Breakfast, French Toast, Recipes

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
  • Print

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:

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Breakfast, French Toast, Recipes

Blueberry Multigrain French Toast Bake + Mother’s Day Brunch Ideas

So, I used to post once a month on a blog called Today’s Housewife. During fall 2012, the group decided together to stop posting due the busyness of life and families and such. Though sad, I enjoyed being part of the group. As of early January, the blog was officially taken down. But I don’t want to lose my recipes, so periodically I will be reposting them on here. Enjoy!

~

from May 10, 2012…

This Sunday, May 12th is Mother’s Day, in case you were unaware. I’m guessing most of you are not, but just in case I thought I’d remind you. 🙂 I hope and pray that this Mother’s Day is special for all of you, as you celebrate moms, families, and special women in your lives. One way that we like to celebrate is with food! So what better way to celebrate than with an arsenal of tried and true brunch ideas?

If you’re looking for some new pastries and muffins, be sure to consider these:

Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing | thepajamachef.com

royal berry coffee cake | thepajamachef.com

cinnamon carrot muffins | thepajamachef.com

Cinnamon Carrot Muffins

Sunrise Muffins | thepajamachef.comSunrise Muffins

Perhaps you need a side…

Brown Sugar Bacon Twists | thepajamachef.com

Brown Sugar Bacon Twists
Honey Lime Fruit Salad | thepajamachef.com

Or do you need a main dish?
Sausage, Apple, and Egg Casserole | thepajamachef.com
Sausage, Apple, and Egg Casserole
Blueberry Multigrain French Toast Bake | thepajamachef.com
Although I would love to dine on any of those tried and true dishes that are straight from my kitchen, I must share with you one last gem: Blueberry Multigrain French Toast Bake! I made this breakfast bake when we had family in town last week and it was a huge hit.

Blueberry Multigrain French Toast Bake | thepajamachef.com

I love French Toast Bakes because they’re all the great taste of the classic breakfast dish, but with a small fraction of the work [not that you moms should be working in the kitchen on Sunday anyway though!]. My version has some healthy ingredients like hearty multigrain bread and plump blueberries, and is flavored with fragarent cinnamon for that authentic French Toast taste. Plus, as an added benefit, you make it the night before so it takes next to no work when brunch time rolls around! Hope you enjoy, and Happy Mother’s Day!

Blueberry Multigrain French Toast Bake [adapted from Ours to Yours]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound day-old multigrain French bread, cubed
  • 8 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ cup  sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups frozen or fresh blueberries

Directions:

Grease a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray, then spread bread cubes in pan.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs then stir in milk, vanilla, flour, sugar, and cinnamon until mixture is smooth. Add half of the blueberries then pour mixture evenly over bread.

Top with remaining blueberries.

Cover and refrigerate overnight [or at least 1 hour, but no more than 24].

When ready to bake, remove from refrigerator, uncover, and place in cold oven. Then turn oven to 400 and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and set on top. Let stand 10 minutes before serving with additional berries, syrup, or powdered sugar as desired.

Time: 15 minutes active + 35 minutes baking + time to refrigerate

Yield: 8-10 servings.

Notes: If oven is preheated, just let sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before baking.

Breakfast, French Toast, Recipes

SRC: Baked Strawberry French Toast with Strawberry Maple Syrup

This month for the Secret Recipe Club I had the honor of being assigned to Jane’s blog, The Heritage Cook. Jane does so much for the SRC every month, including serving as the hostess of our group [group A, that always posts on the first Monday of the month] so I definitely wanted to do a good job with her blog. 🙂 Jane lives in California and has been into cooking and baking forever–ever since her Easy Bake Oven. How fun! She has tons of great recipes on her site, including lots of chocolate recipes from her Chocolate Mondays posts. So if you need a chocolate recipe, like puddingpeanut butter-chocolate cookie dip, or cake, Jane is your girl! 🙂 But I didn’t make a chocolate recipe today. I made baked french toast. And it is delicious!

Baked Strawberry French Toast with Strawberry Maple Syrup | thepajamachef.com

This was one of the last, if not the last meal we made in our old apartment. TEAR! Ha. But I digress… this baked french toast is soft, sweet, super simple to put together. You can mix everything together the night before you want to serve it, and then just bake it up in about 30 minutes in the morning. We topped ours with walnuts and strawberries, and then an absolutely epic strawberry maple syrup. Jane is a genius, I tell ya!

Baked Strawberry French Toast with Strawberry Maple Syrup | thepajamachef.comThe original recipe used blueberries and pecans instead of my strawberries and walnuts, but I was using up what I had. And it was excellent. I wished I had an orange to grate in some zest–that would have made a great dish even better. The moral of the story is that you can use any fruit and any nut you’d like, and you can have a great, company worthy breakfast in a jiffy. Thanks, Jane! Enjoy! 🙂

one year ago… Maple Cornmeal Drop Biscuits
two years ago… Pumpkin, Sausage, & Spinach Lasagna 
three years ago… Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

Baked Strawberry French Toast with Strawberry Maple Syrup [adapted from The Heritage Cook]
click to print

Ingredients:

for french toast

  • 1 loaf Italian bread, cut into 1-2 inch cubes
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
  • 2 cups strawberries, fresh or frozen

for syrup

  • 1 1/2 cups real maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberries, fresh or frozen

Directions:

Spread bread crumbs on the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and vanilla. Pour over bread, then cover and refrigerate overnight. It will appear to be very liquidy–that’s okay.

