Pho - Vietnamese Soup

Pho - Vietnamese Soup
One of our favorite dishes - Pho

Friday, July 22, 2016

Overnight Decadent Blueberry French Toast

I'm back and I'm ready to get back to blogging, cooking and simply enjoying our friends, family and life.  We've been very busy, coming up with new ideas on how to improve our Sugaree.  We've had a few trips this summer and while enjoying our time with family and friends.  I found some recipes that are not only easy to make on the road (by halving the recipe and cooking in a square pan in a toaster oven), but the next couple of recipes are great for cooking for a crowd and are unbelievably easy to prepare.

We were vacationing on North Captiva Island recently, where we were on our own to provide most meals.  We had a party of 9 and unfortunately our pans weren't cooperating because everything was sticking, making frying bacon, hash browns and eggs a bit challenging.  So, I'd seen some really great French toast casserole recipes online and I got on trusty pinterest to see what kind of wondrous breakfasts I could conjure up for a crowd without  the hassle of half of our breakfast sticking to all of the pans.  Here's what I found and it proved to be a crowd pleaser.  You can double the sauce up and use the remaining, warmed sauce over ice cream.  Also, you can substitute the blueberries with strawberries or blackberries and you can use frozen or fresh.  You could even substitute a lovely fruit jam for the sauce.  It's fun to be back...Lots of memorable times will continue to be had with lots of deliciousness to surely occur.  Happy cooking my friends!  xoxo

12 slices thick, stale Italian or French bread
2 - 8 oz pkgs cream cheese or mascarpone cheese, cut into cubes
1 cup blueberries (maybe a little more)
12 large eggs
2 cups whole milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup maple syrup

Blueberry Sauce:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 TBSP cornstarch
1 cup water
1 cup blueberries
1 TBSP butter

Spray a 9 x 13" baking dish with nonstick spray.  Set aside.

Cut the bread into 1" pieces.  Place half into prepared baking dish.  Cut cheese into cubes or use a small cookie scoop and place on top of the bread.  Top with blueberries and then remaining bread cubes.

Whisk the eggs in a large bowl.  Whisk in the milk, vanilla, cinnamon and syrup until well combined.  Pour over the bread cubes.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.  You might like to place a book on top of the wrap to sink the bread into the liquid to make a more gooey, dense cake.  I prefer not to place a book on top and I like to loosely place the plastic wrap over the casserole to make a lighter more airy dish. 

The next morning remove the pan from the fridge 1/2 hour prior to baking.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove the plastic wrap, then cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake an additional 10 - 15 minutes or until the center is set and color is golden.

While the french toast is baking, prepare the sauce:
In a medium saucepan whisk together the sugar and cornstarch.  Add the water and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Stir constantly and boil for about 3 minutes.  Stir in the blueberries and reduce heat to low.  Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the blueberries begin to pop.  Stir in the butter until melted.  

Pour warm sauce, and/or maple syrup over individual servings.  To make it extra decadent add a dash of whipping cream.

*Recipe adapted from