Don’t spend Christmas morning in the kitchen while your family waits for you by the tree. Celebrity chef Lynn Crawford shares some great make-ahead recipes.

Christmas Breakfast


  • Gingerbread French Toast with Vanilla Whipped Cream
  • Sausage Egg Bake
  • Eggnog (on display only)

Gingerbread French Toast

Serves 6

  • 6 thick slices (1 inch thick) brioche or egg bread (day old is best)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup (370 mL) milk
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) molasses
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp (2mL) ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) cloves
  • pinch salt
  • butter for frying
  • Preheat oven to 300F.
  • Place a wire rack over a baking sheet and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, molasses, vanilla, spices and salt.
  • Place bread in a single layer in a shallow baking dish.
  • Pour egg mixture over and let stand until evenly soaked.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  • Add butter, and gently lifting soaked bread from dish, add to skillet in batches.
  • Fry until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes each side.
  • Add to wire rack and keep warm in oven while cooking remaining bread.
  • Keep warm in oven until ready to serve.
  • For a fun holiday touch, use different shaped cookie cutters to cut gingerbread men shapes out of finished toast.
  • Serve with Vanilla Whipped Cream

Vanilla Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup cold heavy (35%) cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Icing sugar, to taste
  • In a small bowl, whisk the heavy cream with vanilla, adding icing sugar to desired sweetness.
  • Whip to soft peaks and keep chilled until ready to use.

Sausage & Egg Bake

from At Home with Lynn Crawford

Serves 6

  • 6 cups (1.5L) bread cut in 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes (about 1/2 large baguette)
  • 6 cooked pork breakfast sausages
  • 1 cup (250 mL) sautéed sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup (250 mL) sautéed baby spinach
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups (500 mL) heavy (35%) cream
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
  • Preheat oven to 350º F (180º C)
  • Place bread cubes in a single layer in a greased 11 x 7- inch (2 L) glass baking dish.
  • Arrange sausages, mushrooms, spinach, and cheddar on top.
  • Whisk together eggs, cream, salt and pepper.
  •  Pour over bread mixture and let rest for 15 minutes to allow egg mixture to soak into bread cubes.
  • Bake until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 35 minutes.
  • Cool on a rack for 5 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.

New Year's Day Brunch


  • Crab Cake Benedict with Dill Hollandaise
  • Maple Cranberry Walnut Granola with Vanilla Honey (Serve with greek yogurt)

Crab Cake Benedict with Dill Hollandaise

  • 1 recipe Crab Cakes
  • 1 recipe Dill Hollandaise
  • 6 fresh eggs
  • Fresh dill for garnish, optional

Crab Cakes

From Pitchin' In

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp hot pepper sauce
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped chives
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lb cooked crab meat, picked over well
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • In a large bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, egg yolks, lemon juice, mustard, Worcestershire, and hot pepper sauce. Stir in the green onions, parsley, and chives. Season the mixture well with salt and pepper.
  • Fold in the crab meat until coated thoroughly. Sprinkle the panko bread crumbs over the mixture and gently mix together. Do not overwork the mixture. Carefully shape into 6 crab cakes.
  • Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the crab cakes and cook until golden brown on one side, 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully flip the crab cakes and cook the other side until golden brown.

Dill Hollandaise

  • 3 tbsp white-wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp cold water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • white pepper to taste
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup clarified unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ tsp cayenne
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • Boil vinegar, 2 tablespoons water, bay leaf, thyme, salt, and white pepper in a small heavy saucepan until reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Remove from heat and stir in remaining tablespoon water. Strain the reduction.
  • In a medium mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water, whisk the egg yolks until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove bowl from heat. Whisk strained vinegar reduction into thickened egg yolks.
  • Whisk in the clarified butter in a slow steady stream until emulsified. Add the lemon juice, cayenne, pink shrimp, parsley, and season with salt to taste.

To Assemble:

  • Poach eggs: Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add a splash of white vinegar and reduce to a simmer. Break one egg at a time into ramekins and drop gently into simmering water. Poach for about 2 minutes for a runny egg, longer if desired.
  • Arrange warm crab cakes on serving plate, and top each cake with a poached egg. Spoon hollandaise over egg and garnish with additional dill.

Maple Cranberry Walnut Granola

  • From At Home with Lynn Crawford
  • Makes about 3 cups (750 mL)
  • 2 cups (500 mL) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup (125 mL) sun-dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) walnuts, toasted
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) honey
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) maple syrup
  • ¾ tsp (4 mL) cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp (4 mL) vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) salt
  • Preheat oven to 325F (160 C).
  • Combine oats, cranberries, and walnuts in a large bowl.
  • In a small saucepan, combine oil, honey, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt.
  • Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, then pour over oat mixture and stir to combine.
  • Spread granola on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake, stirring once halfway through baking time, until crispy and toasted, about 20 minutes.
  • Let granola cool to room temperature before placing in a airtight container.

Vanilla Honey

From At Home with Lynn Crawford

  • Makes 2 cups (500 mL)
  • 2 cups (500 mL) honey
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out
  • In a small saucepan, combine honey and vanilla bean and seeds.
  • Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then pour mixture into a clean, sterilized jar.
  • Cover and let sit to infuse for 24 hours before using.

At Home with Lynn Crawford