BANANA LEMON BLUEBERRY* FRENCH TOAST

BANANA LEMON BLUEBERRY* FRENCH TOAST
1 16 ounce loaf DAY OLD sourdough, french or brioche bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 LARGE roasted bananas (OPTIONAL) see note
1 1/2 cup WILD small blueberries*
6 LARGE eggs
4 large egg whites
2 cups milk
1/3 cup PURE maple syrup
ZEST and juice of 1 LARGE lemon
1 tablespoon PURE vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Powdered sugar, butter and maple syrup for serving

  • Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Spread a layer of the roasted bananas on the bottom of the baking dish

 

  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, egg whites, milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt.
  • Fold in the bread pieces.
  • Pour mixture into baking dish evenly.
  • Sprinkle blueberries over bread pieces.
  • Cover the baking dish tightly with saran and refrigerate over night.

 

  • Remove baking dish from refrigerator and let sit out while you preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Bake uncovered 45-55 minutes until golden brown and center is set.
  • Serve dusted with powdered sugar or butter and maple syrup.

NOTE:*

  • You can substitute the blueberries for just about ANY other berry, peaches or even apples making this recipe just as delicious!
  • Let the bread cubes sit out on the counter overnight. The dryer they are, the more custard they will absorb. You want them to be crispy like croutons.
  • This can be frozen, but I really don’t recommend it – it always seems soggy to me.
  • This is a GREAT way to use up bananas if you need to, but the recipe works wonderfully even without them.

MAPLE CINNAMON OATMEAL CAKE with OOEY GOOEY COCONUT TOPPING

I found this awesome and not too sweet Oatmeal cake while surfing the web awhile back and had to make it!  My grandmother made one similar quite often.  It was always one of my favorites!  I’ve made a few changes to accommodate our tastes and we think it turned out even better than the original.

Oatmeal and coconut go together so well. The cake is over-the-top scrumptious with an incredibly moist batter and ooey gooey coconut topping that self ices the cake. Once cooled, the topping becomes caramel-like and sticky seeping deep into the cake!

The recipe is for a 9×13 pan, but it halves well for an 8×8 if you want a smaller cake.

MAPLE CINNAMON OATMEAL CAKE with OOEY GOOEY COCONUT TOPPING

CAKE
1 1/4 cup boiling water
1 cup OLD FASHIONED oats
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons PURE maple syrup
1/3 cup golden raisins
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1/4 nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Pour boiling water over oats in a small bowl.  Allow to sit for 15 minutes.
  • Cream together butter and sugars.  Add eggs.  Beat well.
  • Add in the soaked oats, vanilla, baking soda, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  • Mix well.
  • Fold in raisins.
  • Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.

TOPPING
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups flaked coconut
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
8 tablespoons milk
1 cup pecans, chopped finely (optional**)

  • While cake is baking, combine topping ingredients.
  • JUST after you take the cake from the oven, spread topping over cake.
  • Increase heat to broil.
  • Bake under the broiler for a JUST few minutes until top is brown. WATCH CAKE CLOSELY – IT WILL EASILY BURN.
  • Allow cake to cool COMPLETELY.  As it cools, the topping will get thick and sticky while it oozes down into the cake.
  • ENJOY!

NOTES:

  • ANY chopped nuts work really.
  • I often add pieces of chopped dried pineapple to the cake.
  • I also often add heath bar pieces to the topping for some extra crunch.

MAPLE GLAZED BACON WRAPPED ROASTED CARROTS

MAPLE GLAZED BACON WRAPPED ROASTED CARROTS serves 6

The crisp carrot meets the salty bacon and is glazed in sweet PURE maple syrup to become the new family favorite!

2 pounds carrots (not too thick), peeled
1 pound bacon
1/4 cup PURE maple syrup

  • Pre-heat oven to 400°.
  • Wrap the carrots evenly in the bacon slices.
  • Arrange on a wire rack on a baking sheet and roast in oven until the bacon is crispy and the carrots are tender, about 20-30 minutes until carrots are tender and bacon is crisp.
  • Start glazing with the maple syrup at the 10 minute mark and glaze every 5 minutes.

NOTES:

  • OPTIONAL: Mix some Dijon mustard into the maple syrup.
  • Depending on your carrot sizes you might want to halve your carrots for easier cooking.
  • Using pre-cooked bacon (to the point where it is still easily wrapped but a lot of the fat has cooked out) makes the process quicker.

MAPLE GINGER CHICKEN – plan ahead meal

MAPLE GINGER CHICKEN
4 bone-in chicken thighs
3/4 cup apple cider
1/2 cup PURE maple syrup
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 shallot, finely sliced
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
4 sprigs FRESH thyme leaves (Rosemary works too in a pinch)
3/4 teaspoon FRESH ground salt
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground pepper
3 medium apples or pears, peeled, cored and quartered

  • Place a large Ziploc bag in a large mixing bowl (just win case the bag breaks)
  • Combine the apple cider, maple syrup, vinegar, shallot, ginger, salt and pepper.
  • Add chicken, seal and refrigerate for 12-24 hours, turning once or twice to make sure chicken is well coated.

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Remove chicken from marinade.
  • Arrange chicken pieces skin side up in a large baking dish.
  • Tuck apples and thyme sprigs among the chicken pieces.
  • Pour marinade over top of the chicken.
  • Bake 45 minutes – 1 hour, basting occasionally until chicken is cooked through and the meat is starting to pull away from the bone.
  • Serve chicken and fruit with sauce spooned over top.

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.