It’s hard to believe that the holiday season is rolling around again–Thanksgiving in a month and Christmas in two months. For us, it’s a time filled with parties and get-togethers and out-of-town houseguests. Whether we have family in town for a holiday or we have friends here to visit, I always try to serve a hearty breakfast in the morning. It’s a moment to pause, sit together, and fuel up before the busyness of the day gets going.
Growing up, Christmas was especially hectic for both me and my husband, Nick. Three of our four parents were ministers, so Christmas Eve was a work night for them. After a late night of Christmas Eve services, we wanted a restful Christmas morning together, so we opted for easy, one-pan breakfasts. Sometimes we made monkey bread or cinnamon rolls that could rise overnight in the fridge. Sometimes we made a breakfast casserole or quiche that could be prepped ahead of time.
The Christmas morning drill in my house was that we all got a glass of orange juice to sip together before rushing downstairs to see what treats lay waiting for us. My mom would pop breakfast in the oven while we gathered around the Christmas tree, then we’d sit down to eat together once we’d opened our presents. As an adult, I’ve kept many of those traditions, though the glasses of orange juice have been upgraded to more fanciful concoctions like fresh pressed orange-carrot-ginger juice. The one-pan breakfasts have remained.
This year, I’m making an “upside down” butternut squash and bacon quiche with rosemary, gruyere cheese, and holiday pie crust shapes on top. The crust has always been my least favorite part of quiche, since more often than not the bottom is soggy. As a kid, I’d scrape the egg filling from the crust and leave the soggy mess on my plate. (Ok, maybe I still do that). But now that I’m in charge of making Christmas breakfast, I take matters into my own hands. I skip the tedious task of blind baking the pie crust (which is what you’re supposed to do to avoid a soggy pie bottom) and bake the crust separately from the quiche filling. I guess it’s a glorified frittata in a way, but baking little cutouts of pie crust means that everyone gets their fill of the best, flakiest part of the crust. It’s a good excuse to use your holiday cookie cutters, and it’s a fun way for kids to get involved in the food preparation. I prefer a homemade, all-butter pie crust–as detailed in the recipe below–but a store bought pie crust certainly works and saves time. You can prep most of the ingredients ahead of time, including making and baking the pie crust, peeling and dicing the butternut squash, and grating the cheese. You can even cook the quiche ahead since it tastes good served hot, room temperature, or cold.
As an Atlantan, I always try to stay loyal to our hometown hardware store, The Home Depot. I was obviously thrilled when I heard they added kitchenware to their online store. I mean, you can already get everything AND the kitchen sink at Home Depot, so why not include some beautiful dishes to go in that sink? As part of our partnership, I got to test this gorgeous Copper Tri-Ply Professional Oval Au Gratin Pan, and as a discerning kitchenware buyer, I can honestly say that I love this pan! It evenly conducts heat on the stovetop, easily transitions to the oven, and is beautiful enough to take straight to the table. For this recipe specifically, the stove-to-oven capability of the pan reduces the number of dishes you have to clean, and the 9” x 12” size fits a couple more servings of quiche than a regular pie pan. I’m excited to add this beauty to my rotation, and I have a feeling that some of the matching pieces might end up on my Christmas list this year.
To see more photos and get the recipe, head over to The Home Depot Blog.
I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in their 2017 Holiday Recipe Campaign (the “Program”). As a part of the Program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services, for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.