Need a brunch idea? Make french toast casserole

French Toast Casserole

One of my favorite things about the weekend is having more time to make a nice breakfast for the family.  During the week I am usually rushing to get my toddler to daycare. While making her lunch I am also making breakfast, and hoping she’ll stop jumping around long enough to eat.  Although, I have found bacon will get her stop on a dime!

This past weekend my mother requested I make a french toast casserole, which is one of the easiest and most delicious breakfasts to make.  Most of the prep work is done the night before, and in the morning you just pop it into the oven to bake.

I adapted this recipe from Paula “Pass me a stick of butter” Deen because I liked the topping, but there are many variations to be found on the web.

Baked French Toast Casserole

2 12 oz. loaves Hawaiian sweet bread, cut into 1″ slices

8 large eggs

3 cups half-and-half

3 TB granulated sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/3 tsp ground cinnamon

Praline Topping

2 sticks butter, softened

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

2 TB light corn syrup

1/3 tsp ground cinnamon

Arrange bread slices in two rows in a buttered 9 by 13-inch baking dish.  In large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon until blended.  Pour mixture over bread, pressing the bread down lightly to help absorb the mixture.  Spoon the liquid over the bread until well coated.  Cover dish with foil and refrigerate overnight.

In medium bowl mix butter, brown sugar, pecans, corn syrup, and cinnamon together until well blended.  Cover with plastic wrap and leave out overnight, because it needs to be soft enough to spread the next morning.

The next day preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Remove foil from casserole, and evenly spread praline topping on french toast.  Bake for 40 minutes, until puffed up and browned.  Let sit for 5 minutes to cool.  This serves 8 – 10  people.

Cheryl D Lee on Foodista

The White House breaks new ground

The White House

Today, first lady Michelle Obama will host a groundbreaking ceremony for the new White House organic vegetable garden, the first since Eleanor Roosevelt’s World War II victory garden.

The garden will have a twofold purpose; to provide organic vegetables to the White House kitchen and to help educate children about healthful, locally grown fruits and vegetables.  In an interview given to The New York Times,  Mrs. Obama said, “My hope is that through children, they will begin to educate their families and that will, in turn, begin to educate our communities.”

Students from Bancroft Elementary School in Washington will help tend the 1,100-square-foot plot.  The school has had their own garden since 2001, and the students will help plant, harvest and cook the vegetables, berries and herbs.

The garden will include 55 kinds of vegetables and fruits, chosen from a wish list put together by White House chefs. There will also be two hives for honey tended by a White House carpenter who is also a beekeeper. The chefs will use the produce to feed the first family, as well as for state dinners.

Welcome to Black Girl Chef’s Whites

Not another food blog!  Well, stick with me and I hope to be able to share my experiences, recipes and witty observations on life in the kitchen.

I have been a  Le Cordon Bleu chef instructor, caterer, personal chef, food writer, food stylist, recipe developer and editor.  I’ve been a foodie since I was a kid.  I made my first scrambled egg breakfast when I was a hungry six year old, and my parents were still asleep.  And I haven’t looked back since.

Join me as I discover the latest food news, resurrect old recipes from my antique cookbooks, and share my knowledge of all things culinary (and hope you share your knowledge with me.)