When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Simple and Delicious Ideas for Christmas Morning Breakfast (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free)

Yesterday, I excitedly posted a gluten-free recipe for Christmas Eve meat pies here, a modified version of the delicious ones my mom has made for years.  This morning, I received a gentle email message from my mom, in which she said very kindly that maybe she was wrong, but she was wondering if I meant three "cups" of meat, as I had posted in my recipe, or did I really mean three "pounds".  I could tell by the wording of her message that she was reluctant to bring it up because she didn't want to point out that I was wrong, but it seemed to her that in order for the recipe to work, it would need to be three pounds of meat.  Well, of course she was right!!  I had indeed used three pounds of meat, but had typed three cups when I sat down at my computer, and somehow despite several rounds of proofreading, I didn't catch my mistake.  I thanked my mom very much for pointing that out to me so I could fix it, and then we joked a bunch about how fun (not) it would be to stuff raw meat into measuring cups to get the right amount, and how wimpy the meat pies would have been had I actually used three cups, and then I told her that this whole scenario just proves that a girl will always somehow need her mom in her kitchen.  Thank goodness for moms!

Today we are spending the day hunkering down inside our warm and cozy house, because outside everything is covered in a thick layer of ice after a nasty winter storm.  I've been doing some more baking and cooking in preparation for our Christmas celebrations, and that work has been a pleasant and welcome distraction from watching the very sorry sight of our giant willow tree slowly breaking, limb by limb, and falling to the ground in our backyard under the weight of all the ice. 

Matt is now going to ask Santa for a chainsaw for Christmas.  :(

Today's baking resulted in some special treats for Christmas morning.  While many families enjoy a large, sit-down breakfast on Christmas, our little family prefers something simple (yet still hearty and nourishing), so we can eat in bits and bites while we sit around the Christmas tree opening gifts.  I have a couple of tried and true recipes that I can prepare in advance of the big morning, so when Christmas arrives and excited but hungry children don't have the patience for sitting at the dining table, all I have to do is warm up a few things and serve them.

This baked oatmeal with apples, cinnamon, and pomegranate makes a wonderfully easy and filling Christmas breakfast, and the pomegranate arils make it especially festive, too!  I'll make this dish during the day on Christmas Eve, refrigerate it overnight, and then place it in a warm oven to reheat it Christmas morning.

A favourite treat that the boys request for every special occasion breakfast is these orange dark chocolate chip scones, a recipe from elana's pantry.  I've made a few changes to her recipe (I only use 1/4 of a teaspoon of baking soda; I substitute 1 tablespoon of arrowroot flour mixed in with the dry ingredients and 3 tablespoons of water mixed in with the wet ingredients to replace the egg, and I use part of a dark chocolate bar, finely chopped, rather than dark chocolate chips because I've never been able to find true dark chocolate chips.)  These scones are really delicious, and they, too, can be made ahead of time and then simply warmed up before serving so that the chocolate gets nice and melty again.

The last thing I'll add to our Christmas breakfast is a tray of colourful, cut-up fresh fruits.  It's a very simple holiday meal to prepare, yet one that all four of us will very much enjoy!

Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a truly happy holiday season, filled with good food and wonderful people you love. 

xo Lisa