There is no place like home for the holidays and there is nothing better by my account than having breakfast made ahead of time. Okay someone else making breakfast and delivering it bedside might just top that, but who wants to clean up the crumbs afterwards? Ummm… not me.
So sticking with the next best thing is a make ahead the night before breakfast that can be popped in the oven so you can enjoy the holiday mornings with the masses. Don’t worry, you can take some breaks from the relatives by ‘checking on the oatmeal’ and peacing out to the kitchen to grab another mimosa if need be. Wait, I don’t want to reveal all my secrets so let’s just keep that one between us, okay?
I decided to test this recipe out ahead of the holidays and I am so happy with the results. Firstly, the timing was great! Instead of making the usual big brunch in the morning, this recipe opted for more time to dig out the Christmas decorations. For once we were able to start early enough in the day that it didn’t end in a midnight conversation of ‘Where does this go?’ that gets the reply of ‘Just put it somewhere’. If any of you who have small children who like to help and will not go for a nap know decorating can be a fun but a trying process.
Starting the morning with a bowl full of stick to your ribs oatmeal to give you fuel for the tasks at hand is one of the smartest things I have done. Full bellies equal happy helpers.
The erection of the tree along with the rolls of lights, bins of bulbs, tangles of tinsel and ropes of ribbon were no match for my family. A game plan was set out and the spirits were high along with the energy level of my daughter. The holidays are especially magical at that age and the excitement can not be contained. You can try, but you will lose. You just have to go with it and limit the area of sharp and breakable objects (good luck with the ornaments).
I must say, the day was a success. There was tree trimming, ornament hanging and all that jazz. The carols were blasting on the speakers and there was at least 5 renditions of ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’ identified. The excitement of it all worked in the favour of an agreed upon ‘relax time’ – not called naps anymore, but there is definitely sleeping involved. This allowed time for my Hubby to sneak out for a bit to purchase some egg nog and myself to enjoy some ‘me time’ to zhoosh up the tree branches with a touch of sparkle.
The relax time came to an end just in time to add the last of the decorations which is the best part of all. Nobody felt they were missing out.
By the time everything was in it’s place and the whole house seemed to exude the holiday spirit it was time for dinner. A stock pot full of Italian wedding soup was already made the day before and added to the ease of the evening. We then settled in for the family tradition of watching ‘The Grinch’ in our pajamas the first day the tree provides its’ amber glow in the corner.
So don’t miss out on those special holiday moments and put your mind at ease while providing a wonderful start to the day with a hearty breakfast. It really is as easy as bringing it out of the fridge and placing it in the oven to bake. No fuss not muss as the prep the night before is really simple.
The tartness of the cranberry truly shines through and you can add some cream or milk to soften the bite, however way you like it. It is truly a fan favourite at my house as it was devoured by my daughter who just can not get enough. The recipe makes enough to feed the holiday crowd or is equally nice to have on hand for a hot breakfast during the week. It is like Christmas in a bowl and I will be looking forward to having it again soon.
Happy Holidays, Happy Cooking and Happy Family.
Holiday Overnight Oatmeal
Make ahead oatmeal that is perfect for the holiday mornings! Enjoy time with your family while your hearty breakfast bakes.
- 2 1/2 Tbsp butter
- 2 cups sliced apples
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp all spice
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 cups whole milk
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 6 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled
- 2 tsp vanilla
Cranberry Apple Fruit Base
Oatmeal Pecan Topping
Apple slicess and fresh cranberries to decorate
- Prepare a large deep oval baking dish by greasing the bottom and sides lightly with 1/2 Tbsp of butter and set aside.
- In a large sauce pan melt the remaining butter and add in the apple slices, cranberries, brown sugar, nutmeg, all spice, cardamom, ginger and cinnamon. Cook over medium high heat for 5-7 minutes until cranberries and apple slices are softened. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the rolled oats, pecans brown sugar, salt and baking powder.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the heavy cream, whole milk, eggs, butter and vanilla.
- Add the cranberry apple fruit base to the bottom of the prepared oval baking dish and spread evenly on the base. On top of the fruit evenly distribute the oatmeal pecan topping. Pour the liquid over the top and slightly stir with a wooden spoon. Place a greased sheet of tin foil over the top of the dish and place in the refrigerator on a level surface overnight.
- In the morning preheat the oven to 375 degrees and remove the oatmeal from the refrigerator. Place it in the oven to bake for 1 1/2. Remove the tin foil cover and let brown for another 20-25 minutes. Check that the interior is warmed through by inserting a table knife in the centre and checking the temperature of the knife after it has been withdrawn. Once baked, remove from heat and let set for about 15 minutes before serving. Decorate with apple slices and fresh cranberries.
Cranberry Apple Fruit Base
Oatmeal Pecan Topping