I had a couple of my girlfriends over for breakfast last week while our kids played. They were my guinea pigs for this french toast casserole – it’s a wonderful fall dish, with that great pumpkin and cinnamon flavor. We made yummy noises, talked, laughed, relished in the peace of our boys playing nicely together.
Until they weren’t.
Trevor and one of his friends decided to barricade the bedroom door with toys, preventing their other friend from getting in and telling him he should go home. Complete boogers.
I have good kids. I really do. Kind, thoughtful, perfectly willing to share. And then there are those
moments hours I’m like “where did the sweetness go?”
Trevor’s my sensitive kid. My compliant kid. So, did he not get enough sleep? Maybe he’s getting sick? Hungry? Cold? Hot? Pissed that I put him in a green shirt? And then Paul said, “No, Ame. He’s 4.”
Parenting is so hard.
Thank goodness for make-ahead meals. And maple syrup.
Pumpkin French Toast Casserole
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
• 1 loaf French bread, cut into cubes (about 10 cups)
• 6 large eggs
• 2 cups milk (I used skim)
• 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
• 2 teaspoons vanilla
• 2 tablespoons maple syrup
• 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons chopped pecans or almonds
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Thoroughly coat a 9×13 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Evenly spread the bread cubes in the pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, pumpkin puree, vanilla, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice until well combined. Pour over bread and push down with a spoon or your hands until it’s all soaked and mostly covered. Cover with saran wrap or lid and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, uncover the pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, nuts, and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the top of the bread mixture and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until golden brown and no longer wet.
Serve immediately with maple syrup or honey. Store leftovers in the refrigerator covered for up to 2 days.
(adapted from Minimalist Baker)