Sunday, November 25, 2007

"Celebrate Gonzaga (High School) - Gonzaga Mothers Club Cookbook" - Canadian Bacon Egg Casserole and Berry Stuffed French Toast

Date I made this recipe: November 22, 2007 (Thanksgiving Day)

Celebrate Gonzaga – Gonzaga Mothers Club Cookbook by the Gonzaga Mothers Club
Published by: Morris Press Cookbooks
© 2003

Recipes: Canadian Bacon Egg Casserole – p. 12 (submitted by Liz Yackee) and Berry Stuffed French Toast – p. 15 (Submitted by Chris McLaughlin, GMC President, ’95-’96)

Just wait until you see how I tie this whole “how I came to select this cookbook” story together. Ready?

My Aunt Rose and I share of love of cookbooks, such that I frequently send her copies of some of the favorites in my collection. This year for her birthday, for example, I sent her Life Is Meals by James and Kay Salter, that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I also print out and send her copies of my blog entries as she doesn’t have a computer. In turn, she put them into a three-ring binder so that she has her own, unique cookbook of my blog recipes.

So anyway, I think it was last year when my aunt sent me a cookbook in return. Turns out her neighbor’s grandson attended Gonzaga College High School (the “oldest school in the old federal city of Washington”) and the school put out this cookbook. When my aunt’s neighbor heard I collected cookbooks, she gave this book to my aunt to send to me and so that’s how I came to have it.

But it doesn’t stop there. My mom and dad as well as my brother and sister-in-law, were supposed to come to Minneapolis for Thanksgiving this year. But my poor mom fell and had to have a partial hip replacement. Come Thanksgiving, she was recuperating in a convalescent home in my home town instead of being down here visiting me in the Twin Cities. But my brother and sister-in-law still planned to come into town…with one catch. Instead of staying with me for two days and then spending two days with her brother’s family (they live in a small town about an hour from the Twin Cities) as originally planned, they were going to fly in to Minneapolis at 8 a.m. on Turkey Day, then fly up to my folks at 2 p.m., spend the rest of Thursday and Friday there and then fly back into town to have a belated Thanksgiving with us.

This tight schedule meant that having a Thanksgiving dinner with us on Thursday was out of the question but brunch was not. And so I planned brunch. And when I did so, I pulled this book off the shelf, not only because my Aunt Rose gave it to me but because Aunt Rose is also my brother’s godmother. And so it seemed fitting to tie the whole thing together and select some recipes from the book.

Notice I said recipes. I know that when I first started this blog, I said “one book, one recipe per book” but hey, it’s Thanksgiving and it’s an “emergency” of sorts and so I bent the rules. I can do that—it’s my blog.

As if we weren’t having enough fun with the schedule, the Packers were playing the Lions at 11:30 in the annual T-day battle. While we had enough time to get them from the airport to watch the kickoff, their 1:55 flight to Michigan meant we’d have to skip part of the game. As my mother would have said if she were here, “Oh prunes.” (Note: no prunes were harmed in the making of the recipes but some berries gave it up for our wonderful feast!)

“Oh prunes” indeed. Flying on a holiday is often fraught with problems and this day was no exception. Their flight to visit my folks involved them flying from Minneapolis to Chicago and then Chicago to Marquette, Michigan where my dad would pick them up and drive them to my hometown, forty-five minutes away. But the flight from Minneapolis to Chicago was delayed for three hours leaving them no time to make their connection to Michigan. The airlines could get them as far as Green Bay but that’s three hours away from Marquette and there was not a rental car to be had on Thanksgiving.

Ever resourceful, they checked into renting a car one-way but that was a little cost prohibitive (as in the low, low price of $561 and some change). So that option was out. They could have used one of our cars to drive to my parents but it’s a seven hour car ride. And so, dear reader, after exhausting all options, they ended up spending the next two nights with us and the following two nights with my sister-in-law’s family as planned. But a big shout-out to a reservation agent named Oz (I’m not kidding) at the airlines for attempting to get them there. He must have been on the phone with my sister-in-law for an hour trying to figure out how to deliver them unto my parents with enough time to at least say hello before returning to Minneapolis but alas, to no avail. We’re all planning to go to my parents for Christmas, this time by car. No fools, us…..

But I digress from talking about the recipes. Both of these were absolute winners and let me just say that the four of us took these puppies down in one fell swoop. We barely had any leftovers (although we made a half recipe of the French toast). We were appropriately fueled and ready to cheer our Packers onto victory although we watched the game in between stints on the phone and the internet trying to get the travel problem resolved.

So thanks all around to Oz at the airlines and the Packers and to my Aunt Rose and to her friend who gave me the cookbook for the bountiful food we ate this Thanksgiving Day!

Canadian Bacon Egg Casserole (serving size not noted)
4 slices French bread, cubed
1 lb. Canadian bacon, diced
8 eggs, beaten
¾ c. cheddar cheese, shredded
¾ c. Monteray Jack cheese, shredded
1 ½ tablespoon Lem’nDill seasoning
4 potatoes, cooked, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

And now, a word about Lem’nDill seasoning. We scoured our grocery store for this stuff to no avail. An internet search seemed to indicate that this seasoning was only available by mail order and gee, discovering this on Wednesday night when the next day is the holiday is really bad timing. And so I improvised. We had lemon pepper on hand as well as dill and so I mixed the two together and voila, we had ourselves something resembling Lem’nDill seasoning.

Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Layer bread and potatoes in bottom of prepared pan. Add Canadian bacon. Pour eggs over all. Top with cheese and seasoning. Cover and refrigerate over night. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until eggs are set. Cool 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Berry Stuffed French Toast (serves 9-12)
12 slices sourdough French bread, or challah bread
1 cup of your choice of berries, fresh or frozen (we used frozen mixed berries)
8 oz (or less) low fat cream cheese
¼ cup maple syrup
10 eggs
2 cups low fat milk

Berry sauce
1 T. cornstarch
1 c. water
1 c. sugar
1 c. berries, fresh or frozen
1 T. butter

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