Cinnamon Apple Baked French Toast

If you have been following along with us at Tuck & Tate, you know we love a good brunch situation. Our easy, go-to brunch menu includes a savory egg dish, a sweet dish, and either a fruit salad or a vegetable salad. When it comes to the sweet section, we love a good baked french toast. We have made this Cinnamon Apple Baked French toast a few times now, and the dish is always a crowd pleaser. Thick slices of challah, a sweet and cinnamony batter, all topped with a thick layer of baked apples. A winter dream dish! While tasting decadent, we have modified the ingredients from a traditional baked french toast with some healthy substitutes. We like serving dishes that taste sweet but won’t leave us in a sugar coma after eating. It has the perfect balance of flavors that will have everyone asking for seconds.

Cinnamon Apple Baked French Toast

  • Servings: 8-10
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A decadent brunch dish that will satisfy any sweet tooth.

French Toast Ingredients

  • 1- 1lb challah, crust removed and sliced, left out on a counter to dry out
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups oat milk or milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch of salt

Baked Apple Ingredients

  • 3 tbs butter
  • 3 large apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the all of the ingredients for the french toast batter with the exception of the challah (eggs – salt). Whisk well to combine. Set aside.
  3. Make the apples. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter to the pan and get it nice and melted. Add the apples and remaining apple ingredients (through vanilla extract). Toss well and let the apples cook until they are softened but not flimsy, about 4 minutes. We like them to have a little bit of texture after they are baked. Turn the apples off the heat and set aside.
  4. Spray a 9 x 11 baking dish with cooking spray. Dip the pieces of challah into the french toast batter covering both sides of the slice. Layer the challah slices into the baking dish. You want to have a mostly uniform layer and be sure the bottom of the baking dish is fully covered. Pour any extra batter over the top of the challah.
  5. Add the apples on top of the challah in an even layer. Cover the baking dish with a sheet of foil and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes. Serve with maple syrup, our Bourbon Salted Caramel, or cinnamon whipped cream, if desired.


Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole

We had good friends over for brunch a few weekends ago and went to work brainstorming a delicious menu. It’s so easy to gravitate towards the same recipes over and over, so we wanted to break out of our shell and mix things up! For the main dish of our brunch menu, we chose to go with this Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole instead of shakshuka or quiche. We have thrown the whole kitchen sink in this bad boy, so has protein, carbs, and veggies all in one. We cut back on some of the cheese content compared to other recipes, so while indulgent, it isn’t as calorie heavy as some of the other recipes that you will find online. It’s a great anchor for any brunch menu, as you can mix and match the “add in” ingredients to suit any flavor profile you want to match!

Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole

  • Servings: 8
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A perfect anchor for any brunch menu. Feel free to mix and match the add ins with your favorite ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Italian sausage or breakfast sausage of your choice
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, seeds and stem removed and diced
  • 1 cup low fat cottage cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 russet potatoes, peeled and grated
  • 1 3/4 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 4 oz green chiles
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a large pyrex baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the sausage to the pan and brown on all sides, for roughly 6 minutes. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside on a cutting board.
  3. Add the olive oil and diced onion to the pan. Cook the onions until they start to caramelize, about 4 minutes. Chop the sausage into bite sized pieces and add it back into the pan with 3/4 of the bell peppers. Cook until the sausage is cooked through and the peppers have softened, another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  4. Make the egg mixture. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream, and garlic powder. Add the grated potatoes and 1 cup of the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If you are worried that it isn’t seasoned enough, you can pull a bit of the mixture out and fry it in a pan to taste. Add the green chiles and sausage mixture to the egg and potato mixture, mix well to combine.
  5. Pour the mixture into your baking dish and spread everything into an even layer. Top with the remaining shredded cheese and bell peppers, cover with foil, and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil after 45 minutes and bake another 10 minutes to melt the cheese. Wait a few minutes out of the oven before serving so that the casserole can set. Serve with hot sauce, if desired.


Post-Baby Breakfast Burritos

We have seen a number of requests for “post baby” frozen meals from our soon-to-be mama friends looking to get ahead in the kitchen before baby. When Tate’s human brother was born, these frozen breakfast burritos were a savior after sleepless nights. We make them in big batches and keep them in the freezer. All it takes is a quick pop in the oven and we have breakfast ready in no time.

Post-Baby Breakfast Burritos
Makes: 16 burritos
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes Ingredients:

  • 16 burrito-sized tortillas
  • 24 eggs
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 package bacon
  • 1 package breakfast sausage
  • 1- 8 oz bag of shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 1 jar green salsa
  • salt and pepper to taste

Other Ingredients:

  • 1 roll of aluminum foil
  • 1 roll of parchment paper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash and grate the sweet potatoes and place them on a large cookie sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Lay the sweet potatoes in an even layer on the cookie sheet and bake in the oven until lightly crispy, about 15 minutes.
  3. Place the bacon and sausage onto two additional small cookie sheets. Bake in the oven until the bacon is crispy and the sausage is cooked through- about 10 minutes for the sausage and 15 minutes + on the bacon. Remove the sweet potatoes, sausage, and bacon from the oven when they are finished and set on a countertop and cool. Chop each into small bite-sized pieces.
  4. While the ingredients are in the oven, cook the eggs. Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and whisk well to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter to the pan and melt; add the eggs. Slowly scramble the eggs until they are just cooked; remove from the heat immediately and cool.
  5. Create an assembly line for the burritos by laying 16 pieces of foil (about 8-10 inch squares) on a large counter space. Follow the foil with a similar size piece of parchment paper. Top each parchment paper with a tortilla.
  6. Assemble the tortillas by layering the following on the center of each tortilla: 1/2 cup of scrambled eggs, 1/4 cup potatoes, 1 heaping tablespoon shredded cheese, and 1 tbs green salsa. Distribute the chopped bacon and sausage to eight tortillas each. Roll the burritos, wrap in parchment paper, and then wrap in foil. Label each burrito as either bacon or sausage and place into gallon sized freezer bags. Freeze the burritos.
  7. To heat the burritos from frozen, cook in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 – 40 minutes, or heat in the microwave (foil removed!!) for 5-6 minutes.

Jewish Deli Brunch Board

We aren’t sure if our Yom Kippur “break-the-fast” dinner is one of our favorite meals because it is breakfast-for-dinner on steroids, or if it’s one of our favorite dinners because we have spent the previous 24 hours abstaining from food. In normal (non-Covid) years, our mom hosts a huge Break-The-Fast with a bunch of our family friends. Everyone contributes to the menu and we usually have everything from Baked French Toast, to our Green Chili Egg Bake, to coffeecake and cookies. The star of the show, however, is the giant buffet of Jewish deli bagels and accompaniments. Today we are giving you a quick rundown of our favorite must-haves, and how to present them to wow your starving Yom Kippur guests or anyone coming over for a fun weekend brunch. As with any of our board recipes, you can make as much of the board ingredients as you like from scratch, but can easily cut back on time and effort by purchasing the items pre-made.

Break-The-Fast Jewish Deli Board

Makes: 8 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes if you buy everything pre-made

Ingredients:

  • 8 assorted bagels, sliced
  • 16 oz whipped cream cheese
  • 16 oz smoked white fish
  • 16 oz egg salad
  • 1 lb lox (smoked salmon)
  • 2 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • 8 oz cherry tomatoes, halved if they are large
  • 1 cucumber, sliced on a bias
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 boiled eggs, cut in half
  • 8 oz mixed olives (we used kalamata and castelvetrano)
  • Mixed herbs (dill, parsley, chives) for garnish, optional

Directions:

  1. Put the dips (cream cheese, white fish and egg salad) into small ramekins for serving on the board. Top each with appropriate garnishes and place on the board. We like to top the white fish with dill sprigs, the egg salad with chives, and the cream cheese with Everything Bagel Seasoning. Place each of the ramekins on the board, along with the smoked salmon.
  2. Add to the board with slices of tomato, cucumber, red onion, and avocado in various places, alternating with different vegetables in different spaces to distribute colors and ingredients to all sides of the board.
  3. Fill in the board with cherry tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, and mixed olives. Serve with sliced bagels and utensils for each of the spreads.

Almond Butter & Berry Smoothie

We are still on the smoothie train and love having a little something sweet to look forward to in the morning when it’s time for breakfast. This Almond Butter & Berry Smoothie is one of our favorites. We blend a mix of chia seeds and flax seeds into the smoothie which makes it thick and gives it the smoothie a great texture. It is packed with antioxidants, protein, and fiber- the perfect way to start the morning!

Almond Butter Berry Smoothie 
Makes: 1 serving
Prep Time: 5 minutes    Total Time: 5 minutes 

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup frozen mixed berries 
  • 1 tbs flax seeds
  • 1 tbs chia seeds  
  • 1 heaping tbs almond butter (peanut butter is fine too) 
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder 
  • 1 cup almond milk (or milk of choice) 
  • granola, for topping (optional) 

Directions: 

  1. Place all of the smoothie ingredients (frozen berries – almond milk) in a blender and blend until smooth. Top with a few spoonfuls of granola, if you wish, for serving. Enjoy immediately. 

Morning Mocha Smoothie

On mornings that the weather is unbearably hot, we love a cold coffee to shake the sleep off and get us going for the day. Lately we have been having coffee and breakfast as a two-for-one combo by adding cold brew to our morning smoothie. The combination of the coffee, almond milk, and chocolate protein powder tastes like we are having dessert for breakfast with none of the guilt! 

Morning Mocha Smoothie
Makes: 1 serving
Prep Time: 5 minutes   Total Time: 5 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 4 oz cold brew coffee concentrate**
  • 8 oz almond milk or milk of choice 
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder 
  • a few ice cubes, optional 

Directions:

  1. Place all of the smoothie ingredients together in a blender. Blend until smooth. If you prefer the smoothie a little thicker, add the ice cubes and blend. Serve immediately. 

** We like about 12 oz of liquid total in the smoothie. If we have leftover, refrigerated coffee, we will use 8 oz of coffee and 4 oz of almond milk as the coffee from home is not a concentrate.  


Fancy Fig & Labneh Toast

We love going out to brunch and very much love the trend of fancy toast. What we can’t get over, however, is paying $13 for a piece of toast that costs just a few dollars to make at home. We love to have a fancy toast to mix up our breakfast routine or even in a pinch as a lazy dinner. This sweet and slightly spicy version uses some unusual ingredients and isn’t your average avocado toast. A thick slice of crunchy toast is the perfect vessel for rich and creamy labneh, sliced figs, and a drizzle of honey. We top the toast with a pinch of red pepper flakes and sea salt to add some heat to the sweet, and think the result is pretty dreamy. 

Fancy Toast: Fig Edition 
Makes: 4 servings 
Prep Time: 15 minutes   Total Time: 15 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 4 thick slices of toast- sourdough, seeded, whatever you like! 
  • 2 tbs butter, room temperature 
  • 1 container (about 10 oz) labneh
  • 8 figs, sliced and stem removed 
  • 2 tbs honey + more for drizzling on top 
  • sea salt 
  • red pepper flakes, optional 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Place the slices of toast onto a cookie sheet. Spread the butter evenly on each of the slices- this is to make sure the toast gets nice and crispy before you top them. Bake the slices of toast for 7-10 minutes, or until the toast is crunch but still has some give in the center (we don’t want croutons!). 
  3. While the toast is in the oven, use a fork or small whisk to whisk the honey and just a tiny pinch of red pepper flakes into the labneh. 
  4. When the toast has finished in the oven, top each slice with a generous dollop of the labneh. Top each with the slices of two figs, a drizzle of honey, a pinch of sea salt, and a tiny pinch of red chili flakes. Serve immediately. 

Peaches & Cream Overnight Oats

It’s been a while since we have been on the overnight oats train, but we we are back at it with this fresh peach variation just in time for summer! Living in Colorado, peaches from the Palisades are something we look forward to every summer. We’ve taken peaches and chopped them into overnight oats for the ultimate breakfast treat. We’ve used a similar base to our Strawberry Coconut Overnight Oats but added protein powder to this variation to make it extra filling. We love having these oats as a grab-and-go option in the fridge for mornings we are running out the door!

Peaches & Cream Overnight Oats

Makes: 4 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 24 hours

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder – we love Vega but choose any kind you like
  • 2 tbs flax seeds
  • 2 tbs chia seeds
  • 4 tbs maple syrup
  • 2 1/2 cups vanilla oat milk
  • 1 peach, chopped into small bite-sized pieces
  • 4- 8 oz mason jars or food containers

Directions:

  1. Whisk the ingredients, oats – peach, in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until everything is well combined.
  2. Divide the oats among each of the four mason jars.
  3. Cover with a lid and refrigerate overnight. The oats will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator.


Green Shakshuka

Here at Tuck & Tate we love a good weekend brunch. Now that Tate has a human brother, brunch gatherings sometimes feel easier to pull off than dinners. When preparing a good brunch we always try to plan a menu of both sweet and savory dishes so that there is a little something for everyone. Shakshuka is one of our go-to dishes for the savory portion of brunch and one of our favorite ways to cook eggs. Shakshuka is traditionally made with a tomato base and is served eggy and cheesy. We took what we loved about this dish and swapped the tomatoes for mixed greens. The result is a healthy, creamy and delicious start to the morning and a must-add to your next brunch menu! 

Green Shakshuka 
Makes: 4 entree servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes    Total Time: 40 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced 
  • 1 white onion 
  • 3 large bunches of Swiss chard, stems removed and roughly chopped 
  • 16 oz spinach leaves 
  • 1 bunch parsley, roughly chopped 
  • 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped 
  • 1 tbs garlic power
  • 1 tbs cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock 
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese 
  • red pepper flakes

Directions: 

  1. Prepare the ingredients by chopping the onion, Swiss chard, spinach, parsley and cilantro. The chopping does not need to be fine or exact – all of these ingredients will wilt and be blended during the cooking process.
  2. In a deep pan (at least 1.5 inch), saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the Swiss chard and spinach and saute until the greens are completely wilted, about 10 minutes. You may need to do this in batches if the raw greens overflow out of the pan. 
  3. Add the parsley, cilantro, garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper and stir until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed together. 
  4. Stir in the chicken broth and bring the entire mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer. Using an immersion blender, blend roughly 70% of the greens together. You want to leave some of the greens whole for texture, but blending a majority of the greens provides a nice base for the eggs and gives the shakshuka a thicker texture.
  5. Keeping the heat on the stove, use a spoon to create little “wells” for the eggs. Crack an egg into each well and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes until the egg whites are cooked through. 
  6. Sprinkle the feta cheese and red chili flakes on top and serve hot! 

Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal

Cooking 21 meals a week for four adults and baby has its challenges. To avoid “the rotation,” we are constantly trying to look online and bookmark recipes that seem new and exciting to make throughout the week. This happened a few weeks ago, when one of the bloggers we follow, Rachel Kuhn, posted about making baked oatmeal for her husband and two boys to have throughout the week. A genius way to have breakfast ready in the fridge and just a quick microwave away from being on the table and ready to eat. We created our version as a carrot cake inspired oatmeal, with lots of fresh grated carrots, walnuts, raisins, and warm spices like ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Please note that this recipe is meant to be healthy and a Monday-Friday sort of dish. If we were to serve it for brunch on a weekend we would double the maple syrup to give it a richer flavor. On days we are looking for a little more protein we plop some Greek yogurt on top, and if we are trying to make it baby approved we serve it with a few fresh raspberries.

baked oatmeal, carrot cake oatmeal, healthy recipes, breakfast recipes

Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal

Makes: 8-10 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 55 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups milk of choice (we used almond)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbs melted butter
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 2/3 cup walnuts
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 2 cups oats
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8×12 or a 9×9 square baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the milk, maple syrup, eggs, vanilla, and melted butter with a whisk. Fold in the carrots, raisins, and walnuts with a spatula.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients (oats – salt) and fold until well combined. The mixture will seem wet and that is fine- the oats and raisins will soak up all the liquid while it bakes.
  4. Bake the oatmeal for 40-45 minutes, or until the liquid has completely absorbed and the top of the oatmeal is golden brown.
  5. Serve warm with yogurt and berries, if desired. Refrigerate and reheat sections in the microwave for up to 5 days after baking.