Tart)
Three Years Ago – Honeyed Apricots with Creamy Yogurt
Four Years Ago – Black & White Brownies
Five Years Ago – Rhubarb Muffins
Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

Why do you think your mother is the best mummy in the world? Feel free to share – let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. © Susan W. Nye, 2014

Twelve Wishes for Christmas & Baked French Toast

santa_01Throughout the holiday season I hum a lot of carols. When I’m walking, I tend to favor all the faster paced songs. They keep me moving on a cold day. So if you happen to see me on my walk around Pleasant Lake, there is a good chance that Deck the Halls, Jingle Bells or The Twelve Days of Christmas is running through my head.

When I was small, I think I was a bit envious of anyone who celebrated Christmas for twelve whole days. Although Santa was always quite generous, the idea of days and days of gifts, not to mention a true love, was certainly intriguing. That said; I must have assumed that my twelve days would be filled with Barbies, books and maybe a sweater or teddy bear. A cavalcade of livestock, leaping lords and dancing ladies were definitely not on my list to Santa.

Sure Mrs. Ferguson taught ball room dancing to most of the kids in town but pipe and drum corps marched in parades, not the living room. Although a small minority preferred cats, almost everyone in the neighborhood had a dog or two. Along with our two family dogs, my brother John was the proud owner of three turtles but no turtle doves. I’m guessing a few kids kept a gold fish or maybe a parakeet or canary. But French chickens or flocks of geese? Herds of cows and maids to milk them? Definitely not.

In the spirit of the twelve days of Christmas, here are twelve gifts I wish for you for the holiday season and beyond.Christmas_Presents_02

1. Good health.

2. A good laugh.

3. Peace of mind and peace in your heart.

4. Lots of reasons to smile and a smile for no reason at all.

5. Curiosity.

6. Creativity.

7. Courage.

8. Knowledge.

9. Wisdom.

10. Wonder.

11. Wanderlust and an open return ticket home.

12. Friends you love you like family and a family you love like friends.

My list is in no particular order and far from complete. What about you? What would yours look like?

Wishing you a joy-filled holiday and bon appétit!

Baked French Toast
A sweet and hearty breakfast treat for young and old! Prep the casserole in advance and pop it in the oven while you open your stockings. Enjoy!
Serves 6-8

3/4 cup raisins, currents or dried cranberries
eggs_pecan_brown_sugar_02About 1/2 cup orange juice
3/4 – 1 loaf country-style bread, cut in cubes
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
8 eggs
3/4 cups whole milk
3/4 cups half and half
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Topping
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 13 x 9 inch casserole dish.

Put the raisins in a small, microwave safe bowl and add enough orange juice to cover. Loosely cover the bowl and zap the raisins in the microwave on high for one minute. Let the raisins sit, covered, for 30 minutes to plump.

Spread the bread cubes on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Cool the bread to room temperature.

In a large bowl whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk in the eggs and maple syrup. Add the milk and half and half and whisk until well combined.

Place the bread cubes in the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle the raisins and drizzle the soaking liquid in and around the bread cubes. Gently pour the egg mixture over the bread and raisins. Cover with plastic wrap and let soak overnight in the refrigerator.

In the morning: remove the casserole from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Make the topping: melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the brown sugar and maple syrup and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the nuts.

Spoon the topping evenly over the bread and bake until the casserole is set, puffed and golden, 45-55 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

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One Year Ago – Braised Lamb with Artichokes and Mushrooms and Creamy Polenta
Two Years Ago – Mixed Greens with Roasted Grapes
Three Years Ago – Savory Bread Pudding
Four Years Ago – Triple Chocolate Parfait
Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

What would are your wishes for the holiday season and beyond? Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook as well as a day in the life photoblog! In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. © Susan W. Nye, 2012

Rainy Summer Weekend Special – Brunch

Yes, yes, I know we need the rain. In fact, we desperately need the rain. But does it have to come and stay for day after day after day. I like my summer rains after dinner, the middle of the night is good. Booming thundershowers are okay, even kind of exciting.

So what to do on a rainy summer weekend? When it’s been a too long day cooped up with too many games of Scrabble, my vote is dinner out. Hey, if it avoids an axe murder and helps the local economy, I’m all for it.

But how about brunch on Sunday. If it’s a gorgeous outside the last thing I want is brunch. However, a rainy day is perfect for a long, lazy morning or early afternoon brunch.

There are lots of great options. Brie & Sun-dried Tomato Omelets are great for a cozy group but omelets for twelve or twenty is a bit of a pain. If you invite the entire neighborhood, a beautiful savory tart or two or three is great. My favorites include Spinach Ricotta Pie,Tomato, Olive and Feta Tart and Tarte à l’Oignon (Onion Tart).

