Overnight Baked Apple French Toast

Last week I shared my gluten-free crouton and stuffing recipe, using the ends of bread that I keep in the freezer. This week, I have another great meal for you that can be made from the same ends or your favorite bread. What is better on a weekend or holiday morning than to wake up to the smells of apple and cinnamon?

Overnight Baked Apple French Toast

Ingredients

5 cups of bread, cubed

2 apples finely chopped

2 Tablespoons butter

4 Tablespoons of sugar

½ teaspoon of cinnamon

2 cups of milk

3 eggs

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 Tablespoons of brown sugar

Directions

Add bread to your slow cooker. In a sauté pan, cook apples, butter and sugar with cinnamon for about 5 minutes. Pour mixture over bread in the slow cooker. In a bowl or large measuring cup whisk milk, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla and brown sugar. Pour over bread and apple mixture. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.

Having breakfast already made when you get up in the morning, especially when you have house guests or are going to be running around for the day, helps to take the stress out of the morning. This one will disappear fast 🙂

What is your favorite easy breakfast? Check out my round-up of gluten-free breakfast ideas! Frittatas, muffins and a breakfast pizza! Oh my!

Gluten-Free Breakfast Ideas

You always hear that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It also happens to be my favorite, but there never seems to be enough time! That is why I am a firm believer that breakfast is great anytime of day. When I have time, whether its morning afternoon or evening, I’ll make breakfast! Sometimes I’ll eat dinner for breakfast or breakfast for lunch, there are no rules 😉

My family’s breakfast preferences are on the sweet side, so I impose my savory tendencies on them as much as they allow. I’m not really a sweet person. I don’t really like waffles, unless there is fried chicken involved or pancakes unless they are wrapped around sausage. Breakfast Pizza and Gluten-Free Buttermilk Biscuits are two favorites in our house. A frittata is an easy way to get breakfast on the table fast and so versatile.

Frittata

Ingredients

8 eggs

½ cup of milk

½ teaspoon of salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 ½ cups of your choice of vegetable (peppers or asparagus or potatoes or mixture)

¼ cup of your choice of sausage or bacon (optional)

½ cup of your choice of cheese (shredded cheddar or feta)

Directions

Preheat oven to 375. Whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper.  If vegetables and meat are not cooked, saute in oven proof skillet. Then pour egg mixture into pan and place in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes, until center is set and it no longer jiggles. If vegetables and meat are already cooked, just mix in with egg mixture before pouring into the pan.

I do sometimes give in to their many, many requests for sweet breakfasts. For pancakes, we usually use the Gluten-free Bisquick mix, but occasionally will make them from scratch using Cup4Cup GF flour or a variation like these Gingerbread Pancakes. These blueberry muffins make for a great breakfast on the go.

During the week however, we keep it simple and quick. My husband and kids mainly have cereal, yogurt or fruit and toast with Nutella. Even my kids who do not have celiac disease love Goodbye Gluten‘s gluten-free bread, which I can usually get at Wegman’s. When toasted, I even like it. I usually choose to top my toast with avocado or cream cheese and tomato or have a sunny side up egg. What are your favorite gluten-free breakfasts? I would especially love to hear your favorite smoothie recipes!

Breakfast Pizza

Breakfast and brunch are two of my favorite meals. I love savory breakfast foods. We have breakfast for dinner at least once a week and this breakfast pizza recipe has become a fast favorite. My father gave me the idea for the hash brown crust over the holidays and I have been making it regularly for my family.

Breakfast pizza

Ingredients

3 russet potatoes, shredded

1 large white onion, shredded

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/3 cup of corn starch

1 ½ teaspoon of salt

1/8 teaspoon of pepper

1 egg

2 Tablespoons olive oil

6 eggs

Optional toppings: crumbled cooked bacon or sausage, diced avocado, diced tomatoes, sliced green onions, hot sauce, feta or cheddar cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drain potatoes and onions after shredding (wrap in kitchen towel and squeeze over sink). Place potatoes and onions in large bowl and add garlic, corn starch, salt and pepper and 1 egg. Combine. Heat the olive oil in a 10 inch oven proof skillet over medium high heat. Press potato mixture into pan. Press down with a spatula (you should hear a sizzle). Cook for about 4 to 6 minutes, pressing down on the potatoes occasionally. The tricky part is flipping the pan sized hash brown. Take a deep breath and place a larger pan cover (without a lip) over the pan and flip the pan upside down, leaving the hash brown on teh cover. Place pan back on the heat, add more olive oil if needed and then slide the hash brown onto the pan so that the other side can cook. Cook for another 4 to 6 minutes, pressing down on the hash brown occasionally. Remove from heat and crack 6 eggs in a circle on the hash brown. Place in oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes for runny yokes, longer if you want well done yolks. Take out and sprinkle with your choice of toppings. Serve immediately. It is also good cold for lunch the next day!

