One thing I love about the holidays are the traditions I have had since I was a child. One of my favorites has always been “special holiday breakfasts” — when I was younger, this meant cinnamon rolls on Thanksgiving and Christmas. I have always been an early riser (and have always been a food lover) so I would sit and impatiently wait until everyone had gotten out of bed so my dad could make cinnamon rolls. More often than not, I had a little bit to do with “making sure everyone was up”. These mornings were honestly the only mornings the entire family would eat “together” for breakfast — and now that it’s gone, I really do cherish those moments.
Since getting married, I have been thinking about the Husband and my traditions. What should we make “standard” for the holiday seasons? What should we have in place so by the time we have kids we have traditions?
I’ll admit — today doesn’t feel like Thanksgiving to me. It’s my first real “holiday” married — it’s my first one out of my parents’ house. Thinking about it make me kind of sad not to wake up, go downstairs, and wish my mom a “Happy Thanksgiving” and cuddle up on the couch to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade after breakfast. I’m going to miss smelling the spiral ham my mom makes every Thanksgiving and Christmas to bring to my aunt’s house and watching her make her cranberry sauce. I’m also going to miss watching her frantically cleaning on the morning of Thanksgiving and Christmas — as these times are most often the only mornings she has “off”.
(I can also guarantee you that my mom more than likely has tears in her eyes right now)
However, in light of all of this, I wanted to start my little family’s holiday season off with a new tradition — a twist on my childhood breakfasts. And so Baked Apple French Toast was born.
I always find making breakfast casseroles to be “too much” — as in too much food. You make an entire 8×8 pan, either eat too much and become stuffed, or have leftovers in the fridge for days on end. Seeing as we will be having leftovers for about a week straight after today, I didn’t want to fill our fridge with any breakfast leftovers. So, making individual servings was key. I got the bowls from Crate & Barrel — they’re perfect. They easily fit 2 pieces of bread, were tall, but not too wide — wonderful for baked french toast.
Individual Baked Apple French Toast (for one serving)
- 2 pieces day old gluten free bread, cubed into 1 inch chunks
- 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax & 3 tbsp warm water)
- 2/3 cup almond milk
- 1/4 apple, chopped
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. butter
Set bread slices out on the counter the morning before you want to eat the casserole — letting them sit out will harden them up, creating “stale bread” (the best kind of bread for French Toast!). The night before breakfast, cube your bread and chop up your apple and place in a greased individual casserole bowl. Mix your wet ingredients in a separate bowl and pour over your bread. Cover with foil and place in the fridge overnight.
In the morning, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Add your butter to the top (in little dots) and cook covered with foil for 30 minutes. Uncover your casserole and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
I topped mine with canned pumpkin, mixed with a little bit of maple syrup and vanilla, microwaved for about 1 minute. I added a little bit of peanut butter and a little more maple syrup to the top.
The Husband was smarter than me this morning (don’t tell him I said that) — and was a pro at getting his out of the bowl:
For his, I used whole wheat bread, but it was vegan nonetheless.
So, although I can’t travel back to my childhood (am I seriously an adult? Gosh.), I can certainly cherish and create new traditions of my own.
From our family to yours — have a Happy Thanksgiving. I am truly blessed.
Question: Does your family have any Thanksgiving Day Traditions?