Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Take Time to Realize

A few realizations for the day….

Realization Number 1…

It is entirely possible to bake an entire French Toast Casserole in an hour without ever having to leave work thanks to the magical invention of the self timer on the oven. Maybe I live in the dark ages, but I had no idea this existed until last night.

Today we had our Quarterly Work Department Birthday/Holiday luncheon. I was in charge of the planning for this one; so naturally, I came up with the brilliant idea of doing a BFL (Breakfast for Lunch). People may have turned up their noses at first, but when they saw the glorious array of breakfast foods waiting for them by noon, they were RAVING at how wonderful it all was.

I made a Baked Apple French Toast Casserole that was a HUGE hit! Everyone loved it and wouldn't stop bugging me for the recipe.

Anyways, back to this oven thing, I was in a bit of a pickle because I needed to somehow bake the casserole for an hour at home (we don't have an oven here) and pick it up in time for lunch. This is when I discovered the self time on the oven. I set it this morning and prayed that it would work. When I went home to pick it up before lunch, the house smelled of warm apple pie and I knew it was a success. It did get a little burnt because I may have been running a few minutes late, but other than that, total sensation!

Realization Number 2….

Panera Cinnamon Crunch bagels with Hazelnut Cream Cheese could quite possibly be the best thing I have ever consumed.

I have a HUGE weak spot for these, especially because it was the first thing to touch my lips after I finished my ½ marathon. I wasn't sure if they were that good because I had just ran 13 miles and I could have probably felt the same way about eating grass at that point, but after I reunited my taste buds during a more normal state of hunger, it was clear that they really are just that amazing.

Realization Number 3….

You know you are living in an entirely new aged generation when you spend 20 minutes trying to figure out why a VHS tape will not play until it finally hits you that it may just need to be rewound.

Realization Number 4….

Having leftovers to eat for dinner during the week leading up to Thanksgiving is a God send. My fridge is so full it is about to burst, but unfortunately, most of the contents are all in prep for the big Turkey Day. So, that is why already made dinners are ideal to reheat for something quick and delicious.

I reheated the rest of my Pumpkin Risotto and added a Tj's Apple Chicken Sausage, Maple Roasted Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts. The sprouts are supposed to be saved for Thanksgiving, but I just couldn't help myself. I figured I could steel a few without too much trouble. So worth it! I love love love my sprouts!

Eaten the only way I know how; on a bed of steamed spinach of course and drizzled in Honey Mustard and finished with a little Cranberry Chutney. Perfection in a bowl.

Toly was having one of his most beloved dishes…

My dad's Homemade Lasagna. He has been requesting this for awhile now, and my Dad surprised him this weekend with a big pan to satisfy his hankering.
(Yes Dad, you made the coveted blog! He is always trying to squeeze his creations in here :)

Realization Number 5......

Having an entire day devoted utterly to wonderful food is just about as good as it gets. Thanksgiving rocks, amen?

Well, I just have a few more things on the menu to make for Thursday. I should be able to get most of it done tomorrow night but I am running out of room in my fridge. I bet I am not the only one with this problem this week.

Enjoy your night!


  1. There is so much good food in YOUR post! Love that french toast- it looks soooo delicious. I want to try making something like this. I also want that lasagna....right now. Makes my pasta dinner seem wayyyyy lame ;) I hope you have such a good thanksgiving! Sorry if I go MIA and best of luck with the surgery (in case I don't catch up with you before then)

  2. Wonderful realizations!!

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, dear Lauren!

  3. Mmmm, Lauren, I think I would have been begging your for the recipe too ... that looks so good!

  4. Totally caught that song :) I wonder if anyone else did!

    I didn't know there was a self timer on the oven!!! WHAT THE HEY!?

    I absolutely love that Panera combo...I could (and have) eaten that hazelnut cream cheese by the spoonful....or should I say fingerful haha

    We planned on brussels for T-day but I don't know if it's still on the menu anymore.

  5. Who knew that I would be a guest celebrity on your blog? haha! I'll send you the recipe for it. And thanks again for hosting pumpkin night - it was great!
    That apple french toast looks awesome! I just made a blueberry one last week that was pretty tasty.
    Anyway, have a good night and happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Oooh the french toast creation looks delicious, and the bagel sounds so good! I love cinnamon :) Haha, VHS seems so old-school now, but I totally remember when DVDs were so novel. I bet I'd forget about the rewinding thing, too ;) Have a great night!

  7. okk ihave mixed feelings about this post because as amazingg ast hef ood looks, it is making me so hungry!!! hahah jk but seriously delicousss foods :) and realization number 3 is hliarious


  8. oh.. my..gosh..too many amazing eats in one post! FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE? i need me some of that!

  9. Ok, seriously....can I come to your house? I love all of this food. And I am looking forward to the day I use the self-timer, too. I'm sort of technologically challenged ;)

    Oh, and you are a thousand times prettier than the wife on Curb Your Enthusiasm!

  10. I agree with ALL of these realizations!!!! I never knew ovens had a self timer - you know that's the first thing I'll be checking when I get home tonight!

    And yes, cinnamon crunch bagels from Panera + Hazelnut cc - is one of the best.things.on.earth!!!

  11. Lauren I would LOVE to have the recipe for that casserole too!! I can totally see why everyone was dying to steal that recipe off you!! It looks like baked French toast all the way!! *drool* A complete day dedicated to delicious food is definitely not bad at all!!

    I’m sorry I’ve been so busy lately but I’ve meant to comment on your doctor’s appointment!! I’m SO glad that you guys found someone who knows his stuff (and so glad that it’s not oral cancer!). I’m so proud of you for keeping your head up high despite having gone through so much pain and hassle…and still having surgery and recovery ahead of you. But you’re totally on the right track to getting back to 100% and although it sucks so much when life’s curveballs keep coming your way, they will definitely make you a stronger an dbetter person! You know that we’ll be here for you all the way. Keep fighting my dear!! And don’t forget to enjoy Thanksgiving! Haha

  12. Oh my word, everything looks absolutely divine! I'm glad you went with BFL - prove those haters wrongo bongo with that casserole! My mom is a big fan of that Panera combination. She pan fries her bagels to make them a little crispy. Your dad is quite the cook! I see where you get it from :)

  13. wow.. i had no idea about oven timers either! and i cracked up at the VHS thing. i love you.