SRC: French Toast Casserole

French Toast Casserole is a great treat to wake up to! 

French Toast Casserole | thepajamachef.com #src #breakfast

Yay SRC! This is my second month participating in SRC group C and once again I had a blast! This month I was assigned to Jess’ blog, Pumpkins and Peonies. Two things I love! :) Jess’ blog is beautiful and her love of life, pretty things, and delicious baked goods is SO apparent. Her wedding pictures are gorgeous too! I was tempted by many of Jess’ recipes including these Deep Dark Chocolate Chunk Muffins, S’mores Cookies, and Popovers. In the end though, I decide to go with French Toast Casserole, because when is french toast wrong?!? Mmm!

French Toast Casserole | thepajamachef.com #src #breakfast

Jess made me fall in love with this French Toast Casserole when she said it was perfect… not too wet, not too dry, not too sweet. I’m sure you’ve had french toast that falls into any [or all] of those three categories, and this recipe does NOT disappoint! It’s practically foolproof too. I love simple recipes. :)

French Toast Casserole | thepajamachef.com #src #breakfast

The original recipe suggested using brioche or challah, but I used Texas toast and am happy to report that was an awesome choice. I just felt like it so I went with it. It’s still a soft, white bread so it works well, but use whatever you please.

French Toast Casserole4

This french toast bakes up nice and soft, with a sugary crust on the bottom and a nice crisp topping. Jess used pecans to top her french toast, but I just left them off. And this may go without saying, but this french toast makes weekend mornings even BETTER than they usually are. You can assemble the casserole the night before, and wake up and have breakfast on the table in less than an hour. Perfect-o! Enjoy! And thanks, Jess, for the great recipe!

one year ago: Tasty Mexican Lentils
two years ago: Quick Chocolate Pudding
three years ago: Alice’s Vanilla Tea-Infused Granola
four years ago: Roasted Tomato & Black Bean Soup

French Toast Casserole

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 1 hour + overnight
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from Pumpkins and Peonies

Ingredinets:

  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 loaf brioche or challah, sliced [or I used Texas toast!]
  • 8 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped [I left these out]
  • maple syrup, for topping
  • powdered sugar, for topping
  • fresh fruit, for serving

Directions:

Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.

In a small bowl, whisk together butter and brown sugar. Pour mixture into bottom of baking dish.

Arrange bread on top of brown sugar mixture, overlapping as needed.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger. Pour over bread slices, then sprinkle on pecans if using. Cover with foil or plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

When ready to bake, remove pan from refrigerator and let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes while preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 30-35 minutes, covering with foil partway through if the top starts browning too much. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving with maple syrup, powdered sugar, or fruit.

Be sure to check out what else my SRC pals made this month:

Freezer Breakfast Burritos

These make-ahead freezer breakfast burritos are the key to Ben’s heart! They’re full of potatoes, sausage, and cheesy eggs and taste great!

Freezer Breakfast Burritos | thepajamachef.com

Ben’s always excited when eggs go on sale because he knows that means it’s time for me to make another batch of freezer breakfast burritos for him! He absolutely loves these things, and I have to admit–I do too. :) They’re great to keep in the freezer for busy mornings. Since Ben has started teaching, we’re on a slightly different [read: early] schedule. I love sending him off to work with a good breakfast, even though that sounds so 1950s housewife. :) But what I don’t love is waking up at 5:20 to make him that breakfast. Enter freezer breakfast burritos! There when you need ’em!

Freezer Breakfast Burritos | thepajamachef.com

I have to admit that I’ve been making these burritos off and on for years. When we lived in Indiana, Ben worked 10 minutes from home and he’d often take his breakfast to work so he could use as much of his morning for other things, like sleeping in and working out. Now he usually eats them at home before I get up. Works for me either way!

