Overnight French Toast Casserole – The Recipe

For Easter brunch this year I made a new dish, that I’ve had at my aunts but this was new to my immediate family and for me! So it was a perfect time to make it for them.  Plus, it’s an overnight casserole, so all your prep is the night before and all you have to do morning of is pop it in the oven – SO EASY! Not to mention, this is SOOOO good, especially if you love some breakfast sweets.
French Toast (1) - the bee life
Prep Time: 20-minutes
Cook Time:
45-minutes

What You’ll Need:
– 10-12 slices of white bread (I used 10)
– 5-6 eggs (I used 6)
– 1/2 cup of margarine aka 1-stick
– 1.5 cups of brown sugar
– 1-teaspoon of cinnamon
– 1.5 cups of milk (I used almond milk)
– 9×13 baking pan
– Maple Syrup for serving
French Toast (2) - the bee life
Step-by-Step:
1. Items to prep ahead: (a) Melt your stick butter (b) Beat your 6-eggs into a bowl, add your milk and stir well (c) Mix your brown sugar and cinnamon into a smaller bowl.
2. Now that you have all the main fixings prepped, take your 9×13 baking pan and pour your melted butter across the bottom – from there fill the pan with your first layer of bread.  Only 4-full pieces fit in my pan, so I cut one in half to fill in the little spot left.
3. Sprinkle about half of your cinnamon and brown sugar mix overtop the first layer.
4. Add your second layer of bread, I adjusted where my smaller pieces were from the bottom, just because!
5. Pour your egg and milk mixture over all of the bread.
6. Sprinkle the rest of your cinnamon and brown sugar mixture overtop.
7. Cover and refrigerate over night!
8. Good morning! Pre-heat your oven to 350 and bake covered for 30-minutes.
9. After 30-minutes, uncover and bake for 15-minutes or until set and toppings are browned.
10. Serve with maple syrup & enjoy! French Toast (6) - the bee life
The next time I make this dish, I have a few other ideas on how to step this up to the next level, adding in apples in between the layers for an apple french toast, or even having a strawberry drizzle to put on top before serving and eating. Doesn’t that sound even more delish?!  But seriously, if you love a good sweet in the morning – this is so easy and so delicious!

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Breakfast Casserole – The Recipe

I’ve got the perfect recipe for an upcoming work week or a weekend brunch.  This breakfast casserole is super easy to make, low prep and super tasty!
breakfast-casserole

What You’ll Need:
– 12 oz. reduced-fat bulk pork sausage
– 1 medium sized onion, chopped
– 2 eggs
– 4 egg whites
– 2 cups fat-free milk (I used almond milk)
– 1.5 teaspoons of ground mustard
– 1 teaspoon salt & pepper
– 8 slices of white bread, cubed
– 2 cups (8oz) of shredded cheddar

Step-by-Step:
1. Cook the sausage and chopped onion in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Cook until sausage is no longer pink, drain and cool.
2. In large bowl, beat the eggs, egg whites, milk, mustard, salt and pepper together.  Stir in the cubed bread, cheese, sausage and onion mixture. Pour into 13 x 9-inch baking dish (coated with baking spray).
3. Cool and refrigerator (okay over night).
4. Remove from fridge for 30-minutes before baking.
5. Bake, uncovered at 350-degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes clean from the center.  Let stand for 5-minutes before cutting and enjoying.

If you want to make a veggie option; switch out the meat and add in some of your favorite veggies like mushrooms, tomatoes or spinach.  Just be careful to drain appropriately as it will get watered down a bit more so may want to bake a bit longer than the recommended pork version.  Whip up a Bloody Mary or mimosas and enjoy!

Enjoy!

Travel: Denver Recap – Part 1

This past week, B and I traveled out west to Denver, Colorado!  It was our first time out there (well being anywhere besides passing through DEN) so we were really excited to go explore a new place and get out of town for a long weekend. We were able to explore and see a lot of Denver, at least I think for the short time we were there, but still felt like there was so much more we could’ve experienced and saw.  Since we did cover off on a lot, a recap on the important stuff… food and beer.

