Merry Christmas! Santas and Cookies and Casseroles!

I want to wish a Portland Merry Christmas 2017 to everyone! If you’re in Portland, you know we got a surprise on Christmas Eve during the day in which we got snow! That snow stuck (along with icy rain layers) to make for a white Christmas, yay! I had purchased some Christmas flowers for myself and left it out for 5 minutes or so to get the contrast of the snowflakes.
Christmas flowers in the snow Christmas flowers in the snow

For fun, I just wanted to write a quick post on our plans this year. 2 years ago, F and I spent Christmas in Japan, and last year we spent it apart while I was in LA with my new 3 month old niece and family. This year both of us are staying in PDX, though it isn’t as fun as I hoped because he currently is sick and is congested and gross. Thankfully, I have Santa displays from town to keep me in a cheerful mood.

Here’s one from North Mississippi – Snowman vs Santa – which asks whether you are #TeamSnowman or #TeamSanta #illuminatedpdxmas2017 at the All American Holiday Window Display
Snowman vs Santa - are you #TeamSnowman or #TeamSanta #illuminatedpdxmas2017 at the All American Holiday Window Display Snowman vs Santa - are you #TeamSnowman or #TeamSanta #illuminatedpdxmas2017 at the All American Holiday Window Display Snowman vs Santa - are you #TeamSnowman or #TeamSanta #illuminatedpdxmas2017 at the All American Holiday Window Display

Another Santa display this year was by Pioneer Courthouse Square, the Santa Clones. The Santa Clones have been around Portland for several years, where everyone doesn’t exactly disclose the address but you get hints at where they are, so it is a mini quest to find them.
The Santa Clones - a collection of Santa figure lights that appear with only hints to the location that you then have to find. #thesantaclones2017
The Santa Clones - a collection of Santa figure lights that appear with only hints to the location that you then have to find. #thesantaclones2017 The Santa Clones - a collection of Santa figure lights that appear with only hints to the location that you then have to find. #thesantaclones2017 The Santa Clones - a collection of Santa figure lights that appear with only hints to the location that you then have to find. #thesantaclones2017 The Santa Clones - a collection of Santa figure lights that appear with only hints to the location that you then have to find. #thesantaclones2017

Last year for the holidays I made a Biscuit and Sausage Gravy Egg and Cheese Casserole. You can find the recipe here, but here’s a picture just to get you in the mood – super easy to prep the night before if you want so you pop it in the oven and enjoy in your PJs all day. This year for New Year’s Day brunch I’m planning on making a Savory Shrimp and Oatmeal, lots of crispy bacon, and a Croissant Breakfast Casserole.
Biscuit and Sausage Gravy Egg and Cheese Casserole Biscuit and Sausage Gravy Egg and Cheese Casserole

For Christmas Day I’m all about Dorie Greenspan’s 3-Ingredient Almond Crackle Cookies which were super fast to make and only 3 ingredients – though I ran out of almonds so I also mixed in some chopped pecans so technically I guess my cookies were 4 ingredients. They are not the most beautiful cookies because of the dough being thin so they tend to be free-form shaped, and they are thin and crispy. I won’t reprint the recipe here, but I did link to it.
Easy Christmas Cookies - from Food 52 I followed the Dorie Greenspan's 3-Ingredient Almond Crackle Cookies recipe Easy Christmas Cookies - from Food 52 I followed the Dorie Greenspan's 3-Ingredient Almond Crackle Cookies recipe

My mother in law also sent us these amazing Juustoleipa (yoo-stoh-lay-paa), which means “Bread Cheese”, a buttery flavored baked cheese that has been produced in Finland and Sweden for over 200 years. And this adorable plate is from West Elm.
Juustoleipa (yoo-stoh-lay-paa) means Bread Cheese, a buttery flavored baked cheese that has been produced in Finland and Sweden for over 200 years. And this adorable plate is from West Elm Juustoleipa (yoo-stoh-lay-paa) means Bread Cheese, a buttery flavored baked cheese that has been produced in Finland and Sweden for over 200 years. And this adorable plate is from West Elm

What are you doing for Christmas and/or New Year’s?
Christmas Tree at Pioneer Square

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Biscuit Eggs Sausage and Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Every year I spend New Year’s Day watching the Rose Parade on TV if I’m in the US. Last year I was in Japan, but I was back to my tradition this January 2, 2017 (they moved it because they don’t ever hold it on Sundays traditionally). There was even a memorable year I was in Los Angeles and my sister (attending USC Law School at the time, now this year celebrating her first New Year’s as a mother to a 3 month daughter) even helped arrange my mom and other sister to get seats and watch it in person. It was incredible being able to see all the breathtaking details of the flowers, though I did miss a bit of the announcer highlights they narrate on TV.
Watching the 119th Rose Parade in Pasadena on New Year's Day Watching the 119th Rose Parade in Pasadena on New Year's Day Watching the 119th Rose Parade in Pasadena on New Year's Day Watching the 119th Rose Parade in Pasadena on New Year's Day

This year to accompany the bottle of sparkling that I cheered the parade on with as I watch, I also prepared this incredible Biscuit Eggs Sausage and Cheddar Breakfast Casserole. You can prepare everything for this Biscuits Breakfast Casserole the day before and then just pop it in the oven, which is perfect for a non morning person or after a long night up. I like how this casserole basically puts all of breakfast Рlike a breakfast that would have Biscuits and Sausage Gravy as one item, and Cheesy Egg on the side, all together in every bite.
Recipe for Biscuit Eggs Sausage and Cheese Breakfast Casserole

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