Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I've made this recipe for parties and it's always very well received. It's pretty easy to make, and very flexible when it comes to type of bread, fruit, or nuts used. (A variation I like is to use cherries and almonds, and substitute almond extract for the vanilla.) I have one in the oven right now, which I made with sourdough bread and dried mixed berries.

If you're like me and forget to put something together the night before, just add a couple of extra eggs. Combine the egg mixture with the bread in an airtight bowl and shake it around for a couple of minutes so the bread absorbs the liquid, then carry on as if you'd just pulled it out of the fridge. The key is to make sure the bread is soaked through so it will bake soft rather than crunchy.

This is great to pull out of the fridge on Christmas morning, pop into the oven while opening presents, and have ready to eat when the kids are looking for the next thing to do. A sprinkle of cinnamon over the top is never amiss. Enjoy!


1 loaf French bread, cubed or sliced
5 eggs
2-1/2 c. milk
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. chopped pecans
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 c. fresh or frozen blueberries

1. Arrange bread in greased 13 x 9 pan.

2. Combine eggs, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, and nutmeg; pour over bread. Cover; refrigerate overnight.

3. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking; sprinkle with pecans. Combine butter and brown sugar; drizzle over casserole. Bake at 400* F for 25 minutes. Sprinkle blueberries on top; bake 10 minutes more until knife in center comes out clean. Makes 6 servings.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


I made this recipe for dinner last night, with a few moderations, and it was a big hit. I left out the mushrooms, as we have two fungi-haters here, but substituted frozen spinach. I had no sherry, so I used marsala instead, and that seemed to work well. I also used a full cup of half-and-half, and substituted Colby Jack for the swiss cheese. Additionally, I used up the rest of my French's fried onions (you know, the ones from that green bean casserole everybody makes at Thanksgiving) by sprinkling them around the edges of the dish, and I sprinkled paprika across the parmesan before I put the dish in the oven.

I guess I actually made a different recipe from this one, when it comes right down to it, but it tasted yummy, regardless. I would double this recipe, though, because it was barely sufficient to feed three hungry people. Maybe with side dishes and bread or salad it would be enough, but on its own, we'd have been hungry if my son had been home for dinner.


3 T butter
1 8-ounce package sliced mushrooms
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1 14-ounce can chicken broth
1 1.8-ounce package white sauce mix (I used Bearnaise)
1/2 c. half-and-half
2 T sherry
1 c. shredded Swiss cheese
4 oz. dried spaghetti, broken in half
2 c. cubed, cooked chicken
1/4 c. grated parmesan

1. Preheat oven to 325* F. Butter a 2-quart casserole; set aside.

2. Mewlt remaining butter. Add mushrooms and garlic; cook and stir till mushrooms are soft. Transfer to bowl; set aside.

3. In same pan, bring broth and sauce mix to a boil. Add half-and-half and sherry. Stir in cheese until melted.

4. Add pasta to pan. Cook 8-10 minutes until pasta is al dente. Stir in mushrooms and chicken.

5. Transfer to casserole. Sprinkle with parmesan. Bake 30 minutes until heated through. Makes 6 servings.