When I was younger I would be up at 5 am digging through my stocking and then waiting at the top of the stairs with my brothers at 7 am, barely able to contain my excitement about running down and seeing what Santa left under the tree. Now things are a little different. We still have our Christmas Eve party, but now that everyone is older, the party usually doesn't end until 1 am. Then my brothers and I are left to clean up after the party and set out the presents and get everything ready for Christmas Day. We usually don't get to sleep until 3 am, later if one of my brothers starts opening his presents instead of helping.
Thanks to years of 8 am classes, I can't sleep past 9 am... so Christmas Morning I sit in my room watching The Year Without a Santa Clause (the best claymation in existence), and waiting for my family to wake up. Patience is not my virtue and I get bored waiting for everyone in my house to wake up. In my experience, nothing wakes people up like the smell of a great breakfast. This year when I woke up at 9 am to the sound of my dad snoring two rooms away, I got my dogs and my DVD and went downstairs and brewed a pot of The Fresh Market's Christmas Blend coffee and baked a sausage and egg breakfast casserole. The smell of this breakfast woke up the house and started a wonderful Christmas!
This casserole is the perfect start to any morning, just pop it in the oven--the wonderful smell will wake even the deepest sleeper up and the savory taste will make sure they stay awake!
0.5-1 lb sausage (I honestly cannot say how much sausage I used. I bought 1 lb, but then my dogs and I had a little snack as we waited for the oven to preheat)
6-8 slices of bread
6 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
pepper to taste
Remove sausage from casing and cook in a skillet over high heat. While the sausage is cooking, grease a 9"x 13" baking pan and line the bottom of the pan with slices of bread. In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the milk, dry mustard, onion powder, and salt. Pour the egg mixture over the bread. Add the cooked sausage to the baking pan as evenly as you can. Liberally add the cheese to the top of the casserole.
((Can be refrigerated for 24 hours))
Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour.