Tuesday, January 7, 2014

{GF} French Toast Casserole

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Good chilly morning from the winter tundra known as the midwest! Like much of the country, we're experiencing some ridiculously cold and dangerous temperatures outside and today, it's sunny forecast with balmy -32 degree wind chills. I hope whatever weather you are having, you're safe! These cold days make me want to stay in pajamas all day and enjoy a lazy breakfast. So on that note, to continue on with my week of breakfast eats, this {GF} French Toast Casserole is one we enjoyed Christmas morning. Cubed bread {or in our case, gluten free bagels} soak up a rich sweetly seasoned egg custard overnight before baking up with a glorious praline pecan topping... mornings never smelled or tasted so good!

I'm jealous of Joel because he's enjoying the weather by staying home in his pajamas pretty much all day with his grandparents who are visiting from the Philippines. As for me, I'm working long hours at the corporate pharmacy since it's peak busy season immediately after the new year. Working on weekends and 10-12 hours weekdays is the norm but thankfully the day goes by quickly. 


This breakfast dish is another one you can make in advance and bake up whenever you're ready. I loved how this tasted using GF bagels (since they are a bit firmer and won't disintegrate like some other GF breads I've previously tried. 


Now this 

This particular dish made me happy because I served this the morning of Christmas with my boys. As they were opening their Christmas gifts, I sat back with my cup of coffee just taking in the moment. I mean, how could I not enjoy Christmas morning, seeing the excitement of everyone opening gifts, the smell of this french toast casserole wafting from the kitchen, and a warm mug of coffee in hand?!  

Speaking of coffee, I actually picked up some Coffeemate Natural Bliss and used it in my coffee. It was my first time trying this product and it was fantastic. So creamy, flavorful and added just enough sweetness to my coffee that I didn't need my usual amount of sugar. Simply put, my favorite simple moment is coffee with Natural Bliss + holiday mornings with my family. What's your favorite simple moment with coffee? Please share it with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram using the #NaturalBliss hashtag! A special thank you goes out to the lovely folks of Coffeemate Natural Bliss who provided me with an awesome gift pack that contained:

Reduced value coupon for Natural Bliss
- $5 Target Gift Card
- Coffee Tumbler
- Vanilla Bean Scented Candle
- Italian Biscotti Cookies

If you would like to receive a Coffeemate Natural Bliss gift pack for yourself, leave a comment here on the site or on our Facebook page to share your favorite simple moments! One person will be selected and will have a prize pack sent directly to them!

{GF} French Toast Casserole
recipe adapted from Paula Deen

1 loaf French bread, cubed or 4-6 large GF bagels, cubed
8 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash salt
Praline Topping, recipe follows
Maple syrup


Arrange French bread {or GF bagels} in a generously buttered casserole dish or 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish. 


In a large bowl,  whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until well blended. Pour mixture over the bread cubes to cover. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.


When ready to prepare, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. While oven is preheating, prepare the praline topping. {Recipe follows}

Spread Praline Topping evenly over the casserole and bake uncovered in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with butter and maple syrup.

Praline Topping
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg


Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well using your hands or fork.

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