But what about side dishes? A big Grilled Corn Salad with, Tomatoes & Arugula sounds good. For something fun and fruity, add a gorgeous fruit platter or Mojito Melons. Light and bring, fruit will make a great addition to your brunch.

And don’t forget the bakery basket. If you’ve got a great bakery in your neighborhood, warm, flakey croissants sound good. Or a delicious bagel with Smoked Salmon Mousse. And for something sweet, how about a beautiful batch of Blueberry Muffins or a Blueberry Crumb Cake?

Stay dry and have a good weekend! Bon appétit!

Want more? Click Here! for more seasonal menus or Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

What’s on tap for you this weekend? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below. I’d be delighted to add you to the growing list of blog subscribers. To subscribe: just scroll back up, fill in your email address and click on the Sign Me Up button.

And if you’ve got a minute … many thanks for taking a look at my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. Why not join me at the next Eat Well-Do Good dinner?

© Susan W. Nye, 2012

Weekend Special – Happy Mothers’ Day

Hip hip hooray it’s Mothers’ Day this weekend. If you are not sure what to cook for your favorite mom or moms this weekend, maybe I can help!

First, what’s your plan … breakfast in bed? Brunch or lunch? Or a festive dinner? Here are a few ideas:

Breakfast in bed? Keep it simple and save room for a great noontime brunch. I remember bringing cold English muffins and orange juice to my mom when I was little. If you’ve got a great bakery in your neighborhood, why not take it up a notch with a warm croissant? Or a delicious bagel with Smoked Salmon Mousse? Or bake up a beautiful batch of Blueberry Muffins or Lemon Scones. Add a steaming cup of freshly brewed coffee or tea and a few strawberries.

Join forces for great family brunch: There are a lot of great options for the main event from Brie & Sun-dried Tomato Omelets for a small crowd (omelets for twelve or twenty are a bit of a pain) to a beautiful savory tart or two or three for a crowd. My favorites include Spinach Ricotta Pie,Tomato, Olive and Feta Tart and Tarte à l’Oignon (Onion Tart).

But what about side dishes? The market is full of asparagus and most of it is on special. I love Roasted Asparagus & Walnuts and they will make a great addition to your brunch. (If you’ve got an extra minute or two, watch me make the asparagus with Erin Fehlau on WMUR’s Cook’s Corner.) Lemon Roasted Potatoes will be a lighter and brighter alternative to hash browns. And finally, don’t forget to add a big garden salad with mixed greens and lots of fresh veggies tossed with a Classic Vinaigrette.

End on a sweet note with Strawberry & White Chocolate Fool. (Strawberries are also on special at my local market this week. They aren’t local but they are still lovely.) Or make up a some Lavender Infused White Chocolate Crème and serve it with lots of fresh berries. If your mom is a chocoholic like mine, she’ll love my Esspresso Brownies.

And if you’d rather do dinner than brunch? Start with Fennel & Feta Salad or Mixed Greens with Roasted Grapes. Next, keep the Asparagus and Lemon Potatoes on the menu but add Roasted or Grilled Salmon.

Not into salmon, how about a Roast Chicken or Grilled Lamb.

And for dessert? Any of the brunch suggestions will work beautifully at dinner but I’d go with Fresh Strawberries with Lavender Infused White Chocolate Crème!

Have a wonderful weekend! Bon appétit!

Want more? Click Here! for more seasonal menus or Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

What’s on tap for you this weekend? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below. I’d be delighted to add you to the growing list of blog subscribers. To subscribe: just scroll back up, fill in your email address and click on the Sign Me Up button.

And if you’ve got a minute … many thanks for taking a look at my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. Why not join me at the next Eat Well-Do Good dinner?

© Susan W. Nye, 2012

My Mother’s Gift & Tarte à l’Oignon (Onion Tart)

With Mothers’ Day approaching I’m feeling a little sentimental. I’ve been thinking about some of the gifts my mom has given me. Not the baby dolls or bicycles, the Fair Isle sweaters or even the bright red stew pot I still use today. I could dwell on the fact that she didn’t passed on her very long legs but I won’t.

Looking back, one of the best gifts my mother gave me was her enthusiasm for spirited conversation.

Dinner at our house served two critical purposes. It kept the family from starving and, more important, it brought us together every night. My mother was never particularly interested in cooking. I don’t remember her spending long hours in the kitchen. She gravitated toward quick and easy recipes and didn’t hesitate to throw a can of soup on a piece of chicken or into a pot of stew.

In spite of her indifference towards most things culinary, Mom was very keen about family dinner. For some of our neighbors, family dinner was a rare occasion, reserved for holidays or special occasions. Others raced through the evening meal and fled the table. Not so at my house, most evenings we hung out for a good hour, sometimes longer. The television was never on. Phone calls were only answered to take a message to call back later.

Every night we shared our news, victories, trials and tribulations. We discussed everything and anything. We talked about our day at school, our favorite books, celebrities and stars as well as the Boston Bruins and Red Sox. As we got older, political and social issues became key topics during our nightly conversations.

It was an exciting, turbulent time, a time of great change; kind of like now. We vigorously discussed the virtues and vices of the President and a whole host of politicians, public figures, crusaders and crooks. We deliberated over the war, civil rights, women’s rights and the environment. We shouted, we laughed, we jockeyed for position. We talked all at once, we interrupted each other in our excitement and enthusiasm. Somehow or other we managed to listen to each other (if only barely) and respect each other (if sometimes grudgingly).

Once in a blue moon, a subject was deemed off limits, inappropriate for my little brother’s young ears. Those times were few and far between. For the most part it was no holds barred. My sister and I were free to discuss, rant and rave with the passion and intensity of idealistic teenagers. Mom insisted that we never argued. In her words, we discussed enthusiastically.

Looking back, those dinners were tremendous confidence builders. I don’t ever remember my mother telling me I was wrong. From time to time she cautioned me that a particular opinion could be unpopular. She sometimes warned that a certain stand could put me on the outs with friends or neighbors. Even when she disagreed, she never discouraged my youthful dance with new ideas. Within our protective family circle, I was able to test new insights and changing opinions. I learned to listen and scrutinize an idea before accepting or rejecting it. Those dinners helped me develop the self-confidence to speak up, share my ideas and stories and listen to others. I am forever grateful.

How did I thank her? When we were little, my sister, brother and I took turns serving Mom an English muffin in bed on Mothers’ Day. Later I sent cards and flowers (when I remembered.) Now it’s a plant and I invite the family over for brunch or lunch. All in all, I definitely got the better half of the bargain.

Thank you Mom and Happy Mothers’ Day! Bon appétit!

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Tarte à l’Oignon (Onion Tart)
This earthy French tart is perfect for brunch, lunch or a casual supper. Give it a try on Mothers’ Day and enjoy!
Serves 6-8
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4 slices thick cut bacon (about 1/4 pound), chopped (optional – substitute with olive oil)
About 1 tablespoon butter
2 pounds onions, cut in half lengthwise and sliced in thin wedges
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Savory Flakey Pastry (recipe follows)
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Pinch nutmeg

Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crispy. Remove from the skillet, drain on paper towels and reserve.

Add more or less butter to the bacon drippings to coat the skillet and melt. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat and toss the onions with the bacon and thyme. Cool to room temperature.

While the onion is cooking and cooling, roll out the pastry dough on a lightly floured surface. Line a 9 or 10-inch tart pan with the pastry leaving about 1/4-inch for shrinkage; crimp the edges. Cover the pastry and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and arrange the rack in the middle of the oven.

Put the eggs, sour cream, mustard and nutmeg in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Add the onions and bacon and toss to combine. Pour the onion mixture into the tart shell.

Put the tart in the oven, lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes or until the custard is set and the top is golden brown. Cool for 5-10 minutes and serve.

Savory Flakey Pastry
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) chilled butter, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening, cold, cut into small pieces
2-4 tablespoons ice water

Blend the flour and salt in a food processor. Add the butter and shortening and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Sprinkle with ice water, 1-2 tablespoons at a time and process until the dough comes together in a ball. Remove the dough from the food processor and flatten into a disk. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill until firm, at least 30 minutes.

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One Year Ago – Honeyed Apricots with Creamy Yogurt
Two Years Ago – Black & White Brownies
Three Years Ago – Rhubarb Muffins
Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

What’s the best (or worse) place to kick you out?!? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below. I’d be delighted to add you to the growing list of blog subscribers. To subscribe: just scroll back up, fill in your email address and click on the Sign Me Up button. You’ll get an email asking you to confirm your subscription … confirm and you will automatically receive a new story and recipe every week.

Want more? Click here for lots more to read, see & cook! In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. © Susan W. Nye, 2012

Weekend Special – Brunch for Easter

Do you skip Easter dinner in favor of brunch? It’s not a bad idea … especially if you plan to eat at midday and have lots of friends and family coming (and maybe bringing a dish as well!) Whether you are hosting or offered to bring something along, here are a few suggestions for a fabulous Easter Brunch:

Relax with Cocktails: Greet your guests with something to sip and something to nibble. You could serve mimosas but why not try something a little different like Strawberry Bellinis? Warm up some bagels or toast some thinly sliced ciabatta and let everyone help themselves to Smoked Salmon Mousse. Or pass around wedges of Flatbread with Mushroom, Caramelized Onions & Spinach. Take your time and enjoy the day. While the adults chat, mix and mingle, the kids can scour the lawn for Easter eggs.

