animal kingdom / DAILY FARM LIFE / IN MY KITCHEN / life on thomas run / simple questions

ONE Simple Question : No. 8

really, i don't blame them

It's been getting harder and harder to find willing souls to help with chores around here. But I don't blame them–it's cold, the wind is whipping, it requires dressing in multiple layers, finding hats, mittens, scarves, boots…coming back with runny noses, purple hands and chapped chins.

my (very cold) chore help

But there's one little soul, rain or shine, freezing temperatures or mild ones, who's always anxious to come along. Her boots go on before the pajamas come off, and she knows the routine–cats first, throw down food to the chickens, shut the shed doors, walk to the coop and let the chickens out for their dash across the yard to their grain by the garden shed. She also knows how to keep warm–one mittened hand pulled inside her coat the other hand in mine and shoved into my coat pocket. She makes for great company.

good company

On the nights when I find myself alone–doing the evening lock-in by myself, a warm cup of tea in my hands makes for good company, too. But not as good as Elizabeth, of course.  

One simple question button  

As for my simple question…I'm looking for some ideas. Christmas day breakfast is on my brain. I'm looking for a good recipe for something I can make the night before–either in the crockpot, or something to put in the oven Christmas morning. Something simple, something yummy. 

Specifically, I'd love to find a recipe for baked french toast. I've heard "rumors" of one with thick-sliced bread, apples, cinnamon–something prepared the night before, refrigerated and baked the next morning. I'd love to find a recipe for something like that. Otherwise–I'm open to inspiration. I want Christmas morning to be relaxing but special. I don't want to be standing over the stove flipping pancakes, but rather savoring the morning with my family. But I still want something yummy for the ten minutes I can get my children to gather around the table. 

Recipes? Ideas? Traditions? I want to hear them. I'd like to upgrade from fried eggs and boxed cereal for this special morning….

really, i don't blame them

It's been getting harder and harder to find willing souls to help with chores around here. But I don't blame them–it's cold, the wind is whipping, it requires dressing in multiple layers, finding hats, mittens, scarves, boots…coming back with runny noses, purple hands and chapped chins.

my (very cold) chore help

But there's one little soul, rain or shine, freezing temperatures or mild ones, who's always anxious to come along. Her boots go on before the pajamas come off, and she knows the routine–cats first, throw down food to the chickens, shut the shed doors, walk to the coop and let the chickens out for their dash across the yard to their grain by the garden shed. She also knows how to keep warm–one mittened hand pulled inside her coat the other hand in mine and shoved into my coat pocket. She makes for great company.

good company

On the nights when I find myself alone–doing the evening lock-in by myself, a warm cup of tea in my hands makes for good company, too. But not as good as Elizabeth, of course.  

One simple question button  

As for my simple question…I'm looking for some ideas. Christmas day breakfast is on my brain. I'm looking for a good recipe for something I can make the night before–either in the crockpot, or something to put in the oven Christmas morning. Something simple, something yummy. 

Specifically, I'd love to find a recipe for baked french toast. I've heard "rumors" of one with thick-sliced bread, apples, cinnamon–something prepared the night before, refrigerated and baked the next morning. I'd love to find a recipe for something like that. Otherwise–I'm open to inspiration. I want Christmas morning to be relaxing but special. I don't want to be standing over the stove flipping pancakes, but rather savoring the morning with my family. But I still want something yummy for the ten minutes I can get my children to gather around the table. 

Recipes? Ideas? Traditions? I want to hear them. I'd like to upgrade from fried eggs and boxed cereal for this special morning….

46 comments on “ONE Simple Question : No. 8”

  1. Oooo, I have two suggestions, both can be made in advance and bake that morning.

    1. sausage casserole- a tradition in our family. bread, sausage, eggs, swiss cheese. It is so so delish.

    2. I recently made baked french toast with leftover cinnamon raisin bread. Kind of like a bread pudding. It was so easy and yummy.

    You let me know and I’ll send you the recipes. :)ps. my little one is still my best helper too. Don’t you wish that enthusiasm for work would stay forever?

