It’s time for mother’s day. Well mother’s month…my mom’s birthday is next week so it’s always; what do we get for mother’s day, and then what do we get for her birthday, and the answer is always garden stuff, because its spring, and because she spends most of her time elbow deep in mulch and plants. Not that I’m complaining, our yard is an agricultural masterpiece. If there’s anyone with a green thumb its my mother.

So, for gifts this mother’s day I have purchased a really cool teepee trellis thing-a-ma-jig…and some garden gloves. This may sound boring to some people, but my mother will be thrilled.

For the rest of us, we’re more concerned about Mother’s Day brunch. This means Gina makes lots of good food and everyone else eats it. And hopefully Peter shows up with fresh squeezed oj to make mimosas!

Yesterday was market day so of course I bought the bounty of my supplies there. Amazing thick cut bacon and fresh, crusty Italian bread. I decided to make overnight baked french toast, bacon, fruit, and an assortment of Italian pastries my brother just brought back with him from Boston. (my favorite!)

So the overnight french toast…is amazing. It is my Aunt Bea’s recipe and last time I was in Boston visiting I begged her for it and copied it down on a scrap of paper that I now treasure. It is NOT healthy by any means, and I even cut down on the butter and sugar in my version, but it is SO so so so SOOO good!

Melt butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in a pan until it’s all nice and gooey.

This gooey deliciousness goes on the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan. It will get all caramelly and be an ooey-gooey topping for the french toast.

Slice a nice crusty loaf of bread.

Put a layer of slices on top of the ooey-gooey.

Did I mention the cream cheese/almond filling? No? Oh…insert cream cheese/almond filling here. And some sliced almonds if you want. (If you’re making this for Mr. Bell, or someone else with a nut allergy, skip this part, or don’t add almonds!)

Another layer of bread. Its like breakfast lasagna…mmm

A dozen eggs and 2 cups of milk. I used a mix of almond milk and coconut milk since everyone I live with is lactose intolerant and we never have regular milk. Oh I put almond extract in this mixture too.

Pour egg/milk mixture over the bread in the pan.

And its all set! Now cover it with foil and pop it in the fridge. The bread will soak up all the eggy goodness and its so easy to bake it in the morning! No prep, no dishes. Just a beautiful pan of french toast! And it is SO delicious!

Overnight French Toast Recipe
from Aunt Bea

1 stick butter
1 C brown sugar
1 1/2 T cinnamon
1 large loaf of bread; sliced (I used crusty Italian)
1 dozen eggs
2 cups milk (I used almond & coconut milk)
almond extract
1 package cream cheese
handful sliced almonds
1 cup powdered sugar

Start the day before:

In a pan melt the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon until mixed and gooey. Spread on the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan. Add one layer of bread slices. Spoon filling onto bread, sprinkle with almond slices and top with remaining bread. Mix eggs, milk and about 2t almond extract. Beat well then pour into the pan making sure to get all the bread wet. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

Next Day:

Bake covered at 350 for 40 minutes. Then uncover and broil 3-5 minutes until top is nicely browned. I had to bake mine a little longer than 40 minutes because the eggs weren’t cooked all the way. Maybe an extra 5 minutes.

Slice and serve. Make sure to scoop all the way to the bottom so you get the ooey gooey goodness!

In a mixer mix cream cheese, sugar and 2 t almond extract. Beat well. If it’s too thick add a little milk until it makes a frosting that is not too thin but easy to spread over the bread. Delicious!