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Dec 26

Brandied Baked French Toast

What didn’t I eat Wednesday may be a more appropriate title.

 

I may have over-done it on the sweets…

Do you look forward to the holidays being over?  After I left my mom’s last night, I was sad to be going home alone, but at the same time a little relieved to get back into a normal routine.

I do hate leaving this beautiful scene though!

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Today I was going to take another “break” from blogging.  Then I realized a) I don’t really have anything else to do and b) this would be a fun way to shock myself into going cold turkey on the sugar.  I didn’t get pictures of it all, and we slept in so it is kind of a random slew of snack rather than meals.  You’ve been warned.

We didn’t totally fail at Jenn’s What I Ate Wednesday theme this month… but it could have been better less sugar-filled:

Check out my Christmas eats, and then be sure to head over to Jenn Peas and Crayons and see what everyone else ate on this most wonderful day of the year!

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Meal 1:

I didn’t have Fitmixer Aminos at my mom’s, but I did have my ACV and water first thing

Christmas Eve I prepared an overnight baked french toast to be ready to pop in the oven Christmas morning (almost afternoon… we didn’t eat until 11a).  We open presents while it baked.  Before the toast, we started out with a Christmas tradition: mimosas!

 

The french toast was served with an easy cranberry sauce.  I soaked fresh cranberries in Gran Mariner (orange liqueur), and placed it all in a small sauce pan with some vanilla liquid stevia and cinnamon.  I let that simmer on low heat while we opened presents, adding a little water as needed.

 

The Brandied Baked French Toast recipe is below.  It will look like it has a lot of booze in it, but it really isn’t strong once you bake it.  Most of the booze cooks out.  I tried to keep it a little lighter using unsweetened almond milk rather than a traditional cream or whole milk.  Making that simple change save a lot on calories and fat, but you don’t loose any flavor.  This resulted in a flavorful, surprisingly light, fluffy French toast… it may have to happen once more on New Years Day.

Also on our breakfast table was French-pressed coffeeambrosia (my mom and sister’s favorite… I passed), and fresh figs wrapped in prosciutto.

 

Meal 2:

Popcorn.  We devoured a bag of Smart Food’s Parmesan & Herb Popcorn while watching Elf.

smart food

 

I grazed some more on almonds, random sweets, an extra bite (or 5) of breakfast… but we really enjoyed sea salt-breadcrumb dark chocolate by Chuao that Santa brought me:

 

 

Meal 3:

I don’t know if this counts as a meal… but we snacked on more prosciutto with Trader Joes’ Raisin Rosemary Crisps (like the Raincoat crisps sold at WF, but much cheaper), cream cheese with strawberry-champagne jam, hummus, carrots, and celery while dinner cooked.  With a pear cider cocktail (pear cider + brandy, ginger liqueur, and lime juice).

 mosaic0b25d31f486daf509eeb7b4a6a6c7088509ad55a

 

 

Meal 4:

This meal was probably unnecessary after all of that.  In my family, Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas brunch  are a bigger deal than Christmas night, so we didn’t do anything too fancy.

I kept my plate small, but everything was delicious.  We made a quick salad, wild rice with pomegranate and kale, roasted sweet potatoes, and grilled lamb chops.  All drizzled with a thick balsamic.  There was also an unpictured glass of Alamos Malbecdid I mention the return of Sober January?

 

 

Also unnecessary was dessert… which I happily enjoyed.  German Chocolate Cookies, coming to you Friday!

 

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Brandied Baked French Toast

Brandied Baked French Toast

  • 1 loaf Ciabatta bread in 1-inch slices
  • 3 C unsweetned vanilla almond milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 packet Stevia (can replace with more sugar)
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 T Cointreau
  • 3 T Frangelico
  • 1 T brandy
  • Optional: 1/2 grated apple

 

Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish (I used Pam).

Place bread in two tightly-packed layers in the pan.  If you use the apple or other fillings (any fruit or nut would work), sprinkle them between the layers.

Whisk milk, eggs, sugar, spices, and booze together in a large bowl.  Pour mixture over the bread.

Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.  The bread will absorb the milk mixture overnight.

Bake at 425 for 25-30 minutes, until fluffed and golden brown.  

Cut into squares and serve with fruit, syrup, or any other favorite breakfast topping.