I have found that a cast iron skillet is too heavy for me to flip the hash brown crust, but if you have a large spatula or two that can flip the crust without having to flip the pan, the cast iron works great.

Breakfast for dinner can be cereal and fruit or something like this breakfast pizza if you find yourself with a little more time. It can be savory or sweet. Breakfast can be what you want it to be. I often just eat leftovers from the night before. My family thinks I’m crazy, but it tastes good to me! What is your favorite breakfast food?

Gluten-Free Buttermilk Biscuits

That’s right. Buttermilk biscuits that are gluten-free! These are so good and so satisfying. They can be covered with butter and your favorite jam or your favorite sausage gravy. Fill them with some pulled pork for a fun dinner or game day snack. I topped them with leftover swedish meatballs for a twist on biscuits and gravy. The options are endless.

I have adapted this recipe from Southern Living. I had a subscription for a long time and loved every recipe I made from  it and now from one of the many cookbooks I have acquired since then. This is from an online recipe. You can find the original recipe from which I drew inspiration here.

Buttermilk Biscuits

Ingredients

2 cups plus more for dusting, all purpose gluten-free flour (I used Cup4Cup Gluten-Free Flour)

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon salt

8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, diced and cold

1 ¼ cup buttermilk

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together all ingredients except for butter and buttermilk. Add butter and press together with fingers until the size of peas or a little smaller or use a pastry cutter to combine. Add the buttermilk and mix until it holds together. Transfer onto cutting board and knead together for a minute. Add flour as needed. Flatten out or roll out to about ¾ of an inch. Use your favorite biscuit cutter or cup to make the circles. Add to a buttered cast iron skillet. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Please let me know if you try this! Would love to hear good or bad how they turn out at your house!

More Holiday Treats and Sweet Breakfast Idea

There are many holiday treats that can be made naturally gluten free and there are those that need to be adapted. These sweet holiday recipes are ones that I have adapted because my kids love them!

My son can clear a whole plate of pancakes in seconds. He is a pancake vacuum. He has been since before his celiac disease diagnosis, so I had to find a way to continue to make pancakes for him.

Pancakes can be an easy breakfast for Christmas morning. Make them the day before or several days ahead and freeze and just reheat in the toaster, toaster oven or regular oven. This recipe for Whole Wheat Buttermilk pancakes from Cooking Light has been my go to pancake recipe for years. I have adapted it to be gluten free and change the flavoring according to season. So for Christmas it is Gingerbread pancakes!

Gingerbread Pancakes

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of Cup4Cup GF flour (substitute your favorite flour)

4 Tablespoons brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon fresh nutmeg

1 1/2 cups milk + 1 Tablespoon white vinegar (or 1 1/2 cups buttermilk)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

3 eggs

2 1/2 Tablespoons molasses

Directions

Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients together in another bowl that is easy to pour. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Let it rest for about 10 minutes. Cook on a griddle set at 375 degrees or a pan on medium high heat.

I serve it with maple syrup. You can add come whipped cream and strawberries to make it a festive holiday breakfast.

Now if that isn’t enough sweetness for you, here is another holiday treat idea. I have been making these pretzel kiss sandwiches for years! Even BGF (Before Gluten Free). I first got the idea from Cookies and Cups. A minor substitution is all it takes to make this treat safe for you, your family or friends who have celiac disease. Use gluten free pretzels. That is it. Hershey kisses (plain milk chocolate) are gluten free.

Pretzel Kiss Sandwiches

Ingredients

1-8 ounce bag of Snyders Gluten Free Mini Pretzels (need about 160 pretzels)

2 – 12 ounce bags of Hershey Kisses (won’t need all the kisses, but probably about 80)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place parchment paper on 2 cookie sheets. Unwrap about 80 Hershey Kisses. Lay out one layer of pretzels on each cookie sheet and place a Hershey Kiss on top of them. Place in oven for 2 minutes. Take out and let rest for 1 minute then top each with another pretzel.  Allow to cool. Keep in an airtight container.

