Yesterday, I was cooking up a storm and my husband walked in and said, “You look pretty when you cook.” I appreciated it because cooking is one of the only things that can keep me totally focused and satisfied. I’m almost always relaxed yet perfectly in control (what I love most). I enjoy the process of dicing, measuring, and cleaning as I go. I also love “tending to” the recipes I’m making like checking in on the cornbread in the stove, lifting the lid to see what level of boil we have achieved with the hoppin’ john, stirring the grits to make sure they don’t stick, and well, you get the point. Cooking (for me) is about process, creativity, curiosity, taking risks, being in control, making decisions, making mistakes, nurturing, doing something for others, and complete chaos. The best of everything.

I think the only other things that satisfy me in the same way would be putting puzzles together and writing. I don’t do NEARLY as much cooking, writing, and puzzle-ing as I should given the release it gives me, but when I get good space from work (which is rare), I prefer to take advantage of the time and do the things that fill me up.

This holiday break, I was in charge of Christmas breakfast and I have to admit, the recipes turned out incredible. So… I thought I’d share them with you here! After all, it has been a while AND writing is something I wish I did more of.

Here’s what was on the menu:

Smitten Kitchen’s Cinnamon Toast French Toast
Mine did not come out looking like hers (nor did I expect it to after reading the description), but it was absolutely delicious. I highly recommend this recipe.

Barefoot Contessa’s Potato Basil Frittata
I make this every year — sometimes two or three times a year. It is a huge hit every time no matter what the occasion. I could probably make it with my eyes closed. This year, I ordered my groceries via Shipt (thank you for existing, Shipt) and I got sliced smoked gouda instead of a block of smoked gouda for me to grate. As it turns out, dicing the sliced smoked gouda and adding it to the recipe made it much creamier.

Grace’s Kitchen’s Pumpkin-Pecan Muffins
My friend Paula is one of the best chefs I’ve ever met. Now she probably wouldn’t call herself a chef, but she is definitely a chef to me. What’s even better is that she uses her incredible talent to make a difference and Grace’s Kitchen is definitely something you should look into. Our Aunt Jamie made Grace’s Kitchen’s Pumpkin-Pecan muffins and used chocolate chips instead of pecans a few weeks ago and my kids loved it. So, we made it for Christmas breakfast and I have a feeling we will keep making them throughout the year!

Sausage Balls
Doesn’t get easier than this (Ain’t no shame when you need to call on trusty Bisquick).

Quick Grits
Just follow the directions, but add half and half and smoked gouda or cheddar at the very end.

So that was Christmas breakfast and I loved every minute of it. I hope you enjoy these recipes and that YOU are finding some space to reconnect with the things that fill you up.