Monday, December 21, 2015

T Stands For this is NOT a food blog


In case someone saw this post and thought it was a food blog, I assure you, it is not.  It's an art blog, and once a week, a drink blog.  So why, you ask, am I showing a bunch of food this week?

It's winter and I've been cooking comfort food for my friend Sally.  Granted, this is the only photo you will see of my mug or a glass in these photos, but I had to show that on Sunday I cooked a turkey for Sally, made mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and a corn chowder that turned out rather more like creamy corn than chowder.  I had everything but the turkey and disgusting gelled cranberries that Sally drug out of the refrigerator.  Not sure you can tell, but this photo was taken at Sally's kitchen table after I cleaned most of it off.  That's the sling she has to wear for several more weeks.

When I got home, I was in a baking mood, so I grabbed the makings of French Toast Casserole.  Some people call it Overnight French Toast.  On the table are eggs, butter, half and half, eggnog, brown sugar, cinnamon, and lots and lots and lots of bread.  The idea was to whittle down my bread I seem to have accumulated that needed to get used.  I take spurts at eating bread, but Sally eats bread every day.

I'm sure you will find various recipes on the internet that, in no way, represent how I made my French Toast.  First, I'm a lazy cook.  Why waste six bowls and a pan when one will do?  If I had made this at Sally's, she would have insisted it was done the "right" way, but I was home and did it the "lazy" way.  After all, I don't have a dishwasher at this house, and have suffered all these years with dishpan hands.  I've never been able to convince Bleubeard or Squiggles to help with the clean-up, either.

One thing every recipe agrees on is to coat your baking dish (or pan in my case) with butter.  What they don't agree on is slathering the butter all over the pan!  That's definite slathering.

I decided to get rid of the three cinnamon raisin bagels.  That took awhile to tear them up and place them in the pan.    Most people would use a knife and not put them in the pan, but in a bowl.

I could only get three slices of Oatmeal bread in the pan until I thought it was probably full enough.  So much for getting rid of all that bread.

Next, it was time to add the half and half (most people would use milk, but I used what I had.  They would also have mixed all the liquids and dry ingredients together before adding it to the baking dish.  However, the lazy way won out!

I may have gotten a bit too much liquid when I added the eggnog.  Sally doesn't like eggnog, so I'm hoping she won't be able to taste it.  Note there are no measuring utensils, either.  I cook by eye, not by measurements. 

Next came cinnamon, a bit of nutmeg I added in hindsight, and lots of brown sugar.

Before I stirred anything, I added six egg whites.  That may have added to my downfall.

Then I covered it, placed it in the fridge, and waited for the bread and bagels to soak up all that liquid.   Note that all I had to wash was one large serving spoon. 

Monday about noon, I preheated the oven to 350 F (gas mark 4, 180 C, moderate heat).  I removed the pan from the fridge, and was very concerned that the bread had not soaked up the liquid.  Unfortunately, the bagels and bread were too fresh, so didn't soak up as much liquid as I'd hoped.

I had planned to add butter to the top, then thought better of it.  I decided to wait till the French Toast had baked for an hour before adding butter.  No sense adding more liquid to the already soggy mix.

After about 30 minutes, I checked the oven and was shocked at what I saw.  Instead of the toast like I had made in the past, I now had baked a souffle.   Remind me to clean my camera lens, please!

I had to wait until the French Toast cooled slightly in order to remove it from the pan.  There was no way I could take it to Sally's in the original pan I baked it in, although it did deflate slightly as I was photographing it.  It came out easily, though.  How did it taste?  Delicious.  It had a moderately crisp outside and was wonderfully perfect on the inside.  It tasted like cinnamon brown sugar French Toast Souffle.    And I even impressed myself, too.

So, for this Tuesday before Christmas, I want to wish the entire T Stands For Tuesday group a simply wonderful (and safe) Christmas.  May all your dreams come true and all your recipes turn out as beautiful successful as my overnight French Toast.

