I grew up in St Louis and although I no longer have a white Christmas, I still celebrate with the smells, tastes, and traditions from my childhood. All of that makes the holiday every bit as special as it was back then and even more so now because I’m passing these traditions down to the next generation – my children.
Our family comes over on Christmas Eve and we all go to Mass. I always make lasagna, which heats up while we are away. The house smells amazing when we get home! We enjoy dinner and then let the kids open gifts from their grandparents. Next, we leave sweet notes and cookies for Santa, and usually end the night with one of our favorite Christmas movies: Elf or Christmas Vacation. You really can’t go wrong with either of these modern classics!
The kids look forward to Christmas morning breakfast almost as much as their gifts. Almost, lol! We start the day with warm sausage and cream cheese biscuits, and of course, coffee. The kids love these biscuits because I only make them once a year and it is their absolute favorite. After we open presents, we turn on The Christmas Story and I prepare for our day. Both sets of Grandparents arrive early afternoon and we snack on appetizers while my Grandma Kucera’s famous brisket cooks. This is something I always make – it’s delicious and brings back such sweet memories of her. My husband, who hates mushrooms, even loves it. The day is filled with the smell of homemade cooking and that cozy feeling of home. We have our dinner around 4pm and end the evening with another favorite Christmas movie. Both days are truly wonderful!
Here are the recipes I talked about earlier. You don’t have to spend all day in the kitchen – both are super simple and really delicious!
My Grandma Kucera’s Famous Brisket
3-4lbs of brisket
½ onion sliced and placed at bottom of pan
3 cloves of garlic, chopped and placed with onion at bottom of pan
Add a little water in pan
Lay meat on top
Drizzle with soy sauce
Cover with lid or foil
Roast for 1 hr at 350*
Roast for 2 more hours at 325*
Add mushrooms if desired (I always do!)
You can make this the day ahead, and slice and warm up when you’re ready. Either way it tastes great!
Sausage Cream Cheese Biscuits
Crumble and brown 2lbs of sausage (I use 1lb of spicy Italian and 1lb of regular Italian sausage)
Add 2 packages of cream cheese to the sausage and combine
Lay out and roll crescent rolls
Spread sausage and cream cheese mixture on top
Bring the crescent sides up and pinch at the top to make a little ‘package’
Bake at 400* for 18 minutes