If you haven't noticed, I freaking love food and I love to eat. And it's because I grew up surrounded by some amazing cooks, lavish dinner parties and lots of delicious food. But a good meal, was more than just dinner, it meant great conversations, food and love overload, family traditions and quality time with people you love.
So when my mom gave me these hand crafted cookbooks the night before my wedding, my heart and soul did back flips and then broke, mended itself and cried happy tears because of the sentimental value that they hold. My mom handmade every page of these beauties, personalizing each page with family and friend's recipes, notes and stories, family memories and sweet pictures. Each page is overflowing with love. These books are some of my cherished possessions. (Thanks momma bear <3 ).
So if you're looking for a gift for your daughter or someone you love or are just worried that your daughter might starve herself and her husband without your presence, maybe making something like this is what you want to do! For me, it is an invaluable treasure!
And now Jesse's most cherished recipe, in the whole cookbook, the french toast casserole- originally from the Pioneer Woman, God bless that lady. It's not for the faint of heart. It is fatty and rich, custardy with crunchy streusel top, sweet and super addictive but if you're willing to take the challenge, then by all means, make this bad boy and I promise you'll never make regular french toast again.
French Toast Casserole
1 loaf Brioche Bread
8 whole eggs
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
3/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
For the streusel topping:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces
1. Grease your baking pan with butter.
2. Tear bread into chunks or cut into cubes and evenly distribute in the pan.
3. In a medium bowl mix together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla.
4. Pour evenly over the bread. Cover tightly and store in the fridge for several hours.
5. In a separate bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add butter pieces and cut them into the dry mixture until mixture resembles fine pebbles. Store in a Ziplock bag in the fridge.
When you're ready to bake the casserole, preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Remove casserole from the fridge and sprinkle crumb mixture on top. (If you're using fruit, sprinkle on before the crumb mixture.) Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture. (I highly recommend the bread pudding texture). Bake 1 hour or more for a firmer, less fluid texture.
So go forth and make some brunch. It's what Saturdays were made for! If you're trying it out, I hope that you like it as much as we do. Happy brunching lovers!