Thursday, February 23

Out of Town Guests, a Cotillion Ball and Overnight French Toast...It's Going To Be One CRAZY Weekend!

This simple yet elegant overnight French Toast casserole is ideal for special occasions where time is of the essence. AND what could be more special than this Saturday, February the 25th...the day of Elizabeth's Debutante Cotillion Ball. I thought I would have this dish ready to pop in the oven early this coming Saturday morning. We are going to be crazy...K-RAZY busy all day long. I will make sure the Porter 4 eat a good breakfast and then it's every man for himself as the day progresses! I can whip this up Friday evening and refrigerate overnight. It will ensure that my family is fed and sprinting out the door quickly and hopefully on time. Eating a  generous helping of this "QUICK" French Toast will keep their hunger pains at bay!  It only takes about 15 minutes to assemble, then chill it in the refrigerator overnight, and bake it the next morning! I love, love, LOVE EASY! What really sets this recipe apart from the rest is the Sweet Crumb Walnut topping. If you really have a sweet tooth, double the topping! It's decadent, but divine. Pour on Maple Syrup and melted, unsalted butter for an over the top experience! Serve with a bowl of fresh fruit, crispy bacon, juice and milk. *You may have a family member that is in need of protein for breakfast, like ME, I always set out boiled eggs as well. I don't "DO" sugar for breakfast. You can sit this out buffet style and leave everyone to
For a healthy start to your busy day 
 try boiled eggs and whole wheat toast.
fend for themselves! Don't miss an opportunity to turn a normal morning into a spectacular event...pay attention to the little details. Your kids will remember things like this FOREVER!

DRAG OUT THAT OLD BUREAU AND EAT OUTSIDE WHEN THE WEATHER IS.....OH SO FINE!

 

Cinnamon-Raisin French Toast Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 1 day-old loaf cinnamon raisin nut bread, Central Market's Breakfast Bread is wonderful for this recipe.
  • 8 large eggs
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2-3/4 cup sugar, depending on the sweetness of your bread
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup orange juice, optional
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest, optional
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest, optional

Walnut Streusel Topping:
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Preparation:

  1. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.

  2. Cut cinnamon bread into 1-inch chunks. Place in the baking dish, making two layers.

  3. Whisk together eggs, milk, half and half, cinnamon, vanilla, orange juice and citrus zests if using. Pour over bread, pressing to coat the bread well. Cover with foil, and refrigerate overnight.
  4.                                                                       

  5. Remove the casserole from refrigerator. I turn my bread upside down in the pan at this point. It gives the bread on top a chance to catch any extra egg and milk mixture.    

  6. In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and flour together. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives....I use God's utensils..MY FINGERS! Stir in chopped walnuts. Scatter the topping over the casserole.
  7.                                                                   
  8. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour in a 350 degree oven. If you prefer a softer, more custard-like French toast, bake the casserole for 45 minutes. If you like a crunchier, more toasted texture, bake it for 1 hour.
Alternate version: Leave the orange juice and orange zest out of the recipe. Add one 8 ounce pkg. cream cheese and 1 cup peeled and chopped apples. Layer half of the raisin bread in a 13X9 inch baking dish. Cut cream cheese into small cubes, sprinkle over cubed bread. Top with chopped apples and extra raisins if you like. Top with remaining bread. Follow original recipe from here.
Serves: 10.....depending on who is doing the eating!

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