French Toast Casserole

French toast casserole

This is a scrumptious and special breakfast casserole that can be made ahead.This French toast casserole has a crunchy top with custardy bread filling.You can simply cover the bread in casserole dish with plastic wrap,and whisk all the ingredients for the custard then cover and refrigerate until morning.Or if you like it to be pudding like ,you can pour the custard over bread and refrigerate overnight. I made this casserole last week for sisters brunch, and it was a big hit.I served it with delicious blackberry sauce,and that made it even more special.Mmmmmm!!!


1 challah bread*

10 eggs

1/3 cup powdered sugar

2 cups heavy whipping cream**

2 cups milk**

1 1/2 zested and juice squeezed

3 tablespoons orange liqueur (optional,but very good)

1/4 teaspoon salt

sliced almonds

* You can use french bread or any other lightly sweetened specialty bread.

** Or 4 cups half and half


Blackberry Sauce:

2 cups blackberries

1/2 cup turbinado sugar ( light brown sugar or regular white is fine too)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon orange liqueur (optional)

1/2 cup water*

orange zest( about 1/2 orange)


Note: If you like your sauce to be thicker, add 1 teaspoon cornstarch to water.

*You can mix  1/4 cup water + 1/4 cup orange juice and reduce the amount sugar.



Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Slice bread in to large chunks and arrange all pieces of bread in the glass baking dish or casserole dish.Sprinkle  a little of turbinado sugar over the top of bread.

In a mixing bowl,whisk eggs with salt.Add cream,milk,sugar,orange zest,orange juice,and orange liqueuer. Whisk to incorporate all the ingredients.

Pour the custard mixture over bread.Sprinkle sliced almonds over the bread.

Cover with foil and bake covered for about 30-35 minutes.Remove foil and continue to bake until the top is light golden brown ( about another 25-30 minutes).When ready to serve, dust with powdered sugar and add more almonds if desired. Serve with warm maple sauce,homemade syrup with cinnamon,or blackberry sauce.

Blackberry sauce directions:

Place blackberry in a blender.Pulse until well blended.Press the sauce through fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds.Add sugar,orange zest,cinnamon,water/orange juice blackberries.

Heat the sauce in a sauce pan on medium heat.Let it simmer for about 3-5 minutes.Whisk in orange liqueuer.

French toast casserole-4


Mushroom quiche

mushroom quiche

This Mushroom quiche is rich,delicate and perfect for fancy breakfast or brunch.Crispy buttery crust filled with savory creamy custard and sautéed mushrooms.

It’s not hard to make it , but is a little time consuming. You can save some time and buy ready-made pie shell,but of course it’s not going to be buttery,flaky, and delicate as homemade.Because it’s time consuming;I make it day before serving, so all  do in the morning is reheat and serve.

By pre baking the shell,your crust will be crisper and not soggy.


Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour *

1/2 teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons  chilled unsalted butter,cut into 1/2-inch pieces

3 tablespoons sour cream

1/3 cup ice water

1 large egg white,lightly beaten.

dry beans

foil or parchment paper

* I used spelt flour,worked well.(pictured above)


2 shallots finely chopped.

8 oz.. mushrooms ( any type) sliced ( you can add more if you really love mushrooms)

1/4 cup white wine (optional)

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 fresh ground black pepper

pinch of nutmeg

7 eggs, lightly beaten

4 cups half-half or milk (or 2 cups heavy whipping cream + 2 cups milk)

1/2 cup -3/4 cup grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese.




1.Process flour and salt in food processor until combined.About 3 seconds.

Add butter and pulse until butter is size of large peas,about 10 pulses.

2.Combine sour cream and water in a small bowl.

Add half of the mixture to flour mixture; pulse 3 times.

Repeat with the remaining sour cream mixture.

Pinch dough with fingers;if dough is floury,dry,does not hold together,add 1-2 tablespoons more ice water and pulse until dough forms large clumps and no dry flour remains,3-5 pulses.

3.Turn dough out onto counter and flatten into 6-inch disk;wrap disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm but not hard,1-2 hours before rolling.(dough can be refrigerated for 24 hours;let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before rolling).

4.Grease a pie dish, quiche pan or any other deep cake pan.

Roll out the dough on generously floured counter to 15 -inch circle about 1/4 inch thick.

Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll into prepared pan.Working around circumference,ease dough into pan by gently lifting edge of dough with 1 hand while pressing into pan with other.

Trim any dough that extends more than 1 inch over edge of pan.Patch any cracks or holes with dough scraps as needed.

Refrigerate any remaining dough scraps or make apple pie.

Refrigerate dough lined pan for 20-30 minutes.

5.Heat Oven to 375 degrees.

Line dough with parchment paper or foil and fill completely with dry beans or pie weights, including corners of the shell.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.Remove beans,paper or foil from the crust.


Reduce oven to 325 degrees.

In a saute pan, melt butter and throw in mushrooms and shallots.

