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Need french toast casserole recipe

We're having friends visit this weekend, and I plan to make brunch on Sunday. They are non-foodies, and I don't know how adventurous they are, so I am keeping it simple. I'm doing a cheese strata, but I also thought I'd do a sweet breakfast casserole, something I can make the night before and pop in the oven with the strata. I'll also serve some melon and berries and either put sausage in the cheese strata or serve sausage on the side.

Suggestions for a good make ahead sweet breakfast casserole/french toast/strata would be appreciated! Also, in case I decide I have too many bread dishes, can anyone suggest a good breakfast potato (or grits) dish that is make ahead?

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  1. Epicurious has a great make ahead french toast casserole--pretty sure it's called creme brulee french toast. I've made it often and at times top it with fruit that is in-season. I cut down on the sugar a bit since we don't like things very sweet, but it's not hard to make and is always well received. You can always do a hash brown casserole (made with frozen hash browns),that is make ahead, simple and good and something my non-foodie friends love.

    3 Replies
    1. re: jackie de

      I heartily second this recipe. I've made it many times to great success. The changes I make: I use maple syrup instead of corn syrup. And after it comes out of the oven, I sprinkle it with demarra sugar and torch it to make a true "brulee" aspect to the dish.

      1. re: TorontoJo

        I enthusiastically "third" this recipe. I've been making it for years and it's always a dish that people love. I recently made it using challah...truly delicious.

        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

        1. re: MaryMo

          I agree too - when I saw the title to this post, that's the same recipe I was going to post.

    2. I made this Paula Deen recipe once for my family and it was delicious -- but truly sinful. I think that the reviews said to cut back on the butter for the topping, which I did and it was still plenty rich.

      http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

      2 Replies
      1. re: valerie

        I have made the Paula Dean recipe two times for a large family brunch and it is a great hit. I followed the recipe exactly and didn't find it two rich.

        1. re: valerie

          I also made the Paula Deen recipe for a Mother's Day brunch, and everyone was happy. It's pretty rich, so I thought I could only indulge in it once a year, but it's excellent.

        2. in this blog archive look for the "lemony bread pudding french toast" and enjoy the story that goes along with it ;)

          http://creampuffsinvenice.typepad.com...

          it sounds and looks delish plus benefits from some overnight soaking.

          1 Reply
          1. I get raves every time I make this and it's quite simple.

            Blueberry-Pecan French Toast
            1 loaf French bread, cut into one-inch cubes
            5 eggs
            3 cups milk
            1 cup sugar
            1 teaspoon cinnamon
            1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
            2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
            1 cup pecans, chopped
            1/4 cup butter
            1/2 cup brown sugar

            Whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, and spices. Pour over bread pieces in a large bowl. Gently fold bread into mixture. Press down with hands so that all bread is covered with the egg mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
            Preheat oven to 325. Add half of the berries to bread mixture and gently mix together. Pour into greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle remaining berries and pecans over top. In a medium saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar. Pour evenly over berries and pecans. Bake 45 minutes to one hour, until puffed and bubbly.

            2 Replies
            1. re: mi2ca2mi

              If you're looking for something other than bread or sweet, I don't have a recipe but I had something recently that was great -- on a breakfast buffet, so you know it must be able to hang around for a while -- it basically tasted like a quiche but probably with twice as much egg and half as much cheese as you would expect in a quiche, and it had lots of chopped vegetables in it and I think there was a little ham as well. It was really good... it was like someone finally figured out how to serve eggs on a buffet -- they weren't runny at all and they tasted completely fresh. I think this would make a great make-ahead breakfast casserole. I would just cook it most of the way the night before and finish it off right before serving.

              1. re: mi2ca2mi

                mi2ca2mi, I used your recipe this weekend and the french toast was delicious. The melted butter and brown sugar poured over the top was so good! Thanks for this very easy and delicious recipe, we'll have it again.

              2. Here's a nice make ahead grits dish:

                Figure 8 Grits & Sausage

                1 cup Water
                1/4 cup Uncooked quick grits, NOT instant grits
                2 Eggs, beaten
                1/4 teaspoon Salt
                1/2 cup Milk
                1/4 teaspoon Thyme, crumbled
                8 ounces Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
                Dash garlic salt
                1 pound Sausage, cooked

                Cook and crumble sausage; drain well.

                Prepare grits according to package. Remove pan from heat. Add cheese to pan and stir until melted.

                Combine eggs, milk, thyme and garlic salt in small bowl. Mix well.

                Add a small amount of the hot grits/cheese mixture into the egg mixture and blend. Pour the remainder of the grits mixture into it. (This method prevents scrambled eggs.) Add cooked sausage and stir well.

                Spray Pam inside a 12x8x2 inch baking dish. Pour mixture into baking dish. Cover. Refrigerate overnight.

                Remove from refrigerator and let stand 15 minutes at room temperature. Then bake at 350 degrees uncovered for 50 minutes or until firm enough to eat.

                Source: Figure 8 Island Cookbook