What are you cooking up this Tuesday before Christmas?  That means it's time to share your T post by linking below.  The rules are simple.  Any drink related post is welcome.  Art, including hybrid, digital, or traditional in an AB, journal, scrapbook page, tag, moo, or sketch is acceptable.  A movie, postcard, or book relating to a drink is acceptable, too.  Of course, photos of a mug, cup, teapot, or just a trip out and about can be linked. Be sure your link goes directly to your T post and not to your blog in general.   That way the T group doesn't have to scroll through other posts to find yours in case they are late visiting.  BTW, Bleubeard would like to remind you that your photos may be taken any time, not just on Tuesday.  And of course, after linking, Bleubeard, the T group, and I will be by to visit this final Tuesday before Christmas.


Bleubeard, Squiggles, and I wish you a very merry Christmas that includes lots of good food and drink.

25 thoughtful remarks:

Linda Kunsman said...

what a gem of a friend you are dear Elizabeth, and not only that but oh so clever at using what is on hand to make such wonderful creations(yes, art and food wise!)!! I can only imagine how good this must have tasted and thank goodness I have recently eaten dinner and am full:):) Thank you for hosting the T link so faithfully. I am ever so happy to have found you and connected. Best wishes to you , Bleubeard, Squiggles and your other loved ones for a very Merry Christmas...and a happy T day too!

~*~Patty S said...

What a gorgeous end result you got for your yummy French toast E!
Also glad it didn't spill over into your oven while baking.
I dread that happening as cleaning ovens is never tops on my fun list.
You sure are a nice friend cooking up a delicious storm for Sally.
Wishing her a speedy recovery.
Happy T Day
and a Very Merry Christmas to you and Bleubeard and Squiggles!
HoHoHo
and
Fa La Laaaa
oxo

Krisha said...

Oh, I love that French toast, I used to make it years ago when the boys were still at home. With two teenage boys it disappeared fast on Christmas morning!!

What a wonderful friend to cook a traditional meal for Sally, I'm sure she enjoyed it and your company.

Happy T-day

Valerie-Jael said...

Oh my, this looks sooooooooooooooo good, and if it tasted half as good as it looks, it must have been wonderful. Must try making that, I hate wasting bread, and this would make a nice change from the bread pudding I know. Sally is very lucky that she has you to look after her and cook and care for, that is such a wonderful gift. Have wonderful T Day, and thanks for all you do to give us this opportunity to link up and meet every week. Hugs, Valerie

Helen said...

I've never heard of this dish you recreated, and it looks delicious. However, as I don't like the texture of soggy bread (summer pudding, bread pudding etc) I fear I wouldn't like it to actually eat... I won't be baking anything today as I am off to work!! Have a lovely day.

Lisca Meijer said...

Wow that looks yummy! I do something similar, to use up old bread. You can also make a savoury version without the sugar but with bacon bits, cheese and slices of tomatoes. In stead of sugat, you put salt and pepper in the egg. That's equally nice.
Happy T day,
Lisca

johanna said...

oh, your dish Looks delicious and i would like to taste it. i also have a recipe for leftover (dried) bread or buns. i found no apt Translation for it, as in german it is "Scheiterhaufen" (would be "stake") - because repeating layers are put into a heatfast dish: buns cut or torn, soaked in a mix of milk, honey (or sugar) and eggs. the other part of the "stake" are either slices of apple (with raisins and minced nuts) or you could take plums instead (with a Little cinnamon). baked in the oven (butter flakes on top) and served with vanilla Sauce (apple Variation) or plum mush. yummy! thanks for the reminder to make it soon, i haven´t Cooked it for a Long time...

Sally is so lucky to have a friend like you, who always cares...
and i´m also happy to have found your site here in the web.
i wish you and your "Boys" a merry (and meowy) Christmas - stay safe and healthy, that´s the most important Thing.

here the (grown) Kids are coming home for Christmas today and some things are left to be made. see you again next week, hopefully!
xox

froebelsternchen Susi said...

I had no breakfast yet - it's 8.45 in the morning and now after I have seen your fantastic french toast, I am hungry like a wolf! You are an artist in the kitchen as well - making delicious things out of what is on hand! Super!
Happy T-Day my friend♥♥♥
I didn't take any photos yesterday from our lunch (it was super) - I forgot it - as always.(even though nobody would have been bothered by it).Shame on me!
I am not the born photoreporter I fear....lol.
My daughter makes photos and selfies the whole day long with her Iphone but I am way to oldfashioned I think.
Happy T-Day dear Elizabeth and thank you very much for hostings TSFT for us !
♥♥♥
oxo
Susi

Viktoria Berg said...

