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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Cheesy Blueberry French Toast Bake

Happy New Year!!

I've been cooking up a storm throughout the holiday season.  Lots of tried-and-true favorites (which I've already blogged about), and lots of new recipes and experiments.  

This is what I made last night for our New Year's Eve dinner.  Heart-shaped lobster ravioli.

This recipe was filed under Good, But Not Good Enough To Blog About.  Not good enough partly because a. I was happy with the sauce, however the pasta dough could use some work but mostly because b. it took me two frustrating hours to make.

And so my streak of so-so recipes continued.

Until this morning, that is. 

I think my streak of cooking & baking failures has finally ended!

It took this package of not-quite-fresh bread to get me rolling.  Ba-dum-bum, pun intended.  Rolls, get it?
Okay, my comedic timing still needs work.  Something else to shoot for in 2014.

Anyway, back to our story....

Stale bread or rolls are perfect for making French toast.  I've never, ever had success making any type of French toast casserole, however.  Oh, I've certainly tasted casseroles that I liked.  One time I was at a friend's house and she had made a spectacular cinnamon French toast casserole.  

She sent me the link to the online recipe and I only looked at it long enough to see that it called for three sticks of butter.  I. Just. Can't. Not even for special occasions.  Unless it would provide at least 24 servings, but then only because if I were to host a breakfast for 24 I'd be frantic enough that I wouldn't care how much butter I used.  Yet again, I digress.

I'll cut to the chase:  I've attempted to make many French toast casseroles that weren't loaded with butter.  And I've never liked any of them.  Until today!

I googled like crazy and adapted a Kraft recipe to suit my needs.  Ironically, there was no butter in the original recipe. I decided that butter wasn't the enemy after all and used a teaspoon or so to grease the pan.


Today's Playlist

  • "Californication"...Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • "Funky But Chic"...New York Dolls
  • "That Time is Gone"...The dB's
  • "Jar of Hearts"...Christina Perri
  • "Another One Bites the Dust"...Queen
  • "I Fought the Law"...Mike Ness
  • "Naive"...The Kooks
  • "Fell in Love with a Girl"...White Stripes
  • "Jerk it Out"...Caesars

Blueberry French Toast Bake (serves 6 to 8)

  • 5 to 6 cups of 1" bread cubes (rolls, bread, croissants)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 8-oz. package cream cheese
  • 2/3 cups sugar 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk

Gather your ingredients.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Butter (or spray with non-stick cooking spray) a 9x9-inch square pan.

Cut your bread into cubes.  Cutting the rolls was easy-peasy.  I sliced them lengthwise,


then crosswise,

and crosswise again.  I used 4 rolls.

And then I felt a nudge on my left side.  I looked down, knowing what I would find.

The drop-a-few-crumbs-for-us crew.

Pile the bread cubes into your buttered dish.  Sprinkle the blueberries on top. 

I did not measure the blueberries, just poured them right out of the bag until I thought there were enough.  I used about half of the bag, which was approximately 1 1/2 cups.


Place the remaining ingredients (except for the milk) into the bowl of your electric mixer and beat until well blended.

And here is where I messed up.  I added the milk, before the ingredients were mixed.  And I mixed everything all at once.

I'll probably never know how the recipe turns out if I had followed directions properly (adding the milk in small amounts after the other ingredients were mixed).

Instead, by messing up, I created a happy little accident.  It looked innocent enough, the mixture in the bowl.

But when I poured the mixture evenly over my bread cubes and blueberries, it became apparent that the milk that I added all at once--before mixing the other ingredients first--had prevented the cream cheese from being properly incorporated.  Instead, I had all of these tiny little flakes of cream cheese all over the top. 

I decided to just go with it.  What's the worst that could happen?  

I let it sit for a minute or two so that the bread could absorb the liquid. 

 Then I baked it in my 350-degree oven for 40 minutes, until it was set and the top was starting to brown.

I liked the way it looked with the flaky-crumby cheese covering the top!


 We ate it while it was still warm.  

I warmed up some maple syrup to top it with.  Or you could serve it plain, with just a bit of powdered sugar sprinkled on top.

 Mmmmm.

Enjoy!

2 comments:

  1. Lobster ravioli, oh my, I know that was wonderful. It looks just amazing. So does the blueberry french toast. I should know to get a snack before I come to read your blog. I might have to try the french toast your way. It looks like you made a yummy mistake. Hope the adorable crumb crew got some.

    Happy New Year Fran!

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  2. Lobster ravioli sounds divine, but a lot of work. You are amazing! The blueberry French toast looks delicious and I will try it for sure! Thanks for sharing your amazing talent!
    hugs,
    Jann

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