But first a confession. I have always enjoyed being in the kitchen, as a young bride and then as a mother. Each plateau entered me into a new level of cooking and culinary experiences. For whatever reason over the years I have collected many of the recipes I have enjoyed making and the family enjoyed eating. I mean boxes full and they moved with us just like the furniture. Remember, we never had a computer until the 80’s so how else could I save them all to fall back on.
Every now and then I shuffle through the boxes and make an effort to discard a few of the recipes but somehow that never happens. They are like old friends and they remind me of times gone by. Sometimes I marvel at my accomplishments when I think of a well orchestrated meal and other recipes make me shudder when I recall the disaster.
One such remembrance although it embarrassed me, also makes me laugh. We lived in New Jersey, it was the 70’s, we then had 3 children, maybe 4, we proudly had a garden and we grew zucchini – lots of zucchini. I had pages of recipes for zucchini but my favorite was to make a stuffing and freeze the zucchini for a quick supper after a busy day.
That day came. Charlie called to tell me he was bringing his boss home for dinner. I was trying to get ready for a PTA Meeting. It was a year when I was President. I was rushed. What to do first. Straighten up the house, polish the kids and have them ready for bed and plan a dinner for Charlie and his boss. Yes, the zucchini enters the picture. Prepared a few side items, set the table and put the zucchini in the oven with instructions for the baby sitter. All in order I left confident of the meal.
Returning home I was surprised that Charlie’s boss was still there. After some social conversation he mentioned that dinner held a added surprise for him. Seems that when he cut into his zucchini a nice fat worm landed on his plate. Not to worry he said laughing, it was fully cooked. With all that the zucchini went through before I froze it I don’t know how I missed the worm. I laugh about it to this day. That should be the worse thing I ever served, but it was not!
Now here’s a winner. I totally forgot about it until I found it in one of the boxes under my desk. We did this often on Easter Sunday for breakfast as it is great for a family of 6. I guess when we became 2 was when I stopped. But I think I’ll rework it for us this Easter Sunday.
BAKED BLUEBERRY FRENCH TOAST
• 2 Packages Cream Cheese – 8 Oz each and at room temperature
• ½ Cup Granulated Sugar
• 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
• 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
• ¼ Teaspoon Nutmeg
• 3 Large Eggs – room temperature
• 1 ¾ Cups Milk
• 12 Slices Crusty Italian Bread – ¾-inch thick
• 2 ½ Cups Fresh Blueberries – rinsed and picked over for stems and tossed lightly with a bit of sugar
• Pinch of Salt
• Blueberry or Maple Syrup – warmed, for serving
Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly butter a glass baking dish (one that accommodates the bread slices side by side). You can use any baking dish that you like, I just prefer glass because you can monitor the cooking progress better.
Beat the cream cheese, granulated sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl on medium speed until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the milk, salt and mix again until all is well combined.
Arrange the bread in the buttered baking dish and spread little mounds of blueberries on top of each slice. Carefully spread the cream cheese mixture over the the bread trying not to scatter the blueberries. Cover and let stand for at least 20-30 minutes. Or you can prepare the night before, cover and refrigerate overnight to have ready in the morning. Make for 40 – 50 minutes until golden brown. Serve with the syrups.
A side of bacon goes very nicely with this. Also one year (I’m remembering from a note I wrote on this recipe) Easter was early and I couldn’t find fresh blueberries so I bought canned blueberry pie filling. It worked but it made for a much heavier Blueberry French Toast Note says kids devoured it!
I bet you thought I was going to give you my Zucchini recipe. Maybe this summer.