This looks amazing and more like my bread pudding than the way I do French toast. Using eggnog might have been what blessed it so! :-) Merry Christmas to you, Bleubeard, & Squiggles! And a Happy T-Day, of course.

voodoo vixen said...

What a star you are taking care of Sally so well and your french toast concoction turned out divine! It sounds very similar to our bread pudding type of thing but I have never left it overnight.... so I am trying that next time!
Merry Christmas to you and Bleubeard and Squiggles!!

TwinkleToes2day said...

I've been a very bad sharer lately, for which I apologise.
Your french style toast looks very tasty and I'm sure I would have enjoyed it too, (I have a very sweet tooth). You are such a good friend helping to take care of Sally and doing so much for her.
Wishing you, Bleubeard and Squiggles a delightful Christmas and a happy, healthy and artful 2016.

Aiyana Kalyna said...

Oh your souffle toast looks soooo good. I am a lazy cook too who hand washes her dishes. Your turkey dinner looks so delicious. You made me hungry. I know it's not a food blog. I love it when you share your food excursions. I love your blog so much because everything you do is so creative and fun. Poor Sally! It seems like she has been in that sling forever. She's probably feeling like that too. Sending her get well wishes and quick healing wishes too. I hope your arm is feeling better too.

Corrine at sparkledaysstudio.com said...

Looks like a big swiss pancake and I am sure it was delish. Merry Christmas art friend. So nice of you to cook for Sally, I am sure she appreciates it. I will be baking tomorrow and Thursday. Might try a giant cinnamon roll in a pan. See how that comes out. Adult kids will be here and granddog too. Perfect for Christmas breakfast with some French Roast and half n half. xox

sheila 77 said...

What an entertaining blogpost, each step promising disaster but ending up as the most delicious dish. Loved reading about and seeing each step.
Apologies to Squiggles for only sending Bleubeard best hugs from Scotland; I know he doesn't do blogging but I'm sure he is hard-working in other ways.
Happy Christmas time, Elizabeth.
Happy Christmas time Squiggles and Bleubeard!

Kelly Deal said...

Yummy! I love French toast casserole! Yours looks wonderful Elizabeth!

Carol said...

Sally is one lucky lady to have you as a friend! The first meal looked divine but that French Toast creation was over the top yummy looking!!! Now I"ll have to make some :)

Divers and Sundry said...

Canned cranberry sauce? Yummm! It just wouldn't be Christmas without it ;)

Halle said...

Oh wow! who knew that would happen. At least it's better than the pumpkin pies I baked for Thanksgiving...I forgot the sugar. Yikes!! Took one bite and quickly went and took everyone's plates from them :)

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Your french toast souffle looks yummy--and so much easier than drenching the bread in eggnog & frying it on a griddle like we do--I will definitely try this!

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas filled with laughter and good food & friends.

Ariel said...

The French Toast/Souffle you made looks yummy. Thank you Elizabeth for sharing the steps of how you baked it.
Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.

P.S. I have still not received your address. Hope you get to see this comment. I couldn't find your mail id.
Hugs
Susan

pearshapedcrafting said...

Oh Elizabeth! What great meal you cooked for Sally - I don't think I would like jellied cranberries although I do like Cranberry Sauce(just less of it these days!) Until today I had never heard of French Toast - this morning I was looking through some recipes from a Sunday supplement (the magazine that arrives with the Sunday newspaper) and saw a recipe similar to this using brioche or challah bread - yours looks great with the bagels
and yours looks more appetising too! That's some rise!!! Sending you an e-mail too! Hugs, Chrisx

Meggymay said...

Your french toast pudding looks delicious, I love the way you made this. definitely my kind of cooking with as little to wash up later as possible.
Yvonne xx

Rita said...

I've never had a french toast casserole. It sounds tasty.
You are a really good friend to her. Have a wonderful holiday week!! :)

Dianne said...

Looks positively yummy! I admit, I'd probably have added more bread when it still looked soupy...but it turned out amazing! sorry I didn't make the party on Tuesday. Mad rushing about here at my place to get ready for a week of family staying over! so probably won't be at the party next week either...will miss you all, but will be so happy to have my kids and grand kids here! Merry Christmas dear friend! ♥

My name is Erika. said...

How was your French toast bake? It looks delicious! I love how it puffed up!