Word to Your Mother…

I’m away from my baby on Mother’s Day. And by baby, I mean my cat that I treat like a child. Let me remind you…

Ollie on the Couch.

Ollie in the Dryer.

I have pictures of him from every stage of life. Annnnddd… you’re cat lady alert just went off.

He is actually away at ‘Summer Camp’ because I was away for such a long period of time on vacation, I let him stay with Grandma and Grandpa instead of finding and paying someone to take care of him here.

Thankfully, he has the greatest grandma in the world. Just so happens, if we follow the logic, it means I have the best Mother in the world. I mean it. I really don’t think there is much use in trying to compete either. It’s already settled.

She loves me unconditionally.

She always puts my sister and me first.

She never stops thinking/worrying/caring about us. Mom – “Ally now, if you are going to go out, make sure to bring your mace.” Ally- “Mom, I think it will be fine, I’m just going to Church.” Maybe it’s not that extreme… but you know what I mean. I’ll always be her baby.

She loves Ollie as if he were her own. If she loves a cat this much, imagine how fantastic its going to be when it’s an actual human being.

She loves sugar, butter, and sweets as much as me, including this baked french toast.

We made this the first time last Easter and I made it my new Easter tradition… it was that good. It’s a French toast/bread pudding hybrid but definitely still classified as breakfast.  Perfect for any brunch occasion, like Mother’s Day!

I’ve got two words for you. Streusel Topping. The original recipe uses pecans but you can mix it up with any nut you’ve got.

Slice the bread of your choice (I prefer Challah about 3/4 inch thick), layer in a 9X13 inch pan and sprinkle each layer lightly with cinnamon before layering the rest of the bread  on top. It will make two layers.

Pour over the egg mixture (which includes: egg, milk, sugar, vanilla, and a little more cinnamon) and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, sprinkle the streusel over the bread mixture and it’s ready to go in the oven.

After 45 minutes at 350 degrees. It get’s slightly puffed and ready to eat. Just serve with real maple syrup and a fresh fruit salad to balance it out.

Nothing says “I love you, Mom” like this… crunchy, buttery, cinnamon-y, down right delicious breakfast.

Here’s how to do it:

Baked French Toast with Pecan Streusel

Adapted from Coastal Living

Serves 8-10 people, easily.

Ingredients

  • 1 (16-ounce) loaf bread of choice (Challah, french, artisan) cut into 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices
  • 8 large eggs
  • 3 cups half-and-half, (fat free works too!)
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon + extra to sprinkle over the bread
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Maple syrup

Pecan Streusel

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Preparation

  1. Arrange bread slices in a greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkling each layer with cinnamon.
  2. Combine eggs and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl, whisking until well blended. Pour egg mixture over bread. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight.
  3. Combine the first 4 ingredients of the pecan streusel and stir in the nuts. (This works well with a fork to get the crumbly texture.)
  4. Preheat oven to 350°. Sprinkle Pecan Streusel over bread slices. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until slightly puffed and golden. Serve with maple syrup.
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