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Preparing for Easter with breakfast

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We're now less than a week away to Easter Sunday. This very special day is celebrated numerous ways throughout the churches and denominations we have. Many church will have Good Friday services, with Easter Sunrise Services on Easter morning, followed by a special church service. Afterwards, it's time for good food and good company! So, this week, I'm passing along recipes that will fit in with your Easter menu.

First off, let's talk about a good breakfast treat! French toast is always a favorite, though it's doesn't seem to be made very often. For something that's easy to make, it should be made more often! I'm passing along a recipe for an interesting French toast and if you like cheesecake, you'll love this recipe for "Stuffed French Toast". This is a casserole-type French toast and is especially fitting if you're serving several for breakfast during the Easter holiday.

The recipe uses either white or cinnamon bread. The crusts are trimmed and half of the bread is placed in a shallow casserole dish. A mixture of eggs, half-and-half, vanilla and sugar is poured over this, followed by a cream cheese filling. The remaining bread is placed over this and the rest of the egg mixture goes over it. This is refrigerated overnight then baked the next morning. The idea of making this ahead as the recipe calls for is great, since it enables you to get it ready and out of the way so you can do other things.

This can be served with applesauce, fresh sweetened fruit or the traditional maple syrup. It's fabulous, no matter what you top it with! If you're having to watch your calories, you could use skim milk and reduced-fat cream cheese in this recipe. As I've mentioned before, I find it best to use the regular ingredients and just serve modest portions....as long as your temptation holds out!

Make this dish ahead and it'll be ready when you are! Here's how you make it:

STUFFED FRENCH TOAST

  • 10-12 slices cinnamon or white bread
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • a dash of nutmeg
  • Cream cheese filling (recipe below)
  • applesauce, fresh sweetened fruit, or maple syrup for serving

Trim the crusts from the bread. In a shallow, greased 1-1/2 qt. baking dish, arrange half of the bread. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, half-and-half, sugar and vanilla extract. Pour half of this over the bread. Top with the cream cheese filling, then arrange the other half of the bread on top. Pour the remaining egg mixture over all and sprinkle with nutmeg. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until golden and puffy, about 30 minutes more. Let stand for about 10 minutes before cutting into rectangles for serving. Serve with applesauce, sweetened fresh fruit or maple syrup. Yield: 6 servings.

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 1 pkg (8 oz.) cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg

Cream together these ingredients until smooth.

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