I don’t know where I’ll be come Thursday night. Not in an esoteric, “What Am I Doing With My Life” kind of way, but as in I literally don’t know what state I’ll be spending the weekend in, thanks to our upcoming Mystery Girl’s weekend.
Picture this: Six months before you send in your money (which conveniently goes up $50 per year, allowing us to evolve from shared twin beds and PB&Js to something a bit more indulgent). Over the course of the next 6 months you get clues. A week prior you get a packing list with anticipated weather, and then less than 24 hours before your departure time you find out where you’re going. All plane tickets have been bought, all travel coordinated, menus planned, and extracurricular activities lined up. You need do nothing but show up (except of course when it’s your year to plan, but that becomes its own kind of fun).
We call it The Great Escape, and it is a highlight each year, a girl’s weekend spent with my childhood loves, women who know me better than I know myself, and who aren’t afraid to say so.
I leave on Thursday, and here are the clues I’ve received thus far:
- Not everyone is flying to our destination
- We could see a crocodile
- We’ll be staying over 70 feet off the ground
- There’s a river view and a mountain view from where we’re staying
- We’re going to have to share beds (yay!).
Guesses on where we might be going? States people live in are Washington, New York, and California.
I am so excited I can hardy stand it, giggling over phone calls with Madeline and Meghan, trying to decide what Rachel could possibly have cooked up for us (so far we’ve come up with crocodile wrestling, bee keeping, and staying in a tree house with a moat around it, obviously). In the meantime though, I’m enjoying girl’s slumber parties in Seattle, Toga parties in the ‘hood, and a chance to do some beautiful cooking with whatever is freshest this time of year.
This breakfast was the Rise and Shine element of our latest slumber party, hosted by the lovely Liesel, and complete with Breakfast Bubbles. While I’m not normally much of a sweet breakfast person, the combination of the bread pudding with the blueberries was out of this world, and perfect when paired with some delicious scrambled eggs. Make this on a Summer Saturday morning when you want something indulgent, but not overly laborious, and good to feed a crowd.
Baked French Toast with Blueberries
Adapted from Giada on the Food Network
- Butter, for greasing
- 6 eggs
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup maple syrup, plus extra for serving
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus 1 tablespoon
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 lemon, zested
- 3 (1-inch thick) slices (8 ounces) day-old challah or sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 cups (12 ounces) fresh or frozen, thawed, and drained blueberries
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs until frothy. Add the milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, and lemon zest. Add the bread cubes and mix until coated. Stir in the blueberries. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- In a small bowl, mix together the remaining cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the egg mixture in an even layer. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the top is golden and the filling is set.
- Spoon onto serving plates and drizzle with maple syrup.