Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Make Ahead French Toast Casserole

French Toast Casserole

18 slices (one full loaf) of French Bread, cubed (I get the kind in a brown bag at HEB)
12 Eggs
12 ounces Cream Cheese, cubed
1 1/4 cup Milk
3/4 cup Maple Syrup (plus more for serving)
Dash of Cinnamon
Splash of Vanilla Extract
Powdered Sugar

Place half of bread cubes in a greased 9x12 casserole dish.  Add cubed cream cheese and top with remaining half of bread.

In bowl whisk eggs, milk and maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla.  Pour over bread and cream cheese.  

Cover dish with lid or foil.   Place in refrigerator over night.

Remove from refrigerator about 30 minutes prior to baking. 

Bake covered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.   Uncover and continue to bake for approximately 20 - 25 minutes or until desired appearance.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve warm with maple syrup.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Texas Trash

I wanted to find some recipes that I could make and ship to our family that we cannot be with over Christmas and I wanted it to be something that had a Texas flair to it.   I was really surprised at how many people had never heard of Texas Trash.  And even though it doesn't sound like it would be items that really go together, it ends up being so very, very good.  This recipe makes a TON of snack mix.  So much that I literally had to mix it in trash bags.  I don't own a bowl or pan big enough to contain it all.  I did this in two batches.  The butter mixture will sit fine for a day or so in the fridge if you want to make it in two different days.

Texas Trash
Adapted from Scarletta Bakes

1 box Cheerios cereal (14 ounces)
1 box Captain Crunch cereal (14 ounces)
1 box Rice Chex cereal (12.8 ounces)
1 bag Fritos (10.5 ounces)
1 bag pretzel sticks (13 ounces)
2 lbs. pecan halves
3 c. unsalted butter
1 bottle Worcestershire sauce (10 fl. oz.)
4 tbsp. celery seeds (NOT celery salt!)
4 tbsp. garlic, dried ground
3 tbsp. cumin, ground
2 tbsp. cayenne pepper

2 tbsp. liquid smoke 
2 tsp. Tabasco sauce

Preheat oven to 200ยบ.

Place cereals, chips, pretzels and nuts in a large trash bag.  I used a kitchen size white trash bag and divided the mixture in half.   Prepare roasting pan and/or sheet pans with some cooking spray.  (I used my large roasting pan and one half sheet pan for half of the batch).  You need to be sure you have room to stir it while it is in the oven.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small sauce pan. As it melts, mix in the Worcestershire, celery seeds, garlic, cumin, cayenne, liquid smoke and Tabasco. Once the butter has melted, give it a stir in case any of the seasonings have settled to the bottom of the pan and pour the mixture over the dry ingredients. Immediately toss the snack mix well. It is easy to mix and coat the entire mixture with it in the trash bag.  Pour into prepared pans.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours, tossing occasionally as it bakes.  About every 20-30 minutes give it a good mix.  And try not to get it all over the floor.  (I speak from experience.)  The finished mix will be fragrant and almost completely dry. Remove and cool.

Once the mix is cool, I threw it all back into a clean trash bag and let it continue to absorb the flavors until I could get some containers to store it in.  And now to get ready to ship it out to the far corners... Hoping Seattle loves some Texas Trash!

YIELD:  Tons!