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Hi.

Welcome to my blog. Front Range Fed is a blog about eating fresh, local food in and around Colorado's Front Range. Each week, I try new recipes, using as many local ingredients as possible. Join me as I discover the amazing things our local farms have to offer, and the delicious ways to enjoy them...one meal at a time. 

Blueberry Crumble French Toast Casserole

Blueberry Crumble French Toast Casserole

Blueberry Crumble French Toast Casserole

This French toast casserole can be made ahead the night before so that all you have to do is pop it in the oven then next morning. Perfect for holiday breakfasts or brunch gatherings. 

Are you ready for Christmas yet? I’m just starting to get there since we finally have a tree up! 

This is the first year we had actually thought not to get a tree.  We’ve had an artificial one for years but after vacuuming up too many loose needles we decided it was dunzo and got rid of it, with plans of getting a new one this year. But, as Christmas time rolled closer, we thought maybe we wouldn’t put up a tree at all – we’re heading to my family’s home in Illinois for the holidays so we thought a Christmas tree would be too much work when we won’t really be here to enjoy it. It was a pragmatic choice, but left me feeling a little bit blah about the holidays.

Until Jon came home with a pass for us to pick out a tree from a nearby national forest. Yes, in Colorado you can actually go into the forest and cut down your own Christmas tree. How awesome is that! 

Drive To The National Forest, Colorado
Christmas Tree Hunting
Our Christmas Tree!

We headed out on Sunday afternoon and after walking through the woods for about 30 minutes finally circled back to the very first tree we saw (sorry honey!) chopped it down, and tied it to our car to head home.  It’s actually a tiny tree – very Charlie Brownish – and fits perfectly in the entrance of our home. We didn’t want to break out all the fancy ornaments for this little guy so instead we decided to decorate it with simple homemade ornaments the kids made. Snowflakes, finger-knitted garland, candy canes. I couldn’t love it more, and I think this may be the start of a new family tradition.

This weekend I also developed a recipe that may be our new go-to for holiday mornings:  Blueberry Crumble French Toast Casserole. We had a bunch of French bread left over from a potluck we had been to earlier in the week and it was a perfect way to transform it into something even more delicious: think soft pillows of sweet French toast, tinged with warm blueberries and a crunchy cinnamon topping. It’s the perfect holiday breakfast! 

The best part about this meal (and why it’s so great for Thanksgiving or Christmas morning) is that you can make it in advance. Mix everything together in a casserole dish the night before and just pop it in the oven the next morning. You’ll open presents as the delicious smell of baked French toast floats through your home, without any of the mess or prep to ruin your day.   

Bread Cubes For French Toast Casserole

A couple of notes: this recipe works best with bread that’s a day or two old and a bit dried out.  That way you don’t end up with a mushy casserole. Is your bread too fresh? No worries – just slice it up and bake it at a low 250 degrees for about 10 minutes to dry it out a bit and you’ll be good to go. (That’s what I did.) I used fresh blueberries for this recipe but you can sub in frozen ones in a pinch, and you can use whatever fruit suits your fancy – apples or cherries would be great alternatives. 

Planning on making this for Christmas morning? Take a picture and tag me on instagram! @frontrangefed. I’d love to see your photos!!

Blueberry Crumble French Toast Casserole Recipe

Blueberry Crumble French Toast Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 Loaf crusty bread (preferably a day or two old)

  • 1 Cup lowfat milk

  • ½ Cup half n half

  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon

  • 10 Eggs

  • ¾ Teaspoon vanilla

  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1 Pint of blueberries

  • 1/3 Cup flour

  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar

  • ½ Teaspoon cinnamon

  • 4 Tablespoons cold butter

Directions: 

Blueberry Crumble French Toast Casserole
  1. Cut up bread into bite size chunks. If it’s not dry enough, bake at 250 degrees for about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs with milk, half n half, and vanilla.

  3. Add cinnamon and brown sugar to the egg mixture and mix well.

  4. Arrange bread evenly in a 9x13 inch casserole dish. Pour mixture over bread, making sure all the bread is coated (you may need to press some of the bread into the egg mixture.)

  5. Add blueberries to the casserole ensuring they are evenly distributed.

  6. Cover casserole dish and place in the refrigerator over night.

  7. When you’re ready to bake your French toast casserole, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

  8. While oven is preheating, make your crumble. Combine the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter, two knives, or even just your hands, cut the butter until it is well integrated into the flour mixture (it should feel kind of like wet sand)

  9. Sprinkle the crumble over the top of your casserole and add additional blueberries if desired.

  10. Bake casserole for 50-55 minutes, or until the top starts to brown slightly and become crisp. (Note, depending on how big your bread chunks are, you may require a slightly longer cooking time.)

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