Sophia Shares: The Holiday Edition

Posted December 11, 2014 by Sophia Rose in Random / 14 Comments

As I got ready to put my recipe in the mail for the Herding Cats Burning Soup’s Christmas recipe exchange #XmasRecipeExchange, I decided that I wanted to share my recipe choice and the story behind it with our readers as well.

First off, I would like to thank Anna Cade the blog mistress, herder of feline friends, and all round delightfully quirky and fun-loving reader gal pal for organizing the HCBS Christmas Recipe Exchange on-line event. She does lots of abso-fab events like this and she pulls them off with panache and style.

I wanted to participate in this event because one, I wanted to get into the Christmas spirit, I wanted to share some foodie fun, and hey, it was simple and painless. The hardest part was deciding on the actual recipe. I have (too) many. Christmas tends to inspire me when most of the year cooking and baking are things I do because I must.

Anyhoots, it was one of my annual Christmas Bucket List traditions that paved the way for me to choose THE PERFECT recipe. I adore the warm fuzzy holiday movies and unlike other things that really push the envelope, I don’t mind that they are now sprawling into the beginning of November. Since it was premiered, Hallmark Channel’s The Christmas Card has been a must see each year.

Many of you know that in my reading, I’m a military hero, small town loving sort of gal (among my other vast book luvs). This one offers both. It is also set in the Northern California mountain town of Nevada City not far where I spent many of my growing up years.

Watching the movie and having my need to find a recipe on my mind led to a set of memories which incidentally produced the exact recipe I wanted to share with my hand-picked new Christmas Recipe pen pal. I’m including an excerpt from my explanation so I can share my special Christmas memory and recipe with you- our precious readers too:

My parents were Air Force and so it wasn’t unusual for one or both to be away even during holidays. However, during the holidays that we were all home together my mother had a Christmas morning tradition. She would bake us Grandmere’s Inn Stuffed French Toast. The recipe came from a cookbook my mom bought as her souvenir from Grandmere’s Inn because both she and my dad loved the food when they stayed there. The inn has sentimental value to them because my parents stayed there a few times when they would need to reconnect as a couple (without kids in tow) after a long separation because of duty assignments.

I don’t get home to family for Christmas, but rarely these days so I continue the tradition separately in my own home now just knowing that mom is doing it thousands of miles away too.

Grandmere’s Inn is now closed so I’ll just share a picture of the town in winter to give you a snap shot of what it is like.




1 loaf of Sourdough bread
8 oz cream cheese
2 ½ c milk
8 eggs
1 c pure maple syrup
½ c butter, melted

Cube 1 loaf of sourdough bread. Spray 9” casserole dish with Pam. Layer as follows: bred, sliced 8 oz block of cream cheese in ¼” slices, bread. Mix 2 ½ c milk, 8 eggs, and ½ c pure maple syrup. Pour over casserole, making sure that bread is saturated. Bake for 2 hours at 350`. Pour mixture of ½ c syrup and ½ c melted butter over all.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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  • Melanie Simmons

    What a great story. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  • Aw thanks so much Sophia <3 You totally made me go all squishy girly. lol

    I love that tradition from your family! Ours doesn't get together often these days because of work and having herds but we often make the same holiday meals and it kinda feels like we could be doing it together. That is just a gorgeous little town! I would so love to live in a place like that. Thanks for the recipe too! French Toast and I have been on the outs this year (I don't know why I just can't seem to make it anymore) so maybe I need to try this recipe instead of my own. lol

    • Yay! Do try this one. I’ve got a couple stuffed or baked French Toast recipes, but I’ve yet to screw up this one (oh great now I put the pressure on you, just kidding).
      And yeah, I do tend to make my family recipes for holidays b/c it makes me feel close to them all.

      • ::snort:: It couldn’t go any worse than my attempts earlier this year. I went through 2 full loaves of Challah bread. It was…embarrassing. lol

        • We all have those kitchen catastrophes. I’ve killed perfectly simple recipes. My MIL is a retired professional cook so she has tried to teach me some really good meals and yeah, I’ve got a record number of fails.

          • LOL that sounds like me and my mom. She was a baker at a French bakery before I came around and she can do pretty much anything from wedding cakes to fancy little pastries. She’s tried to teach me and I’m a disaster. lol I’ll call and she’ll be like it has 3 ingredients Anna…how? How are you messing this up?! ::snort::

            • Haha, yes! I’ve had that lecture and the plaintive ‘how did you do that to it?’ I get it right once in a while so I don’t cause total apoplexy.

      • ::snort:: It couldn’t go any worse than my attempts earlier this year. I went through 2 full loaves of Challah bread. It was…embarrassing. lol

  • That sounds pretty good. I do love french toast.

    • Me too, Mary! I’ve got a folder of recipes just for French Toast.

    • Me too, Mary! I’ve got a folder of recipes just for French Toast.

  • goodness I love that picture! I love the receipe Sophia. if there is one thing I can do it is french toast, lols

    • It is a gorgeous picture and that’s just like what Nevada City looks like too. So pretty!

      Yeah, French Toast doesn’t scare me like an omelet or fancy quiche.