Red, White & Blueberry French Toast

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Red, White & Blueberry French Toast

Colorful and delicious, this is our favorite dish for a special occasion. Whether it’s Fourth of July, Mother’s Day, or Christmas Morning, you can be calm, cool, & collected by assembling the casserole in advance and popping it in the oven while you cook spicy sausage patties and fill bowls with individual servings of beautiful fresh fruit.  In order to make this in Spring or Summer, you’ll have to buy and freeze cranberries when they’re in season. Always use fresh blueberries because the frozen ones tend to turn the whole thing purple and never use anything but real maple Syrup.  For a nice texture, I like to use a soft grocery store bread by Nature’s Own such as White Wheat (shown in the photo), Honey Wheat, or 100% Whole Wheat.

Ingredients:

10 slices White Wheat bread, coarsely torn, including crusts

4 oz cream cheese in 1/2″ pinches

1/2 cup fresh blueberries + 1/2 cup cranberries

12 well beaten eggs

3/4 cup half and half

3/4 cup real maple syrup

1 1/2 cups skim milk

1/2 Tbsp cinnamon

1/4 cup melted unsalted butter

In greased 9X13 baking pan, layer half of torn bread.  Scatter evenly the pinches of cream cheese, the blueberries, and the cranberries.  Top with remaining half of torn bread.  Mix eggs well, then add half & half, maple, syrup, and skim milk.  When completely blended, add cinnamon and mix briefly.  Pour over bread layers.  Cover and refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 325 and bake uncovered about 70 minutes until risen and lightly browned. Top with melted butter before serving.  Makes six generous servings.

Bon Appetit!

Colonial Pines Inn Bed and Breakfast, 541 Hickory Street, Highlands NC

(828) 526-2050 or (866) 526-2060 toll-free

www.colonialpinesinn.com

 

Lovely Lemon Bars (and Gluten-Free)

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Here’s a quick & easy recipe with a bright lemon punch (scroll down for gluten-free adjustments and a delicious cinnamon-almond version):

Preheat oven to 350 and line an 8×8 baking pan with foil

Cream l stick unsalted butter with l cup sugar

Add 2 eggs, beating well

Add 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice & zest from half a lemon

Add 1/4 tsp salt, 3/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup almond meal.

Bake for 25 minutes until slightly browned.Remove from oven and glaze with:

1/2 cup confectioners sugar mixed with 1 Tbsp lemon juice & zest from half a lemon.

Cool completely, remove from pan, & cut into squares. Serve with a cup of tea, then make another batch – they won’t last long!! p.s. I like to use organic lemons

GLUTEN-FREE VERSION (JUST AS DELICIOUS!): Instead of the flour and almond meal, use the following:

1/3 cup self-rising cornmeal (not mix)

1/3 cup millet flour

1/3 cup almond meal

1/4 tsp xanthan gum

CINNAMON/ALMOND VARIATION:  Same as above except add 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp almond extract, and 1/2 tsp baking powder to batter. Sprinkle top with sliced almonds before baking.  Glaze with 1/4 c granulated sugar mixed with 1 Tsp juice & zest from half a lemon,  1/8 tsp cinnamon & 1/4 tsp almond extract.

Colonial Pines Inn Bed and Breakfast,  Donna & Chris Alley Innkeepers Since 1984

541 Hickory Street, Highlands NC 28741 828.526.2060 or 866.526.2060 Toll-Free