Serves 6-8.

Notes: If you don’t like the alcohols, you may use a couple of teaspoons of vanilla or other extract.  You could also experiment with other liqueurs like Irish cream, Gran Mariner, Kahlua, rum, etc.

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The gluttony will stop after this week… I swear.  I have one more cookie recipe to share, and it’s slightly lightened up!

How were your holiday meals?  What was the winner?

Are you a little relieved when the festivities end?

 

34 comments

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  1. Alex @ therunwithin

    so I haven’t tried that smartfood popcorn series but boy have I wanted to. that flavor sounds so good.

    1. Laura

      Definitely recommended! The chips are good too.

  2. Sam @ Better With Sprinkles

    That french toast sounds delicious. And holidays are for overdoing it on the sugar – a couple of days won’t really make a difference.

    1. Laura

      Exactly – I woke up this morining and guess what? Not obese. ;)

  3. Danielle

    That French toast looks amazing! Now I want some. Can’t wait for that cookie recipe!

  4. Allie

    It always is nice to get back to a normal schedule after the holidays but I can totally agree… I miss the family time after!

  5. Carol @ Lucky Zucca

    You’re making me feel a little better about how bad I’ve been all week… but not that much better. I need to go cold turkey on the sweets too.

    1. Laura

      Don’t feel bad! January is for getting back on track. :)

  6. Kristina

    that salted chocolate crunch is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOOOD. I received some of the Spicy Maya chocopods – I love that brand.

    the winner of our holiday, just the fact that Jason and I pulled it off ;) everyone (eleven of us!) had a great time, and Jason’s grilled tenderloin was the hit – he had four of them, and with three he made this AMAZING reduction… the fourth I stuffed with fig and gruyere…

    I am happy things are winding down… today we are hosting another holiday thing, so I have a couple hours to relax before it all starts again – YAY!

    1. Laura

      I want to try the spicy!!! All I kept thinking was how goo the breadcrumbs would be as an ice cream flavor.

      You are to be admired for hosting yet another holiday thing… though we have one more too. My little sis is coming in from Portland to do Christmas with us this weekend. Good think it’s cold and rainy so she’ll feel right at home. ;)

  7. Khushboo

    Wow what a spread- love the sound of that French toast! I am still riding the holiday high so part of me is kinda sad that it’s all coming to an end. Although I definitely do like the idea of getting back into routine in the new year…am feeling recharged & reinvigorated :)! Hope you had a wonderful Boxing Day, Laura!

  8. Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count

    The French Toast looks So good, Laura! I rarely make it, but I think I should!!

  9. Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen

    We didn’t do anything too fancy…dinner last night was Chinese take out, and I kept it pretty clean with some Vegetable + Bean Curd Soup (I wanted Hot & Sour, but theirs had pork in it :() and steamed veggies w. soy sauce…plus giant bowl of Chobani and cereal for round two.

    Christmas Eve I came up with the amazing blueberry mustard twice-baked acorn squash (made with Cho) that even my meat-and-potatoes stepdad thought was delish and requested I make again this weekend. :)

    I am glad I am not the only one who finds themselves totally thrown off when out of town (or at their parents house) and constantly grazing due to the lack of routine!

    1. Laura

      Seeing everyone post about their holiday Chinese takeout has me craving it hard core.

      Want. That. Blueberry-thing. you really ar ethe queen of #strangebutgood.

  10. Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning

    Oh WOW!!! The french toast is probably incredible…. I would like it even better if you came and made if for me!!
    I have definitely indulged a bit over the last few days, and it feels GOOD to be eating much less sugar/salt/fat today! But- I don’t regret a single bite- it was all worth it!

    1. Laura

      I wonder if it would work with craft beer… LOL!

      Here’s to no regrets!

  11. GiGi Eats Celebrities

    AH yes, one of my favorite blogs :) I cannot go a day without a new blog post, ha ha ah! ;P
    All your food is so pretty.
    Merry Xmas (well… BOXING DAY lol)

    1. Laura

      Awwww… made my day. Thank you! :)

      Merry post-Christmas-Boxing-almost NYE Day!

  12. Pavement Runner

    It will be nice not to be surrounded by holiday chocolate… there is still some trickling around, so it has to go a few more days.

    All the food looks yummy… all winners.