Freezer Breakfast Burritos | thepajamachef.com

One of the greatest things about these burritos is that they are super customizable. I’ve made them with bacon instead of sausage, and occasionally I’ll sneak some veggies in there with the eggs like peppers, onion, or spinach. Spinach was not his fave addition to these burritos but I liked it! :) I’ve even done a Mexican version, with black beans and salsa instead of sausage, and taco seasoning instead of fresh herbs. No matter how you make ’em, these are a great addition to your freezer. Ben’s even been known to take them for lunch occasionally.

Freezer Breakfast Burritos | thepajamachef.com

The recipe below reflects the amounts I usually use when making these burritos–1 egg per tortilla, 1/2 pound sausage and 1 cup cheese per 10 tortillas. Though you can buy large burrito-size tortillas, I make mine with fajita size tortillas because that’s a better serving size for us. I think there’s about 1/2 cup filling in each burrito but you could certainly adjust the recipe to make bigger burritos if you have more of an appetite. :) These are a great breakfast alone, or can also be served with a piece of fruit or some yogurt. Enjoy!

one year ago: Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
two years ago: Asian Peanut Veggie Dip
three years ago: Avocado Egg Salad
four years ago: African Peanut Pineapple Stew

Freezer Breakfast Burritos

  • Servings: 10
  • Time: 30 minutes
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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound breakfast sausage
  • 1 cup potatoes, shredded [from 1 large or 2 small russet potatoes]
  • 10 eggs
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed chopped fresh herbs, of choice – parsley, cilantro, dill, oregano, etc. – I usually use a combination or about 1 tablespoon [total] dried herbs
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 10 flour tortillas – I usually use fajita size but burrito size would work too–you may just need more filling
  • 4-6 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sriracha sauce, optional

Directions:

In a skillet set over medium heat, brown sausage and discard almost all the grease. Return sausage to pan. Add potatoes and cook on low heat for 3-5 minutes, until translucent, then set aside.

Crack all the eggs in a medium bowl, then whisk in herbs and pepper. Add to another skillet set over medium-low heat, cooking until just set. It’s okay if the eggs are a little runnier than you might normally eat them since they will be cooked again in the microwave later.

Assemble the burritos by dividing the sausage and potato mixture between the tortillas, then topping with eggs and a little cheese. This should be about 1/2 cup filling per burrito. Drizzle some Sriracha over the cheese if desired, then roll burritos. Wrap in a piece of foil or Saran wrap, then place in a freezer safe gallon size ziptop bag. Freeze for up to 2 months, if they last that long! When ready to eat, remove wrapping and heat in a paper towel for 90 seconds-2 minutes. Eat immediately.

Sriracha Fried Rice

A unique, spicy fried rice with the egg on top! If spice isn’t your thing, just use a little Sriracha for flavor!

Sriracha Fried Rice | thepajamachef.comOhhh yeah. This dinner is my new BFF. I’ve made it more times in the last few months than I can count. It’s full of flavor, is super simple, and uses one of my favorite under-appreciated vegetables–cabbage! It’s rare for us not have have some leftover rice in the fridge because Ben lives on that stuff. And lucky for me–rice is cheap, and it lasts in the fridge or freezer for awhile. But that “lasting’ sometimes means there’s more leftover rice than I know what to do with. Enter fried rice. You can make a normal fried rice like this one or a kale fried rice or a pineapple fried rice, or you can make a kicked up vegetarian version. Like this one! Sriracha is everyone’s favorite spicy condiment so now you have another use for it!

Sriracha Fried Rice | thepajamachef.comThis dinner hits the spot when you want something homey and comforting but don’t want to wait or take the time to cook a big meal. Sriracha Fried Rice takes a bunch of leftovers [like that cabbage you bought for slaw or to add to salad] and turns them into something amazing! I love the nuttiness of the sesame oil and sesame seeds that are added at the end. They give it another dimension of flavor…. and the leftovers are even better the next day! Just don’t forget the fried egg on top. Drippy yolk + spicy rice = amazing. I bet this would be great for breakfast too! Enjoy!

two years ago: Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese
three years ago: Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake
four years ago: Pumpkin Ginger Bread

Sriracha Fried Rice

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Time: 30 minutes
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from Jenna’s Everything Blog

Ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoons oil, divided
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup cabbage, chopped or shredded [I usually use at least 2-3 cups cabbage, and sometimes even add in mustard greens too]
  • 1 splash Shaoxing wine [or dry sherry or Mirin]
  • 1 pinch sugar [omit if using Mirin since it’s already sweet]
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1-3 tablespoons Sriracha depending on your spice preferences
  • 4 cups cold, cooked rice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 4 eggs

Directions:

Heat a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 tablespoons oil and heat, then cook garlic for 30 seconds. Add onion, stirring to coat with oil, and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add cabbage, wine/sherry/Mirin, and sugar and cook for another 4-5 minutes until it starts to soften. Add soy sauce and Sriracha, stirring well, then cook for another minute or so. Add rice, breaking up larger pieces with a wooden spoon, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook rice for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Lastly, stir in sesame oil and green onions.

In another pan, heat remaining tablespoon of oil to fry your eggs to desired doneness.

Serve eggs on top of fried rice. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Chicken Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash

These Pumpkin Chicken Meatballs are a fun topping to a garlicky, buttery base of spaghetti squash. Though this dish takes awhile to prepare, it’s totally worth it!

Pumpkin Chicken Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash | thepajamachef.com

I don’t know about you, but I’m on a quest to eat as much pumpkin in the next three months as possible. It’s my goal to make/blog about at least one pumpkin dish per week! We’ll see how I do. :) So first…I have a confession to make. I made this dish last year. In fact, it was one of the first new recipes I made in our new Nashville kitchen after we moved here last year. And it just didn’t make it on the blog. Oooops! Moving to a new state and starting a new job kinda takes a lot of time. :) But despite the length of time between eating this dish and sharing it here, I think it’s utterly fabulous! Most people think of pumpkin as a sweet ingredient [helllooo pumpkin pie, cookies, bread, muffins, yada yada yada] but I love it when used at dinnertime. Though pumpkin by itself is actually a little bland, it can add some color, moisture, and substance to sauces, meatballs, or soups when used in a savory sense.  This was my first time using pumpkin in meatballs and I must say I’m super impressed! These meatballs were sooo flavorful and indulgent… if meatballs can be indulgent, haha.

Pumpkin Chicken Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash | thepajamachef.com

And don’t forget about the spaghetti squash! It’s garlicky and buttery and just plain perfect. It was Ben’s first taste of spaghetti squash and he loved it… especially because of the bacon. Everything’s better with bacon, right? Even pumpkin! With this dish you’ll certainly have one of the more unique ways to enjoy pumpkin. And it’s awesome! Hope you enjoyyy!

one year ago: Autumnal Muffins
two years ago: Peach Raspberry Clafouti
three years ago: Peach Shortbread
four years ago: Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

Pumpkin Chicken Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 2 hours, most of that not active so don't freak out
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from We are not Martha

Ingredients:

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 pound ground chicken [ground turkey would also work too]
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons Star Fine Foods Butter Olive Oil – or regular butter or olive oil
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Carefully poke holes all over the spaghetti squash with a sharp knife. Place in a baking dish and bake for 80 minutes, rotating halfway through.

While spaghetti squash is cooking, prepare meatballs. In a large bowl, mix together ground chicken, pumpkin, ginger, thyme, panko, parmesan, and egg. Scoop mixture into golfball-sized balls and place in a baking dish that has been greased with cooking spray. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until cooked through and crisp on the outside. [Hint: put the meatballs in the oven after the squash has cooked for about 65 or 70 minutes–that’ll be good timing so everything is finished about the same time.]

After 80 minutes, remove squash from oven and let cool.

When cool enough to touch, carefully cut in half. Scoop seeds out, then use a fork to remove the “spaghetti” and set aside.

In a large skillet set over medium heat, add olive oil and cook garlic for one minute. Add squash, sage, and crumbled bacon, then cook for about 3 minutes until tender.

Serve meatballs over spaghetti squash with parmesan on top.

Linked up with: Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friends Friday.

