My Take on Martha Stewart’s Recipe for French Toast

french-toast-1

 

In all the years I’ve been cooking breakfast, I have never been able to perfect French toast. It seems simple, whisking the eggs, milk, vanilla together, then letting bread soak for a bit before frying in pan.

 

But my French toast recipe always left me with slices that were too eggy, almost framed with a fried egg boarder. And sometimes the insides were soggy, even if the outsides were crispy.

 

I’ve found that with French toast, a few minor details can mean the difference between failure and perfection.

 

Martha Stewart’s Perfect French Toast recipe is what opened my eyes to how French toast should be prepared. It’s not difficult, nor is it terribly time consuming. What it IS, however, is crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside – with hints of lemon, cinnamon and vanilla throughout.

 

Perfect French Toast

adapted from Martha Stewart’s recipe

 

{Print this recipe}

Prep: 20 minutes | Cook: 10 minutes | Serves: 4

Ingredients
4 slices of crusty Italian bread, sliced 1-inch thick
3 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons salted butter
1 tablespoon canola oil

Directions

Whisk the eggs, milk, vanilla, lemon zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and salt together. Set the bread in a single layer in a shallow baking dish. Pour the liquid over the bread, making sure to coat the top of each piece. Let the bread soak for 5 minutes, then flip the bread.

 

Heat the butter and canola oil over medium in a large skillet. Once the butter becomes foamy (about 5 minutes), add the soaked bread in one layer and let it cook for 4 minutes, then flip. Cook for another 4 minutes, then add additional minutes on each side to make sure it’s evenly golden brown.

 

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Serve hot with butter and syrup, or a dusting of powdered sugar.

Spinach, Bacon & Cheese Egg Casserole

egg casserole, easy breakfast recipes

On one hand, casseroles that you can throw together the night before make life really simple the next morning.

On the other hand, there are some mornings where a casserole sounds really, really scrumptious, but you didn’t have the foresight to prepare one the night before. Granted, there are a few “day of” casseroles that work out okay, like this Walnut French Toast Bread Pudding Casserole that I whipped up on a whim one Saturday morning.

But most of the time egg casseroles with any sort of bread involved need the time to soak. Overnight time to soak. Save these casseroles for the season where meal planning is inevitable – Christmas morning, Easter morning, vacations, etc.

In fact, we have a holiday morning coming up, don’t we? New Year’s Day {perhaps after a few to many libations?} would be the perfect time to have an egg casserole prepped and ready to throw in the oven for an easy January 1, 2013 breakfast.

Spinach, Bacon & Cheese Egg Casserole

egg casserole, easy breakfast recipes

{Print this recipe}

Prep: 20 minutes + overnight | Bake: 60 minutes | Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 10 large eggs
  • 2-1/2 cups milk
  • 1 French baguette
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 6 slices of crispy bacon, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 8-oz sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, minced
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 green onions, diced

Directions

Butter a 9×13″ baking dish. Cube the baguette (roughly cut is fine), and place it on the bottom of the buttered baking dish. Layer the cheese, spinach, bacon, onions and parsley on top.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire. Pour the egg mixture over top of the layers in the casserole dish, and then gently press down on the bread to make sure each piece has been soaked.

Cover the casserole tightly with aluminum foil, and let it sit overnight in the fridge.

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The morning of, preheat your oven to 375°F and bake the casserole covered for 45 minutes. Uncover the casserole, and then continue baking for another 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the casserole is bubbly and set.

Let the casserole rest for 15 minutes before cutting and serving. Leftovers reheat well!

Apple Cinnamon French Toast Breakfast Casserole

Apple Cinnamon French Toast Casserole

If you scour Pinterest for recipes like I do, and one of the things you happen to be looking for is a breakfast casserole, you’ll fine that most of them have one thing in common:

“Place casserole in the refrigerator and let it sit overnight.”

Ugh.

When you’re not a meal planner like me, then that really sucks. I usually think of breakfast recipes on the weekends around 7:00 AM, not the evening before.

Simple things like pancakes, eggs, waffles.

But breakfast casseroles are fun, all kinds of yummy breakfast tastes melded into a 1-dish masterpiece. And it would be nice if you could make one the same day as you craved one, right?


Here’s my stab at THAT.Warning: it’s not perfect. There are actually some things I’ll do differently when I make this again. So, stay tuned….

Apple Cinnamon French Toast Breakfast Casserole

adapted from Apple Baked French Toast by Recipe4Living
Prep: 15 minutes | Rest: 1 hour (up to overnight) | Bake: 1 hour | Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 5 slices of French bread, cut 1-1/2″ thick
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1-3/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 apple, peeled and sliced thin (use Golden Delicious or another baking apple)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes

Directions
Coat a 9×9″ glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Place the slices of bread in the baking dish. It will be a tight fit, and the pieces should all touch, but that’s what you want.

Whisk the eggs, milk and 1/4-cup sugar together for about 30-seconds. Pour half of the liquid over-top the bread, taking care to coat all the pieces.

Lay the apple slices on top in one layer. Pour the remaining liquid mixture over-top the apples.


Mix 1/4-cup sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg together, and sprinkle it all over the top of the casserole.*Dot the top with butter.

Apple Cinnamon French Toast Casserole

Cover the baking dish, and refrigerate for 1-hour (but it would be okay overnight if that’s easier).

After an hour:

Preheat the oven to 350°F and take the casserole out of the fridge while you’re waiting for the oven to finish preheating.


Bake the casserole uncovered for 1-hour, and then let it sit for 10-15 minutes before cutting it into squares. Serve with butter and syrup, and or more cinnamon-sugar.

*NOTE: The cinnamon-sugar-nutmeg topping gets very brown in the oven, but still tastes good. When I make this again, I’m going to tweak that part to see if the flavor can be incorporated more uniformly throughout the dish!