  13. Jody - Fit at 55

    You are so funny & fun!!!! Not an alcohol person so no probs with that here! I do like sweets though so looking forward to that cookie recipe!!!! :) I did pretty darn well this year but I kinda do every year. I am at a point where I mostly eat the same & just enjoy a few more cookies than normal. That is what is good to me! :)

    I do like to get back to my routine though – I am a creature of habit & especially workouts! – I mix them up BUT I don’t want to miss them! :)

    1. Laura

      Ah., Jody… I hope I get to that point too. I still get way to excited over holiday dessert. Doh. At least I get the workouts in!

  14. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast

    My m-in-law always makes a french toast casserole like that (much heavier, I’m sure) and it’s so yummy. I don’t think I’ve ever tried one. Definitely is best when you have a crowd to feed! I love seeing your indulgent side. :) Another cookie recipe is fine with me!

    1. Laura

      Thanks, Laura! My indulgent side loves to come out and play. :)

  15. Heather @ girlyeverafter

    I over did it on the sweets too. I love the holidays and always feel guilty saying I’m glad they’re over, but it’s not a bad thing to want a normal routine back and not having cookies lingering in the house to tempt me. I’m glad you had a good Christmas!

    1. Laura

      Soooo glad it’s not just me!

  16. Amanda @ .running with spoons.

    I almost feel like a grinch for saying it, but I’m kind of relieved that the holidays are over as well. I usually feel a lot of post-Christmas blues, but this year? I’m just really looking forward to getting back into my regular routine. I may have overdone it on the sweets department as well, and now I’m really looking forward to some normalcy.

    1. Laura

      Amen to that! I don’t think it make us Grinch-like. Just happy with our lifestyles. :)

  17. Lisa

    Oh boy, that french toast sounds wonderful! I have bittersweet feelings about the holidays being over. I like being back to my normal everyday routine, but I do love this time of year!

  18. Grubarazzi (@Grubarazzi)

    That french toasts sounds amazing! It sounds like you had a wonderful holiday. I am still hosting at my house, and they are keeping me busy in the kitchen ;)

  19. Laura

    Good luck with the continued hosting! We are actually doing Christmas one more time too when my sister gets in town today. Merry Holidays!

  20. Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family

    What a fantastic day of eats…it is a little bit like old Sprint 2 The Table :) I am guessing your tiny frame could easily handle a few extra Christmas cookies.

    The French toasts sounds delicious, I wish the people at my house would eat it. Prepping it ahead of time is right up my alley (keeps things easy in the morning).

    I also have to comment on the raisin rosemary crisps…those are so delicious. I got those in a food swap one time and just loved them.

    I hope you had a fantastic Christmas and that you will have a safe and Happy New Year.

    1. Laura

      LOL! I guess I forgot that the blog was anything different than it is now! :)

      Hope you had a great holiday season as well!

  21. Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli

    So how about this…I’m supposed to be one of your like biggest fans (cue Valley Girl hip pop and hand gestures), and here I am over TWO WEEKS behind in your life! I can’t believe how much time has gotten away from me since Christmas! Part of me feels like it should already be the end of January and then the other part is like, whoa wait, we’re only halfway through! But anyway, back to me being the worst Blend ever…I’m kicking myself for missing this boozy French toast until just now! Oh my gosh girl, like SERIOUSLY that looks divine! And the combination of brandy and orange-flavored liquor with the cranberries? Absolute GENIUS! As soon as I saw the title, BEFORE I even looked at the recipe, I was already thinking orange extract! Orange and cranberry…match made in heaven! And for the record, my heaven is definitely boozy! But you never actually get “drunk”…just a constant state of happy buzz! ;)

    Besides the French toast, I would have been ALL OVER meal three! I know I lamented (oh, word for the day…go Heather!) the fact that my family always serves finger foods for Christmas, but really? Powdered sugar doughnuts and little smokies compared to strawberry champagne jam, cream cheese, and prosciutto? Can you blame me for being green with envy? Oh and I haven’t forgot about the adoption process…I’m just looking for a cheap good lawyer! ;) Love ya girlie!

    1. Laura

      Oh, my friend… how I’ve missed your super-long comments. Seriously.

      Come see me and I’ll make you some boozy toast. Adoption papers will be signed! :)

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