Good friends are hard to come by. They’re like gold when you find them. The same is true of a good recipe.

I took a last minute trip home to Dallas this weekend to see my friend and her newborn baby. We’ve been friends since 4th grade when we met on the soccer field. We played for the Wildcats. I was a defender. She was a defender. And the next thing you know we were jumping on her trampoline. Then came sleepover parties. Cookouts with our families. Dressing up like Pilgrims and Indians at Thanksgiving at an age I wont mention. Much too old to be dressing up. Or not. We hung out at her house nearly every weekend with the posse in highschool. I’d fall asleep on the couch early. It was a given. We went to prom together and graduated high school together. We separated for college but spent late nights talking at Starbucks over breaks. We walked down the isle at each others weddings. And then I moved away. We grew up. Became adults. Semi adults. And then she had a baby. The distance felt farther than the 1600+ miles Google maps displayed. So I flew home on a whim. Thanks Dad. Held the sweetest baby in the world. And saw my friend, once a Wildcat, become a mother. Pure gold. Read more

Remember when I redid my post on Spinach Quiche a couple weeks ago? Well, I’m at it again. But I promise this is the last re-do for awhile. Brand spanking new content is on the way.

By the way, sorry I’ve been MIA this week. I’ve been working on a couple freelance design projects. Not only have I neglected the blog, but I’ve neglected dinner. We’ve been ordering pizza or scrambling eggs every night. Don’t judge. This week will probably be no better. I’ll be spending the week at the HOW Design Conference.

Enough about work. Let’s talk about Baked French Toast. It’s a classy breakfast casserole in my book, if you can even call it a casserole. It’s wonderfully versatile. The best part about baked french toast—you prepare it the night before and bake it in the morning. I don’t know about you, but I’m not much of a morning person. The less work I have to do in the AM, the better. How do all you mom’s do it? I can barely get myself out of the door in the morning. Needless to say, baked french toast makes my mornings easier. And on the weekends, it lets me sleep in longer. Baked French Toast, I love you.

This recipe has a simple nutty orange flavor. I am a little obsessed with orange right now. I think it may be the new lemon. May I suggest that you serve it with 100% pure maple syrup? I made the switch a couple years ago. Once you go pure, you’ll never go back. And yes, that is a Coke bottle I’m serving the syrup in. It’s time invest in a syrup dispenser.

 

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Baked French Toast


  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/2 loaf of thick, hearty whole wheat bread cut in large cubes (about 2 cups)
  • small hand full of crushed pecans (about 1/3 c.)
  • 3 c. of milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp. turbinado
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • zest of half an orange
  • juice of half an orange
  • dash of sea salt

Instructions

  1. Prep the night before serving. Cut bread and place in an 11 x 7 baking dish. Sprinkle with chopped nuts.
  2. Whisk together milk, eggs, butter, turbinado, cinnamon, vanilla, zest, juice, and salt in a separate bowl.
  3. Pour mixture over bread. It should almost cover bread.
  4. Cover and let sit and soak overnight in fridge.
  5. Morning of, preheat oven to 425°. Sprinkle top with a pinch of turbinado. Bake for 30 minutes or until liquid is set. Cover with foil after 15 minutes to prevent burning.
  6. Enjoy with warmed 100% pure maple syrup.
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