Monday, January 24, 2011

Casseroles...They Aren't Just For Dinner

A little mention of yesterday's post. Ray reminded me again why he doesn't read my blog. He is just happier not knowing what I write about, especially in cases such as yesterday. Please know it was all in good fun! Ray and I actually have good conversations, even without our phones :)

Moving on....

Sunday mornings are pretty busy for us. We leave for church really early (for a Sunday anyway) because truth be told, we like to get home earlier. I hold Sundays very sacred in my heart because that is our family day. We try very hard to refrain from commitments and we enjoy a down day to catch up from the busyness of the previous week. Obviously when we return home from church, we are all pretty hungry. Because of that I have started making a meal the night before that I can just throw in the oven when we get home. Saves a lot of hassle. Casseroles seem to work best because they actually get better by putting them in the fridge overnight.
Makes things a bit less hectic for those early mornings.

This recipe I am sharing with you today is one I seldom make because as you will soon see, it isn't for the faint of heart. I'm serious. There are a lot of ingredients that aren't the most healthy. It is a fun treat, but only once in a while.

I figure because we are all grown-ups here (minus one or two :) we can handle it and therefore use it with the utmost discretion!

The recipe is from Paula Deen who bugs the crud out of me because I get tired of all her "Y'alls" but I give her street cred for this recipe.
Baked French Toast Casserole with Praline Topping
I made a half batch but this recipe makes a full one.
1 loaf (13-16oz) french bread, cut in 1 inch slices (challah bread is also great!)
8 lg eggs
2 cups half/half
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp gran. sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
dash salt
Praline Topping
2 sticks of butter (see what I mean??!)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tbsp brown rice syrup or if you don't have it, just leave it out
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Combine all the praline ingredients together by cutting in the butter with a fork. It will resemble cookie dough. It will also smell amazing.
Keep in fridge until you are ready to use it.
Take your bread and arrange, slightly overlapping, in a well oiled 9x13" pan. Make 2 rows of bread slices. Combine the eggs, cream, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Beat with a whisk until blended. Pour the mixture over the bread, making sure it gets in between the slices. Cover with foil and put in fridge overnight.
Next day, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the praline topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 min until puffed and lightly golden. Also, remove the foil prior to baking.
If you can believe it, Paula recommends serving this with maple syrup. I can't even imagine doing that because the casserole is gooey enough on it's own. But, it's your life so use if you choose!
I'm going to be doing a few posts on the "family dinner" this week, good stuff so stay tuned...

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