Lovin’ The Oven: Orange French Toast With A Side Of Cornmeal & Brown Sugar-Crusted Bacon

Recipes normally prepared on the stove quickly become new found favorites when adapted for the oven.  Easy works for me, and I’m lovin’ the easy bake oven recipe!  Perusing through old Southern Living emails, I came across not one but two attention grabbing recipes.  Several tweaks later I officially added oven baked Orange French Toast with a side of Cornmeal & Brown Sugar-Crusted Bacon to the list of favorite combination meals.

In my humble opinion, these dishes rank in taste excellence along the lines of other great culinary combos.  Add them to the list of notables – meatloaf and mashed potatoes, ham and cheese anything, hamburgers and french fries.   C’est si bon!

Orange French Toast


1 12oz. jar orange marmalade

orange zest

1 loaf French bread, cut into cubes

1 8 0z. package cream cheese, cut into cubes  *optional ingredient*

2 cups half and half

½ cup milk

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

Syrup for topping


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Over medium heat cook orange marmalade, orange zest and 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1-2 minutes to a smooth consistency.  Lightly grease or spray with cooking spray 13 X 9 inch baking dish.

I included the cream cheese and although good, I don’t believe it is a necessary ingredient. I f using cream cheese cubes, place half of the bread cubes in pan and top with cream cheese cubes.  Drizzle half the orange marmalade mixture over the bread and cream cheese.

Top with the other half of the bread cubes and drizzle with remaining orange marmalade. If choosing to omit the cream cheese, place all the bread cubes in pan, topping with the orange marmalade mixture.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, 1 tsp. cinnamon, vanilla and ½ cup brown sugar.


Pour over bread mixture, coating all pieces.  You may have to use a spoon to push down some of the pieces to coat.  Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup brown sugar over top.  Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with syrup. Serves 8.

Cornmeal & Brown Sugar-Coated Bacon


¼ cup yellow cornmeal

3 Tablespoons brown sugar

1 Tablespoon black pepper

12 slices bacon


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Using a fork, combine first 3 ingredients in a baking dish.  Dredge bacon slice in cornmeal mixture.

Place bacon on foil lined baking sheet, spacing pieces equally apart.

Bake at 400 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until browned and crisp.  Let stand 5 minutes.




Read Any Good Books Lately?

Read any good books lately?

With Thanksgiving Day less than two weeks away, reading up on ideas, creative endeavors, recipes, lists, grocery ads and Black Friday information tops my reading list.

I am determined to add a really good read to my relaxation therapy routine and thought travel time.

Trinity College Library

Elle Decor ~ Flickr User Brett Jordan

A good read can introduce you to places, spaces and faces of interest and intrigue.

My read any good books lately library may not be vast, but it’s informative, inspirational and entertaining.

reading-quoteCountry Living

Bless Dillard’s heart and their take an additional 30% off sales.

When I spied The New Thanksgiving Table by Diane Morgan on the sale table, I knew it wouldn’t be long before this gem would be my new best friend in the kitchen.

If I had a nickel for every time I am going to read this baby over the next few days, we will hunt out the nearest Cracker Barrel and call it a turkey day.

I appreciate good material and pointers in this area.  A Warm Welcome: How to Be a Gracious Host to Friends and Family by Amy Elliot keeps me on my toes.

It’s a welcomed refresher course to lend confidence to this gracious hostess with hopefully impeccable manners and holiday mostess.

A Warm Welcome Amy Elliott

As we enter the season of holiday entertaining, a guide to simple ways to open your heart and home to others is required reading.

a life that says welcome

A Life That Says Welcome: Simple Ways to Open Your Heart & Home to Others ~ Karen Ehman

I have found the find, or should I say the book of how to find finds, accessorize finds, and to know what you have found. 

The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decoration with Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details by Stan Williams.  

The “Y” on the cover is very profound, and this read answers a lot of whys- why we love decorating with treasures, trinkets, and trash.

Lucille would be proud!

Home by Carson Ellis illustrates the concept of and the varied places people call home.


When I need to laugh, when I need to not take things so serious, and when I need to relax, this is the one book I find myself going back to time and time again.

Clinton Kelly’s Freakin’ Fabulous: How to Dress, Speak, Behave, Eat, Drink, Entertain, Decorate, and Generally Be Better Than Everyone Else is a laugh-out-loud literary riot!

The chapter on etiquette and the examples of hand written thank you notes is reason enough to buy the book.


clinton kelly freakin' fabulous

This one is an oldie but a goodie.

Rickles’ Book, not Mr. Rickles.

We lost a legend when we lost Don Rickles this year.  Don Rickles was not only an comedic institution but a class act of a man who valued the importance of family and friends.

Dave the Builder always made me swear never to sit close to the stage at a Rickles performance. The first time we saw him in Vegas was in 1990 at the Golden Nugget.

We were with a group of family and business associates, and thankfully a couple of the wives were running late which helped us to be seated in the back of the showroom. Dave the Builder escaped the insult zone, the hallmark of Mr.  Rickles’ style.

The last time we saw Mr. Rickles in a live Vegas performance was in 2010.

We were seated in the second row and right in Mr. Rickles’ firing range.  I am still convinced Dave the Builder held his breath for the entire performance.

Good times!


Both a seasonal, inspirational, and everyday best seller.

The Holy Bible aka the good book is indeed a good read.


Have you read any good books lately?

love your style

In Memoriam- September 11, 2001~2011

“Try to remember the kind of September
When life was slow and oh, so mellow
Try to remember the kind of September
When grass was green and grain was yellow
Try to remember the kind of September
When you were a tender and callow fellow
Try to remember, and if you remember
Then follow”  (Tom Jones)