I’m a planner. I like to know what I have to do and how I’m going to get it done. I make lists and set goals all of the time. However, when people find out I have two sets of twins born 20 months apart and they ask me “Did you plan that?,” I can only respond with a dumbfounded stare. Seriously?
Now that I’m an empty nester, having the kids all home for visits gives me the opportunity to do what I love best -- and that is planning meals for my family.
One of my favorites is actually breakfast. I love the comfort foods that go with breakfast, and nothing is better than my make-ahead blueberry cream cheese casserole. It is sweet, creamy and filled with fresh blueberries. The best part is how easy it is when morning rolls around. You simply pop it in the oven and then enjoy your coffee while it bakes.
When you pull it out of the oven, the aroma of maple, fruit and custard is one of the most inviting things on a lazy morning. Serve warm and plan to hear some compliments come your way!
Belle’s Blueberry Cream Cheese Casserole
- 10 slices day-old bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 8-ounce package cream cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
- 10 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 tablespoon butter
Grease a 15-by-11 inch baking dish. Arrange half the bread cubes in the dish, and top with cream cheese cubes. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups blueberries over the cream cheese, and top with remaining bread cubes.
In a large bowl, mix the eggs, milk, vanilla extract and syrup. Pour over the bread cubes. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the casserole from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover, and continue baking 30 to 40 minutes, until center is firm and surface is lightly browned.
In a medium saucepan, mix the sugar, cornstarch and water. Bring to a boil. Stirring constantly, cook 3 to 4 minutes. Mix in the remaining 1 cup blueberries. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, until the blueberries burst. Stir in the butter, and pour over the casserole.
Brenda Stanley is the mother of five children, including two sets of twins, and a grandmother of three. She is a cookbook author and novelist. For more recipes and information, visit her website www.talesofthedinnerbelle.com.