The prompt for day three is to share your favorite Christmas recipe/food! You all know how much I love food. Although food is a big reason why I adore Christmas so much… I have no recipes that are specifically meant for Christmas. I do have one recipe that has become a Christmas morning tradition in my family because of how simple it is.
Other than during Christmas, this recipe was made maybe one other time to be ready for a Redskins tailgate a few years back. We can consider this a Christmas dish… right? 🙂
Let’s begin my discussion about this recipe: On Christmas morning, the last thing someone wants to do is cook a large meal and miss out on the kids opening presents. Instead of spending too much time in the kitchen, my mom always preferred to have a dish ready the night before that could easily be tossed in the oven right when my brother and I began opening our gifts.
This particular dish my mom always prepares on Christmas Eve is a Blueberry French Toast Casserole. My mouth is watering right now as I type this blog post!!! This casserole is not only beautiful, but it tastes incredible.
The super easy recipe feeds our family of four, but there typically are some left overs as well. Another great aspect to this casserole is it is easy to modify. Not interested in blueberries? No problem… add strawberries, cherries, peaches, or no fruit at all. My mom is a blueberry lover, so we always go that route. No complaints here!
Below is the recipe my mom uses, by the oh so amazing Giada De Laurentiis, each Christmas. Although Giada prepares and bakes this casserole on the same day, you can easily prepare everything, refrigerate the dish, then place in the oven the morning you plan to bake! 🙂 Happy Baking and enjoy this delectable dish!
Butter, for greasing
3 cups whole milk
3/4 cup maple syrup, plus extra for serving
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus 1 tablespoon
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 lemon, zested
3 (1-inch thick) slices (8 ounces) day-old challah or sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups (12 ounces) fresh or frozen, thawed, and drained blueberries
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs until frothy. Add the milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, and lemon zest. Add the bread cubes and mix until coated. Stir in the blueberries. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
In a small bowl, mix together the remaining cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the egg mixture in an even layer. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the top is golden and the filling is set.
Spoon onto serving plates and drizzle with maple syrup.
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