kayla kakes

This food blog is a way to share recipes, opinions, and stories about cooking/baking.

Easter Brunch – Part 2

This is part two of my Easter Brunch menu recipes.  I didn’t want to make one super long post, so it seemed easier to break it up into mulitple posts.  Sorry it’s taking me so long to get to this, but it was a busy week.  In this post, I’ll share the recipes for my French toast casserole and my fruit salad.  I absolutely love my fruit salad.  There are ways to change it up, but the main elements make it extremely yummy.

French Toast Casserole Recipe

French toast casserole is to the left.

– 10 cups Italian or white Bread cubes (cut into about 1-inch cubes, use slightly stale bread)

– 1 (8 oz.) package Cream Cheese, softened

– 3 – 4 tablespoons Sugar (optional or to taste)

– 8 large Eggs, slightly beaten

– 1 1/2 cups Milk, I use whole milk because it works best

– 2/3 cup Half and Half

– 1/2 cup Maple Syrup (I actually used Mrs. Butterworth’s Orginal Syrup)

– 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

– 2 teaspoons Cinnamon (I toss the bread crumbs with an additional 1 – 2 teaspoons of cinnamon for extra flavor, but this is optional)

– 1 teaspoon Nutmeg

– 1 tablespoon Powdered Sugar

Grease a 13 x 9 baking dish.  Put bread cubes into baking dish and toss with 1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon.   Spread bread cubes out evenly.  In a large bowl, beat the softened cream cheese and sugar at medium speed with an electic hand mixer or stand mixer.  Beat until smooth and well combined.  Add in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add in the milk, half and half, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Beat all ingrediennts until well combined.

Pour cream cheese mixture over the bread cubes in the baking dish.   Using a spoon or a fork (or your hands),  toss the bread cubes in the cream cheese mixture to make sure they are evenly coated with the mixture.  Cover baking dish with plastic wrap or lid and refrigerate for 8-24 hours.

When you are ready to bake it, set oven to 375 degrees.  Remove baking dish from the fridge and let sit out at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.  Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes, or until the top is a golden brown color.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm.  You can serve it with maple syrup or your favorite flavored syrup.  I like eating this one with strawberry syrup or Mrs. Butterworth’s original syrup.  My mom, husband, and brother-in-law enjoyed eating it plain.  They said they could taste the syrup already baked in it, so they didn’t think it needed anything else.

I bet this would taste great if you added some fresh fruit to the recipe.  Next time I make it, I plan to add some fresh strawberries or fresh blueberries to the recipe.  Or maybe I’ll try to do a chocolate french toast casserole.  Haha!  I think I just came up with a new recipe idea.  🙂

Next up from the Easter menu is my fruit salad.  If you like fruit salads, you have to try this one.  It is so yummy.  The mixture of fresh fruit and canned fruit is perfect.  I’m sure you can easily add some additional fruit to it and it would still taste good.

Best Fruit Salad Recipe

– 1 (29 oz.) can Peach slices, undrained

– 1 (20 oz.) can Pineapple chuncks, undrained

– 1 (3 1/8) box Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix

– 1 lb. Strawberries, stemmed and quartered

– 1 Banana, peeled and sliced

– 1/2 pint Blueberries

– 1/2 cup Red Grapes

– 1 – 2 tablespoons sugar (optional)

– 1 tablespoon orange juice (or lemon juice)

In a large bowl, combine undrained can of peaches, undrained can of pineapples, and vanilla pudding mix.  Mix well until pudding dissolves.  Stir in strawberries, blueberries, grapes, and sugar.  In a small bowl, mix banana slices with a tablespoon of orange juice.  This will help keep the bananas from browning.  Pour bananas and orange juice into the large bowl with the rest of the fruit and mix well.  Cover fruit salad and chill in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.

This fruit salad is great for parties, and quick to put together.  I’ve made this a few times and always get compliments.  Believe me, this recipe is a keeper.  The vanilla pudding mixed with the juices from the undrained fruit is wonderful.  This would be a perfect addition to a summer BBQ.

Note:   In a bind, I have used an undrained can of fruit cocktail, a 15 oz. undrained can of peach slices, and 1/3 cup pineapple juice along with the fresh fruit, and it still turned out great.  It was all I had at the time and didn’t have time to run to the store.  So it goes to show you can alter the recipe some and it still turns out great.

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