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Brunch Stuffed French Toast

Hiya Yummy-Brunch Fans,

I did a brunch with some friends awhile ago, and we all pitched in and brought something ‘to pass’. There were only 4 of us, so we kept it simple. Mimosas, Crab Quiche and Stuffed French Toast. I made Stuffed French Toast because it’s a go-to recipe I have used for years, and it is one of my favorite brunch items to make. It’s simple, delicious, and pretty cheap to make too. All three of these are great things in a recipe!

Cooking Light’s Stuffed French  Toast recipe is a stand-by staple that you can make without feeling all the guilt that usually comes (for me at least) along with making something so decadently delicious. I rarely alter this at all, though I do have a couple things I change, more for personal taste than anything, though!

Ingredients to Serve 8-16 people (depending on how hungry everyone is):
16 slices cinnamon-raisin bread (I use Pepperidge Farm)
Cooking spray
3 cups 1% low-fat milk
2 cups egg substitute, divided
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup sugar, divided
1 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
3 teaspoons fresh-ground cinnamon, divided
1/8 cup sugar
1 (8-ounce) block fat-free cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened

Directions:
1) In one 13×9 cake pan, or 2 8×8 cake pans, sprayed with cooking spray, arrange 8 pieces of cinnamon raisin bread evenly along the bottom of the pan(s).
2) Combine 3 cups milk, 1 1/2 cups egg substitute, 1 cup half-and-half, and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Pour half of milk mixture over bread in dish(es).
3) Combine 1/2 cup egg substitute, 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla, 1 tspn nutmeg, 1/2 tspn allspice, 1 1/2 tspn cinnamon, and cream cheeses in a food processor or blender, or you can mix by hand if you want some good exercise; process or mix until smooth.
4) Pour cream cheese mixture over moist bread in dish(es). Top with remaining 8 pieces of cinnamon-raisin bread. Pour remaining milk mixture over bread, spreading evenly.
5) Cover and refrigerate 8 hours, or overnight.
6) Uncover, place in cold oven, set oven to 350°, and then set the oven timer (where it turns your oven off afterwards) for 55 minutes. Let bake completely, and let sit in cooling oven 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
7) Mix remaining 1/8 cup sugar with 1 1/2 tspn cinnamon until fully incorporated, then sprinkle evenly over tops of stuffed french toast. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving or covering.

Note: This works beautifully if you are wanting to take a dish to pass, because you can slice the bread and literally come out with stuffed french toast sandwiches to serve everyone easily! Whole or half sandwiches, they slice easy and serve very prettily!

Glaring Changes:
– I obviously add in the cinnamon and allspice, you don’t need to do that.
– I fully intend to make the next one with a reduced fat flavored cream cheese, in lieu of the 1/3-less fat cream cheese, to add some flavor. Then top with sliced flavor-of-choice fruit or veggies. We shall see how that turns out!
– I have before sprinkled the top instead of cinnamon-sugar, with powdered sugar, or a sugar-cocoa powder mix. Both are just as delicious.
– When layering my bread, I don’t stack it like in the CL picture, because I realized (finally) that laying them flat makes easy-to-cut sandwiches as a result! SO, you can layer it, but I recommend you use a loaf of 24 pieces of bread instead, and use 12 on top-and-bottom instead of the 8 I used! Just so you know!

Enjoy this wonderful and simple brunch with sides of fruit, tea, mimosas or bloody mary’s!

Craft You Later,
Beth

Breakfast of Champions

So every morning, my alarm goes off and I realize that it is another day and that I (sadly) actually have to get up and go be productive. You know, act like an adult and work, make money, pay bills, et cetera ad nauseum. With each and every mornings realization, it dawns on me that I should probably not hit snooze 4 times on my phone. I’m sure my cat Snowball would also appreciate this as the noise just ticks him off. But hey, if it’s not annoying, it’s not an alarm, right?!?

So I drag my bum out of bed, get myself presentable to the world, and then hit dilemma #2. I need to get out the door to work, but I also need to eat breakfast. What to do, what to do. I can eat at the house, or I can pick up something on the way to work (okay choices are limited but there), or I can pick up something once I get uptown. You would think this is an easy choice, no dilemma. However somehow it gets me every morning. Like a daily vitamin, but this one is more like a daily missed vitamin. I sometimes do miss breakfast altogether (Bad, Bethie, Bad!!!), but usually I get something.

So my quick breakfast options are (drum roll please….):
Home: oatmeal, eggs & bacon, cereal with milk, toast with Nutella.
Way In: McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts (yes they have more than just donuts people!), or Bojangles (okay no they don’t really have anything healthy, I will admit)
Uptown: McDonalds, Showmars, Just Fresh, Salsaritas, Einstein Bagels (okay, yes there are more available, but not really any places I actually like for breakfast, and/or within a few minutes walk of my building)

So if I want to eat healthy, I pretty much eat at home or uptown. If I want to eat cheap, I eat at home or on the way in. If I want to eat quick, I eat uptown or on the way in. So it really depends on how late I am running thanks to Mr. Snooze at this point in the daily dilemma resolution. I will say, oatmeal usually wins out, at home or in the office, but it does get very tiring eating oatmeal every day. I am the type of person I have a hard time eating the same thing day in and day out. Even as a kid, I couldnt’ do PB&J every day for lunch. I had to have some variety. I guess I just love food and flavors and creating combinations WAAAAY too much to stick with the same thing day in and day out. This is great when it comes to cooking, but really stinks when it comes to getting into a pattern so you know you will eat breakfast every day. Grrrrrrr. I do not like you Dilemma 2…. I do not like you at all.

So pretty much for oatmeal, I get the Quaker Instant Fruit Variety Pack, take half into work, and leave half at home. This allows for a bit of ‘change’ in the variety of flavors. But it is still oatmeal, and still hard to do every day. For cereal, I usually have 2 boxes at home at any given time: one healthy, one guilty pleasure. Currently these include “Honey Graham Oh’s” and “Special K”. Yes my guilty pleasure is Honey Graham Oh’s, and I am okay with that. The stuff is delicious, it’s like Cinnamon Life Cereal met Honey Nut Cheerios, and this is their child. Deeeeeeelicious. (Okay at this point, you should have figured out by now, if you don’t already know, that I am a dork. Complete and utter dork. But a happy dork. :-D) Other favorite cereals include Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch, Fruity Pebbles, Special K Vanilla Almond, Cheerios, Golden Grahams, and Blueberry Morning. So typically I have a good selection of cereals (in my taste, at least) at the house. But sometimes you just don’t want to dirty a bowl, wash a spoon, and try to rush through cereal without getting milk all over your work clothes. And we all know, the only time you’ll get milk spilled is if, and only if, you are in your work clothes already. Pajamas just don’t have that luck. Darn you Mr. Murphy, darn you for that.

So today the oatmeal won out (Apples & Cinnamon, oh my!), while sitting at my desk. We will see what tomorrow brings, but since I ate McDonalds uptown yesterday (that biscuit just was too tempting, darnitall!), I am forecasting a bowl of HG Oh’s for tomorrow….if I get up before the 4th snooze, that is! 😉

What is your favorite breakfast?!?

For now, though, happy breakfasting like champions!
Beth

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