Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Absolute Favorite Breakfast

Last night as I was doing some dinner prep, I decided to throw together a quick and easy breakfast casserole for this morning.  It's called French Toast Casserole and my family loves it!  Last night my son (who's 11) saw that I was making it and immediately got excited and rushed to give me a hug and thank me! Yeah...that's how much we love this dish! 

The cool thing about this casserole is that several can be made ahead of time and popped into the freezer.  I got this recipe from a freezer cookbook called 30 Day Gourmet after borrowing it from a friend who enlightened me about freezer cooking.  The book itself is great if you've never heard of freezer cooking or want gobs of recipes that are freezer proof.  The book will explain how to freeze food because there are different methods...did you know that?  If not, you should totally check out that book!  The book centers around having a cooking day or two each month with a group of friends and putting a months worth of meals into the freezer.  For me, that's a bit unrealistic (not to mention a TON of work), however some friends and I are planning to get together to do a smaller version and just put a few meals (probably 6 or so) away in the freezer.  (Mental Note:  I need to call those friends and set up a day and time to make it happen!) 

Anyways freezer meals are awesome to have around!  They are very handy on those days when you know you are going to be gone all day and not have time to prepare dinner.  Or when your church's Meals Ministry calls to ask you to take a meal to someone who is ill or just had a baby.  And sometimes they come in handy when you are in a cooking rut and just cannot think of anything to make for dinner.  Or when you're just plain lazy. 

I will get off of my soapbox now and get back to the recipe...sorry!

French Toast Casserole

1 lb Italian French Bread, cut into cubes
8 oz cream cheese

1/2 c sugar, divided

1/2 t vanilla or almond extract

1/2 c pecans (or walnuts, but nuts are optional)

4 eggs

2 C. milk

1 t. cinnamon

2 T butter

This is the bread I use from Walmart.  Any of there long french-bread type loaves will work.

FYI:  I never pay full price for the loaves.  They often go on "clearance", and that's when I buy them.  I buy a few and stick them in the freezer.  They also come in handy when making garlic bread...but that's a whole other post!

Place half of the bread cubes in a greased 9x13 pan.

Place the cream cheese in a microwaveable bowl or measuring cup. Cover the container with plastic wrap and cook until completely "melted". Sitr half of the sugar and all of the extract into the cream cheese.

Spoon the cream cheese mixture over the bread cubes (it will not completely cover them). Sprinkle the nuts over the cream cheese layer.

Top with remaining bread cubes. In a bowl, beat the remaining sugar, eggs, milk, cinnamon, and melted butter together. *I don't put quite all the milk in because hubby complained of it being mushy. lol

If you want to freeze this for later, slide the pan into a 2 gallon breezer bag, seal and freeze.

To serve: (If frozen, thaw completely.) Bake at 350 for 35 mins or until browned. Allow to sit at room temp for 5 mins before cutting. Serve with warm syrup (or fruit syrup...see below)

Home Made Fruit Syrup

Fruit, canned, frozen, or fresh - 1 2/3c or 14.5 oz (drained of liquid)

1 c. sugar

1 c corn syrup or honey

1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract.

Chop fruit into pieces no more than 1/2 inch square. Combine fuit, sugar, and corn syrup or honey in saucepan. Bring to boil sitrring occasionally. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 10-15 mins. Reove the sauce form heat and stir in extract. Serve warm. *I made red raspberry syrup for the frech toast casserole before and it was really yummy!

I made ours with raspberry syrup.  I was so excited to indulge in this yummy breakfast this morning...but after the first bite I realized I couldn't taste anything thanks to my stuffy nose.  Talk about depressing.  I was going to go for seconds, however I'd rather wait until tomorrow when I can (hopefully!) taste it.  That is, if there is any left by tomorrow morning!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks yummy! I think I will give it a try!