Holiday traditions and recipes to share

From our family to yours… wishing you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a Joyous Kwanzaa. 

Christmas: Wednesday December 25th Hanukkah: Sunday December 22- December 30th Kwanzaa: December 26th-January 01, 2020

Holiday traditions

Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree has been a holiday tradition for over 1,000 years. In 1510 the tree symbolized the Virgin Mary, today it still holds the same values as a symbol of love, peace and a celebration of all that is good. Remember to water your tree daily to prevent it from drying out. A typical tree needs roughly 1 gallon of water every day. Turn off lights before going to bed each night. A Christmas tree can go up in flames in as little as 10 seconds.

The Menorah

The menorah is described in the Bible as the seven-lamp ancient Hebrew lamp stand. It was made of pure gold and used in the portable sanctuary set up by Moses in the wilderness and later in the Temple in Jerusalem. Fresh olive oil of the purest quality was burned daily to light its lamps.


Families celebrating Kwanzaa decorate their households with objects of art, colorful African cloth and fresh fruits that represent African idealism. It is customary to include children in Kwanzaa ceremonies and to give respect and gratitude to ancestors. Libations are shared, generally with a common chalice that is passed around to all.


Many believe that Martin Luther began the tradition of lights on Christmas trees. The story goes that while Luther was walking home one winter evening, he saw twinkling stars among evergreens and wanted to re-create the magical moment for his family. The tradition began by adding lighted candles to the tree and moved to modern day light bulbs. Dispose of incandescent lights every 4-6 years. LED lights need to be replaced every 7-10 years.

Recipes to share

Overnight French Toast Bake – this layered breakfast recipe has layers of Texas toast, cinnamon, sugar, brown sugar and eggs.
  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 loaf Texas toast with crust trimmed off, optional
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • powdered sugar for sprinkling
  • brown sugar
  • cinnamon
  • butter
  • 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp
  1. Begin by melting butter. Add brown sugar and mix well.

  2. Pour butter and brown sugar mixture into the bottom of a 9×13.
  3. Add a layer of Texas toast.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla.
  5. Pour half of egg mixture over the Texas toast and sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon on top.
  6. Add another layer of Texas Toast. Spread a thin layer of butter over bread.
  7. Top with the remaining egg mixture and top with your cinnamon and sugar mixture.
  8. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours before baking.
  9. When ready to bake, bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.

Crockpot Breakfast Casserole

Serves 8

– 1 dozen eggs
– 1 cup milk
– 2 lbs of hash brown potatoes. (you can use frozen hash browns, just cook for 8-9 hours, instead of the 7-8)
– 1 lb of bacon, (cooked, drained and cut into pieces), ham or sausage
– 1/2 cup onions – diced
– 3 cups cheddar cheese – shredded
– 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
– 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp of pepper (I am recommending an additional pinch of salt and pepper for each layer of hash browns)

1. Beat 12 eggs until well blended.
2. Next, beat in milk and garlic powder, mustard, 1 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp pepper. Set aside.
3. Layer potatoes (I suggest to season each potato layer to taste…..a small pinch of salt and pepper) and sprinkle 1/3 of the onions.
4. Next sprinkle 1/3 of the bacon.

5. Last but not least, top with 1 cup of cheese.

6. Repeat this layering 2 more times to have a total of 3 layers….ending with cheese.

7. Take your egg mixture and pour over layers. For refrigerated hash browns, cook for 6-7 hours on low. For frozen hash browns, cook for 7-8 hours on low or until eggs are set.

Wishing you health and happiness and a clear vision of your path for 2020.