Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'CHRISTMAS EVE ... A NIGHT OF SONG' ~ CHRISTMAS BRUNCH: CRANBERRY WASSAIL / CRANBERRY APPLE FRENCH TOAST / CITRUS AMBROSIA

"Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart ... filled it, too, with melody that would last forever."

~ Bess Streeter Aldrich

~ Well-deserved rest
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CRANBERRY WASSAIL

~ A treat for the whole family

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1 tsp. whole cloves

3 broken cinnamon sticks

1 (48-oz) bottle cranberry juice

1 (48-oz) bottle apple juice

1 (6-oz) can thawed frozen lemonade

2/3 cup water

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1 (33.8 oz.) bottle ginger ale

Apple wedges

cranberries

  • Tie cloves and cinnamon in cheesecloth bag or use tea ball.
  • Combine cranberry juice and next 6 ingredients and spice bag/ball in large pot; bring to boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Uncover and simmer another 20 minutes. Discard spice bag/ball. Add ginger ale and warm until hot.
  • Serve in mug with apple wedge and a few cranberries.

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CRANBERRY APPLE FRENCH TOAST

~ Make ahead Christmas Brunch favorite loosely (adding way more fat and tweaks) adapted from Cooking Light 2007

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4 Tbsp. unsalted butter

2 diced tart apples

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

dash of ground cloves

1/2 cup packed brown sugar, divided

1 loaf challah or French bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

cooking spray

1/2 cup dried cranberries

2 cups whole milk or half & half

1 cup whole berry cranberry sauce (preferable homemade)

1 tsp. grated lemon zest

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

6 lightly beaten organic eggs

1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds

  • Preheat oven to 250-degrees.
  • Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Add apples, cinnamon and cloves; cook 10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Stir in 2 Tbsp. brown sugar; cook 2 minutes or until sugar melts. Remove from heat.
  • Place bread cubes on jelly-roll pan and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven.
  • Arrange bread cubes in buttered casserole or 13x9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray, sprinkle cranberries evenly over and top with apple mixture.
  • Combine milk/half &half, cranberry sauce, lemon rind, nutmeg and lightly beaten eggs with whisk. Pour egg mixture over bread mixture. Sprinkle with remaining brown sugar, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove casserole from refrigerate and preheat oven to 350-degrees. Sprinkle with almonds and bake for about 55 minutes or until golden. (12 servings)

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CITRUS AMBROSIA

~ Christmas pretty ... mix & match favorites as desired

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4 sliced bananas

1/4 cup orange juice

2 cups favorite seasonal citrus

(oranges, tangerines, or clementine sections)

1 cup halved fresh strawberries

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 Tbsp. sugar

1/2 cup whipped whipping cream

2 Tbsp. toasted flaked coconut

fresh mint sprigs

  • Toss bananas in orange juice; drain and reserve juice. Layer orange sections, bananas, and strawberries in serving dish (either deep or in rows). Cover and chill.
  • Combine mayonnaise, sugar and reserved orange juice; fold in whipped cream. Spoon mixture over fruits and sprinkle with toasted coconut and sprigs of fresh mint. (6-8 servings)

~ Many faces of 'Bloomfield Village' Santa

15 comments:

Frances said...

Have a wonderful and delicious Christmas, Joey! You have given us so many wonderful recipes, quotes and photos over the year, we do appreciate your efforts very much!

Frances

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...

Joey,

Oooh... I love Wassail, French Toast and Ambrosia... oh my... these recipes sound great!

My scones just came out of the oven to cool a bit. I can't wait too long. (recipe on my blog today)

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!
Cameron

Nan said...

This was just a wonderful posting! I love the Santas, and the recipes sound great. I'm all for adding more fat (butter) to recipes. :<) Merry, Merry times to you.

marmee said...

oh i had some catching up to do, virginia! love all your images of st. nick. have yourself a merry little christmas, now joey!

Gail said...

Joey, Happiest Christmas...thank you for the wishes and the great recipes! Gail

Connie said...

The recipes sound delightful. May you and yours have a wonderful Christmas!

BTW, I loved the old Christmas postcards in your last post.

Ewa said...

Wesolych SwiÄ…t!! Merry Christmas Joey!

Carolyn gail said...

I just love Ambrosia, Joey. My mouth is always watering when I visit your blog. I must try the recipe for the Cranberry Wassail .

Warm wishes for a very Merry Christmas and many blessings in the new year.

beckie said...

Joey, I love wassail, but have never made it with cranberries.Sounds deliciousI wish you the Merriest Christmas and the Happiest New Year. May it be filled with love!

jodi said...

Although I'm not into eating much, these sound wonderful, as always, Joey. I hope you and yours have a delectable, happy and peaceful holiday, and here's to a terrific 2009.

joey said...

It's a joy knowing you, dear talented Frances. Thank you for sharing truly amazing posts ... I'm a huge fan ;)

The scones sound delightful, Cameron ... love 'em. Do hope your Christmas was filled with happiness and joy. Good wishes for a peaceful Happy New Year!

Thanks Nan ~ I love my old Santas, many treasured from my childhood. Wishing you a Happy New Year!

Hi Marmee ~ can imagine postcard pretty days in your lovely home. Wishing you a Happy New Year!

Thanks Gail ~ have fun photographing a hopefully beautiful holiday season! Happy New Year!

Thank you, Connie, and do hope your holidays are blessed as is the coming New Year. (Thanks for noticing my old postcards ... I have quite a collection!)

... and Joyeux Noel, Ewa!

Thank you, Carolyn ~ the Wassail is a great toasting drink for the entire family. Can imagine your holidays, jolly & bright, with the arrival of your precious new present.

Do hope your Christmas was merry, dear Beckie ~ my thoughts and prayers are with you for a healthy and peaceful New Year.

Jodi ~ besides me, you have a huge list of fans, hoping and praying that your New Year is filled with good health and happiness!

inadvertentfarmer said...

I have been looking for something interesting the whole family can drink on New Year's Eve...your cranberry wassail looks perfect! Thanks Joey for all the delicious recipes and wonderful thoughts and photos. I hope you have a wonderful and blessed New Year, Kim

joey said...

You are most welcome, dear Kim. It's been a great joy knowing you (love your warm keen sense of humor, one of God's greatest gifts). Warm wishes for a joyous and peaceful New Year!

The Garden Faerie said...

Love the Santa collage!
~Monica

joey said...

Thanks Monica ~ many are very old (treasures from my childhood).