The family came over on Saturday for lunch and to decorate Christmas cookies.
Knowing that Saturday was going to be busy, I prepared a strata the night before. I have not made one in ages. They are very simple. I cooked some breakfast sausage, and drained it. In a medium sized glass baking pan, ( 9x 5 ) I placed four slices of Italian bread, and layered the sausage and shredded cheddar cheese over that. Depending on the size of the eggs on hand…anywhere from 7-9 might be needed. I used nine and whisked them together with one cup of milk. I poured this on top and stored it in the fridge until morning, when I baked it. This is a nice versatile recipe because you could use ham and peppers, or Italian sausage versus sweet breakfast sausage, and mozzarella versus cheddar. At 350 degrees, this takes about 45 minutes to bake.
While that was baking, I prepared a double-recipe of sugar cookie dough and put it into the fridge to chill, and then cut up some lemons for fresh lemonade. When I take the time to do this, it is always a big hit.
The basic recipe is 1/2 cup sugar to 5 lemons. The bag that I purchased had 8, so I sliced up all eight, removing the seeds as I went along, and then put them and 3/4 cup sugar into a bowl. I stirred this up and then let it sit for awhile, and about a half an hour later, I mashed them up a bit to get more of the juice out. At this point I usually find the seeds that I missed and remove them as well. I split this up between two pitchers and added water and in about an hour or so there was delicious lemonade. What is so nice about this is, when that is gone, I just take the lemons from the one pitcher and add it to the other, add water again, and let that sit overnight and I have more lemonade the next day.
I had made the home made turkey broth the evening before so on Saturday, I just had to add 1 can of cream of chicken soup to that to thicken it, and cook the egg noodles. The menu would be homemade turkey noodle soup, fresh lemonade, and apples…each child had to have some fresh apples to go along with the soup ( chalkful of carrots and celery etc, ) to ensure that they had lots of healthy food in their tummies before we moved on to the cookies that they were going to decorate later.
And it worked…they were more interested in decorating their already baked cookies than eating them. When they saw all of the bowls of colored icing being brought out out my grandson said “Oh boy! We are going to PAINT them!!” :) I used the same simple confectioner sugar icing that I always do and my son pointed out that this his his favorite all time icing. ( well, he only eats it once a year on Christmas cookies so no wonder : )
At some point my grandson spilled some sprinkles…
With several adults to help the 5 children, it worked out well. A bit of a mess, but lots of fun. In the end the children took two plastic bins home of Christmas cookies and were quite pleased with the results of their work.
I kept about 10 here for me. And ate them all by the next day. And that is why I sent all of the rest out of this house! :)
- Jann’s Sugar & Spice Christmas at Have a Daily Cup of Mrs Olson
- Common Ground
- The Thrifty Groove
- 1840 Farm
- Little Homestead on the Hill
- The Tablescaper
- Cozy Little House
- A Delightsome Life