Brunch

Recipe—French Toast Casserole

French Toast Casserole

Christmas morning can sometimes be a bit chaotic with hustle and bustle of gift giving, cleaning up of all the shreds of paper and ribbon, and then sometimes the mad dash to clean the house before relatives arrive for round two of Christmas. At least that’s how it is in our home. However, on Christmas morning I always want to sit down and have a nice breakfast with my crew, I just don’t always have the time to make a big Christmas worthy breakfast. However, I do have the time to throw a casserole in the oven. So here you have French Toast Casserole to save the morning!

Several years back I posted a recipe for Blueberry French Toast Casserole. Not to toot my own horn, but toot toot! It’s amazing if you haven’t given it a try. What I love about french toast casserole is you can prep the dish the day before, throw it in the oven in the morning, and boom! Just like that you have a hot and delicious breakfast with almost no work. This recipe has all that delicious cinnamon goodness baked into a sweet bread pudding with a crispy streusel topping. It is so tasty!

So if you are looking for a quick and easy breakfast that you can make in advance, then this is the recipe for you.

French Toast Casserole

INGREDIENTS
12 slices sourdough bread (or a sourdough loaf), cut into 1” cubes
10 eggs
2 c milk
1/2 c heavy cream
2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 c sugar
1 c brown sugar, divided
1/2 c flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c cold butter, cut into small pieces

STEPS

  • Cut the loaf of sourdough into cubes and distribute them in a greased 9” x 13” pan.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, and vanilla.
  • Whisk in a 1/2 cup of the brown sugar and all the granulated sugar to the egg mixture
  • Pour the egg mixture over the bread.
  • Using your fingers or the back of a spatula gently press all of the bread pieces down into the egg mixture.
  • Cover the baking dish with foil and place in the fridge 8 hours or overnight.
  • For the streusel topping, in a medium bowl, mix together the other 1/2 cup of brown sugar, flour, cinnamon.
  • Add the cut-up butter to the topping mix and using a large fork or pastry cutter mix it all together until it is a nice crumbly consistency.
  • Store the streusel in a Ziploc bag in the fridge until ready to bake.
  • When ready to bake, remove the casserole dish and streusel from the fridge and allow it to sit on the counter for about 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350º.
  • Sprinkle the streusel topping over the french toast.
  • Cover the dish back up with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and continue baking until the top is a nice golden brown and the egg mixture is set, about an additional 15–20.
  • Remove from oven and allow it to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Cut and serve with a pat of butter and some warm syrup.
Dinners, Sandwiches

Recipe—Chicken Pesto Panini

I am on a total pesto kick after making my own. Just love the stuff! Especially when I can use it on one of my favorite paninis made with chicken, mozzarella, tomatoes, and of course some delicious pesto. The flavors of this sandwich all go together so perfectly! It’s crunchy, melty, flavorful goodness all in one simple sandwich. Make it for lunch or dinner and serve with an Italian green salad for one heck of an awesome meal.

Note: The recipe calls for grilled chicken breasts but you can also just go pick up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store to save some time.

INGREDIENTS
4 large slices sourdough bread
2 tbsp butter, softened
1/3 c pesto
1 tomato, sliced
2 grilled chicken breasts, sliced in half lengthwise
6–8 slices fresh mozzarella (I recommend getting the good stuff from the deli)

STEPS

  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Spread one side of each piece of the bread with butter and spread the opposite sides with pesto.
  • Place two of the slices of bread butter side down in the skillet.
  • Top the bread in the pan with the tomatoes, chicken, and mozzarella.
  • Add the last two slices of bread to the top of the sandwiches, butter side out.
  • Cook for approximately 3 minutes or until the bread is a toasty brown.
  • Flip and cook for another 3 minutes until cheese is melted and the other side is a nice toasty brown.
Sandwiches

Recipe—Fancy Man Grilled Cheese

I recently received a cookbook with 50 different grilled cheese sandwiches. Eventually I will try them all! The sandwiches were not named; they were just referenced as Grilled Cheese #1 and so on. I told my husband to pick any one of them out for me to cook and he picked one that had roast beef, Dijon mustard, caramelized onions, and Brie. Go figure, a man picked one that was made with beef. Brie is a fairly elegant cheese so I decided to name this one the Fancy Man Grilled Cheese. Suiting right?

This sandwich turned out to be absolutely delicious! The Brie was lovely and it melted to be just the perfect amount of gooey. It was a very nice pairing with the sweet caramelized onions and the heartiness of the roast beef. I really want to try this sandwich again but substitute the roast beef for some green apple slices. I love apples with Brie and think it would be a delicious pairing as well. The sandwich was a hit with the whole family and we will most certainly be making it again. It truly is ooey gooey goodness!

Note: I found spreadable Brie by Président that worked fabulously. I didn’t have to deal with the white rind so it was very quick and easy to work with. I’m sure regular Brie would work just as well. This recipe is written for two large sandwiches.

INGREDIENTS
1 yellow onion, sliced
2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 large slices of sourdough bread
2 tbs butter, softened
Dijon mustard
spreadable Brie (I used most of a 4.4. oz container)
1/2 lb of sliced roast beef

STEPS

  • Heat a heavy nonstick frying pan over medium heat and add the oil.
  • Once the oil is nice and hot add the sliced onions and stir them immediately so each onion slice is coated in the oil.
  • Allow the onions to cook stirring every 30 seconds or so. Once the browning begins, lower the heat to decrease your risk of burning the onions.
  • Continue to stir the onions every couple of minutes until they are a golden or deep brown. This will take at least 10–20 minutes.
  • Remove the onions from the pan and place in a bowl to the side.
  • Carefully wipe out your skillet with a paper towel to remove any residual bits.
  • Spread one side of each piece of the bread with butter.
  • On two on the pieces of bread spread the opposite sides with Dijon mustard and then a thin layer of the Brie.
  • Place the bread butter side down in the pan and cook over medium high–heat.
  • Top the bread in the pan with the sliced roast beef and add your caramelized onions. Spread the dry sides of your two reaming pieces of bread with a layer of Brie and top your sandwich with them butter side out.
  • Cook for approximately 3 minutes or until the bread is a toasty brown.
  • Turn and repeat.