Breakfast made easy…but oh so good

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8 thnanksgiving As the Holidays are fast approaching (only days until Thanksgiving) and we start having family and friends come to visit it is time to start thinking about some great breakfast options that are delicious, pretty and EASY!!  When I have houseguests I am all about easy, especially when it comes to breakfast. Just the idea of being able to wake my guests to the smell  of something delicious wafting through the house with fresh coffee brewing really does make for a perfect Holiday morning.  Plus with this baked French toast most of the work is done the evening before, making it even better…I love anytime I don’t have to think too much in the morning.

This dish first happened a few weeks ago when The Hubby and I made broccoli and cheese soup in bread bowls.  We had some leftover bread that was going to go bad and I was looking for a way to use it up in a fun new way and baked French toast just sounded so good and I had all the ingredients I needed…it was like it was meant to be. 

For me my first choice was to make a pumpkin French toast but I think The Hubby is reaching the end of his pumpkin rope so I opted for a more traditional maple French toast and I so, so glad I did.  It was just sweet enough with a hint of warm winter spices and the crunch of the topping giving that extra bit of deliciousness goodness.  The beauty of this dish is that it will work year round and I always love when I can have a great and very easy go to dish perfect for any time of year.

So whether you make it this Holiday season or not, trust me this is a dish you want to keep saved so you can make it the next time you want a special breakfast treat!!

 

Baked Maple French Toast
Serves 16
A delicious French toast bake that is perfect for a chilly morning...plus most of the work is done the night before making it perfect for busy mornings as well
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
8 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
8 hr
Ingredients
  1. 16 oz (day old) loaf sourdough bread (you can also use French bread...it just needs to be a crusty bread)
  2. 8 eggs
  3. 1 1/2 cups half & half
  4. 1 cup fat free milk
  5. 1/2 cup sugar
  6. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  7. 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  8. 2 tbsp. vanilla extract
Topping
  1. 1/2 cup flour
  2. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  3. 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  4. dash of salt
  5. 8 tbsp. butter, cut into small cubes
  6. 1/2 cup maple syrup
Optional Extras
  1. Warm maple syrup
  2. Melted Butter
  3. Berries
To prepare French Toast
  1. Spray a large casserole dish with nonstick spray
  2. Tear (or cut) bread into 1 inch pieces
  3. Layer bread evenly into casserole dish
  4. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, half & half, milk, sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla until well combined
  5. Pour egg mixture over bread
  6. Gently toss bread to make sure it is all coated well
  7. Cover pan with foil and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but overnight is best
To bake French toast
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Remove dish from refrigerator
  3. In a small bowl combine flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, salt & butter with your fingers until mixture resembles course sand
  4. Sprinkle topping over bread mixture
  5. Pour maple syrup over topping
  6. Bake casserole for 45 minutes for a bread pudding texture, or 1 hour for crunchier edges
  7. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving
  8. Serve with warm maple syrup, melted butter or berries if you desire
  9. ENJOY!!
Each serving is 8 WW+ points
  1. Nutritional Info
  2. Calories 302 Calories from Fat 100 Total Fat 11.2g Saturated Fat 6.1g Cholesterol 106mg Sodium 289mg Potassium 160mg Total Carbohydrates 42.9g Dietary Fiber 0.8g Sugars 22.8g Protein 7.8g
  3. Vitamin A 8% - Vitamin C 1% - Calcium 8% - Iron 10%
  4. Nutrition Grade C-
The Half Baked Life http://www.thehalfbakedlife.com/
Enjoy your family and friend even more with this make ahead baked French toast!!

cupcake-crop 

  Happy (half) Baked Day – MJ

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9 thanksgivingWith only 9 days left until Thanksgiving  it is time to talk about rolls.  I don’t know about your family, but in my family we have to have rolls at Thanksgiving.  Sometimes we buy them, sometimes we ask someone to bring them or sometimes Honey and I will take care of them and this year I volunteered.  You see I had a plan, I was going to take a traditional Rhoades rise b bake rolls but I was going to transform them into little pumpkins, to make them that much more special for Thanksgiving. 

OK, so let me start off by saying these rolls are not hard to make, but the end product looks like you spent hours and hours working on these precious little rolls.    The beauty of them though is all you do is let them rise, make a few cuts into the rolls and then bake them and voila you have Pumpkin Dinner Rolls.

I topped mine with butter before baking but a little cinnamon butter would be delicious and give the rolls a beautiful color, you could also do some garlic butter for a more savory roll.  They are just so yummy, everyone will love them.

 

"Punkin" Dinner Rolls
Serves 24
Transform traditional dinner rolls into something special for Thanksgiving
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Prep Time
4 hr
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
4 hr
Prep Time
4 hr
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
4 hr
Ingredients
  1. 24 Rhodes frozen dinner rolls
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1/2 cup water
  4. 9 pecan halves
Preparing Rolls
  1. Cover 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper
  2. Spray parchment paper with nonstick spray
  3. Lay out 12 frozen rolls on each cookie sheet
  4. Spray 2 sheets of plastic wrap with nonstick spray and cover rolls with sprayed side of wrap
  5. Place pans in a warm room and let rise for 2 hours
  6. Remove plastic wrap from rolls
  7. Using kitchen sheers or a very sharp knife cut 7-8 slits in each roll, making sure to leave the center in tact
  8. Using the back of a wooden spoon press down into the center, this is where your stem will go
  9. Place plastic wrap back over rolls, spraying again as necessary with nonstick spray
  10. Place rolls back into warm room and let rise for an additional 1-2 hours
To Bake
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Remove plastic wrap from rolls and separate cut sections as necessary and press down the center again if needed
  3. In a small bowl whisk together egg and water
  4. Brush egg wash over each roll
  5. Bake each pan for 15-20 minutes or until rolls are golden brown
  6. While rolls are baking slice each pecan half into thirds
  7. When rolls are golden and baked through remove from oven
  8. Place a piece of pecan into the center of each roll to create the stem
  9. Serve & ENJOY!!!
Each serving is 3 WW+ points
  1. Nutritional Info
  2. Calories 103 Calories from Fat 15 Total Fat 1.7g Saturated Fat 0g Cholesterol 7mg Sodium 133mg Total Carbohydrates 19g Dietary Fiber .8g Sugars 2g Protein 2.2g
  3. Vitamin A 0% - Vitamin C 0% - Calcium 0% - Iron 6%
  4. Nutrition Grade B
The Half Baked Life http://www.thehalfbakedlife.com/
Make the rolls something super special this Thanksgiving, without all the work!!

cupcake-crop

 Happy (half) Baked Day – MJ

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10 ThanksgivingI cannot count the number of meals I had the privilege of having at my MeeMaw’s and Grandad’s farm in Missouri.  She was the queen of comfort food in my book and being the amazing MeeMaw that she was she would always make one of our favorites when we came to see her.  Some of the favorites became traditions and were a requirement at almost every dinner we had…and this cream corn was definitely one of those dishes.

For many, many years my MeeMaw had a huge garden, at one point it was so big she had a roadside stand where she sold fresh veggies, and when the corn would start growing so proud and tall my brothers would get so excited because that meant it was cream corn season.  After the husks were shucked she would tirelessly take the corn off the cob and then go about making her infamous cream corn…and it wasn’t until about 2 years ago that I even got my first glimpse of how it was made.

According to my MeeMaw it was about the balance of the sweetness to the savory and of course you never know how much sugar you are going to need until you taste the corn to know how sweet it is…getting a nailed down recipe from her was so hard sometimes!!  Well being that I live in the city and don’t have a beautiful garden bursting with sweet corn I have transformed her “recipe” into one that I can make with frozen corn, making it the perfect go to side for our family dinners here in Texas.

cream cornWhile my brother was down last week from Missouri we had our first Thanksgiving dinner (yes, The Hubby and I will be having 3 this year) and I was asked to make the cream corn.  Little did they know but I had only made her cream corn one time without her and it was a year ago…and to be honest I didn’t love it last time so I was a little nervous. 

I remember MeeMaw making the point that this was not a hard recipe and really it was more about the balance of flavors and not so much the number of ingredients…so I knew I wanted to go simple and let the flavors come together.  Using the frozen corn was a huge hit, it was easy to use and I preferred the texture of the whole kernel in the finished product.  I also went with heavy cream, as I just felt it would make for a richer, creamier and lets be honest more decadent dish…and at Thanksgiving a little decadence is just fine. 

As everything was cooking down and coming together and took that first taste I have to be honest I was a little proud of myself.  I felt I had finally created a cream corn that not only my family (especially my brothers) would love but also one that my MeeMaw would love as well.  As everyone started eating dinner my brother paid me one of the best compliments I have ever received…he said that my cream corn was just as good if not a little better than MeeMaw’s, now I don’t know if I would go that far but it was a joy to hear.

MeeMaw's Creamed Corn
Serves 6
Creamy corn that is rich, delicious and full of flavor
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 20 oz frozen corn
  2. 1 cup heavy cream
  3. 1 tsp salt
  4. 2 tsp pepper
  5. 2 Tbsp sugar
  6. 2 tbsp. butter
  7. 1/4 cup fat free milk
  8. 2 tbsp. flour
Instructions
  1. Remove corn from freezer and let sit out for 10-15 minutes, or until thawed
  2. In a large saucepan add thawed corn, cream, salt, pepper, sugar & butter
  3. In a small bowl whisk together milk and flour, until smooth and stir into corn mixture
  4. Cook over medium heat, stirring often to keep the cream from burning, for 25-30 minutes, or until corn is cooked through and mixture is thickened
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary
  6. Serve & ENJOY!!
  7. **You can make a double recipe and freeze some if you would like
Each serving is 4 WW+ points
  1. Nutritional Info
  2. Calories 156 Calories from Fat 80 Total Fat 8.9g Saturated Fat 5.4g Cholesterol 28mg Sodium 322mg Potassium 195mg Total Carbohydrates 19.2g Dietary Fiber 1.8g Sugars 5.6g Protein 2.7g
  3. Vitamin A 7% - Vitamin C 7% - Calcium 2% - Iron 11%
  4. Nutrition Grade B-
The Half Baked Life http://www.thehalfbakedlife.com/
I hope this will become a family favorite in your home as it is in ours.

cupcake-crop

Happy (half) Baked Day – MJ

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