Morning Menu & Marshmallows

A little reminder: we’re in a contest over on robbwolf.com! Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to go here and pick your favorites out of 130 submitted recipes. If any of our recipes win, we’ll share the prizes with you all in a giveaway here on the site! Pay special attention to The Bacon Chicken, Apple Bacon Stuffed Pork Chops, Beef Bacon and Sweet Potato Brunch Casserole, Mini Egg Pizzas, Monkey Bread, Pumpkin Bread Pudding, Snickerdoodle Whoopie Pies, Pumpkin Pucks, and Pumpkin Cider Latte. You have until tomorrow (12/20) at 1 PM EST to vote!

So, if you thought our Thanksgiving menu looked good – you should see our home Christmas morning! We’ve hosted Christmas brunch for years and it’s Stacy’s absolute favorite day of the year. Every single family member we know (except one Uncle) comes to our home and puts smiles on our boys’ faces. In return, we love filling their bellies with delicious creations.  This just doesn’t happen without preparation, though, so here’s our plan of attack.

We’re pre-gaming with treats we made a week before for Stacy’s coworkers, family and friends. Warning, you are about to enter borderline non-Paleo territory. Here’s where accusations of us using only “sugar, sugar, sugar, dates, sugar sugar” are completely true. But, you know… we gave most of ‘em away. And they’re insanely fun to make!

  1. Candy Cane Marshmallows. We were inspired by this recipe at Family Fresh Cooking. We used this recipe as a base (and sincerely appreciated the accompanying video), except we used Knox gelatin (since sometime over the past five years we seem to have acquired 6 boxes!), skipped the vanilla and added 1 tsp peppermint to the mixer as the gelatin and sugar liquid mixed. We also instead used 1/2 cup sugar in the raw syrup and 1/2 cup honey (next time we’re going to try to use 1 cup raw coconut nectar) instead of 1 cup honey. Immediately after the marshmallows were mixed thoroughly, we added a dash of natural red food coloring, let the beater run 3 more times and then transferred to the tray. To the tray bottom and top, we added a powder of “natural” peppermint candies (made without corn syrup or scary ingredients) and organic raw powdered sugar (you can make your own with palm sugar in a coffee grinder) in the bottom and then used a sifter to add a bit more of the powder to the top, I think we used about 3 tablespoons total.
  2. Ginger Molasses Marshmallows. We were inspired by these on Etsy. We used the same technique above, but used 1/2 cup raw coconut nectar and 1/2 cup black strap molasses. We added the vanilla but also added 1 tsp fresh ground ginger into the cooking syrup and 1/2 tsp ground ginger to the marshmallow mixture once almond done whipping.
  3. Elana’s Gingersnap Cookies. We added 1/3 C finely diced crystallized ginger and made 6 batches for 90 cookies. We were going to make a variety of cookies. But after tasting one of these and seeing how easy they were to make, we decided we just wanted to give everyone these. Watch this video of Elana making them, too. We just adore her and the boys enjoyed “seeing her” in action!
  4. Dark Chocolate Banana Bites, which we’ll post this recipe to on the site when we reach 3,000 facebook fans (we’re almost there, thank you!).

Cole gave his teacher (who loves tea) an adorable tea cup, a box each of “Christmas Morning” and “Merry Mint” tea. We filled the cup with a bag of tiny squares of each type of marshmallow. I’m a little bit jealous of the gift, honestly. I think it was super thoughtful of Cole to figure out what we should do – based on the fact that he noticed she drinks tea.

I recently made a promise to figure out how to make these Hot Cocoa Cookies on Pintrest. So, since we’re talking about marshmallows…I recommend you use this Chocolate Fudge Cookie recipe from Brittany at Real Sustenance. You could even use a cookie cutter to make round marshmallows! I personally haven’t tried it, but I’m pretty sure you can’t go wrong.

With our tokens of appreciation out to those we were able to get them to and promises filled to those we owe online, we turned our focus to our brunch menu. After years of hosting this, we have standard requirements. Last year we made our first paleo Christmas brunch with much success. This year, we’ll do it again – only better!

For Christmas eve, Stacy’s mother is coming over for dinner and to help us make Monkey Bread (we make it the night before and then bake it Christmas morning). We’ll be serving Melissa’s Cinnamon Beef Stew with Orange Gremolata from The Clothes Makes The Girl‘s Well Fed over cauliflower rice. This should keep us nice and energized until the carb-fest we all our brunch “appetizer.”

Here’s our Christmas morning appetizer menu:

 

(Pictured, clockwise from top left, our Monkey Bread, Gigi’s Carrot Muffins (from the book!), our Chai Thai Tea, and Pumpkin Streusel Muffins from Multiply Delicious)

Then after hours of working up an appetite from opening gifts, we’ll serve a bunch of prepared-ahead foods, to include:

(photos are all linked to the rightful photographer and site, click the links to be taken there)

(Pictured, clockwise from top-left, our Spinach and Bacon Souffle, Chicken Chorizo “No Potato” Hash from A Spicy Perspective, Mexican Egg Scramble from Paleo Eater, and Coffee-Rubbed London Broil reprinted by Eri-Chan.

I’m so excited to share our favorite foods with our family. We’re so lucky we get to nestle in for the day and have them come to us. This year I happen to know the boys have the Indiana Jones and Home Alone series wrapped under the tree, so I’m looking forward to playing toys, watching movies and eating leftovers all day long. We hope you have a great holiday too! What are you preparing? Do you do a brunch, or a big dinner?

Now please, go vote!

About Matthew

Matthew McCarry has written 229 post in this blog.

Matt is the husband of Stacy and somehow manages to contribute to this blog in between taking care of three children, producing the Paleo View Podcast and cooking most of the food featured here.