Breakfast Casserole

1 (8 ounce) white or whole-grain baguette

1 ripe banana

1 cup milk

½ cup half and half

5 eggs

4 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

1 (10 ounce) package frozen mixed berries or fruit (peaches are also nice)

½ cup chopped nuts (walnuts are best)

3 tablespoon brown sugar

4 tablespoons butter

First, cut the bread and butter into one-inch cubes, mash the banana, and thaw the frozen fruit.   Lightly butter a 13 by 9-inch baking dish.  Pour the cubed bread into this prepared dish.  Whisk the mashed banana, milk, half and half, eggs, syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt until well combined.   Pour egg mixture over the bread cubes.  Evenly sprinkle berries/fruit over the bread mixture.  Cover this with foil and chill overnight.  In the morning, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Mix the nuts with the brown sugar and butter until crumbly and sprinkle over bread mixture.  Recover the mixture with the foil and bake in the preheated oven until set, about 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue to bake until golden about 5 to 10 minutes.  Cool slightly then serve warm, sprinkled with powdered sugar and dribbled with extra syrup if desired.