Saute until liquid is evaporated.

Add white wine (if preferred) and let it evaporate about 1 minute.

Combine eggs,milk,half-half or cream with milk,nutmeg,salt and black pepper using a whisk,blender,or stand mixer.

Stir in mushroom mixture.

Sprinkle half of the grated cheese on the bottom of the pastry shell.

Pour custard mixture with mushrooms into pastry shell.

Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese on top of the custard.

Place dish on a baking sheet ,and bake for about 1 :15 -1:30 minutes or until custard is puffed and browned.

Serve warm or cooled.

Or place it in the fridge when cooled and serve next day (cold or warmed up)


Squirrel Cake with nuts

 If you like nuts, then this “squirrel cake” is for you.It does take some time to make it.It is fairly sweet and fills you up quickly.

Ingredients for batter:

preheat oven to 350 degrees

1 1/2 cups of your favorite nuts.toasted,cooled, and chopped in a blender (you can have them mixed using variety)
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 sticks butter melted but not hot
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cup flour

Directions for cake batter:
In a mixing bowl or stand mixer, beat eggs on high speed until they will be foamy and pale.Add the sugar,sour cream and butter. Mix on low.

Combine flour,nuts, and baking powder.
Gently combine the flour mixture with the whipped eggs.

Grease a  9 x 2 3/4 spring-foam pan.
Pour half of the batter to the pan and spread it with spoon or spatula.
Bake for about 13-15 minutes.
Repeat with the rest of the batter.


Amaretto syrup:
1/2 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons Amaretto liquor

combine all ingredients.Let cool

Ingredients for cream:

1 can condensed milk ( cook the cans for two hour in water, or use  prepared Dulce DE leches)
2 sticks butter softened at room temp.
4 tablespoons sour cream

Beat together butter with dulce de leche. Add sour cream, and beat again.

Carefully slice the cake to have four layers all together.
Spray or add syrup using a spoon on each layer.
Spread the cream evenly on each layer leaving the top.

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder (sifted)

Beat together heavy cream with sugar.Gradually add cocoa powder.
Spread the cream all over the top and sides of the cake.

Decorate the cake as desired. Top it with mixed nuts,chocolate,  sifted cocoa.


kievskiy cake

kievskiy cake-2


Kievskiy cake is meringue cake with nuts in between two sponge cakes slightly soaked with syrup and apricot preserve  that’s covered with delicious cream!. Sounds so delightfully tasty already, but wait until you try it… It can’t be better. Its a very popular Russian/ Ukrainian cake that got it’s name from “Kiev” city  in Ukraine in early 1950’s.There is also lots of variation on making this cake, and this recipe is the one that my family adores .(especially my mom,who is not a big fan of sweets).

Meringue takes some time to bake, I like to make it day before I make the whole cake.When Apricots in season I like to make my own preserve, (apricots and sugar simmering over low heat for about 1.5 hours) but otherwise I use store bought.

For Meringue:

4 egg whites
1 1/2 cup sugar

For Cake:

6 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 cup flour

For Cream:
1 can condensed cream

2 sticks butter softened at room temp.

1 package cream cheese

8 oz container whip cream topping (Also you can beat heavy cream with powdered sugar, taste will be slightly different but still taste good) *

Apricot jam or preserve (or any other of your choice)

cooled sugar syrup (boil 1 cup water with 3 tbsp. sugar. let cool)

finely chopped walnuts or peanuts

crushed maria’s cookies or graham cracker cookies

* You can also omit whip cream, just add 2 sticks butter and 1 more can of condensed milk.


Heat oven to 250 degrees.

On high speed beat egg whites with sugar until really stiff about 20-25 minutes.

Line the bottom of 9″ spring foam pan with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes on 250 degrees then reduce to 175 degrees for another 4 hours. (I like to leave it in the turned off oven overnight)


Heat oven 325 degrees.

On high speed beat eggs with sugar, when the batter is stiff and light, add flour and mix it well.

Pour the batter into 9” round baking pan and bake for  about  30-35 minutes.

Let  the cake cool.

Beat butter with cream cheese until smooth.

Gradually add condensed milk and beat well until combined.

Add whip cream and beat again.

note: If you will use heavy whipping cream instead of whip cream topping, then beat it together with powdered sugar  in separate bowl then fold it in gently to the cream.





Slice the cake in half.Using a tablespoon pour sugar syrup on the cake(don’t over do it)

spread the jam or preserve.
spread a good layer of cream
sprinkle with nuts
place meringue cake on top, and add another good layer of cream.

Soak the other slice of cake with syrup, and spread jam or preserve.Place it on top of the cake.

Spread the remaining cream all over the cake. Sprinkle cookie crumbs on the top,(and sides if you like) and nuts on the sides of the cake.Or you can do how ever you like depends on your preference. Keep it in the fridge for at least two hours. Serve with a cup of hot tea.Enjoy!