To say that I like December First is a bit of an understatement.
It may even be better than Christmas.
It is the welcoming of the season, the snow; of clean white beauty and joy in the world around us. I love it.
Traditionally, we start of the morning with cream of wheat parfaits (1 cup whole milk + 1/3 cup cream of wheat - simmer about 2 minutes until it begins to thicken. Layer in a pretty glass with raspberry preserves and whipped cream).
We open an advent calendar to begin the countdown. This year, I decided to put a little activity in each bucket - story time with a Christmas book, singing carols, making cookies; we started off the season by bringing treats to some friends! We open some gifts, have some [more] treats, and make the house look like Christmas. It's a lovely all-day affair. This year, we'll be vacationing over Christmas so we didn't cut down our tree, but that is also a December First activity.
We did hang our garland with lovely glass icicles and my favorite glass mercury ornaments (and my fairy - I've never found an angel I like, but this pretty little thing just... fits).
In honor of the start of this wonderful season, today's recipe is one of my favorites. I serve it as breakfast, though some people insist that it is a dessert. Warm comfort, and just makes you want to share. It's that good. If you've never had good bread pudding - and trust me, if you didn't like it, it's because it wasn't good - give this one a shot. After all, it's Christmas!
Almond Croissant Bread Pudding
Microwave until hot (about 3 minutes):
- 1 1/3 cups whole milk
- 1 1/3 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 6 T. sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons amaretto (in a pinch, amaretto syrup will do, but it will make your pudding a bit sweeter)
- 3 croissants, cut into 1" pieces
- pour liquid on top
- sprinkle liberally with sugar (coarse sugar is divine and gives a lovely crunch, but lacking that, granulated works just fine)