You will need:
1 medium white onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
8 large eggs
1 1/2 cups half and half
2 tbsp Dijon mustard (I used whole grain)
1/8 tsp cayenne powder
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound loaf stale French bread (1 + 1/2 baguettes), cubed
3 cups shredded cheddar and Gruyere cheese
1 pound thick sliced ham, cut into smaller pieces
Grease an 11 x 7 inch baking dish and set aside. Sauté the onion over medium heat for 5 minutes until softened thoroughly. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for an additional 1 minute. Turn off heat and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, half and half, mustard, and spices until combined.
Add half the bread cubes to the baking dish. Sprinkle half the onion mixture, half the ham, and 1 1/2 cups cheese over the bread. Top with the remaining bread. Add the rest of the toppings. Pour the liquid mixture all over the bread cubes. Use a wooden spoon to press the bread cubes into the liquid mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and place another baking dish on top to press cubes down. It doesn't have to be too heavy.
Then your work is basically done. Let sit overnight in the refrigerator or at least 3 hours.
In the morning right when you get up take the baking dish out of the fridge and let rest on the counter for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes. Increase heat to 375 degrees and bake for an additional 20 minutes. The French toast is done when the top is a nice golden brown color and the insides are nice and firm. Add additional fresh thyme upon pulling dish out of oven. Serve with hot sauce and if you want to be really naughty, some homemade béchamel sauce.
Also check out these cupcakes Kelly and I made. We did red, blue, and green velvet cupcakes (from scratch obvii). We topped them with a cream cheese frosting and some confetti gel icing (store bought but so pretty!!). Was going to post the recipe but I'm still on a search for a perfect red velvet cupcake recipe. These were good but not life changing.