Sausage and Ranch Potato Skillet with Fried Eggs

This easy sausage and potato skillet is seasoned with a healthy herb ranch blend and topped with a fried egg, making it a perfect breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner! Delicious!

Sausage and Ranch Potato Skillet with Fried Eggs | thepajamachef.com

I love skillet meals! One dish meals are seriously my go-to for weeknights. Less courses=less dishes=less clean up=more time to read on the couch/bake pumpkin treats/watch tv/brush our little spoiled cats or anything else my little heart desires. Usually my skillet meals include rice, pasta, or quinoa, and cheese. Always cheese! But sometimes you want something a little lighter and fresher. Not that rice or pasta dishes can’t be light, but you know what I mean, right? For me, the key to delicious light meals is lots of flavor. Like ranch! Mmm, ranch dressing. Whoever invented that stuff was a genius!

Healthy Herb Ranch Seasoning | thepajamachef.com

A few weeks ago, on a whim, I made a batch of healthy herb ranch seasoning and used it for some roasted potatoes alongside a little breakfast-for-dinner meal with cheesy scrambled eggs, oatmeal scones, and berries. Not that you’ll NEED extra ideas for using this ranch seasoning [I think it’s going to become a standard addition to my pantry] but let me just say that ranch seasoning on popcorn is amazingggg! Mmm, it’s 8 am and I want some ranch popcorn. Haha.

Ranch Potatoes | thepajamachef.com

Now, that meal was good…but I had visions! Visions of a ranch-seasoned skillet meal with crispy roasted potatoes, crumbled breakfast sausage, bell peppers, onion, garlic, jalapeno and a fried egg on top! Well, my fried eggs are actually over-easy eggs but same diff. :) I am happy to report that this skillet was everything I dreamed it would be… a fresh, filling meal full of ranch flavor AND the best part was that it’s healthy! That’s why I used that ranch seasoning blend… all the flavors of a hearty, creamy ranch without tons of salt, sour cream, or mayo. To make the potatoes super crispy I roasted them in the oven with some of the ranch seasoning, then tossed them with the sausage and bell pepper mixture after everything was cooked. Don’t forget the avocado on the side… a bite of creamy, cool avocado alongside this spicy ranch-y skillet is just divine! Enjoy!

P.S. Don’t forget about my giveaway for Healthy Solutions Spice Blends! Ends Saturday! :)

Sausage and Ranch Potato Skillet with Fried Eggs | thepajamachef.com

two years ago: Peach Ginger Pie
three years ago: Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad
four years ago: Chili Burgers

Sausage and Ranch Potato Skillet with Fried Eggs

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 minutes
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Sausage and Ranch Potato Skillet with Fried Eggs | thepajamachef.com
Ingredients:

  • 1 pound red potatoes, cut into eighths [quarter, then half each quarter]
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon ranch seasoning, divided [see below, or use your favorite]
  • cayenne pepper – optional
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound breakfast sausage
  • 1 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced – optional
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 eggs
  • diced avocado, for serving

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss red potatoes in 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning, a sprinkling of cayenne, and olive oil. Spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until fork-tender. I like to bump the heat up to 475 for the last 5 minutes or so of baking to get a nice crispy crust.

While potatoes are cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon. Drain grease and return sausage to pan. Add onion, green pepper, red pepper, and jalapeno, if using. Saute for 10 minutes or until onions are soft. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Cover and remove from heat. When potatoes are done, add to skillet with sausage and vegetables and stir in remaining 1/2 tablespoon ranch seasoning.

Cook fried eggs to desired doneness, then serve a fried egg on top of each serving with diced avocado.

Healthy Herb Ranch Seasoning

  • Servings: 1 cup
  • Time: 5 minutes
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Healthy Herb Ranch Seasoning | thepajamachef.com

from Wildflour’s Cottage Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried chives
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried minced onion, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, optional

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a Mason jar and shake to combine. Store covered until ready to use.

Can combine with 1 3/4 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt for a ranch dressing/dip; just mix well and thin with milk or buttermilk to reach desired consistency.

Linked up with Weekend Potluck.