Whoa! Hello December!
Was it just me or did December slap anyone else in the face as a big wake up call that 2015 is over. I mean REALLY where did this year go!!
It sure has been a busy, non-stop year and I had to put a “rush” order on my 2016 planner, yes, as in paper, (I like to kick it old school) because the month of January is already filling up. But before December blows by, I am going to slow down just a bit, or at least try to, so that I can enjoy some of the joys this month has to offer!
One thing I love about this time of year is big family breakfasts. Well breakfast when I was a kid and brunch now. Yeah we have totally become brunch people. Not snooty brunch people that movies from the 90’s showed, but brunch people because we like to sleep in on the weekends and take it easy so we normally aren’t eating “breakfast” until like 10 or 11, which is brunch. Oh and we love food. Really good food and brunch- filled with over easy eggs, crisp bacon, coffee, orange juice, and a little something sweet- whether homemade or from one of our favorite brunch spots, is what the weekends are all about.
And a holiday weekend most definitely calls for brunch! Yup, pretty much the weekend after Thanksgiving we continued the feasting and enjoyed brunch all weekend long. To enjoy the blissful days of vacation, I whipped up brunch making some of our favorites, bacon, eggs and French toast! French toast is a favorite since, there really isn’t much to measure, and while some think it is so plan- just bread dipped in a custard and pan fried- French toast really can take on a variety of flavors and easily customized by swapping out the bread, adding flavors to the custard, getting creative with assorted toppings or going wild and stuffing it with fresh fruit, cream cheese or a chocolate spread!
Today’s version came out of the never ending struggle not to let leftovers go to waste (one of my biggest pet peeves!) When I saw the leftover homemade cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving, I knew it needed to get added to breakfast in some form or fashion, so this festive twist on French toast was born! The tart cranberries pair well with sweet oranges all mixed with decadent cream cheese! Simply perfect for any holiday
One Year Ago: Peanut Butter Banana Bread Bars
Two Years Ago: Coconut Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Three Years Ago: One Bowl Brownies
Four Years Ago: Omeleta me Patates (Greek Potato Omelet)
Five Years Ago: Cheesy Turkey and Veggie Casserole
Six Years Ago: Cookbook Review: The Dean Bros. Cookbook: From The Road
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup leftover cranberry sauce*
2 teaspoons orange zest
8-10 slices bread
½ cup whole milk
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons maple syrup
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Powdered sugar, for serving
In a small bowl, stir together softened cream cheese, cranberry sauce and 1 teaspoon orange zest. Using a knife or spatula, spread a thick layer of the cranberry cream cheese mixture evenly on one side of half of the bread slices. Top with the remaining bread slices and press slightly to seal. Set aside.
In a separate large bowl whisk together milk, cream, maple syrup, vanilla extract, orange juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and eggs. Working in batches, add the stuffed French toast sandwiches, one at a time, to the egg and milk mixture and soak until saturated. Using a fork, remove sandwiches from egg mixture, letting excess mixture drip off.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Place soaked sandwiches, one at a time, in hot skillet. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until lightly browned. Repeat with remaining stuffed French toast sandwiches, adding additional butter if needed. Place cooked French toast on a plate and tent with foil or place on a baking sheet in preheated 200 degree F oven to keep warm until ready to serve.
Serve topped with powdered sugar.
*Note: Replace leftover cranberry sauce with cranberry jam or dried cranberries.