Berry French Toast Bake

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Well, hello! It’s been approximately eight million years since I posted a recipe. This possibly has to do with the insanity of having four children and the added bonus that right before I had Hannah in October, my real camera decided to stop working.

(I’m pretty sure it has sand in the lens and won’t retract … but it would probably cost more to fix than to replace it. Argh.)

My husband keeps telling me my iPhone will take pictures that are just as good. I don’t really think so, but they’re good enough for me, for now.

This is one of the recipes I’ve probably made the most over the last six or seven years. It’s my go-to when I want to take a meal to someone; I find that when there’s a meal train, people usually bring chicken casseroles or pasta. And that is fine and AWESOME, but I think breakfast for dinner mixes it up a little.

This Berry French Toast recipe comes from Cooking During Stolen Moments, which was one of my VERY favorite food blogs ever. Almost everything I ever made from there was a hit. Unfortunately, the site is not accessible any more. I am so glad I had this one written down in my recipe book so I didn’t lose the recipe! I’ve only adapted it slightly – mostly I just skimp on the berries because I like a lot of chewy, eggy bread. It’s delicious with fresh berries of any kind, but you could also use frozen ones – or peaches!

Serve with a side of bacon or sausage for a delicious meal any time of day.

Berry French Toast Bake

Yield: about 8 servings

Berry French Toast Bake

Delicious berry-enhanced French toast casserole is taken over the top with a brown sugar drizzle.

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf French or Italian bread
  • 2 to 3 c. berries
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 oz. cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 4 T butter
  • 1 c. light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Instructions

Start with day-old bread, or cut bread into large cubes a few hours before you want to start making this and let them sit out to get slightly stale. Slice strawberries into quarters. Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries can be left whole.

Place a layer of bread cubes in a 9x13-inch baking dish. Add most of the berries, reserving about 1/2 cup. Top with the rest of the bread cubes.

Whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, and almond extract. Pour evenly over the bread. Top with remaining berries, then dot with cream cheese pieces. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375F. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar and whisk together until the sugar begins to melt and the mixture is smooth, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon. Drizzle sugar topping over the casserole. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, covered, until egg is set.

Let sit for a few minutes before cutting and serving.

Notes

To make dairy-free, use almond milk instead of dairy milk and leave out the cream cheese. If you are taking to a new mom who is breastfeeding, you might ask if she is avoiding dairy. (I usually am.)

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2017/06/berry-french-toast-bake/

What’s your favorite breakfast for dinner?

 

Strawberry Cream Cheese Bread

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Bread

What do you do when your strawberries are getting too ripe to eat? Throw them in a baked good, of course! My kids were thrilled to have something different to eat for breakfast, and I even threw it in their lunch boxes one day in lieu of a sandwich.

Lunchbox with Strawberry Bread

I am excited about the arrival of strawberry season – are you? I guess it depends where you live, but here in Tennessee the strawberries are starting to be ready to pick. In fact, I was going to take my kids to pick strawberries today at a farm in north Georgia, but the zealous pickers on Thursday and Friday apparently dried them out. Oh well! We’ll try again soon.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Bread

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 8 slices

Strawberry Cream Cheese Bread

Adapted from My Baking Addiction

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. white whole wheat flour (or use another cup all-purpose)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk, or milk soured with lemon juice
  • 1 to 1 1/2 c. diced strawberries
  • for topping
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Instructions

Grease a loaf pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 350F.

With a mixer, cream together butter, cream cheese, and sugar. Scrape sides of bowl, then add eggs one at time with mixer running. Add vanilla.

In a bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and mix until just blended. Add buttermilk and stir just until combined. Fold in strawberries by hand. Spoon batter into loaf pan and smooth the top.

Mix together sugar and cinnamon for topping, then sprinkle evenly over the top, pressing in gently. You may not want to use all the mixture.

Bake 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool before cutting.

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2016/04/strawberry-cream-cheese-bread/

What is your favorite strawberry recipe?

Here are some of mine:

Strawberry Cashew Milk Smoothies for #FoodBloggerLove

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

Strawberry Cashew Milk Smoothies

Hey guys! Today is all about showing LOVE to a fellow blogger. The lovely ladies of The PinterTest Kitchen organized this #FoodBloggerLove event – and let me join even though I’m only sort of a food blog. Aren’t they sweet?

I am showing the love to Erin Brighton, author of ErinBrighton.com – And She Cooks. Local. Erin a a local foodie in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband and FIVE small children. She and one child have celiac disease, so she cooks locally sourced, gluten-free recipes, and shares them with lovely pictures on her blog.

