Saturday, January 10, 2015

French Toast Casseroles, or My Search for the Ultimate Truth

Honestly. French toast casserole. You'd think it would be a simple thing to find a good recipe for French toast casserole, wouldn't you? But, no. No, it isn't. I've been testing various ones for the past forever it seems, but none are really satisfactory. This one has too much custard, that one is too bland. This one is too spicy, that one tastes like nuclear waste, and oh, my blob, is it still in my mouth? Spit it out, spit it out!!!

What is it going to take for a girl to find a good French toast casserole recipe!?!?

Poverty, apparently. I'm super poor at the moment, what with various family dramas going on and my decision to pay off my credit cards, so I've decided to make a different French toast casserole every Sunday until I find the best damn French toast casserole on the planet, by gum. Or at least an adequate one. Because eating in is a lot cheaper than eating out, and that was the family tradition for most Sundays. Well, poverty. So they can become rats in my little pain perdu maze. Bwahahahahaaa!

Up tomorrow: The Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Baked French Toast. I chose it for first because...well. No reason, really. But I know some people for whom the Pioneer Woman is, like, a minor goddess, so her recipe can't be all that bad, can it?

Anyway, for the purposes of this experiment, I decided I will have to use the exact same ingredients for each recipe (at least, where they overlap), otherwise it's not a good test of the recipe, is it? I have chosen for my bread a nice, heavy French loaf from my local Earth Fare. To be completely honest, that's the only item I buy there (except if I need Emmentaler cheese -- don't ask me why, but apparently the people in these parts have a thing against good Swiss cheeses), but that's not the fault of their products. It's my location. Upon a time, it was a huge Office Max, and before that a regular grocery store. Earth Fare moves in, I get all excited...and then they cut the inside down by nearly 2/3, and have a produce section approximately the size of my bedroom closet. Whaa...?

Whatever. We have a Fresh Thyme market, too, so screw you, Earth Fare, and your teensy weensy vegetable section at our location. Are we not good enough for your precious fingerling potatoes?

Ahem. Back to the French loaf. It's good eatin' bread, so if anything will make a French toast casserole good, it's this. Same brand of milk, same brand of cream, etc. All the variables must be the same if we are to figure out if there's magic in the mix. Somehow I feel like I should have a lab coat for this....

Next week, I think I may go with Maple French Toast, from Taste of Home magazine. The week after, Brown Sugar and Walnuts, from Mr. It has the walnuts, you see. Healthy. Then maybe the completely nutritionally unredeemed Skier's Baked French Toast from Miss Party. Corn syrup, people, it's got corn syrup!!! And rounding out the top five (and hopefully there's a winner in this batch) is the Blueberry Surprise French Toast, by Shop 'N Save, a chain of supermarkets here in the States. I will have to make up a score card and everything, too.

Is it weird that the thought of doing a statistical analysis of French toast casserole recipes sort of excites me?

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