There’s something magical about Christmas morning. It’s one of the few days of the year my sister and I rise in time to eat a breakfast that consists of something more than a banana and a cereal bar. The excitement of the day drives us both o

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 17, 2013

There’s something magical about Christmas morning. 

It’s one of the few days of the year my sister and I rise in time to eat a breakfast that consists of something more than a banana and a cereal bar. The excitement of the day drives us both out of bed much earlier than usual. 

Since lunch isn’t served until well past 1 p.m., my mother has gotten in the habit of whipping up a hearty Christmas breakfast. 

Instead of tying up the kitchen cooking pancakes and eggs, she actually puts together a French toast dish the night before. 

Her overnight French toast has become a family favorite since she started baking it about five years ago. I like it so much I often ask her to make it when I’m just home visiting for the weekend. 

I recently tried my hand at making the scrumptious dish and found it was even easier than I expected. 

All you have to do is whisk together four eggs, orange juice, sugar, vanilla and nutmeg. That concoction is poured on top of French bread laid out in a glass pan. 

I substituted cinnamon for nutmeg in my version, a tip my mom offered up. I’ve had it both ways and can’t tell much of a difference, so I suggest using whatever you already have at home. 

After that’s done you simply cover the dish and pop it in the fridge overnight. 

All you have to do in the morning is add melted butter, top with sliced almonds and slip it in the oven. I haven’t tried it without butter, but I’m guessing you can forgo it in order to have a slightly healthier dish without losing much flavor. 

After just 45 minutes in the oven, you have French toast for at least four people. 

I love this French toast because it’s not overly sweet and the butter makes it a bit savory. 

My mom likes it because it’s not necessary to add syrup, although I still do. 

Another quick overnight breakfast I recently discovered is oatmeal. 

Instead of cooking the oats, you can allow them to sit overnight in a mixture of milk and Greek yogurt. 

The recipe calls for almond milk, but any type of milk will do. 

I followed the recipe by using vanilla yogurt, but suspect you can switch it out for a fruit flavor. 

I topped my finished product with a dash of brown sugar, but adding slices of banana or a few blueberries is another option. The great thing about this oatmeal is its versatility, I doubt any topping would ruin it. 

I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty this oatmeal ended up being. I’m not a huge oatmeal fan, but I plan to go back to this recipe, which yields between one and two servings. 

I’ve included recipes to my mom’s Overnight French Toast Bake and the Overnight Oatmeal, as well as a recipe for a Cheesy Sausage Breakfast Casserole that I have yet to make. 

These recipes will keep you out of the kitchen and in the moment on Christmas Day. 

Overnight French Toast Bake 

1 loaf French bread cut into 1/2 inch slices

4 eggs

2/3 cup orange juice

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 cut butter, melted

1/2 cup sliced almonds



Arrange bread slices in greased 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish, overlapping as necessary.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs until blended. Whisk in orange juice, sugar, vanilla and nutmeg. 

Pour evenly over bread. Cover and refrigerate for a least 6 hours or overnight. 

Preheat over to 375 degrees. Drizzle butter over top of bread and sprinkle with almonds. 

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until set. 



Overnight Oatmeal

2/3 cup almond milk, or milk of your choice 

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt 

1 pinch of cinnamon



The night before you plan to eat your oats, mix together all of the ingredients listed above and seal in an airtight container.

Refrigerate the mixture overnight. They will be ready in about 3 hours, but overnight is best.

Wake up and enjoy. Add fresh berries and a little agave nectar in the morning or top it off with a pinch of brown sugar, a handful of walnuts and some sliced up banana.




Cheesy Sausage Breakfast Casserole

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 pound uncooked pork breakfast sausage, casings removed

12 large eggs

2 1/2 cups whole milk

2 teaspoons ground mustard

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 ounces French or sourdough baguette, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 5 1/2 cups)

3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese 

3/4 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese 



Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon, until it’s no longer pink and is starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool for 10 minutes.

Place the eggs in a large bowl and whisk until they’re broken up. Add the milk, mustard, salt, and pepper and whisk to combine. 

Add the reserved sausage, bread, and cheeses and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and spread it into an even layer. Cover the dish with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to bake the casserole, heat the oven to 350 degrees and arrange a rack in the middle. Meanwhile, remove the casserole from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature.

Uncover the casserole and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 to 55 minutes. Remove the pan to a wire rack and let it cool for 10 minutes before serving.