Tomorrow I’ll continue with some savory dishes for your holiday parties! Here are some other sweet ideas:

Raspberry Lemon and Thyme Tiramisu

Gluten-free Crispy Treats for the Holidays

A sweet ending to the meal and sweet beginning to the face of Mamma’s Cooking

Gluten-Free Holiday Treats

Gingerbread Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breakfast for Dinner

An easy way to get dinner on the table during the week or at the end of any busy day is to have breakfast for dinner. We have breakfast for dinner at least once a week in our house. Depending on how busy we are, it can be anything: eggs, pancakes, frozen waffles, toast, quiche, frittatas or just cereal and fruit. Breakfast for dinner can be a fun way to get a meal on the table quickly. With activities, sports and back-to-school nights on top of work, homework and just trying to spend time with your kids, for many cooking is the last thing you want to do when you all walk in the door.  Hopefully these recipes will help take some stress off of you.
Easy Hard Boiled Eggs in the Oven  (adapted from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/232024/hard-boiled-eggs-in-the-oven/)
Ingredients
12 eggs
Ice cubes in a large bowl with cold water
Directions
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Put one egg into each muffin cup of a muffin tin
Bake in eggs in oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove and put the eggs into the ice bath for 5-10 minutes.
Peel and serve or refrigerate.

TIP: I make this for dinner one night and then have the eggs on hand for the next few days for a quick breakfast or a burst of protein to add to lunches or snacks.
Serve the eggs with yogurt or fruit or whatever you have on hand and you have a dinner on the table in about 30 minutes without much effort.
Now this next recipe is a little more involved, so if cooking relaxes you and you have some more time one night, try this oven baked “fried” chicken, served with cornbread waffles and peas. Take some help from the store and use your favorite cornbread mix. I like to use Wegman’s Gluten-Free Honey Cornbread mixture and add an extra egg and cook it in the waffle maker. For the peas, I put about 3 to 4 handfuls in a cereal bowl with a Tablespoon or two or water, salt and pepper, then microwave for 3 minutes with a small plate covering the bowl.
Oven Baked “Fried” Chicken


Ingredients
1 ½ to 2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into chicken tenders
3 cups of buttermilk (or 3 cups of milk + 2 Tablespoons of cider vinegar)
1 stick plus 2 Tablespoons of melted butter
2 cups of panko bread crumbs (use gluten-free if you are making it GF)
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons of cornstarch
Directions
Mix milk and cider vinegar or use buttermilk and soak the chicken for 15 to 30 minutes while you prepare the cornbread mixture. Remove from milk and pat chicken dry with a paper towel. Melt butter. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix the panko, chili powder, black pepper and cornstarch.  Dip each piece of chicken into the butter and then the panko mixture and place on top of a baking rack inside a cookie sheet (that way the chicken will crisp all around).  Bake for 15 minutes and then turn the pan in the oven to ensure even cooking. Bake for another 15-20 minutes until the internal temperature reaches about 180 degrees.
Optional:  Brine the chicken the day before if you have time or need to stretch the life of the chicken in the fridge for a day. Life happens and you can’t cook what you planned one night, so put the chicken in brine and make it the next night. This is my typical brine recipe that can easily be halved or doubled depending on the size of the poultry or amount of pork you want to brine. (Make sure poultry or meat does not smell rotten or is past due date when you put it in the brine)
Brine
Ingredients
½ cup black peppercorns
1 Tablespoon coriander seeds
6 small sage leaves, torn (or rosemary or thyme)
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 cup of salt
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 Tablespoons onion powder
1 Tablespoon cumin powder
12 cups of water

Directions
Combine all ingredients in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil. Boil for a couple of minutes and then allow to cool before you place the chicken or pork in the brine.

My kids look forward to breakfast for dinner and especially love when they can make it themselves. It is a good opportunity to get your kids in the kitchen and make you dinner! My 6 year olds can make yogurt parfaits for us or a bowl of cereal. My 8 year old makes the mixture or batter for scrambled eggs, frittatas or pancakes and then cooks it with our supervision.  Whether you want to make a quick and easy dinner or have something easy for your kids to try making, breakfast is always popular.