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    Twas the night before Christmas?

    And all through the house
    only one creature was stirring--
    and it wasn't a mouse.

    The breakfast for morning
    was snug in the "cooler"
    while visions of a calm Christmas morn
    danced in my noodler.

    At dawn I'll pop the pan in the oven,
    quick as a snap!
    For now I'm settling in
    for a long winter's nap.

    I love the idea of making breakfast the night before, keeping it in the refrigerator overnight, with only the chore of turning on the oven and drinking a cup of coffee waiting for me in the morning. I like this on any weekend morning but I particularly appreciate this "make ahead" technique the night before Christmas or any major holiday. It's become a tradition in our house.

    Just in case you don't know what holiday morning breakfast dish you can make the night before, here are 3 recipes to get you started. They have all been lowered in calories and fat (with an emphasis on increasing fiber and better fats when possible) and they all fit in the WebMD weight loss program (please see the journaling tips included in each recipe).

    And with that--Happy healthy holidays to all and to all a good night!

    Overnight Crème Brulee French Toast

    Journal as: 2 slices of pancake/french toast or as 1 egg alone without added fat + 2 slices of bread + 3 teaspoons sugar

    This is a wonderful cross between the delightful dessert, Crème Brulee, and the favorite brunch dish, French Toast.

    3 tablespoons low or no trans margarine or butter
    5 tablespoons reduced calorie pancake syrup
    1/3 cup packed brown sugar
    2 tablespoons Grand Marnier (or other orange liqueur)
    at least 8 (1 inch thick) slices of French or Sourdough bread (you might need more to cover the bottom of the pan--depending on the size of your bread)
    3 large eggs
    1/2 cup egg substitute (i.e. Egg Beaters)
    1 1/2 cups fat free half-and-half
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 teaspoons Grand Marnier
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    Garnish: fresh strawberries or other berries and a dollop of light whipped cream or Light Cool Whip

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