Christmas is over! Like even this post is probably so out of left field because everyone has MOVED ON. I’m dying a little inside and not entirely ready to let go. But it’s complicated.
Here’s the Thing about Christmas
It’s always so weird how we wait and wait for it to come and it’s by FAR the best time of year. But then it comes and brings with it this sense of panic:
- It’s passing too fast.
- There’s not enough time for all of the activities and traditions and memory making.
- We’ve skipped too many traditions – maybe we don’t even have any- we’re failures.
- Our elf is so much lazier than everyone else’s elf.
- Knox is just mad he can’t eat his whole chocolate advent in one sitting — until we finally let him do it.
- Finn thinks our decor sucks because we don’t have any blow-up snowmen on our lawn.
- Mila’s bound to be disappointed since the ONLY THING SHE WANTS is a dog and we’re still like NO THANKS to one more living creature needing and whining in our house until our kids do less of both of those things…
- And we can’t find a local hospital with needy children for our Mother Theresa (Sophia) to serve in, and won’t let her donate everything she owns.
- We skipped the 25 days of Christ box ALL TOGETHER– the one I was all excited to make a thing… it just didn’t fit.
The problem is nothing else stops! It all keeps going, soccer and school and church callings and homework… and yet tons of calm, peaceful magic is supposed to be squeeeeeeezed in. This year we tried really hard to just focus on what we DID do and STOP making lists of things we missed. But I can’t turn the lists off in my head guys… they just keep writing themselves.
But then January comes and I’m so sad it’s over! But also — I can breath again. But maybe that’s all just me.
I LOVE Christmas like I love food. Like UNCONDITIONALLY. Don’t get me wrong. I really did relish every second and never let Alexa stop playing Christmas music… and cried a little over It’s a Wonderful Life. I’m so sad it’s really all over. But man, it’s different as a mom right? There’s a lot of magic -making that falls on my shoulders and sometimes I’m just fresh out of magic.
So I’m for sure mourning the tree coming down, and the music-phase-out, and the right to demand nothing but Christmas movies be shown on our TV. But I also feel free as a bird. Like I can cook dinner and make my kids shower and go to bed without squeezing in a mandatory advent item in the non-existent sidebar of our days.
But one of the Best Things about Christmas?
Looking back at it. The highlights of course. Which make it so in about three and a half weeks, I’ll be ready for next year and waiting anxiously for ONE MILLION days until it finally comes. I know I’m complicated.
Ross made this video of our Christmas 2017 during the magical madness of Christmas 2018. I can’t believe he pulled it off! And since he did, and since it captures my favorite handful of people on the planet, even if they do demand the world from me in December, it’s got to be shared…
Even if it is a year old and my short hair makes it so I can’t lie and pretend it’s current. But also Finn’s baby teeth do that— these darling ones below that I’ve been missing like MAD ever since he lost them and then became an eight year old MAN. Watch, this year he’ll get B.O. (Why does nobody warn you that can start so early??) Somebody STOP THE CLOCK.
Don’t be scared that you’re just watching unedited home video… give it a few seconds before one of my FAVORITE Christmas songs kicks in!
And one more thing that I love and MOURN when Christmas is over:
The Christmas BREAKFAST.
I didn’t have any plans to photograph something amazing… so excuse the couple of iphone photos… but here’s the thing. It was our most successful Christmas breakfast ever. Not because we’ve never had better food. But because I’d finally managed to prep it the night before! Game changer!!!
Cinnamon Rolls- Turned Overnight
I used my favorite giant cinnamon roll recipe, but was determined to make them overnight. I won’t add overnight to the title… because ideally you make these the day of, but it worked! Here’s what I did:
- Followed the recipe through rolling them and slicing them…. finished that around 11 pm (so maybe that late hour helped because it wasn’t QUITE as long as it could have been), and covered the pan loosely with saran wrap sprayed with nonstick spray. Stuck em in the fridge.
- Ran down and pulled them out first thing the next morning- around 7am, turned the oven on for a couple of minutes, then turned it off, and tucked the rolls in the warm oven to rise. I left them for at least an hour.
- Once we came down, I just kept an eye on em until they were nice and puffy… not much longer. I let them finish rising on the counter while the casseroles baked for about an hour, and they were ready to go in while the casseroles rested!
