So last month, after getting together at another house, I volunteered to have the next get together. I worked on the yard for a week, stuff I wanted to do anyway, but having company is definately the push I needed to get done. Then it was time to figure out the menu. I was recipe surfing on the internet and came up with this one from Paula Deen. She is my kinda girl, never afraid to use butter, ya know, the real stuff! I didn't even test drive the recipe, I just knew it would be a hit!
BAKED FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE WITH MAPLE SYRUP
I added the fresh strawberries mixed with sugar, Strawberry Syrup and whipped topping
Cook Time 40 min Level: Easy
Yield: 6 to 8 servings (There were 10 of us, and we didn't finish the pan full)
Times: Prep 20 min Inactive Prep: 8 hr 0 min Cook: 40 min
1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
8 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Praline Topping, recipe follows
Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch each. (Use any extra bread for garlic toast or bread crumbs). Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup.
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well. Makes enough for Baked French Toast Casserole.
I actually poured this mix between each piece and then when all mix was poured, I pushed down on the row of bread to squish the mix even more between the bread. I covered it with foil and stuck it in the frig.
I ran out of time so I didn't get pics of the praline topping. I just followed the recipe, it is real easy. The praline topping is a must. This recipe would be kind of dull without it. Also needs syrup of some kind. I served blueberry, maple or strawberry syrup along with Strawberries and whipped topping on it. SEE PIC.
Here's our new group of girls from the neighborhood (neighborhood = 15 mile radius). We all have one thing in common, a dear friend who has battled cancer and mersa. She is now on the up and up (She is the second one on the left). Barb is always just a hoot to be with and nothing, not even cancer, surgey or mersa is going to bring her down. She is truly an inspiration.
Everything was a big hit! I also served an egg and sausage casserole (recipe to follow in another post) and Mona brought fresh fruit, muffins and coffee cake. I made Whiskey Slush and we poured orange juice over it... it was delicious! Oh, you want that recipe too? Yes, indeed, I will stick that on the blog next! Excellent refreshing drink for the summer. I make mine with just enough whiskey for flavor (not a big head buzz), but YOU could add more.