Her recipes aren’t finicky, though – they are family-friendly fare that I think I could get my own (now I feel like I am slacking with just THREE) kids to eat. I have to admit at first I picked the super finicky Macarons from her site to try to make. Mine were a flop … but I have some ideas of what went wrong and I might try again. Maybe.

I am putting Blueberry Cobbler and Panko-Crusted Cod on my list for when the weather warms up this summer. Especially if I can snag some local blueberries from the farmer’s market or, better yet, my in-laws’ blueberry bushes! (They live near Charlotte, too!)

Since we’ve recently put our middle child, David, on a dairy-free diet to try to eliminate his constant allergy issues, I decided to make Erin’s Creamy Cashew Milk. I have made Almond Milk from another source, and I love having it on hand to use in recipes for him. (Or rather, for all of us, but it makes it David-safe.) With only a 1-hour soak and no straining required, this cashew milk was way easier than the almond milk I made! And I think it tastes better, too. I love the mild flavor of cashews.

Homemade Cashew Milk

Unlike store-bought nut milk, this doesn’t have any stabilizers, carrageenan, or other yucky stuff; it is just cashews, water, dates, vanilla, and salt. I used a little over a cup of cashews and about 2 1/2 cups of water, and it made around 5 cups of yummy cashew milk.

With the milk, I made a Valentine’s-themed smoothie for my little ones: cashew milk and strawberry jam, with some ripe banana to sweeten it. I added four drops of food coloring because I wanted it to be nice and pink, but that is totally optional. You can also use strawberries or raspberries instead of jam, if you want – I just went with what we had on hand. The flavor blended with the cashews was delicious, and David was thrilled to have a “milkshake” he could drink!

Strawberry Cashew Milk Smoothies

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 8 ounces

Strawberry Cashew Milk Smoothies

Ingredients

  • 2 c. homemade cashew milk
  • 1/2 c. all-fruit strawberry jam
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 4 drops red food coloring (optional)
  • 1 to 2 c. ice

Instructions

Blend first three ingredients together in a high-powered blender. Add food coloring if using. Add ice gradually until fully combined and smoothie is your desired consistency.

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2016/02/strawberry-cashew-milk-smoothies-for-foodbloggerlove/

I am going to share another crazy good recipe I got from Erin’s site later this afternoon, too, so keep an eye out! For now, here’s some fun stuff for #FoodBloggerLove.

During this event, we are giving away a Kindle Fire! You can enter via the Rafflecopter here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

All the bloggers participating have also donated to No Kid Hungry. This organization helps provide meals for the 1 in 5 children in the U.S. who face hunger (something close to my heart). We’d love it if you would consider donating a dollar or two as well by clicking that link.

Additionally, I have to throw some extra #FoodBloggerLove out to my favorite food blog, Chattavore. I think Erin would approve, since Chattavore (aka Mary) is local to me and loves local ingredients. Y’all, I have never had a Chattavore recipe bomb. Her recipes are consistently awesome and some of our favorites. She also does Chattanooga restaurant reviews, which we check out before eating out pretty much every time.

I hope you’ll enter the giveaway, considering giving to No Kid Hungry, and visit all the wonderful #FoodBloggerLove recipes below. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Low-Sugar Peanut Butter Cookies {Secret Recipe Club}

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

peanutbuttercookies

Do you ever eat cookies for breakfast? We sure do. One of my kids’ favorite breakfasts is Giant Breakfast Cookies. (They also love having Popsicles for breakfast.) I am all about making their food fun so that they are more likely to eat healthier things. And since these cookies are probably way healthier than any muffin I make, I say go forth and make cookies for breakfast!

I chose the Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies from Tasty Cheapskate‘s site for Secret Recipe Club this month. Blogger Jean shares her simple, wholesome, and cheap recipes there, with the cost of ingredients included!

I also eyed the Irish Soda Bread (which I love, but the one I made most recently flopped in a big way) and Lemon Garlic Hummus; but in the end I was searching while I had sick kids at home and couldn’t go to the store, so I had everything on hand for the peanut butter cookies. Plus, cookies.

That said – for some wacky reason I didn’t have any whole wheat flour, which I ALWAYS have. So I did use white flour in mine, but I mixed in some oat flour to give it a little more healthfulness. I would definitely use white whole wheat flour if I had it on hand.

Low-Sugar Peanut Butter Cookies

Low-Sugar Peanut Butter Cookies

Adapted from The Tasty Cheapskate.

Ingredients

  • 2 T butter
  • 1 c. natural peanut butter (see notes)
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 2 T white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/4 c. flour, preferably whole wheat (or a combo of all-purpose and oat flour)
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 c. chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a saucepan over low heat, melt together the butter, peanut butter, and sugars. Move mixture to a large bowl.

