Christmas Day Brunch 2012

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So easy a monkey could make it....

Ian's family has a traditional Christmas breakfast that involves monkey bread.  The only downside to their breakfast is that they ate it before opening presents!  Coming from a family whose parents allowed them to get up as early as they liked (think 3:00 a.m.) to open stockings provided we were quiet, I adopted the monkey bread but not the timing of breakfast.

I made this two days earlier using my friend Arielle's recipe. She does say you can attempt to refrigerate after assembly and let it rise that morning but I was too afraid.  I wound up using a lot more brown sugar as well.  If you do bake ahead of time, wrap well and reheat in a 350F oven for 15 minutes or so.

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 The gingerbread flavor is not overpowering--you could make this any time of year.   I made a big bowl of grapefruit supremes.  I added some pomegranate for color and because Sophie said, "You never buy pomegranates," after going to Jamba Juice with Ian.  Ian's sister and her family came for brunch, and there was much merriment with sparkling/blackberry wine cocktails, card games and the antics of Pom Diggity. 

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 The other star of the brunch table: my friend Abby's make-ahead bread pudding.  Ian and Sophie made this on Christmas Eve while I was bumbling my way through my first day in a new clinic.  In between looking for tape measures, urine cups and VBAC consent forms I was answering texts like, "where is the rosemary? Can we use more than 6 cups of bread? Where do I get tsp pepper?"  Abby would be proud because we duded up the casserole with a layer of grated cheddar and sliced scallions on top.  The casserole shared the oven with the Christmas ham (made my own glaze with brown sugar/mustard/cider vinegar) and came out puffy and beautiful.  Sophie was sad that the cream cheese layer didn't spread out--consider this advance notice--don't expect the cream cheese to melt and spread.  Nobody will care. 

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