Saturday, September 14, 2013

Pecan Strawberry Freezer French Toast

Wow it's been a long time since I posted a recipe.  Sorry about that!  Life has just been super busy around here since...well since summer started pretty much.  A quick recap of events (since I know some of my friends only get updates about me via the blog):

We had spider mites hatch in the soil outside of my bedroom window and the suckers got into my house through every available crack.  It took a good couple of weeks to get rid of the suckers.  We had psycho squirrels chew their way into our garage through the roof and outside wall and it took a lot of super mesh screen, super oily substances and spray foam for the suckers to give up on getting into my house (well I HOPE they've given up). 

On the happy end of events I was finally able to score a speech therapist for Alvah via my wonderful sister-in-law, who knew that Deanna Yoder Black was branching off into her own practice.  So, I had home visits for the whole of summer break for Alvah (well most of summer break anyway) and he's now going in once a week for independent speech therapy with her at her office and he's slowly making progress, which is awesome.  So, so happy that the solid nearly two years of stalking speech therapists finally worked!

My garden did exceptionally well this year, which came as a surprise to me as I normally have a mediocre result from my gardening attempts.  So, where my original plan was to do not a lot of canning...well I've been doing a LOT more canning than I had planned on.  I'll post about those exploits a bit later.  And we got a new kitten!

For now, let's talk freezer cooking and busy schedules shall we?  With Alvah in Occupational Therapy and Speech as well as the kids being in school and all the running around I'm doing commuting them back and forth...well life is hectic.  So, I finally broke down and pulled out my old freezer cooking recipes to see if there was a way to update them so that they'd work for new allergy needs.  And I hit pay dirt with messing around with Freezer French Toast!

There are a lot of recipes for Freezer French Toast online and a lot of them call for corn syrup, but I managed to work around that one.  So, read on readers and be prepared for a decadent delight.  Is this healthy?  Well, yeah!  I mean it's got nuts and strawberries in it and's good for your soul...yeah we'll go with that ;).

Pecan Strawberry Freezer French Toast

For the French Toast:
  • About six slices thick cut bread, preferably stale (if using stale gluten free bread, which I do often, you can also use chunks of gluten free bread left overs that have gone stale, put them in the freezer and when you get up to about 4 cups of stale bread chunks make a recipe of this.  It won't be as pretty coming out of the pan, but it's still super yummy).
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

For the syrupy bottom goodness:
  • 1 cup brown sugar or 3/4 cup palm sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (you could also use brown rice syrup if your corn allergic has issues with maple syrup)
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans (you can use other nuts, toasted pumpkin seeds might be good too, depending on your allergy needs.  If using pumpkin seeds go for shelled though)
  • 5 Frozen Strawberries cut into slices (trust me this is easy when you're working with frozen strawberries)
Combine brown sugar, butter and maple syrup in a pan and heat till everything is melted and combined.  It'll be thick like syrup.   Pour into bottom of an 8x8 pan and then sprinkle nuts evenly over mixture in pan (be careful!  Hot sugar is liquid napalm kay?).  Place strawberry slices evenly over mixture (they should still be frozen at this point). 

Mix eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon in a bowl with a whisk until well combined.  Place bread slices on top of syrup in bottom of pan (I usually end up tearing bread slices into smaller pieces to get around the edges).  The bread should be tight, but there should still be places for the syrup to bubble up into the bread when it cooks later (that and the egg mixture you're going to add will expand the bread).  Pour egg mixture over bread until the bread is well covered in the mixture (there will look  like there's a lot of extra liquid in the pan, but trust me the bread will absorb it). 
Cover the entire thing with plastic wrap and place in fridge until well cooled (about an hour or so).  Take out, remove plastic wrap and cover with aluminum foil.  Place in freezer in a nice flat stable location until well frozen.  Use within 2 months or so.

To Bake:

Defrost in fridge overnight.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake for 40 minutes and then remove alluminum foil and bake for 10 more minutes.  And enjoy the nutty, strawberry, maple syrupy goodness!

NOTE:  I've been known to forget to defrost the french toast before baking it.  Just make sure you place it on your counter for about 20 minutes or so to get the chill off your baking dish so it doesn't break in the oven  or start the french toast in a cold oven.  This usually adds about 10 more minutes of baking time into the equation for me.

No comments: