I was one of those rare birds who never had a roommate in college. When I lived in the dorm, my room was a 10 ft by 6 ft “economy single” that held me and only me. When I moved into an off-campus apartment, I also lived by myself in an adorable 450 sq foot one bedroom.
There were many reasons behind my choice to live by myself. Notably, my mother felt that taking young adults who had never shared a room before and thrusting them into small shared spaces at one of the most tumultuous transition periods of their lives would be “cruel and unusual punishment.” Mostly, I liked being alone and was thankful for the opportunity to spend time hanging out amongst my possessions, all by my lonesome.
The only hitch in my living alone get-a-long was food. Sure, I had a grocery store a mile walk away and I loved to cook. That wasn’t the problem.
The issue was how much food to buy. My real-world grocery experience up to that point had consisted of shopping with my mother to feed a family of four or going with friends to buy food for parties. Neither one of those things show you anything useful about shopping for one single college lady for a week.
I wasted a ton of food.
The worst, hands down, was bread. I would buy an entire loaf of bread, make a single piece of toast for breakfast each day and then have the rest of the loaf leftover on the counter, getting grosser and grosser as the days went by. I didn’t know what to do with it all; I felt bad about throwing it away so I started putting it in the freezer. Eventually, I had a freezer full of half loaves of bread.
…which I would throw away when I needed more room.
Eventually, I decided that I needed to find a way to use up all the bread bits. I made stuffing, I made croutons and still I had so much bread in my freezer. One day, I invited people over for brunch and the french toast casserole was born.
Empty Your Freezer for Breakfast
The “French Toast Casserole” is less French Toast and more bread pudding that sort of smells like French Toast. Whatever, you can eat it with syrup and that’s all that really matters. Here’s what you need:
- Leftover Bread (I used half a loaf of white bread, 6 pieces of sourdough and 5 hot dog buns).
- 8 eggs.
- 2 cups of milk (I used whole because I’m fancy).
- 1/4 cup of brown sugar.
- Flavorings of your choice (I went with vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger).
I was making this for a mimosa brunch, so I wanted to have as much done in advance as possible. This is what I did the night before:
- Cut all the bread into chunks and put the chunks into my dutch oven.
- Mixed the custard.
- Poured the custard over the bread chunks. (Pro Tip: You want the bread to be more or less saturated with custard.)
- Stirred thoroughly.
- Stashed in the fridge overnight.
The next morning, I threw it in the oven at 350 degrees for 90 minutes, covered. It turned out really well.
Here are some brunch pictures: