Thursday, February 21, 2013

Day Brighteners





Some creative ways to present ordinary breakfast food items that will make you child smile :).
Make Ahead Eggnog French Toast  
Cook's note: The great thing about this recipe is that it can be made ahead several days, popped in the freezer and then thawed when ready to bake on a cookie sheet. A griddle can also be used. 
 Ingredients:
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups half and half'
  • 1/4 cup sugar 
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 16- 18 slices firm white or whole wheat bread (another option is to use cinnamon raisin bread and omit cinnamon from egg mixture)
  • melted butter

Directions:
  • Line 2 cookie sheets each with parchment paper
  • In a blender add eggs, half and half, cinnamon, sugar, vanilla
  • Mix well and pour into a large bowl
  • Using tongs dip bread slice one at a time into egg mixture
  • Place each piece on the cookie sheet and cover with foil
  • Freeze each pan 2 hours
  • Remove from freezer and stack frozen slices in a large container. Use wax paper between the stacks
  • Wrap entire stack with heavy duty foil and return to freezer
  • When ready to use brush each frozen piece with melted butter
  • Thaw French toast pieces for about  an  hour
  • Preheat oven to 425 place buttered side on cookie sheet and brush top side with melted butter 
  • Bake uncovered 10 minutes then turn over -sprinkle with a dash of nutmeg 


Tomato-Cheddar Strata with Broccoli
recipe adapted from Country Living
serves 8
options adding ham cubes, green or red peppers 
Ingredients:
  • 5 cups French bread cubes
  • 1-3/4 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1-1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes, patted dry on a paper towel
  • 1-1/2 cup broccoli florets 
  • 2 TB. parsley flakes
  • 3/4 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. herbes de Provence
  • 8 large eggs
  • 3-1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 -3/4 cup chopped onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese

Directions:
  • Grease a 9 x 13 pan and place bread cubes in pan
  • Top bread cubes with 1-1/4 cup cheddar cheese, chopped tomatoes, onions and broccoli 
  • In blender add eggs, milk, salt, pepper, parsley and herbes de Provence
  • Pour egg mixture over bread mixture and gently press in to soak every cube
  • Add dollops of ricotta over the top and then sprinkle with remaining cheese
  • Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight
  • Before baking bring strata to room temperature-about an hour
  • Bake 350 about 50 minutes or until strata is puffed and lightly browned 
  • Set aside for 10 minutes before cutting  







Oscar Alert: 
His big night is Sunday but there still is time for me to add some appetizer recipes to the blog just in case you are planning a celebration. Check out Ever Ready on Friday. 

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