Baked French Toast Casserole

baked french toast 8This happened today. This morning. On a school day! Uh-huh….. I’m feeling pretty proud of myself right now. Let’s hope my “super on top of things” morning, turns into a “super on top of things” afternoon and evening. One can hope, right?

Well, I made this recipe two weekends ago because my daughter happens to have softball practice at 7:30am. On Saturday morning. Ouch! So early!!! But she and “DeDe” (this is what she calls her dad) happen to be early risers so this works out well for them. Yeah, just them. Me and the other little ones stay home and try to sleep in. So the whole point of me telling you all of that is that when they get home, I try to have a nice breakfast ready for them. And I saw this on Pioneer Woman and thought my family (especially my hungry little softball player) would love it. And they loved it so much that I made it again. Today!

I did alter some quantities (to cut down on fat) but head over and check out PW’s original recipe if you so please.

Baked French Toast Casserole (inspired by & adapted from Pioneer Woman)

  • 1 loaf French bread, torn into pieces
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups milk (I use 1%)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

For the topping:

  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp. cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350. In a 13×9 casserole dish, generously spray with cooking spray. Tear the bread into pieces and place in dish. In a large bowl, add eggs, milk, vanilla and sugars. Whisk until combined. Pour over the bread evenly.

In a medium bowl, add the topping ingredients. Using a pastry cutter, mix until coarse crumbs form. Evenly spread over the bread mixture. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. (I did 50 minutes).

baked french toastbaked french toast 3baked french toast 4baked french toast 2baked french toast 5baked french toast 6baked french toast 7baked french toast 9PW insists on adding MORE butter (I didn’t) and syrup all over the top (I didn’t do this either). But totally up to you! Enjoy everyone!!!

Bacon Brussel Sprouts

brussel sproutsBrussel sprouts are little gems of deliciousness. They have quickly become one of my family’s favorite veggies. So I was really excited when I saw my brother-in-law making them as a side for Christmas dinner. And they were really tasty. I’ve always baked them in the oven and although very yummy, that recipe takes 45 minutes and requires me to shake the pan every 5-7 minutes. This recipe is so much quicker and so very good that it’s a must try.

Bacon Brussel Sprouts

  • 1 lb. brussel sprouts, rinsed, trimmed, halved & dried as much as possible
  • 4 bacon slices, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 c. chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • Ground pepper, to taste

Heat a sauté pan on medium. When heated, add bacon pieces and cook until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon to a paper towel to drain. Very important, LEAVE all that wonderful bacon grease in the pan. Add the brussel sprouts and sauté for a few minutes, until they are browned. Pour in the chicken broth and reduce heat to medium low. Put a lid on, leaving it a little to the side for steam to escape. Let cook for 5-7 minutes. Remove lid and sprinkle with brown sugar and pepper. Add the bacon back in. Stir to melt the sugar and eat!

bacon brussel sproutsI’m pretty sure you will inhale these scrumptious brussel sprouts!!

Brown Sugar & Balsamic Green Beans

green beansSomething you should know about me that’s SUPER important is that I do not like to measure! I rarely measure anything when I’m cooking. As Rachael Ray would say, eyeball it! I’m a firm believer in eyeballing. It’s much easier for me to cook that way. As for baking, well, I’m no baker or pastry chef. Must be that measuring thing coming into play… Anyways, because of this blog, I am trying to be as exact as possible with my measurements to make it easy on anyone trying out my recipes. And luckily, I got out my measuring spoons and measuring cup to give you exact amounts today!

As with most cooking, I think it’s mostly a method or technique, and not necessarily about a recipe. If you’ve got the method down, it will usually come together in the end. I usually stick with garlic powder, salt and pepper for my veggie cooking, but this recipe has something a little special, and it’s called brown sugar and balsamic.

My neighbor told me that her mother-in-law loves her fresh green beans with balsamic and sugar. She then told me how she makes them. They sounded great but I wanted to speed up the recipe a bit (shortcut!) so this is what I came up with.

green beans 2Brown Sugar & Balsamic Green Beans

  • 1 lb. fresh green beans, rinsed and trimmed
  • 3/4 c. chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Butter goes in the pan (I like using a cast iron skillet for this). On medium heat, let it melt. Add your trimmed and clean green beans. Stir to coat the beans with the butter. At this point, I turn up the heat to medium high. Add the chicken broth. It should sizzle! Cover with a lid, but not all the way. Leave the lid a bit to the side to let a little bit of steam escape. Leave the heat at medium to medium high and let cook for about 15 minutes. You can check to see if the green beans are tender by sticking a fork in them. Once they’re tender, take the lid off and let cook until the chicken broth is almost evaporated. Push green beans to the side and add in the brown sugar to the remaining broth and see it melt! Then add the balsamic. It should almost become syrupy. Stir it all together. That’s it. Dinner side dish, DONE!