  2. I second the breakfast casserole idea! we are also going for almond flour banana bread and scones, I’ll make the batter the night before and pop it in the oven in the morning.

    your little elizabeth is the cutest farm hand 🙂

  3. I make a baked Creme Brulee French Toast, no apples, but you could certainly cook a few apples in a skillet before adding them to the bottom of the pan. I also loved baked oatmeal – it seriously only takes 5 minutes to mix up and an hour to bake in the oven. I am the only one who eats it, so I make a pan, then cut off hunks to reheat during the week. I too love the breakfast casserole idea with eggs and veggies, and meat if you are so inclined. Last time I made it we had no bread leftovers, but we had croutons, and it was delish! Email me if you want specific recipes!

  4. I make overnight cinnamon rolls–the recipe is just on allrecipes someplace. If you want it, give a holler, but it sounds like you’ve got lots of french toast recipes to choose from!

  5. We usually have a breakfast casserole and something sweet. My mom has made a stuffed french toast from Paula Deen’s cookbook, and I’ve made a delicious cream cheese coffee cake.

  6. all this breakfast talk is making me hungry! sorry, no recipes from me. i leave the french toast casserole to my mom (she makes it with pecans and a warm bourbon sauce!) and the sausage stratta to my sister-in-law (the diced green chilies are my favorite part). your farm help is adorable! wishing you a very merry christmas breakfast!

  7. Our Christmas Morning Casserole (as it has been named around here) has been our go-to for several years now. I make it on Christmas Eve day and pop it in the oven for the final heat-through as we’re opening presents. The basic ingredients: grits, cheddar cheese, eggs and sausage. I can send the recipe to you if you’d like.

    I also have a French Toast recipe from Cooking light a couple of years ago. Basically french toast and orange marmalade, maybe some almonds. Good, but not stick-to-your-ribs like the other one.

  8. Last year I discovered a breakfast lasagna. Most everything could be chopped, etc the night before and everything thrown together rather quickly that morning (that’s the way I do it.) It’s a layer of frozen southern style hashbrowns, then chopped ham, onions, green peppers, red peppers, mushrooms, cheese, with an egg mix poured over the top. Delicious! I have also done the baked french toast and it’s yummy too. I think I just googled the recipe when I did it….

  9. We do homemade cinnamon rolls or a coffee cake thing, but I have a great recipe for baked french toast. It is not apples but blueberries (I don’t make it because some of my kids are blueberry fans):

    12 slices homemade style white bread (or one loaf Hawaiian bread)2 8oz. packages cream cheese cut into 1-inch cubes1 cup blueberries rinsed (if fresh. frozen is fine too)1 dozen eggs1/3 c maple syrup2 c milk

    Arrange half of bread cubes in buttered 9×13 dish. Scatter cream cheese over bread. Sprinkle blueberries on top. Arrange remaining bread cubes over top. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, syrup and milk. Pour evenly over bread mixture. Chill, covered, overnight. Bake, covered with foil, at 350 for 30 min. Uncover and bake 30 min longer, until puffed and golden.

    Sauce:1 c sugar2 Tblsp. corn starch1 c water1 c blueberries1 Tblsp butter

    In small saucepan, stir together sugar/cornstarch/ water. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally for 5 min or until thickened. Stir in blueberries and simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 min or until blueberries burst. Add butter and stir until melted. Serve over casserole.

  10. Forgot to say to cut bread into 1 inch cubes. It looks like 28 oz. cream cheese there to. It should read two (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese.

    Also, some of my kids are NOT blueberry fans! Enjoy.

  11. This is a baked french toast recipe my Aunt Val is famous for, no apples but cream cheese makes a worthy substitute! I hope it fits your bill!

    Aunt Vals French toast

    8 eggs 3 c. milk 4 t. sugar 2 t. vanilla, divided1/2 c. XXX sugar 1 pkg. cream cheese (8 oz, I think)1 loaf French bread butter

    Generously grease the bottom of a 9 x 12″ baking dish with butter. Slice bread into 1″ thick slices. Butter the bottom of each slice and arrange in baking dish. Beat together eggs, milk, and 1 t. vanilla. Set aside. With a mixer, combine cream cheese, XXX sugar, and remaining 1 t. vanilla. Spread a generous spoonful on the top of each bread slice. Pour egg mixture over the top. Cover dish with plastic wrap and let sit in refrigerator overnight. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. (Mine usually takes a little longer.) Be sure tops are golden and egg is firm.

