Fancy Corn + Bread

cornbread COVER

My favorite things about the holidays are family, food, and festivities.  Who would have thought that gathering around a dead tree would be so fulfilling? Or how about eating massive amounts of side dishes could be called a meal?  Or how about gathering by the masses to watch lights turn on and cheer like it’s the first time we’ve seen electricity (St. Augustine Nights of Lights)?  I love ever minute of it.  In fact, my decorations are still up and Christmas carols still playing in my car.

One of my friends had to make a “corn dish” for a family meal and asked if I had any suggestions. – Side note: I LOVE when people ask for suggestions on what to make.  Whenever I make something new, I always search other blogs for inspiration to get a starting point.  I don’t think anyone should ever follow a recipe to the T (unless it is a cheesecake – those are a little challenging to get the correct consistency) but should deviate and make your own thang (because “thing” is too structured) 🙂 . Back to the corn dish… I didn’t have one since I don’t cook with corn that often but asked if I could use this as an experiment to find the best corn dish out there…

Well friends, I introduce you to the cheesy corn casserole!  This recipe is inspired by Paula Deen and adopted for the healthier taste buds.  It’s super easy to make and stores really well!  You can prepare this in advance and cook right before the meal.

Cornbread ingredientsIngredients

  • 1 – 15 oz can whole corn (unsalted / low sodium)
  • 1 – 14 oz can creamed corn
  • 1 – 8 oz package of corn muffin mix
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt or fat free sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheese

This recipe was made in an 8×8 casserole dish.  Double the recipe for a 9×13.

Directions

Drain the corn and put in a mixing bowl.  Combine with melted butter and remaining ingredients.

cornbread mixing

Next, add some pepper to taste.  I LOVE the black peppercorn grinder by McCormick and put it in just about everything.

cornbread cheese

Now add a handful of cheese to the mixture – about 3/4 cup.  I use my Kitchen Aid mixer for as much as I can.  It’s super easy and mixes things perfectly.  The different paddle attachments make it very versatile.  Plus, while this is mixing, I usually try and clean the kitchen as I go along so I don’t have a huge mess in the end.  This might be good planning but the execution is horrible.  The kitchen is always a mess!

cornbread all mixed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Scoop into a baking dish.  Bake for about 45 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from oven and top with remaining cheese. Cook for an extra 5 minutes until cheese is bubbly.

cornbread baking

Enjoy as a yummy, slightly sweet, side dish to any holiday meal!  I told my friend how great this turned out and she went to Publix the next day to make a double batch for her family gathering.  What I also love about this recipe is that you can leave out the cheese for a fancy semi-traditional cornbread option.  You get the cornbread with pieces of corn, adding a little extra texture.

Bon Appetite!

Overnight French Toast Casserole

frenchtoast baked

Sounds complicated?  It’s not.  This recipe is super easy and AMAZING!  I’ve had it now two times (compliments of my stepmom) and it’s so good, I want to share.  The beauty of this recipe is that 1) you make it the night before 2) there’s no kitchen to prep or clean up in the morning 3) you can drink coffee and read the paper (or whatever) while it bakes and 4) it’s delicious!  It makes a great mid-week breakfast treat for someone special!

Hope you like it too!

Overnight French Toast Casserole Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tuscan load of bread (ask for it at the Publix bakery) or french bread, cut into 1 inch slices
  • 8 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • maple sugar and/or powdered sugar for topping (optional – but really a must!)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Directions

  1. Combine butter and brown sugar and pour into bottom of 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
  2. Arrange bread slices on top of sugar mixture, overlapping if necessary.
  3. Combine eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and ginger in a bowl and pour over bread.  Top with pecans.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4-12 hours. (Hence overnight. Longer is better.  The liquid at the bottom of the pan has to be completely absorbed into the bread.)
  5. In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook casserole for 30-35 minutes.
  6. Serve with a big glass of milk (ok – optional, but a must for me).

Makes 12 “servings” but it will go fast!

I’m not a big breakfast person because I’m usually not hungry in the morning.  I’m a coffee and banana gal, but this recipe breaks ALL rules.  Except the rule about eating delicious food. 🙂

Bon Appetite!