The perfect holiday breakfast dish: Karla’s French Toast Egg Nog Casserole

This is a recipe blog hop! Go here to get the button and join us each week: The Most Delicious Recipe Blog Hop. Then add your recipe post to mine with the linky codes at the end of this post. Whether you’re a paleo, vegetarian, southern cook, or baker, you’re welcome to join me and post a weekly recipe! Karla’s French Toast Egg Nog Casserole When I got the idea for this recipe, I was extremely excited to try it. I’m happy to report that it tasted just as delicious as I imagined. And it’s so easy. You mix it the night before and pop it in the oven when you wake up. I used a basic french toast casserole recipe and instead of using cream or half and half and milk, I used egg nog. It was beyond amazing. I can’t wait to make it again for New Year’s Eve! Ingredients for casserole 1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces) — I used a week-old loaf I got for .60! 8 large eggs 3 cups of your favorite egg nog (no alcohol) 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Dash salt Ingredients for Praline Topping 2 sticks of real butter — softened (set the sticks out overnight) 1 cup packed light brown sugar 1 cup chopped pecans 2 tablespoons light corn syrup 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg Tear up the French Bread into pieces as big as you like — about 1 inches. Some people slice them. I don’t. Place the pieces in a buttered 9 X 13 baking pan or dish. In another bowl combine the eggs, egg nog, sugar and salt and beat until well mixed. Pour mixture over the bread making sure all are covered evenly. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine ingredients for the Praline Topping, spread evenly over the bread, and bake for 40 minutes. You may want to add your praline topping about 15 minutes into cooking if you don’t like a crusty top. I happen to like the crusty top–it’s my favorite part. You can serve it with syrup but there’s so much flavor, no one in my house wanted syrup with it! Tweet this: Try this delicious breakfast treat for New Year’s...

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Emissary by Thomas Locke — 4 out of 5 stars

I know you’re not suppose to judge a book by its cover, but really, what’s not to like about this gorgeous work of art? It’s the perfect marquee for this new fantasy series by Thomas Locke. It depicts the flavor and mood of this story perfectly. I don’t read fantasy as a rule, but because it’s such a popular genre for the younger set, including Millennials, I wanted to read it as a way get to know why they love this type of story. Walk into any bookstore these days and the shelves overflow with novels featuring wizardry and witchcraft. These books appeal to those who cut their teeth on Harry Potter and fantasy role-playing and video games.  They crave more stories that take them into the land of fairy tales and magic. I am one of the few who hasn’t read Harry Potter due to my own personal convictions. And I will admit being wary of this book. However, I do believe Locke has tapped into a market that desires a less dark fantasy experience. There is no overt Christian message, but there is definitely a main character to admire and a quest to be fought for. The thing to remember when reading fiction, Dear Reader, is that it is Fantasy. Locke himself stated on his blog that he wants to take his readers on a story journey similar to what he loved reading while growing up: “During our formative years – up until around age 30 – we are reinforcing our world view when we read for entertainment. But much of the fantasy that’s being published today doesn’t offer that sense of courage and inspiration that used to be prevalent in fantasy and science fiction novels. Of course, not all of the “classic” authors wrote uplifting work. Ray Bradbury is one example. But even Bradbury’s writing gave me a sense of mind-bending escape and the opportunity to dream and envision more than what was available in world around me. The books I loved most offered hope for a better tomorrow. Hope for growing into someone who could have these sorts of adventures. I want to infuse that hopefulness into my characters, and not give in to the temptation of creating characters who are only bitter and cynical. In Emissary, key themes include courage in the face of fear, travel to unknown destinations, and new personal avenues of growth and development. I’ve tried to bring each of these into a story structure that’s applicable to today’s culture.” I was quite surprised how quickly I was drawn into the story. Usually I read historical or political suspense, but I found myself smiling and turning page after page, eager to...

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Listen

Welcome to A to Z! We’d love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors. If you’re joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here. Today’s Blog is brought to you by the letter “L.” Listen. A still, small voice longs to be heard. Above the cacophony of clacking machines, credit card swipes, family spats. Listen. Can you hear it? The whisper of Love: wooing, desiring, reaching, stretching through the noise. Stop, dear friend, at this Christmas-tide and take time to listen for that voice of love. It longs to hold you and speak your name. That Voice, the One Whose birthday we celebrate, and yet, go about our duties like countless re-enactments of Martha, frantic about the business of the party. But if it’s His party, shouldn’t He be the One Whom our attention is focused? Stop. Put down the paper, the ribbons, the mixing spoon. Take time to Listen. Love is calling. Merry Christmas, Child of the Most High God. You are Loved with mercy so rich you can’t comprehend it. Bathe in that gift. Rejoice. Celebrate. Give praise. And...

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Easy-peasy fudge!

This is a recipe blog hop! Go here to get the button and join us each week: The Most Delicious Recipe Blog Hop. Then add your recipe post to mine with the linky codes at the end of this post. Whether you’re a paleo, vegetarian, southern cook, or baker, you’re welcome to join me and post a weekly recipe! As you may or may not know, I’d much rather be in my writing cave than working in the kitchen, but there’s something about the holidays that brings out my hidden inner chef. So many people are making goodies that the enthusiasm for culinary delights is contagious. I love fudge. My grandmother was an excellent candy maker and her fudge was perfect and delicious. I always thought there was a secret formula, and there probably is, to making the best fudge. But when I found this easy recipe, I couldn’t wait to try and it share it! Even I can make fudge now–and without a candy thermometer! Karla’s Easy Peasy Fudge  Ingredients: 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate in my recipe today) 1 (14 oz.) can of sweetened condensed milk Dash salt 1/2 to 1 cups chopped nuts (I was out of nuts today) 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract   Instructions: The recipe I used today said to line a pan with foil, but I think you could probably use parchment paper, as well. Also, did you know I am 53 years old and I just bought my first electric can opener in 2014? How did I live for so long without this wonderful device! Here are the rest of the instructions: Combine chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk and salt in a 1-quart bowl. Cook on high (100% power) in microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in vanilla and nuts   Cook on high (100% power) in microwave for another 1 1/2 minutes (for a total of three minutes) and stir. Pour into pan and chill in refrigerator As you can see in the picture below, it sets up nicely and cuts easily into little squares. NOM! I’m so proud of myself for making fudge just like grandma used to make! Okay, maybe not exactly like she made, but I guarantee you that Grandma would have loved having a microwave! I think this would be a great recipe to put in jars for fudge to heat up for ice cream, too. I’m going to add pecans to my next batch. What’s your favorite Christmas candy? Tweet this: Fudge recipe so easy even a cave girl can do it!      ...

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