Tag Archives: breakfast

Brioche French Toast Casserole with Struesel Topping

Breakfast/Brunch is always a lot of fun for me. I think it comes partially from when I was much younger and my mom and I would clean and make a big breakfast every Saturday morning. The week was always super busy, and we were mostly a cereal/toaster pastry family, especially in high school when my classes started at 7:15. Sunday was church day, so Saturday was the big day. The breakfast tradition carried over into college where my roommate and I threw quite a few brunches, not to mention brinners. We kicked ass at brinner.

 This casserole was the result of me going to a brunch pot luck and not being able to find exactly what I wanted on Pinterest. So I combined the bits and pieces that I liked best. A brioche base here; a modified streusel topping there. It was almost blueberry, but I asked one of my friends her opinion on fruit options and she said anything but blueberry. So that put the kibosh on that. Apple cinnamon was my other contender so here we are. 

Ingredients:

Casserole

  • 9 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 lb brioche bread
  • 1/2 cup regular sugar
  • 1/4 dark brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla paste
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tspn salt
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced

Streusel Topping

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

Directions:

  1. Cut brioche breads into cubes and dice the green apples. Layer into the bottom of a 13×9 casserole dish.
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together eggs, milk, cream, both sugars, cinnamon, vanilla and salt.
  3. Pour mixture over the bread and apples and cover. Set in the fridge for at least four hours, preferably overnight, so the bread can soak up the egg mixture.
  4. Bake casserole in the 350 degree oven for 45-55 minutes.
  5. While the casserole bakes, whisk together the dry streusel ingredients. Melt the butter then stir into the dry ingredients until crumbs form.
  6. 10 minutes before the casserole is done baking, pull from the oven, sprinkle on streusel topping and put back into the oven for the remaining 10 minutes.

* This recipe works even better if the bread is slightly stale. I unwrapped the loaf and left it in the toaster oven (turned off) overnight. I’ve also cheated and popped the cubed bread into a 200 degree oven for 45 minutes, turning over about half way through, to dry the bread out.


Cranberry Maple Muffins

I’ve been spending quite a bit of time in the kitchen these days. To be completely honest, I don’t usually put a whole lot of effort when it come to dinner during the week. A lot of open this bag and reheat this frozen entree type of thing. However, a couple friends of ours have recently become parents, and we’ve been taking meals to them a few times a week. Where I am unwilling to make the effort just for us, it’s a completely different story when it comes to someone else. Mostly I make dinner items that are easily microwaveable, but I’ve also been trying to throw in hand-sized baked goods that are easily consumed in between feedings and diaper changing. This weekend I decided to whip up some Cranberry Maple Muffins.

Notes:

  • After making the Apple Cider Muffins last month, I knew I’d have to overfill the cups to get the generously sized muffins (I think) most of us prefer. With that in mind, this recipe yielded 8 muffins instead of 12.
  • I used real maple syrup (from Canada, no less), and if “maple” wasn’t in the title, no one would be able to tell it was an ingredient. It brought the needed sweetness, but if you want straight up awesome maple flavor? This is not the recipe for you.
  • This is a personal preference, but without the maple flavor being noticeable, I thought these muffins needed something extra to round out the flavor. My vote would be for some sort of citrus.

Monkey Bread: Modified Recipe

Monkey bread is one of my favorite things to make for holiday guests. I have yet to find someone who isn’t drawn in by the gloriously rich sugary morsels.  This year I decided to modify version of this recipe I posted a few years ago. Here’s how things turned out.

a1 a2

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • Bundt Cake Pan
  • 4 Tablespoons of Cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 cans of Southern Style or Buttermilk Biscuits (the non-flaky ones)
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup of chopped pecans
  • 1 medium granny smith apple diced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Remove biscuits from their tubes, and cut each biscuit into four pieces. (I baked off the rest of the unused tube and gave them to the husband to munch on while I was baking)
  3. Combine the cinnamon and white sugar in a large ziplock bag, and shake to combine.
  4. Next drop the biscuit pieces 5 or 6 at a time, into the bag, seal and shake.
  5. Spray bundt pan with nonstick spray.
  6. Place all of the coated biscuit pieces into your bundt pan, sprinkling in pecans and apples as you go.
  7. In a medium sauce pan melt butter over medium heat, stir in brown sugar. Keep stirring until the two are completely combined.
  8. Pour the liquid over the biscuit pieces and place in the preheated oven.
  9. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until it looks like this.  Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes then turn out onto a plate. A few taps might be required to get everything to shake loose.

Notes:

  • I added the apples to this recipe because I like the bits of tart fruitiness that they impart to what can sometimes be a cloyingly sweet dish.
  • If you have a deep bundt pan you can attempt to use three full cans of biscuits, just be wary of overfilling because you do not want that stuff to overflow into the bottom of your oven. I’d even recommend placing a cookie sheet on the rack underneath, just in case.
  • Keep an eye on your bottom biscuits through out the baking time, if your oven is a little temperamental, as mine is, the exposed biscuits at the bottom may start to get excessively brown before the ones in the center are baked. If this happens, loosely wrap tin foil across the pan and shift the bundt pan to a lower rack in the oven.

Don’t forget to enter the holiday giveaway!!!!


Gnome Cafe: Charleston

Driving around a city you’ve never visited before can be a little daunting; throw in an out of date GPS map and an epic crap-ton of construction, and you have the makings for a truly frustrating adventure. Our journey to track down Gnome Cafe was probably the worst part of our time in Charleston. Finally, we broke down and called the cafe, and the owner, who is such a sweet person, helped us make sense of all of the detours and construction and guided us safely to their parking lot.