- I baked according to the recipe. They may not have risen quite as tall as usual… but NOBODY would have noticed but me. In fact my family said they were their favorite yet! Who knows. Maybe the Christmas magic.
So since there has to be something savory, I did one big breakfast casserole for my family, with all of the goodies it called for in this fabulous recipe from Our Best Bites. ( Only with half canadian bacon and half sausage because I like to complicate things.) But as I chopped the canadian bacon and thought about JUST how much I wanted to “let loose” the next day… I had a vision of the giant cinnamon roll I planned to eat. And thought maybe it wouldn’t hurt to balance it out just a little.
How I made the Egg White Veggie Breakfast Bake
So this was a total experiment, an afterthought, but here’s what I did.
- Laid down a Joseph’s pita in the bottom of that little mini-casserole dish up there.
- Then chopped a bunch of veggies and mixed them in to egg whites, an egg, some seasoning and parmesan.
- Poured that chunky veggie mixture over the pita, covered with foil, and hoped for the best! It took like five minutes. So I didn’t have too much skin in the game.
Now all I had to do Christmas morning was sneak down before presents, pull it all out of the fridge, and get the cinnamon rolls rising…
Then when we all raced down to start (ahem) the magic duh… I just tucked it all in the oven in a perfectly unscathed kitchen. WHUTTTTT. I’m typically trying to balance being a part of all of the fun and also blowing up my kitchen making breakfast, so this was AMAZING!!
Once they could pause long enough to eat, everyone got to sit down TOGETHER to warm, fresh, gooey cinnamon rolls and two different breakfast casseroles. A rich, cheesy, classic one for Ross and the kids… and a super skinny egg white and veggie one for me. And I STILL HAD A CLEAN KITCHEN.
I expected it to be meh, but knew it’d be nice to be able to pile a big piece on my plate and take part in the fun without feeling wrecked by 10. Sometimes that’s all I need.
But guess what. I LOVED IT! And the macros were insane! At like 17 carbs and 60 protein for the whole dish, it was the perfect thing to keep coming back to nibble on all day. And literally the PERFECT antidote for the massive NON-PROTEIN enhanced (because ew) cinnamon roll that was obviously all I really cared about. Ha.
It was Christmas I know… and I wasn’t stressed about being perfect or even tracking, BUT….. if it can be avoided, feeling gross and sick all day is never any fun… especially not on Christmas. It’s bad enough I don’t brush my hair till like 4 in the afternoon. (Confession.) This just made it possible to mindlessly enjoy breakfast with my fam while still being able to stand up straight at the end. WIN.
Easiest thing ever, this will ABSOLUTELY be repeated over here anytime I have a reason to make a breakfast casserole for my family. So I’m putting it here for all of us!
Egg White Veggie Breakfast Bake
- 1 Joseph’s pita
- 9 oz liquid egg whites
- 1 whole egg
- 4 oz chopped mushrooms
- 4 tbs diced canned green chilis 1/2 a 4 oz can
- 3 slices Costco canadian bacon or ham
- 40 g diced bell pepper
- Small handful of chopped arugula or spinach
- 14 g grated parmesan
- 1/4 tsp Salt and cracked pepper to taste
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp dry mustard
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- Drape one Joseph’s pita across the bottom of a personal sized casserole dish (mine is about 5×7), or double or triple this recipe in a larger, normal sized pan.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together egg whites, whole egg, veggies, chilis, chopped Canadian bacon, seasonings, and parmesan. Pour over pita in casserole dish. You can either cover overnight like I did and bake in the morning, or bake immediately – either way at 350 for 45-50 minutes uncovered until set in the middle. If you use a larger pan and it’s shallow, keep an eye on it after 30 minutes.
- Make your family a rich cheesy egg casserole like this yummy one from Our Best Bites at the same time!
- If you count macros, you can log this directly from MFP under “Lillie Eats and Tells Egg White Veggie Breakfast Bake”. Typically I provide serving sizes in grams but I only made this the once, and didn’t plan to share (remember I thought it’d be gross), which means I don’t have the final weight! So for this one, a serving is half of this small pan. If you double it, you’ll know a serving is 1/4th.