December, no matter how you slice it, is a hustle. No matter which holiday you observe (or don’t), Hanukkah and Christmas are overlapping this year. Kwanzaa starts on December 26th. December, friends, is going to be busy. So beyond packing the school and work lunches the night before, consider a few make-ahead breakfast moves. Because between us, do you really want to be measuring out flour and sugar for pancakes, then stand at the stove like a line cook on a weekend morning—especially when you could be sitting down with a cup of coffee while breakfast is in the oven?
We didn’t think so, so we’re serving up seven of our greatest-hits make-ahead breakfast recipes. Get cracking (eggs)!
One of the hit recipes from our cookbook just for kids, these gooey cinnamon rolls are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser (and, we’d argue, a mood-changer!) Bigger kids might even be able to make it on their own; littler ones will likely need a helping hand. Any kid will appreciate the sheer size of these delightful cinnamon rolls. The smell of cinnamon, vanilla icing and fresh orange zest, baking, are enough to get them out of bed and at the table in a good mood.
Eggnog in French toast form? Sign us up. This baked eggnog French toast knocks it out of the park, and you don’t need to tell anyone how easy it was to make. Eggy challah soaks up all the holiday’s best flavors–nutmeg; cinnamon; vanilla–the night before you bake it. (Just adults in the house? Include the bourbon!) As is true of those cinnamon rolls, it’s an olfactory alarm clock.
For some of us, protein is a must for the first meal of the day. Enter: breakfast strata with spinach and ham. Packing some vegetables into your breakfast is such a knockout move, health-wise, and eggs and ham will keep you satiated all morning. (Or wrapped in a cozy blanket on the couch; your call!) Make the whole thing the night before you want it, creep into the kitchen to pop it in the oven, set an alarm, and it’s ready an hour later. And look how gorgeous it is!
Say “bacon” and the chance that you’ll have a breakfast choice upon which everyone can agree increases significantly. This simple Bacon and Leek Quiche is a case in point. Studded with bacon and slow-cooked leeks, enriched with half-and-half and gruyere cheese, this savory quiche marries flavors beloved by kids and adults alike. And, you can serve it at room-temperature, which is such a boon when entertaining.
Did we include a lot of French toast in this roundup? We sure did! This dish is made for advance-cleverness delights, particularly this make-ahead vanilla bean French toast, which (thanks to the inclusion of real vanilla beans) rivals the cinnamon rolls in its ability to perfume the home.
Whether you’re about to host a shower, a PTA meeting, or Game Day, this vegetarian mushroom, goat cheese and herb frittata is a winner. Super-hearty and redolent of fresh oregano and thyme, it can be made the day before you want to eat it. Let it come to room temperature and have a hot pot of cider simmering on the stove to serve alongside. Win-win.
OK, OK, you got us: We can’t get enough of French toast during sweater weather. But just look at this Meyer lemon French toast! Californian Meyer lemons are in season from late November through March, and they’re just so dreamy, like a sweet, barely tart citrus perfume you can eat. Use their zest in this make-in-advance French toast, then squeeze their juice into bourbon sours, Meyer lemonade, or truly anything else for which you’d usually reach for a lemon. Make life a little sweeter this season.