Historians Ale House – Broadway St.We visited Historians our first night in Denver, and met up with my cousins there – otherwise would have never found this spot.  They had a rooftop patio that we were able to enjoy, it was a beautiful night.  We snacked on chips, salsa and queso – the waiter said the queso was to die for.  And then since it was dollar taco night, decided to have a mixing of fish, beef and chicken tacos! They were almost bite size, so it was good that we all ordered a bunch. It was a fun spot, and great atmosphere but definitely in line for a bar atmosphere and menu offering. FullSizeRender (4)

The French Press – Lakewood, COAlthough we were only able to have breakfast here once, this small little cafe across from our hotel was the perfect spot for breakfast, a great cup of coffee and a fun homey atmosphere.  There were so many good sounding items on the menu that it was hard to choose.  We had high hopes and intentions on returning the next day for a different menu item, but unfortunately had poor planning and time management to enjoy it again!  They also had lunch and happy hour specials for people to take advantage of beyond the morning breakfast offerings. For our breakfast; I opted for the French toast, which came with eggs and bacon and I added some fresh strawberries on top, it was served with graham cracker syrup, yum!  B went with “Sterling’s Sweet Biscuits” – toasted chipotle butter biscuits, topped with chorizo gravy, cheese and eggs with a side of potatoes. YUM!! FullSizeRender (1)FullSizeRender (3)IMG_4125IMG_4128

Bruz Brewery – DenverWe visited the recently opened (we were there for their grand opening), Bruz Brewery since it’s close to my aunt and uncles place. Rested in a new development this spot is prime real estate for this up and coming area. Not to mention; dog friendly both inside and out!  They had about 12-beers on tap. Since we only visited for a quick drink I went for the Summerfield Saison and B had the Dawg Daze IPA. I can’t wait to see how that brewery grows and expands, especially in their spot. The best part about visiting Bruz is that we were able to do so with my aunt and uncle and two cousins, while trying out a new spot (that we would’ve never known about).  IMG_4143IMG_4144

Tivoli Brewing Co. – Downtown DenverWe were introduced to Tivoli Brewing Co., for the welcome reception Friday night before the wedding (the reason we traveled to Denver).  We were welcomed by a lavish spread of beers and bite-size treats; everything was to die for. Our spread included the; High Five Chicken Potstickers, Parmobello Mushrooms, What the Buck Bavarian Pretzels, Sweet Hot Brussel Love, and mini 2 Pigs in a Sleeping Bag. Seriously everything was SO good, we were snacking and sipping all night. The beer selection was impressive (and overwhelming – at least to me!), I stuck to their Tivoli Helles, it was a golden hued lager. Their atmosphere was fun and underground-esq.  They also had amazing city views from their large outdoor patio space – also a prime spot for baseball fireworks viewing.  IMG_4154IMG_4157IMG_4159DSCN2520We enjoyed Tivoli so much (and it was super close to the hotel everyone else was staying at) that we killed some time for a light lunch pre-wedding on Saturday and enjoyed some more beers. I opted for something new and tried the Seasoned Skirt Steak and Chargrilled Chicken Vindaloo tacos – they were both topped with gucamole, fresh cilantro, red onion and queso fresco.  B went ahead and ordered the fullsize; 2 Pigs in a Sleeping Bag and a side of fries. IMG_4238IMG_4236

We would’ve ate more and explored a few other spots if we’d had more time between wedding festivities and trying to be tourists and see some sights. But we had a good mix and spreading of foods.  Next time we’re in Denver we will definitely spend more time downtown on “brewery row” – at least that is what I am calling it, a few people had described it as such and sounded like a must!

Any favorites spots or recommendations for our next trip out to DEN?