Baked French Toast Casserole with Praline Topping

This breakfast treat goes well with warm maple syrup and bacon, and a homemade fruit salad or juice.
It’s easy to prepare and refrigerate in the evening, so you can just pop it in the oven in the morning for breakfast.

Or you can prepare it and bake it without the step of refrigerating it overnight.
Optional extras: raisins, dried cranberries or chopped dried apricots.
4-6 servings.  Need to serve more people? Just double the quantities and bake it in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

Ingredients
1/2 loaf bread such as Reesor’s Challah Bread or Raisin Bread (day old works well)
4 large eggs
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup milk
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Dash salt
Praline Topping, recipe follows

Directions

Slice the bread into about 4 slices and then cut into 1-2 inch cubes.
Arrange cubes in a generously buttered 9 x 9-inch flat baking dish.
In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and whisk until blended.
Pour mixture over the bread cubes, pressing down on the bread making sure it is  covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to bake:  preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread Praline Topping evenly over the casserole and push some of the topping into the bread cubes. Bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup.

Praline Topping:
1/4 cup butter , cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 Tbsp corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Combine all ingredients except nuts in a medium bowl and blend well.  Then stir in the pecans.

Ready for winter – the strawberries are all tucked in under their straw

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by Jay Reesor

Way back in sunny, warm August our neighbours delivered about 60 giant, round bales of golden straw. We carefully stacked them up and securely covered them to keep them dry. Last week we uncovered those bales and using our 25-year old bale-buster chopped them up and blew them on our rows of hibernating strawberry plants.

Even though it is an old machine it does an amazing job of distributing the straw over the berries. It saves so much work!

The straw  is used to protect the plants from extremely cold conditions and then in the spring it is helpful to deter the weeds and also keep the strawberries clean. This job is really the final thing we do on the farm for the season. Rather sad, but it is cold and it feels like we should be finished!  But, I am already looking forward to the 2014 farming season.

Have a wonderful Christmas and all best wishes to you in the new year.

10 ways Reesor’s can make your holiday festivities easier

  1. Jewel Bars, Nanaimo Bars, Salted Chocolate Sugar Cookies & many  more cookies & squares made from scratch at Reesor’s
  2. Pecans, walnuts and many more dried nuts & fruits for your own baking
  3. Our party-size Spinach or Signature Lasagnes
  4. Fresh cut flowers and poinsettias
  5. Tourtiere for a traditional Quebecois style Christmas Eve Dinner
  6. Gingerbread Trees for a delicious centrepiece or a unique gift
  7. Reesor’s Gift boxes filled with treats and pantry staples
  8. Kitchen tools from Trudeau
  9. Beautiful bread for turkey stuffing and for turkey sandwiches on Boxing Day
  10. Smoked pork tenderloin, deli meats & cheeses for a New Year’s Eve party

Beautiful pork for a beautiful meal

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Chester who makes our delicious smoked pork tenderloin makes a delivery to Ursula one of Reesor’s Market & Bakery deli staff.

If you like smoked pork, bacon, sausages and hams you are in good company with Chester the butcher who is passionate about making a delicious array of smokehouse and deli meats for Reesor’s Market & Bakery.  Chester works at Jo-John Meat Ltd. a small Ontario-inspected meat plant in west Toronto that processes only pork using traditional European recipes for curing, smoking, baking and cooking meats.  Jo-John Meats contain no carrageenan, no flour, and no dairy.

Chester has been interested in butchery ever since he was a boy in Poland visiting his grandfather’s small farm and watching the meat processing done there.  He went to butcher school in Poland and has been making delectable pork products since 1969.   The Jo-John facility has two natural smokehouses using woods such as apple or cherry for a natural smoked taste and they are using traditional spice blends for the various cuts of meat and sausages.

For curing meats they use an industry standard commercial curing mixture providing the correct blend for preserving the meat and prevention of spoilage.  There are no other preservatives or additives in their meats.

Be sure to try their very lean, double smoked bacon or the smoked tenderloin.  The Leek and Pork Meatloaf is wonderful in sandwiches.  If you are in a rush and want a hot meatloaf meal ask the deli clerk for a “steak cut” that you can heat gently at home while you make your own potatoes and veggies.

And what is Chester’s family having for Christmas dinner? A whole, baked, bone-in ham of course.