Tuesday, December 20, 2011

French Toast Makes Life Sweet!

 "She rises while it is yet night and gets [spiritual] food for her household and assigns her maids their tasks." Proverbs 31:5 (Amplified)

Is this what your morning looks like?  It does in my house except its usually me looking at the clock, barking commands from the bottom of the stairs and my daughter rushing to get dressed and eat.  In the end I end up stressed out and my daughter is usually attempting to eat a tortilla with melted cheese wrap in the car on the way to school.

I tell myself everyday I am going to be the Proverbs 31 woman who wakes before everyone else, prays and then gently wakes her children from their slumber and has breakfast on the table, lunches made and sends everyone on their way all with peace in her heart and a ginormous smile on her face.

I know some of you out there are like "yeah right!" in what world is she living in but truly I get tired of being stressed out by the small things and have come to learn that most of the time that I waste being stressed out could have been prevented had I just been a little bit more organized.  You know prepare lunches and have Asabea put her clothes out the night before.  Things like that.  Wake up when the alarm clock goes off instead of pushing the snooze button. 

Most of us push the snooze button because we just want that 5-20 minutes extra sleep in the morning, but what I realize is that all we are doing is postponing an opportunity to serve God and receive the fullness of his presence in our lives.  

So I thought to make mornings a little sweeter for myself, my family and for you, I would post my recipe for french toast casserole with brown sugar bacon streussel topping.  Sounds good doesn't it? It smells good to. I bet you and your family would love to wake up to the smell of this delicious recipe. 

French Toast Casserole w/ brown sugar bacon streussel topping

This is definitely a weekend breakfast or brunch recipe but leftovers taste great! So what I will do sometimes is make ahead and warm it up during weekday mornings for a quick and filling breakfast.You can also assemble everything the night before and allow the custard to soak into the bread overnight and pop it in the oven the next morning.

10-12 cups bread broken into bite size pieces (I used about a 3/4 loaf of day old italian bread but whatever you like) 
8 eggs
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of sugar
*4 slices of turkey bacon (chopped into bite size pieces)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1-2 tablespoons margarine or butter

Grease a 9x13 casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Add the bread pieces to the casserole dish and put aside.  In a large mixing bowl whisk the eggs, milk, cinnamon, vanilla and 1/4 cup sugar together until fully combined.  You should have a nicely blended light golden yellow custard at this point.  

Pour the custard over the bread pieces making sure that the bread is fully coated with the custard.  Break the butter into little pieces and place over the top of the custard soaked bread mixture. Set aside and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes.  

Meanwhile cut the turkey bacon into tiny bite size pieces and add the 3 tablespoons of brown sugar.  Mix until the brown sugar has fully dissolved and coated the bacon pieces.  Right before you place the casserole in the oven to be cooked crumble the bacon over the casserole and sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over the top of the whole thing.  Place in the oven and allow to bake for about an hour.

*NoteI have made this recipe with turkey bacon but regular pork bacon can be used as well.  However, if using pork bacon partially pre-cook to render off some of the fat first then continue as I have instructed with the turkey bacon. Also for a less sweet topping you can omit the 2 tablespoons of sugar. I just like the extra sugar topping because it caramelizes and causes the top of the casserole to have a crunchy and golden brown top.

There you have it.  Enjoy!

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