  12. I was going to post a recipe just like the blueberry frech toast Susan left in your commnets! I am sure you could slice up some apples, and mix them with cinnamon and maybe brown sugar and add that instead of blueberries. or maybe even canned apple pie filling if you dont mind all that sugar!

  13. I have the french toast recipe, too! Although, it look slike you already have lots of help. It’s on our menu for Christmas morning…

    Baked French Toast

    Yield 10 large/16 small servings.

    This recipe is great to make up Christmas Eve and bake Christmas morning while you are opening gifts! The aromas make the whole house smell so good!! I typically make up the morning of Christmas Eve and we eat it after church that night for dinner! This recipe is so good, it would be a shame if you only had it at Christmas it is great ALL year long!

    1 cups firmly packed brown sugar3/4 cup butter or margarine1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light corn syrup10 (1 3/4-inch-thick) slices French bread (avoid bread with hard crust)(or about 16 slices of the smaller diameter loaf)4 eggs, beaten2 cups milk or half-and-half1 tablespoon vanilla extract1/4 teaspoon salt3 tablespoons sugar1 teaspoons ground cinnamon1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

    Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until mixture is bubbly. Pour syrup evenly into a lightly greased 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish.

    Arrange bread slices over syrup.

    Combine eggs, milk, vanilla, and salt; stir well. Gradually pour mixture over bread slices. Cover and chill at least 8 hours or overnight. Right before baking, combine 3 tablespoon sugar and cinnamon; stir well and sprinkle evenly over soaked bread. Drizzle 1/4 cup melted butter over bread. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 45 to 50 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Serve immediately.

  14. Mmm! We’ve done a great blueberries/cream cheese baked French toast — a lot like what Susan posted! Or, a breakfast strata with sausage, egg, cheese, bread — I’ll see if I can find the recipe!

  15. We do the blueberry French toast every year with Canadian bacon on the side…and tea or coffee and mimosas (for the adults — little kids get sparkling cider mixed with orange juice).

    Our extended family (grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins) usually come over for breakfast and the opening of the presents. We do breakfast either on our Christmas china or our Old Country Roses (it’s still red and green and sometimes we like using it more), and the clean-up for that many people with the sticky blueberry syrup left on the plates while we open presents for a couple of hours is a lot…but we always agree that it’s well worth it. (Last time I insisted on rinsing the plates real quick before presents and it wasn’t nearly as bad. When my grandmother was alive she always wanted to get on with opening the presents RIGHT AWAY, lol!)

    The kids start talking about the blueberry French toast as soon as the holiday season roles around; and everyone begs to help set the table or do the tablescapes, etc.

    Now I want to go try it all with apples or Creme Brulee or pecans and warm bourbon sauce — yum! We’ve also added the sausage casserole or my brother-in-law likes to bring a quiche; but our family prefers the french toast. Too many of us associate Christmas with a sweet toothe, I guess!

    Whatever you do, your family will love it and you’ll love having things prepared the night before. If you do the same thing every year, your kids will likely start talking about it when the season starts, too…or even if you just try something new every year, but let them know it’s special, they’ll talk about that, as well. Family traditions are so much fun!

  16. I have two recipes for you based on our family traditions. Both can be made the prior evening. The recipes are for an egg bake and monkey bread ( http://www.rhodesbread.com/recipes/view/1613 ). My mom would make the monkey bread evey year – she would set the oven timer to bake it so it was hot and ready when we woke up. The egg bake is simple, but I don’t have a link. It is a nice counterpart to the sweet of the rolls. If you want a recipe, email me.

  17. King Arthur Flour Company has a yummy sounding Praline Baked French Toast recipe that I think we will be enjoying Christmas morning…best part, make it the night before and pop it in the oven while opening presents!

