Breakfast!

Anyone can cook a good breakfast. It's all in the prep and timing. How many times has someone made you breakfast or even worse...you go OUT to breakfast, and the eggs are warm, the toast is cold and the bacon is burned?  Yuck. I hate when that happens. Especially when I've paid someone to cook it for me. Any good cook knows that putting out a good breakfast is all about planning.  I once made breakfast for 16 people and managed to put EVERYTHING on the table HOT at the same time, you just have to have a game plan...I'll give tips along the way with each recipe to show you how to accomplish this. Trust me, your family and friends will love it.  Following are some of my favorite breakfast recipes.



Sue's Caramel French Toast and sausage



2 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 stick of butter
1 cup of corn syrup

One loaf of french bread, sliced thick ( 2 inches)
3 3/4 cup of milk
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Cooking spray

Your favorite sausage links or patties.

Method:

In a saucepan, melt butter. Add corn syrup, mix well. Add brown sugar and cook over low/medium heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring often, until mixture is bubbly. Pour caramel mixture into 9x13 pan or individual ramekins (if you can find one big enough) or two deep round baking pans. Place the slices of french bread into each pan right on top of the caramel.

Combine milk, eggs, vanilla, flour, salt, sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl and whisk together. Ladle egg mixture onto each slice of bread (don't worry if it runs down onto the caramel....Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. (or not at all, if you don't plan ahead)

Preheat oven to 350. Bake covered for 25 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 25-30 minutes until bread is golden brown and caramel is bubbling. Remove from heat and let stand 2-3 minutes. Invert pan and let bread slices drop onto platter, caramel side will be facing up. If you have a hard time, then remove them individually and flip onto platter, so caramel side is up. 

Top with your favorite syrup and sliced fruit if desired. I like to dress my syrup up by adding a tsp of cinnamon and some sliced bananas......

Start cooking your sausage links when you've got 15 minutes left to go on the french toast so that the sausage is ready to serve hot when you plate your french toast.

This should serve 6 people easily.

Cooks notes:

Do not use regular white bread on the recipe, it will not work. Neither will Texas Toast.  You want nice thick slices.

Serve the french toast immediately because the caramel hardens pretty quickly.

Warm up your syrup ahead of time.

Spray your pans well before you start and soak them in soapy water immediately otherwise you'll have a hell of a sticky mess to clean later. This caramel shit hardens like cement.







Egg and Sausage casserole

I love to make this on a Saturday or Sunday because unless I'm serving a crowd, it will last all week. It's very easy to throw together and contains some very simple ingredients.

6 eggs beaten well
1 1/2 cup milk
1 bag of frozen Potatoes Obrien (thawed)
1 roll of Bob Evans sausage, browned, drained and crumbled into small pieces (or any brand will do)
3/4 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper

In a pam-sprayed 9x13 baking dish, spread the potatoes evenly. Sprinkle the browned sausage evenly over the potatoes and then top with the cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Beat the eggs and milk together until well scrambled. Carefully pour the egg/milk mixture over the entire casserole and mix it with a spoon so as to distribute the egg mixture evenly throughout the caserole. Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes. You will know it is done when no more egg comes up through the top. Poke it with your finger to test the firmness. You don't want runny egg in the middle, so make sure it's done. Then take the casserole out of the oven, remove foil and sprinkle with remaining cheese. (I love cheese) Put it back in the oven for another 5 minutes until cheese melts. (I've even added american slices to the top as well)

Cut and serve!
This will serve 6-8 people easily.

Substitutions:
I have added bacon and ham.
Any kind of cheese should work if you prefer something different.

Cooks note:

You can assemble the ingredients a day ahead and store in the fridge till you're ready to cook it.
While your casserole is baking, take the opportunity to set your table, chill your glasses, pour your juices and light your candles if you're in the mood for them. When you remove the casserole from the oven, start your toast or english muffins so you can serve them warm with the eggs.