I'm a full-time wife and mom of two adorable boys. When I'm not busy trying to keep up with them I enjoy photography, traveling, planning parties and a little bit of reading.

In February of 2008 I was diagnosed with an incurable terminal lung illness, though God promised me a full and complete healing. While we wait for His timing, we're taking it one day at a time, and standing in awe of how God's using all of this for His glory. The tough road we've traveled has given us a new perspective on the fragility of life. Memories are more important to us than ever before. The goal of this blog is to share some of our family life - the ups and downs, the joys and probably some of the pains as well. It's mostly meant as a personal journal of sorts, but you're welcome to share in it. We'd like to take this opportunity to say ...


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bread Pudding

I hate bread pudding - soggy bread is revolting.  I never dip cookies in milk, and the very thought of grilled cheese dipped in tomato soup makes me physically ill.  ... But this is more like a breakfast casserole.

Several weeks ago I posted my holiday menu.  I've been busy sampling recipes to decide what to fix for our holiday celebrations.  Some of them were really good, and some of them needed some "tweaking."  But the following recipe was SO AMAZING that I simply HAD to share it with you. (Aaron's had dreams about it 'cause it's so good!  He even offered to keep track of the kiddos ANYTIME I want to make it again - which PROVES how delicious it is!)  It's rare to find a breakfast casserole that tastes just as good (if not better) as left-overs ... this is one such recipe. We ate it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and then cried when it was all gone.

Just in case you're still frantically trying to decide what to make for your Christmas Brunch, I thought I'd let you know what the Feitners are serving.  I love my family, but not enough to wake up 2.5 hours before everyone else just so they can have a fabulous breakfast, so I'm gonna prepare everything the night before, and put the "layers" in individual containers, then in the morning assemble the casserole and bake.  I don't see any reason why that wouldn't work with this recipe.

(The recipe and following photo are taken from Paula Deen's Christmas magazine.)

(Makes 8-10 servings)

1/4 cup butter
2 leeks, thinly sliced (pale green parts only)
1 (6 oz) package fresh baby spinach
1 (18 oz) loaf challah bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cups chopped cooked ham
2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
1 (5 oz) package shredded Parmesan cheese
2 TB minced fresh thyme
5 large eggs
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup Dijon mustard

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Add leeks, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until leeks are tender.  Add spinach, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until spinach is wilted.  Remove from heat, and set aside.

Spray a 13x9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Spread half of bread cubes evenly over bottom of prepared baking dish.  Top evenly with half of ham.  Spread half of spinach mixture evenly over ham. (I have no idea what "challah" bread is - I went to the store and bought a loaf of store-made uncut bread, and cut the whole thing into cubes.)

In a medium bowl, combine Gruyere, Parmesan and thyme (I didn't have fresh, so I used a generous sprinkling of dried).  Sprinkle half of cheese mixture evenly over spinach mixture.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, milk, and mustard.  Pour half of egg mixture evenly over spinach mixture.  Repeat layers, beginning with bread and ending with egg mixture.  Let stand for 30 minutes, pressing bread down lightly with the back of a wooden spoon.

Preheat oven to 375.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until center is set and top is golden brown.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

(My casserole - excuse the poor, unappetizing-looking photo, the lighting in the room was horrible - I'm really hoping that Santa brings me my Santa Baby camera.)

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