  18. I know something kids will love to eat for breakfast..lol…It’s not healthy, nor can it be made the night before but it is so yummy.My grandmother use to make it for us on special occasions. She’d serve it in her pastel bowl. Such dear and fond memories for me. Everytime I eat it, I can help but picture myself sitting at her countertop, the smell, the warmth and watching her run her kitchen with love and confidence. She always made us feel so safe and loved. But at that time I could taste her love too.Chocolate gravy over a fresh warm biscuit.I don’t know the recipe right off the top of my head but it’s pretty easy and quick. Pretty much sugar,cocoa, milk. Hot Pudding. If you want the recipe just let me know and I can look it up for you.

  19. **Please forgive me I did not read all of the reciepes so if either of these are repeats I apologize.**

    Before I even read baked french toast this is what I was going to share. This is a reciepe that I like to make when we stay with another family, it is pretty easy and sooooo yummy. I found it in an American Baby magazing back in 2006 and have made it multiple times (Easter morning breakfast one year). I will also include a Baked Frittata recipe that is mmmmm mmmm good.

    Baked French Toast

    Makes 8 servings

    1 – 8oz loaf or 1/2 of a 1 lb. loaf of French bread, cut into 3/4 inch slices (day old bread tends to work better).4 – eggs, beaten2 cups milk1/4 cup granulated sugar1 Tbsp Vanilla2/3 cup all purpose flour1/3 cup packed brown sugar1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon3 Tbsp. butter1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries1 cup of fresh strawberries, slicedwhipped cream (optional)

    1. Lightly grease a 3 quart rectangular dish (I use a 9×13) Arrange bread slices in the baking dish.

    2. In a large bowl stir eggs, milk, granulated sugar,and vanilla. Slowly pour mixture over bread. Press lightly with the back of a spoon to moisten bread. Cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight.

    3. Combine flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in butter, until size of small peas. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours.

    4. Before baking sprinkle blueberries over bread, sprinkle four mixture over berries. Bake uncovered, in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes, top with strawberries and whipped cream.

    Baked Sunrise FrittataMakes 8 servings

    1 1/2 cups potatoes cut in 1/2 inch cubes1 Tbsp vegetable oil1 1/2 cups finely chopped ham3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (3 oz.)8 eggs slightly beaten1/3 cup milk1 – 4 oz. can of diced green chile peppers1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion (2)2 tsp. fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp of dried oregano, crushed1/4 tsp. salt1/2 or a 7 oz. jar of roasted red peppers, cut into thin strips1 1/2 cups salsa1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro

    1. In a 10 inch oven safe skillet (or I just transfer everything to a pie plate later) cook potatoes in hot oil over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and cook 5 minutes more or until potatoes are tender, stirring once. Remove from heat. Sprinkle ham and 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese ove potatoes.

    2. In a large bowl stir eggs, milk, chili peppers, green onions, oregano, and salt. (This is where I transfer everything to a pie plate) Pour over potatoes.

    3. Arrange roasted red pepper strips in a spoke fashion on top of frittata. Cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight.

    4. In the morning bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 35-50 minutes or until center is just set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup cheddar cheese. Let stand 5 minutes.

    5. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan stir salsa ans snipped cilantro, heat through. To serve cut into wedges and serve with cilantro salsa.

    Oooo just typing and rereading these recipes made me hungry. I can almost smell the baked french toast! The Frittata does take a little more work, but it is delicious. Enjoy! And if you have any questions email me jugsie218 at yahoo.com ~ Irishmama

  20. this sounds so good, too. My husband can’t handle a lot of sweet in the morning, so I”m thinking I may try to pull off two dishes, an egg one and a baked french toast. this sounds really unique and yummy.

  21. I do cinnamon rolls – make them the day before and stick the rolls the refrigerator before baking. I get them out early in the morning for the last rise and then put them in the oven. Let me know if you want a recipe.

  22. LOL I wish I could help you! Here in an Australian summer, brekky is either a fruit shake or cereal with cold milk, then dash to church for choir practice before the morning service.

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