The Buffet Table: A nice selection of quiches will look lovely on your table. Even manly men won’t mind if they are delicious. If it helps, call them tarts or better yet pies. Try my Tomato, Olive & Feta Tart, Asparagus & Goat Cheese Tart and/or Spinach Ricotta Pie. A baked ham will be great with the quiches. You might like to try my recipe for Maple Glazed Ham with Apples & Onions in the on-line version of the spring 2011 issue of Image Magazine. And everyone will love my Penne Gratin, think of it as Mac & Cheese with an Italian accent. For a few greens, add a salad or two. My Corn & Tomato Salad or Caesar Salad are both good choices.

For a Sweet Finish: Scones Ginger or Lemon, Blueberry Muffins and maybe Hot Cross Buns will be perfect in a sweet bakery basket and Creamy Yogurt with Honeyed Apricots will be a great addition to the sweets table. Or go all out! Lemon Cheesecake with lots of fresh strawberries will make a wonderful, rich finish to your bunch.

Have a great weekend with family and friends. Bon appétit!

Strawberry Bellini Cocktails
Makes about 2 cups strawberry puree, enough for 8 cocktails

1 – 1 1/2 pounds frozen strawberries, thawed but still very cold
2 tablespooons or to taste honey (optional)
Cold prosecco sparkling wine*

Puree the strawberries with the honey in batches in a blender until very smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and discard the seeds and solids. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve: pour 2 ounces strawberry puree into a champagne flute, add 3 ounces of prosecco and serve immediately.

*For the kids, substitute the prosecco with lemon-lime soda or ginger ale.

Have a wonderful weekend with family and friends. Bon appétit!

Brunch not your thing? I’ve got you covered with a great menu for an Easter Lamb Feast and Traditional Holiday Ham Dinner. Feel free to mix and match!

Want more? Click Here! for more seasonal menus or Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

What’s on your Easter menu? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below. I’d be delighted to add you to the growing list of blog subscribers. To subscribe: just scroll back up, fill in your email address and click on the Sign Me Up button.

And if you’ve got a minute … many thanks for taking a look at my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good

© Susan W. Nye, 2012

Holiday Special – Christmas Brunch

Throughout December I’m sharing different menus to help you create beautiful feasts for the holidays. You can find helpful hints and a beautiful Mediterranean menu and recipes for a fabulous cocktail party. I’ve put together seven fun plates for a Feast of Seven Fishes Tapas Party. Then again, maybe you’re serving turkey for Christmas? Well, I’ve got a great menu for you. And if you’d rather go with roast beast? I’ve got you covered with a delicious menu for beef or pork tenderloin.

But today … it’s all about Christmas Brunch.

Whether you have a long, lazy morning in bed followed by a leisurely coffee and a few presents or rise before dawn with over-excited little ones … brunch is a great alternative to a big Christmas dinner. Especially, if you cooked up a huge feast on Christmas Eve.

Keep it very casual. Let everyone stay in their pajamas … all day if they like. Serve the food buffet style and relax. There is no need to hurry.

Start with a toast to Santa and your good fortune with a colorful Mango Sparkle. There are two versions, one with and one without alcohol. If you need something cozy, warm up with a mug of Mulled Cider.

Hopefully, you’ve got a good bakery or bagelry nearby, there is nothing better than bagels and lox. (No one said you had to make everything from scratch.) It will only take a few minutes to create a beautiful platter of smoked salmon, capers, red onions and a small bowl of cream cheese. (Don’t forget to soak the onions in cold water for several hours or overnight to take the bite out!)

If you want to get fancy … A beautiful Asparagus & Goat Cheese Tart will make a delicious addition to your party. Unless you’re looking for something a little heartier like Spinach & Ricotta Pie. If you’ve got a small group, Brie & Sundried Tomato Omelets are a great choice. Don’t forget to make up a batch of Baked French Toast. This yummy casserole is perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth.

But if you’ve got a crowd, forget the individual omelets and whip up a big batch of Scrambled Eggs. If you like, dress up the eggs with some grated cheddar or crumbled goat cheese and a few chopped chives. Who doesn’t like cheesy eggs? With a strip or two of crispy bacon and/or a few sausage links, you’ve got everyone’s favorite breakfast feast!

Large or small crowd and especially for a late brunch, I like to add a simple Salad and some fresh fruit to the buffet table.

Complete your feast with a sweet treat. Don’t hesitate to pick up muffins and scones at the bakery. You’ve got a lot going on. However, if you were born to bake, try a batch of my Ginger Scones or an Apple Crumb Cake. For something creamy and sweet, give my Honeyed Apricots with Creamy Yogurt a try.

For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!!

What are you cooking for Christmas? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below.

Want more? Click here for more seasonal menus! In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. © Susan W. Nye, 2011