Christmas Morning

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Merry Christmas everyone!  If Christmas isn’t your thing, happy holidays!  If holidays aren’t your thing, happy winter morning.

For some delightful reason I love to pick “go big or go home” recipes for any dish I make on Christmas.  This started in high school when I would choose the cover of Bon Appetit or Gourmet to create Christmas night’s dessert, which would result in me in complete frustration.  Really?!?  Why do I continue this ridiculous habit?

Actually, in truth, these are both fantastic recipes!  If you’re making them by themselves, they’re quite simple (especially the egg dish).  But in combination with each other, I pretty much used every pan in the kitchen.  Which lead to a massive cleaning session.

But I digress.  I have to admit that even though these two recipes were a bit more than I expected, I would do it all over again.  They are delicious!


  1.  The muffins are spot on; excellent recipe!  Cooking Light always has really yummy recipes, and they are very easy to make.
  2. Paul does not like sweet potatoes so I just used regular, old russet potatoes.
  3. I also used full fat cheddar cheese (I like the fat).
  4. I have no idea what Aleppo pepper is and of course I only have regular paprika, not hot paprika.  But as a brilliant substitute, I used red pepper flakes.  They gave a lovely, warm kick; not too much.

Christmas Morning.jpg

Glazed Apple Crumb Muffins (recipe care of Sally’s Baking Addiction)


Crumb Topping:  1/3 cup (67g) packed light or dark brown sugar, 1 Tablespoon (15g) granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter (melted), 2/3 cup (84g) all-purpose flour

Muffins:  1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter (softened to room temperature), 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar, 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar, 2 large eggs (at room temperature), 1/2 cup (120g) yogurt, at room temperature, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, 1 and 3/4 cups (220g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup (60ml) milk (any kind), at room temperature, 1 and 1/2 cups peeled, chopped apple (2 small apples)

Vanilla Icing:  1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar, 3 Tablespoons (45ml) heavy cream (or milk for a less creamy texture), 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Make the crumb topping: In a medium bowl, combine both sugars, the cinnamon, and melted butter. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the flour. The crumb topping will be thick and crumbly. Set aside.  Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray or line with cupcake liners. You may need a 2nd pan as this recipe makes up to 14 muffins, though you can always bake in batches using 1 pan. Set aside. *See note about jumbo size muffins.  

Make the muffins: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars together on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, yogurt, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute, then turn up to high speed until the mixture is combined and uniform in texture. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.  Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, add the milk and apple, and mix on low speed until everything is combined.  Spoon the batter evenly into each cup or liner, filling each all the way to the top. Press a handful of the crumb topping into the top of each; crumble it with your hands to make some big chunks.  Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F (218°C) degrees, then keeping the muffins in the oven, lower the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C) and bake for 15-17 more minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The total time these muffins take in the oven is about 20-22 minutes.  

Make the icing: whisk all of the ingredients together and drizzle over warm muffins.  Muffins stay fresh stored at room temperature for a few days– then transfer to the fridge for up to 1 week.

Breakfast Hot Dish (recipe care of Cooking Light)

INGREDIENTS:  1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (unpeeled and cut into 1/8-in.-thick slices), 1 large onion (thinly sliced), 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons Aleppo pepper (or 1 Tbsp. hot paprika), Cooking spray, 8 large eggs, 1 1/4 cups whole milk, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 3 ounces grated reduced-fat white cheddar cheese (about 3/4 cup), 1/2 pound turkey or chicken breakfast sausage (cooked and crumbled), 1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 400°F.  Toss sweet potatoes and onion with oil and Aleppo pepper; spread into an even layer on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes or until tender.  Place potatoes and onions in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and black pepper. Pour egg mixture over potato mixture; fold in cheese and sausage. Coat a 13- x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray; pour in egg mixture. Bake for 30 minutes or until set and browned on top. Cool slightly before serving. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon yogurt.

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