Christmas Morning + Homemade Hot Cocoa

I almost didn’t write this post thinking I should skip ahead to a better one instead of posting stationary consisting mostly of family stories and little of actual ideas or recipes. You know, something my readers would be ‘more interested in’. What? Hit the brakes…fast!! I would love to see this blog become successful over the years, but I never want to reach that goal by straying away from my initial intent and passion that fuels each post. Then I realized some of you may still find a cute idea or tradition to adopt from our simple holiday. Tip of the day? Always stay true to yourself and your work and don’t underestimate the impact every piece can have on others. For those of you who do stop by solely for new ideas (aka readers who aren’t my parents or Grandma) don’t fret! I do have a recipe that fits right in with my story telling today so if you stick with me here (or use that fancy scroll bar to your right) there’s a delicious hot cocoa recipe at the end sure to put a stop to your store bought cocoa mix purchases.

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We only have a few hours with Hailey on Christmas, but I love that we have the AM hours when her excitement of the day is just beginning and she is filled with that special Christmas morning joy. We also have her the entire week leading up to Christmas day when we answer the question “is it almost Christmas” at least four times 🙂 I suppose the anticipation really grows with a gift like this under the tree days before…

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That photo is a screen shot of Hailey’s Instagram. We couldn’t help but laugh after my brother showed us what she posted! It’s a Christmas Eve tradition you can read about “here” and never falls short creating a wonderful family evening! This year was no exception with new pajamas, tasty treats and fun games! The joy of Christmas morning finally arriving was the perfect start to our holiday as a family. I always try my best to get up around an hour early for the opportunity to enjoy a bit of quiet time before the hustle and bustle of the day begins and the focus turns to food, family and gifts. It’s my time to light the room using only the Christmas tree and reflect on the true meaning of the holiday. I would love to have this kind of time in the morning on a regular basis, but do you know how hard it is to get out of bed that early? Exponentially harder on work days, might I add! I did have one interruption during my morning time this year though. Can you see those pointy ears in the tree below? Our dear cat Mosby is the sole reason our tree has but one lonely ornament!

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Once we rummaged through all the gifts and made a sizable mess in our living room courtesy of wrapping paper and ribbons, we moved on to Christmas morning breakfast. Hailey dug into playing as we did some prepping in the kitchen. I made an Egg and Bacon crescent ring that turned out quite well and was fairly simple since half the work was done the night before cooking bacon and chopping vegetables. Perhaps I’ll share two recipes in this post. People will start searching for my story rambling in hopes of secret recipes hidden inside 🙂 The other part of breakfast was a fun hot cocoa bar containing one too many sugar filled toppings and completed with snowman doughnuts at the end! We originally planned on having the hot cocoa Christmas Eve, but as we were driving home from Allen’s parents’ house around 7:00 that evening Hailey sweetly said “Sara, do you think we could have the hot cocoa in the morning instead? It will just keep me up tonight and I really want to be able to fall asleep.” I owe countless smiles and laughs to that girl. Christmas morning worked out much better too; good idea, Hailey 🙂

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So we ate breakfast, drank our extravagant hot cocoa and played until it was time to switch gears and send Hailey off to her next Christmas as we headed to our next one too. We certainly missed her for the remainder of the day, but were also lucky enough to have a delicious dinner at my Grandma and Grandpa’s house and spend quality time with parents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles. As an added bonus, we had a Christmas dinner with my Dad’s side of the family the next day at a great Amish restaurant – comfort food at its finest! It was perfect with a room to ourselves and a family style dinner where we again all ate just the right amount of food 😉 Another wonderful Christmas is in the books and almost another year. I don’t know where the time is going, but I’m definitely enjoying the journey. I hope you are too and if I don’t check in before 2016 I wish you and your families a happy and blessed new year! Keep looking forward and make the most of every moment!

Oh yeah, the recipes? Those of you who stuck with me here really deserve them!

Homemade Hot Cocoa

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 4 cups Milk
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla

Instructions:

  1. In a small mixing bowl, stir cocoa powder and sugar together until well combined. Set aside.
  2. In a medium sized saucepan, heat the milk until near boiling hot.
  3. Mix 1/3 cup of the hot milk into the cocoa/sugar mixture. Pour cocoa mixture into hot milk still in the saucepan and stir until well blended.
  4. Stir in vanilla. Serve with your choice of toppings. Whipped cream, crushed candy canes and mini chocolate chips highly recommended. Enjoy 🙂

Egg and Bacon Crescent Ring

Ingredients:

  • 1 can Pillsbury Crescents
  • 8 slices cooked Bacon
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 5 Eggs
  • 2 Tbsp Milk
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Cook bacon in a skillet or in the oven until done to your liking. (I did this the night before to save on prep time)
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs mixed with milk. Add chopped peppers, season with salt and pepper and stir well.
  4. Cook eggs/peppers in a skillet to scramble.
  5. Lay crescents on a parchment paper covered baking pan in the shape of a star. (wide ends will be in the middle making a circle)
  6.  Lay a piece of bacon on each crescent. Add half of the cheese around the ring and top with scrambled eggs. Sprinkle remaining cheese around the ring.
  7. Fold crescents over and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

 

As always, thanks for reading!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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