Your mixture should only be warm, not hot; if it's too warm, wait for a bit to make sure the eggs don't cook in it. Once it's just slightly warm, add eggs, milk, and vanilla.

Sift dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and baking powder) into the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat. Form dough into golf-ball sized balls and place on sheet, then press down slightly. (You can criss-cross with a fork for a traditional peanut butter cookie look, if you like. I didn't.) Bake for 7-8 minutes. They won't look done, but take them out anyway. Let cool on baking sheet 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Best served warm!

Notes

For these to be truly low in sugar, use a natural peanut butter that is just peanuts or peanuts and salt. Even "natural" peanut butters usually have sugar and oils in them. I like Smuckers brand.

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2016/02/low-sugar-peanut-butter-cookies-secret-recipe-club/

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Sweet Potato and Sausage Hash

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

Sweet Potato and Sausage Hash

Many years ago, I did this thing called Bargain Meals of the Week with 5 Dollar Dinners. I would take the Publix ads and find dirt-cheap deals, and then share recipes that would use the deal items.

I haven’t added most of these meals to my recipe archive, because I didn’t try them out or picture them. I found them at other places. But the Chile Sweet Potato Hash from Rachael Ray was one that I have made, often. Back when Mr. V and I were kidless, we ate this regularly for dinner, because it’s inexpensive and satisfying, and a nice mix-up for breakfast for dinner. I think I saw Rachael make it on “30-Minute Meals” once.

The only issue I have with this dish is the sweet potatoes. It’s difficult to get them to cook through unless you slice them very thin. I suggest slicing as thinly as you can. If they still aren’t cooking through, after your initial 10-15 minute cook time, change the heat to low, put a baking sheet or lid on your skillet, and steam them for a few minutes. Alternately, you could partially cook the sweet potatoes ahead of time in some boiling water. I may try that next time!

If you like heat, use hot breakfast sausage and throw in some cayenne or chipotle chili powder. If you don’t, this isn’t too spicy, but you can cut down on the chili powder if you want.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato and Sausage Hash

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 1 lb. breakfast sausage
  • 2 large or 3 smaller sweet potatoes - peeled, then cut in half lengthwise, then into half-moon thin slices
  • 1 small onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried cilantro or coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. dried turmeric (optional)
  • salt and pepper
  • for serving
  • salsa
  • eggs, cooked over easy
  • cheese

Instructions

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil. When it's hot, add sausage to the pan and break up with a wooden spoon. Brown the sausage for about 3 minutes, then add the sweet potatoes, onions, spices, and some salt and pepper.

Cook, stirring frequently and continuing to break up the sausage, for 10-15 minutes, until sweet potatoes are soft.

Serve with choices of salsa, eggs, and cheese.

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2016/01/sweet-potato-and-sausage-hash/

What’s your favorite breakfast for dinner?

Strawberry-Beet Popsicles (or Smoothies)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

Strawberry Beet Popsicles

I’ve said it before and I will say it again: my kids will eat basically anything if I puree it and put it in popsicle form.

Spinach? Yep. Mango? Uh huh. Flax seed, chia seed, coconut oil, coconut milk, carrots – basically anything healthy that they normally won’t touch, they will eat in frozen form!

I finely shredded a beet for Sweet Beet Cookies and had a little bit leftover. I decided to dump it in my Vitamix and add frozen strawberries for a fun, richly red freezer pop. Seriously, the beet gives these a really gorgeous color and an added punch of folate, vitamin C, and potassium, among other nutrients.

I used homemade almond milk in these because we have David off dairy at the moment, but you could definitely use any kind of milk or yogurt you want. Enjoy!

Strawberry-Beet Popsicles (or Smoothies)

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 4 smoothies or about 8 popsicles

Strawberry-Beet Popsicles (or Smoothies)

Ruby-red popsicles with boosts of nutrition from some shredded beet and chia seed.

Ingredients

  • 2 c. frozen strawberries
  • 1/4 c. shredded raw red beet
  • 1 1/2 c. almond milk or other milk
  • 1 tsp. chia seed (optional)
  • 1/2 a ripe banana
  • water as needed

Instructions

Add all ingredients except water to a high-powered blender. Blend until completely smooth, adding water if needed for it to blend smoothly. Serve as is or freeze in popsicle molds.

Notes

If you make this with fresh strawberries and want to serve as a smoothie, you will need to add ice for the proper frozen texture. If you are making it into popsicles, it doesn't matter if it's more liquidy than icy.

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2016/01/strawberry-beet-popsicles-or-smoothies/