G10G14 G9 G13I felt so optimistic just standing outside of this place. Everything was clean and crisp, inviting, and a touch whimsical. I knew it was going to make all of the driving drama worth it. G12 G15 Something you have to understand about people with dietary restrictions is that we don’t often have more than two or three options to choose from when dining out. So when you find a place that has a menu where you can eat anything you want, your brain short circuits a bit. This was the glorious situation we found ourselves in at The Gnome.G16
Everything on the menu was vegan, and let me tell you it felt down right decadent to leisurely peruse and decide how we wanted to start our day.G17 G18On our way to the table, we were distracted by the baked goods. After a very short discussion, we decided that we would in fact be getting dessert to go and quickly purchased a Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oreo Cookie and a piece of their Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake. *Spoiler Alert* They were AMAZING!!!! G7 G8 G1While sipping my London Fog (Earl Grey Latte with Almond Milk), I took mental stock of the decor, loving the contrasting black and white theme that continued inside the restaurant and appreciating how they softened what could have been a very cold color combo with tons of green plants and bowls of fresh produce.  G6 G2When our food arrived… man, it was so difficult to remember that we needed to take picutres before diving in.  G3We both went for an Everything Bagel Sandwich with scrambled tofu, shitake bacon, and the most delicious melty vegan cheese I have ever encountered. The potato hash was awesome, cheddar grits were some of the best I’ve ever had. We cleaned our plates and thanked God that we’d had the foresight to wear yoga pants.  G5 G4I didn’t want to over do it with the pictures, but we also went back the next morning just to try the Southern Grit Bowl and the house made Sausage Biscuit. Just as delicious as what we’d had the day before. The other thing I thought was cool was that the place wasn’t just full of vegans: the gentlemen behind us in line were discussing meat lover’s pizza, and the couple at the next table were talking about getting BarBQ later. It’s a true testament to the quality of the food. I would hit this place for breakfast every morning if I lived in Charleston.


Waffle-tastic

I don’t know why, but I’ve always found the idea of making waffles a little intimidating. It’s a bit silly really, if you have a waffle iron it really isn’t all the different than making pancakes, but alas my waffle iron sits lonely on the shelf collecting dust. This weekend, I found this post on  Merry Thought for 10 ways to top your waffles, and it has inspired me to reconsider my stand on making waffles.  Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad after all….

10 Waffle Toppings | The Merrythought

1. Pumpkin Snap
A delicious pumpkin spice waffle topped with crushed ginger snaps, maple cream sauce (recipe below), maple syrup and fresh whipped cream.
10 Waffle Toppings | The Merrythought

2. Tutti Frutti
Top waffles with raspberries, bananas, fresh whipped cream and maple syrup for this fun creation.
10 Waffle Toppings | The Merrythought

3.Baked Potato
Gather all the fixings for a delicious baked potato and top your waffle with some hashbrowns, cheddar, crispy bacon, sour cream and some scallions.
10 Waffle Toppings | The Merrythought

4. Banana Split
Keep it classic with an old school banana split. Cut up some bananas, scoop a few generous scoops of vanilla ice cream and add chocolate syrup, a few peanuts and mini chocolate chips, and whipped cream. And don’t forget the cherry on top!
10 Waffle Toppings | The Merrythought

5. Apple Crisp
Top your waffle with homemade apple crisp (we’ve got a yummy recipe for that here), fresh whipped cream and some salted caramel sauce drizzled on top.
10 Waffle Toppings | The Merrythought

6. Merica
Proudly top your waffle with some red, white and blue – strawberries, fresh whipped cream and blueberries!  (And don’t forgot that maple syrup too!)
10 Waffle Toppings | The Merrythought

7. The Lumberjack
This loaded waffle is sure to satisfy the hungry lumberjack in your life. Mix some cooked sausage into your waffle batter and cook it. Add generous helpings of sausage gravy, hashbrowns, a couple fried eggs and some crispy bacon.
10 Waffle Toppings | The Merrythought

8. Kiddie Sundae
A waffle that the kids are sure to love! Drizzle some chocolate syrup over your waffle and let the kids throw on some of their favorite snacks – whipped cream, chocolate chips, gummy bears, sprinkles…whatever their little heart desires!
10 Waffle Toppings | The Merrythought

9. Maple Cream Cheese Waffle Sandwich
Spread maple cream cheese frosting between two waffles, top with sugarmon (cinnamon and sugar mixed together), and salted caramel sauce.
10 Waffle Toppings | The Merrythought

10.Southwestern
For those that enjoy huevos rancheros, top your waffle with seasoned black beans, eggs, avocado, salsa, sour cream and some shredded cheddar cheese.

 

Maple Cream Sauce*:
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
8 ounces cream cheese
1-2 drops maple extract

In a medium saucepan, combine the syrup and butter and cook over low heat until butter is melted. Stir in brown sugar until dissolved and remove from heat. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, soften the cream cheese until it can be stirred smooth by hand. Gradually pour the maple butter mixture into the softened, stirred cream cheese, mixing well as you add the maple mixture. Add a drop or two of maple extract (or as much as you would like to taste) and stir until combined.
Leftover sauce should be stored, covered, in the refrigerator. To use, heat in the microwave until it reaches desired consistency.

 

Images and recipe from here.