In the morning, top with remaining brown sugar, walnuts, and strawberries. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until brown and bubbly.

While french toast is baking, combine maple syrup and strawberries in a small saucepan and heat on low until warm. Gently press berries with a wooden spoon to break up.

Cut french toast into squares and serve with strawberry maple syrup.

Time: 1 hour + overnight.

Yield: 12 servings.

For more great recipes from this edition of the SRC, check out the links below!

Breakfast, French Toast, Recipes

Blueberry Multigrain French Toast Bake + Mother’s Day Brunch Ideas

Update: find this post on my blog here. Enjoy!
Need ideas for your Mother’s Day brunch menu? Or just interested in trying my new favorite, easy [semi-healthy] French Toast Bake, made with juicy blueberries, cinnamon, and hearty multigrain bread? If you answered yes to either of those questions, be sure to check out my post on Today’s Housewife right now! Enjoy your day! 🙂

Breakfast, French Toast, Recipes

Pumpkin French Toast Sandwich

Welcome to Day Five of Pumpkin Week on The Pajama Chef! So, I think I should buy stock in Pumpkin Pie Spice. I certainly have been using it a lot lately, and it’s almost time to introduce the new bottle to my spice drawer. [By the way… if you have a Trader Joe’s nearby, check out their Pumpkin Pie Spice. I think it’s the best! They didn’t pay me to say that, but I wouldn’t object if they wanted to…]

So, today’s installment brings you another pumpkin masterpiece. This “recipe” is really a compilation of other recipes. While it may look long and complicated because of the number of ingredients, it’s simple really. All ya gotta do is make some French toast, grill some bananas, whip up some pumpkin goodness, boil down some sugar, assemble your sammie and eat up! Easy easy, right? 🙂

French toast sandwich
The End Result

I mean, who wouldn’t want to bite into this mess of hearty flavors–pumpkin, spices, banana, bread. Ah-mazing! I really enjoyed how the power of the pumpkin permeated through each and every delicious bite. This is a great, easy dinner, or a breakfast for a leisurely morning. If you don’t like pumpkin very much, scale back on the pumpkin pie spice or substitute in another sweet spice [cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc.] that you prefer better. But if you don’t like pumpkin very much, this week might have been not-so-appealing to you anyways. Regularly scheduled programming begins next week again. But pumpkin will be back, I’m sure… don’t you fret!

Pumpkin French Toast Sandwich [inspired by Healthy Tipping Point]

Ingredients:

For the French Toast:

  • 1 loaf multigrain French bread, preferably a day old or so, cut into appropriate size pieces for french toast [cut longways or shortways depending on what size loaf you have… or if your bread is presliced, great! I just like to use bakery bread for french toast–I think it tastes better.]
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • butter/oil for greasing the pan

For the Filling:

  • 2 bananas, sliced in half longways and then into thirds [you want 6 pieces from each banana that can be laid flat on the griddle]
  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ginger

For the syrup: [adapted from The Chic Life]

  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Suggested Toppings, if desired:

  • butter
  • pecans
  • mini chocolate chips
  • fruit
  • anything else your little heart desires!

Directions:

Preheat a skillet over medium heat and prep with some butter/oil for frying.  In a medium size bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice.

Meanwhile, begin making the syrup. In a small saucepan, stir together 1/4 cup sugar, water, and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice. Over medium heat, bring to a boil, then cover the pan and allow to simmer until liquid has thickend up to desired consistency. Let cool a bit before serving, as this syrup is basically a caramel sauce and is very very hot at first!

While the syrup is simmering, make the French toast. Dip each piece of bread in the egg mixture and turn several times to coat, but do not leave submurged more than a few seconds or the bread will get soggy. Place bread on skillet and cook until each side is a crispy, golden brown. While bread is cooking, add banana pieces to griddle to grill too.

At the same time, mix pumpkin, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, and a sprinkle of ginger in a small bowl [my cereal bowl was just the right size for the job]. If you want, you could put this in another saucepan or even the microwave to warm it up a tad, but I didn’t do this so it’s optional.

When all ingredients are finished, assemble sandwiches. Here is my order, from plate upwards, but feel free to be innovative and unique:

  1. 1 piece of French toast
  2. heaping spoonful of pumpkin
  3. 2 slices of grilled banana
  4. sprinkle pecans
  5. sprinkle pumpkin pie spice
  6. repeat steps 1-5 and then drizzle syrup overtop it all!

As for number of servings, it really will depend on you and your needs. This was really filling so I only ate one sandwich with some fruit for dinner. Ben ate several pieces of French toast with butter and syrup, and then let me make him a mini sandwich too. We finished an entire mini loaf of thin French bread between the two of us. For the syrup, Diana suggests a serving size of 2-4, with 2 servings of heavy-syrup usage and 4 of light. I would agree with that, as we had a little syrup leftover, but not much.

Click here for the printable versionPumpkin French Toast Sandwich

In unrelated news, I saw this on Facebook tonight and it cracked me up. Maybe you’ve seen this before and I’m just behind the times, but it is hilarious!

  1. Go to Google Maps.
  2. Click on “Get Directions.”
  3. Type Japan as the start location and China as the end location.
  4. Go to direction #43.
  5. Laugh. HARD. Preferably at work. 🙂

Question of the Day: TGIF! I am so glad it’s the weekend. Schoolwork has been killer lately. What are your weekend plans? I’ll be doing some homework 😦 but also heading to Indianapolis to see some friends from home for the day!