Happy New Year - 2016!
We spent a quiet evening, at home, making Swiss Fondue with a bottle of chilled Prosecco. I made our traditional dinner of tender Filet Mignon, fresh veggies and falling asleep long before midnight. I wouldn't want it any other way. New Year's Day is our 10th wedding anniversary, and that's when we go out to dinner to celebrate. I wouldn't want that any other way!
I go through spurts of emptying out our two freezers. In one of my rummaging sessions, I discovered a large container of California frozen blueberries. I also found a package of Brioche hamburger buns, that I buy at Whole Foods. I've lost count of how many "Overnight" French Toast Casseroles I've seen all over the internet, but that's what I decided would be the fate of these two ingredients.
I also liked the idea of adding cream cheese. I love cream cheese, and I thought that adding this would give a creamy and almost "Cheese Blintz" flavor to this casserole. It didn't take long to prepare this casserole. Cut up the bread, add some frozen blueberries, cut up the cream cheese, sprinkle some cinnamon-sugar on top (I always have a shaker of that on hand), then pour over a custard of milk, maple syrup and vanilla. Cover it in plastic wrap, with a plate weighing it down. 15 minutes...tops!
This morning, I covered the casserole with foil (after letting it come to room temperature for 30 minutes), and popped it into a 350F degree oven for 30 minutes.
In the meantime, I made a blueberry sauce, with the leftover frozen berries. I added a little Meyer lemon zest, since our tree has been most generous with us-- despite the drought! (Kudos to my husband's green thumb and diligence in covering it up during those cold frosty mornings.)
Breakfast is ready, as soon as I spoon the blueberry sauce on top.
(That chunk of melted cream cheese has my name all over it.)
Extra blueberry sauce for my husband.
The brioche bread is moist, but not soggy. We're hungry!
TASTING NOTES: I'm not the biggest fan of blueberries. But, this is a game changer, for me! First, please be aware that the casserole is like molten lava at first bite, so be careful! (Speaking from experience). There are notes of vanilla, and I liked the subtle flavor of cinnamon. (It sure smelled fantastic as it was baking.) The perfect bite was the "custardy" bread, cream cheese and a mouthful of blueberry syrup. Heaven! My husband wanted seconds, and raved about how good this was. That's the kind of affirmation that I need to quickly write down how I made this.
We have dinner reservations for tonight to eat at a restaurant, in Monterey, where Clint Eastwood has a movie scene in a movie made in the . It's touristy, but my niece works there. That will make our ten year anniversary even more enjoyable.
Wishing all of you a wonderful New Year. I feel very blessed in my marriage, career, motherhood and look forward to sharing more cooking and baking with you.
Here's the printable recipe:
NOTE: I store all of my recipes on Key Ingredient. Unfortunately, they have recently reverted back to requiring a free membership to log in and view my recipes. I'm hoping that they'll change their mind, but in the meantime, I'll post a second site that doesn't require a membership. If you have any problems printing the recipe, please write to me firstname.lastname@example.org.