Brunch Date: Overnight Stuffed French Toast & Roasted Sweet Potato Hashbrowns!

27 February 2013

This morning, I was lucky enough to have the most adorable friend date a girl could ask for.  I went to my friend Annie's house for brunch and a good heart to heart.  It was a perfect way to spend the morning.  Annie made a really yummy egg scramble with zucchini and mushrooms and  I made a pair of cute little stuffed french toast casseroles & roasted sweet potato hashbrowns!

The great thing about both of the dishes that I made are that they can be made the night before and put in the fridge so that you just need do do a quick warm up in the morning, so it doesn't take away from your sleeping in time.  The french toast was really amazing - warm and rich with a little bit of sweet...just the kind of thing I crave on a cold morning like this one.  And the hasbrowns were a really nice savory taste of winter to me.

3-4 slices of bread (I used a bagel because it is what I had on hand and it was perfect!)
3 tablespoons cream cheese
2 tablespoons jam (any kind that you'd like - I used strawberry)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon milk or cream 
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Butter baking dish.  Tear bread into bite size pieces and fill the dish about 1/3 of the way with bread.  Pour about a tablespoon or so of the filling on top and then top with a dollop of jam.
Fill the rest of the dish with bread.
Whisk the egg with milk, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Pour the egg mixture over top and try to get all the bread moist.
At this point, you can stick it in the fridge to soak up the egg and give you a head start on tomorrow's breakfast or you could just bake it right away.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 25 minutes until the casseroles puff up a bit and seem firm.  Sprinkle with a little powdered sugar or maple syrup and serve

Recipe makes 3 ramekins, so feel free to double or triple up if you are making it for a crowd or in a baking dish!  It would easily work in a large baking dish, but I sort of love the little ramekins because I always love the presentation of getting your own special serving and it allowed me to make exactly what I needed for two!  This is also a pretty flexible recipe, you could use fresh fruit of any kind or a ricotta inste

2 sweet potatoes - peeled and chopped
1 red onion - chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less depending on how much spice you like)
salt & pepper to taste

On a baking sheet lined with foil, combine all ingredients and mix well.   Arrange in a single layer.
Roast in a 425 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
At this point, I put the potatoes in the fridge overnight.  That part is optional.
In the morning, I just added a tablespoon of oil to hot pan and fried them up until they were warm and got a nice crust and color to them.

I served the potatoes with one of my favorite condiments that I don't often get to use - banana ketchup.  It is available at most asian markets and even some grocery stores and it is sort of like a simple sweet version of ketchup.  Of course, this is totally optional, but if you are feeling adventurous, give it a try because it is delicious!

I had an amazing morning & it made me feel so fortunate to have such wonderful friends in my life!

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