I Heart French Toast Casserole

Valentine's Day was one of my favorite holidays when I was a boy growing up in Oslo, Norway. I remember one year - I must have been 8 or 9 years old - I really went all out. I had coordinated a really fantastic all-red outfit and was all set to be the KING of Valentine's Day in my school! However, Mother Nature had another thing in mind… on the night of February 13th there was a terrible snowstorm!

I remember waking up on Valentine's Day morning, seeing the whiteout conditions and fending off tears. I went downstairs and found my Mormor (Norwegian for grandmother) standing at the ironing board pressing my red outfit. I asked her "Why?" She just handed me the outfit and told me to get dressed.

Once I was all decked out in my red outfit I walked into the kitchen and found my grandmother with her French Toast Casserole steaming on the table. She had cut the bread into the shapes of hearts just for me! We had the most wonderful Valentine's Day together that year!

INGREDIENTS

  • 20 slices of good quality white bread (day old works great)
  • 1 ½ cup whole milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • VARIATION: To make this into a savory casserole, simply omit the vanilla, and sprinkle the casserole with grated cheese, crumbled bacon, and chives!

Instructions

TIPS FOR INSPIRATION

You can customize your French Toast Casserole by using different shaped cookie cutters. Why not try stars for a superstar mom or dad when Mother's Day and Father's Day come around?