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Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast Bake
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Make yourself the hero of your house this weekend with this strawberry cream cheese French toast bake. Who knew that stale bread and those almost moldy strawberries would get you so far in life?

Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast BakeStrawberry Cream Cheese French Toast Bake

If you’re anything like me when you’re planning for a houseful of people over a weekend, there are a few things that make you incredibly anxious:

The state of your bathroom(s). Are there enough clean towels? Or better yet, where are all of the towels?? How do we keep losing towels?? And the weekend menu.

Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast Bake

And you would think, that as a food blogger for over 9 nine years (NINE! phew!), I’d have the food part handled. Well, nope. It just gets harder and harder. So many ideas in my brain, so many recipes, and yet so little time to focus on planning better. Half of the time, I’m just making up meals throughout the weekend; pulling random ingredients from the fridge and pantry with cookbooks strewn all over the place. I’m a mess.

Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast Bake

To be honest, I’m not that much more organized on the weekends when it’s just me and Kyle at home either. Work kicks my butt during the week and I end up vegging out way more than I like to admit on the weekends. But I mustered up the energy (it was minimal, believe me) to throw this strawberry cream cheese French toast bake together one Saturday night a few weeks back and I’ve been dreaming about it ever since.

Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast Bake

Because: roasted strawberries. cream cheese. baked French toast. Do those words not make you want to sing? I imagined the dish to be a bit like the strawberry stuffed french toast I made a few years ago but this was oh so much better. So much!

Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast Bake

The roasted strawberries mingle up with pockets of soft, tangy cream cheese and play off the lightly sweetened French toast like they were always meant for the same dish. Plus? It’s a make-ahead meal so in my opinion, Sunday mornings are never so outstanding as when breakfast practically makes itself. Except when donuts happen, of course. Do yourself a favor and make this strawberry cream cheese French toast bake this weekend. Your stale bread and almost moldy strawberries are calling you from the kitchen. No? Just me? Hmm.
Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast Bake

Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast Bake

Prep Time: 12 hours, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 8-10 servings

Ingredients

    For the bake:
  • 16 oz day-old, thick-cut bread (like challah or a soft Italian bread)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 ½ cups half-and-half or milk
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp table salt
  • 1 (8 oz) package full-fat cream cheese, cold and cubed
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries, stems removed
  • For the topping:
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cubed

Instructions

  1. Grease a 3-quart (13x9-inch) baking dish with butter or baking spray. Spread the bread cubes out in the dish in an even-ish layer.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, half-and-half/milk, vanilla, brown sugar, and salt together until well-combined. Pour the mixture over the bread cubes and press the bread lightly into the liquid. Scatter the cream cheese cubes around the bread, tucking it into some of the open spaces - you'll want it to get down into the middle of the bread layer. Scatter the strawberries over the bread in the same manner. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight or up to 12 hours.
  3. The next morning, take the dish out of the fridge and preheat the oven to 350° F with a racked centered in the oven.
  4. To make the topping: Stir the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Using two knives, cut the butter into the dry ingredients. The mixture won't be crumbly but just make sure the butter is pretty evenly distributed. Uncover the dish and sprinkle the topping over the top of the casserole.
  5. Bake for 45 - 50 minutes. The center should be set, the bread on top nicely browned, and the sugar in the topping caramelized. If the sugar is still uncooked on top, slip the dish under the broiler for a couple of minutes to allow the sugar to brown - watch it carefully though. Serve with maple syrup or whipped cream (if you're feeling indulgent). We ate ours without anything on top and thought it was sweet enough as is.

Source

Smells Like Home original

http://www.smells-like-home.com/2016/05/strawberry-cream-cheese-french-toast-bake/

The Ultimate Memorial Day Weekend Menu
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As Memorial Day weekend kicks off the summer grilling season, let’s take a minute to refresh our menus. Here are over 50 of our favorite “Grillin’ & Chillin'” recipes for an ultimate Memorial Day weekend menu. They’re all easy, family-friendly, and downright delicious! Grill on!
The Ultimate Memorial Day Menu 6
Oh boy how time flies!  Can you believe we’re on the precipice of the unofficial kick-off of summer weekend already?? And I don’t know about you but this has been the craziest of weeks so far! I have a few extra days off from work this and next week so I’ve been in a tizzy this week trying close up projects and prep my team for meetings and work while I’m out. Needless to say, I can just about smell quitting time on Thursday afternoon and I can’t WAIT to fire up the grill this weekend!

In order to help you celebrate, I also wanted to get some of my favorite Grillin’ and Chillin’ Recipes out to you before you finalize your summer kick-off menus with the hope of inspiring you to be as stoked as I am about this long weekend.

I’m dying to know what you guys have planned to make this weekend too, so by all means, post ’em in the comments!  Happy almost summer/weekend!!

apps + snacks

Ultimate Memorial Day Menu large 1

grilled crostini 3 ways | crispy baked zucchini fries + homemade ranch dressing | crock pot cheesy corn, bacon + jalapeño dip | sun-dried tomato pesto/spread | black bean dip | cheesy chorizo + caramelized onion dip | bacon, scallion + caramelized onoin dip | restaurant-style spinach + artichoke dip | grilled corn guacamole

salads

Ultimate Memorial Day Menu

blt panzanella | broccoli slaw (vegan) | roasted veggie, feta + orzo | warm pasta with ricotta + peas | kale, white bean + farro (vegan) | strawberry poppyseed chicken | carrot, chickpeas + spicy turkey meatballs | chimichurri steak + grilled potatoes | grilled sweet corn + zucchini panzanella + fresh herb vinaigrette (vegan)

burgers + dogs

Ultimate Memorial Day Menu large 3

bacon burgers + bacon balsamic onion jam | black bean | tex-mex hot dogs | sausage burgers + garlicky spinach + sun-dried tomato pesto | cheddar jalapeño chicken burgers + guacamole | bbq chicken | reuben hot dogs | pressed cuban | chorizo,  romesco + manchego

sandwiches
Ultimate Memorial Day Menu 4

baked ham + swiss sliders | smashed avocado + chile tartines | roasted shrimp + asparagus salad | roasted tomato, whipped herbed feta + bacon | apple + pecan chicken salad | bacon, pesto, tomato + fresh mozzarella | shrimp po’ boys | pulled pork + slaw | grilled chicken, kale + bacon caesar

chicken + beef + pork + shrimp + fish

The Ultimate Memorial Day Menu

herb grilled chicken with creamy broccoli orzo | grilled margarita fish tacos | smoky grilled shrimp + sausage skewers | grilled gingered pork + pineapple kebobs | korean country spare ribs | honey chipotle grilled chicken | grilled chicken fajitas + guacamole | quick-brined barbecue chicken thighs | grilled chicken gyros

desserts
Ultimate Memorial Day Menu 5

caramel frappe cupcakes | strawberry crumb bars | peanut butter oreo ice cream | blueberry buttermilk upside down cake | peanut butter oreo ice cream cake | no-bake s’mores bars | peach + strawberry cobbler | peanut butter chocolate chip cookie bars | roasted strawberry milkshakes | classic peach cobbler | fresh raspberry curd-filled lemon cupcakes | s’mores popsicles | giant s’mores stuffed chocolate chip cookies | blackberry lime crumb bars | homemade waffle cones | blueberry galettes