Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole

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I’ve been making this French toast casserole for pretty much every holiday and birthday breakfast for years (along with an egg casserole that I’ll be posting soon too!). Its convenient because you prepare it the night before, and my kids love it.

I’m lucky enough to be able to get my hands on homemade sourdough challah bread, which is amazing in this recipe. Use whatever type of bread works for you.

  

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf bread - (sourdough, French, challah, gluten-free, etc.)
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup (for cream cheese)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (for egg mixture)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla, divided
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 and 1/2 cups milk of choice, whole milk, half and half, or combo
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

For the topping:

  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 2 TB organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Optional: fresh fruit, fruit compote, or maple syrup for topping

Directions:

1. Grease 9x13 pan

2. Cut the bread into cubes. Spread half of the cubes into the prepared pan.

3. Beat the room temperature cream cheese until completely smooth. Add the 2 TB maple syrup and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract until combined. Drop random spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture on top of the bread.

4. Layer the remaining bread cubes on top of cream cheese. Set aside.

5. Whisk the eggs, milk, cinnamon, maple syrup, and remaining vanilla together. Pour over the bread. Cover the pan and refrigerate overnight.

6. Preheat oven to 350°F

Bake covered for about 30 minutes.

7. While baking, combine topping ingredients - softened butter, cinnamon, and sugar.

8. Remove dish from oven and rub the topping mixture all over the top of the casserole. Return to oven and bake uncovered for an additional 15-20 minutes.

Sprouted Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Banana Bread

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You know what’s better than banana bread and better than pumpkin bread? A combination of the two! And, of course, it’s made even better with some chocolate. 

Ingredients:

•1 1/2 cups sprouted spelt flour

•2 ripe bananas, mashed

•1 cup pumpkin purée

•2 eggs

•1/3 cup butter, melted

•1/2 cup coconut sugar

•1 TB pumpkin pie spice

•2 tsp vanilla extract

•1 tsp baking soda

•1/2 tsp baking powder

•1/4 tsp salt

•1 cup dark chocolate chips, separated

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x5 loaf pan with parchment paper.

2. Mix wet ingredients, and then whisk in dry ingredients. Fold in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.

3. Spread batter in prepared pan and sprinkle top with additional 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.

4. Bake for approximately 1 hour.

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Sourdough Apple Dutch Baby Pancake

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This is such a delicious and simple way to use up extra sourdough starter!  

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/4 cups sourdough starter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice  
  • 2 TB coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice) 
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 apple, peeled and sliced
  • 4 TB butter  

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. In a bowl, combine starter, eggs, milk, sugar, and salt
  3. Melt butter in 10-inch cast iron skillet on stovetop and add sliced apples. Sauté for a couple of minutes to soften the apples 
  4. Removed from stovetop and pour sourdough mixture over the apples
  5. Place in oven and bake for about 15 minutes. 
  6. Top with maple syrup and/or toppings of choice. Shown here with Greek yogurt and maple syrup.  
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German Oven Pancake with Sautéed Apples

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We love this take on “pancakes” because it’s quick and easy and delicious besides. Mixing everything in one bowl and then just sticking it in the oven is my kind of simple breakfast. No need to reserve it just for the weekends! I topped this one with sautéed apples (after all, it’s apples galore around here right now), but you can keep it simple with a little maple syrup or top them however you like! 

Ingredients: 

  • 6 TB butter
  • 2 cups milk of choice (I use raw whole milk) 
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup sprouted flour (or flour of choice - I use this sprouted spelt flour) 
  • 2 TB coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice) 
  • 1 tsp vanilla  

Directions: 

  1. Place the butter in 9x13 baking dish and put in oven to melt as you preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Mix the rest of the ingredients together and pour in baking dish on top of the melted butter. 
  3. Bake for approx. 25 minutes
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Banana Bread Bars with Optional Whipped Cream/Cream Cheese Topping (refined-sugar free and made with sprouted flour)

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I am in love with these banana bread bars. I know that may sound extreme, but they’re just that good. They’re the perfect texture paired with the perfect level of not-too-sweetness. And if you know me, then you know that I am NOT a fan of all the overly sweet everything. The subtle sweetness comes simply from the bananas and maple syrup, no refined sugars, and the sprouted flour makes them more nutritious and easier on the ol’ digestive system. Of course, you’re welcome to use whatever flour your little heart desires, but I prefer to stick to the sprouted varieties. The bars are delicious on their own, so the whipped cream / cream cheese topping (which is also just subtly sweet) is totally optional, but then again,...is it really? I mean, they’re SO good together. 

For the Banana Bread Bars

Ingredients: 

  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed

  • 8 TB (1 stick) softened butter

  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 2 cups flour (I use this sprouted spelt)

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

  2. Cream butter and syrup together, and then add the rest of the wet ingredients and beat together well until smooth.

  3. Add dry ingredients and mix just until well incorporated.

  4. Pour batter into greased 9x13 pan

  5. Bake for approximated 22-26 minutes.

  6. Cool and then add frosting if using.

For the Whipped Cream / Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

  • 2 TB pure maple syrup

  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions: 

  1. Beat cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth. Add syrup and vanilla and mix well.

  2. Add heavy cream to the cream cheese and beat until peaks form.

  3. Spread on everything.

 

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The Perfect Frittata

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A few years ago I read an article by Bon Appetit with several tips on how to make the perfect frittata - things like the right egg/dairy ratio, the right cooking temp, the right pan, etc. - and I always keep those things in mind when I make a frittata. The great thing about frittatas is that the possibilities for combinations are endless. You can throw anything you want in there, as long as you remember the basic ratio of eggs and milk. I went with a combo of spinach, onions, and peppers for the perfect veggie frittata, and it was, well, perfect! 

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Ingredients: 

  • 12 eggs  
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, yogurt, sour cream, or milk of choice (keep it full-fat)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese of choice
  • 5 ounces baby spinach (it looks like a lot, but cooks down significantly)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 TB butter (or other oil) 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Directions: 

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine eggs, milk, cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a bowl and set aside
  3. In an oven-safe skillet, sauté onion and pepper in TB of butter on medium. 
  4. Add spinach to skillet and cook until wilted and reduced.  
  5. Pour egg mixture into skillet and cook until the sides start to set, about 5 minutes. 
  6. Transfer pan to oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes until center is set. Do not overcook.  
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Easy Blueberry Compote

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Lately I've been putting berry compote on ALL the things...yogurt bowls, in place of jelly on sandwiches, waffles, pancakes, by the spoonful. Yum! Berries are naturally low in sugar, so they make a great replacement for sugary alternatives. This is almost too simple to be called a recipe, and takes minimal effort! 

Directions: 

Take 1 pound of organic frozen berries (or fresh when they are in season), put them in a pot with 2 TB maple syrup or raw honey, put the pot on the stove, and simmer for 20-30 minutes. If you have a lemon on hand, the juice from a lemon will help bring out the flavor even more. I know, I know, I’ve really outdone myself with this one. In my opinion though, the simpler, the better! It doesn’t have to be complicated!