Well I may be a little late, but friends, I am happy to be back! Since last April many things have changed, including the place where we live. After weeks of packing and crawling around boxes in our tiny old apartment, this past Sunday we finally moved to a lovely new home. It is a dream. Instead of having one cramped room that serves as kitchen, dining room and living room (you have no idea the stunts I had to pull to take decent photos!) our new place has, get this: a separate kitchen, dining room and living room! Windows abound, there’s a patio, a yard, and we’re 10 minutes walking distance from the beach. We are counting our blessings and feeling oh-so grateful, as is Oreo, who enjoyed her first visit to the beach on Wednesday.
Now that we’re getting settled I’m looking forward to sharing more recipes and stories with you. As we speak a delightful Strawberry Frozen Yogurt is chilling in the freezer, and since our oven was installed on Friday, today I’ve decided to post our first breakfast in our new home: cinnamon-nutmeg French toast topped with strawberries, blueberries, confectioners sugar and maple syrup. (I like my French toast toppings decadent.)
Although this dish is a snap to make I must confess that for most of my married life I’ve avoided it. Why? Well, I like my French toast slightly crunchy while my husband prefers his soggy. As a result we’d debate just how crunchy or soggy the French toast should be, and it would never come out “just right” for either of us. Frankly French toast became our version of this song, until we discovered the easily adaptable nature of Alton Brown’s recipe. Is there nothing that man can’t do? I swear he saved our marriage. As you can see below, AB’s french toast is made on the stove-top, then crisped in the oven – though for the purposes of my mis-matched French toast marriage, my husband forgoes the oven while I add 5 minutes to the baking time. (For 10 full minutes in the oven.) Voila! We’re both happy.
I’d write more but those of you who have endured the odyssey of moving know how much there is to be done, so alas, I must head off to Ikea. We’re hoping that wonderland of household goods will have a few much-needed items waiting for us.
Cinnamon-Nutmeg French Toast with Strawberries & Blueberries
Slightly adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons honey, warmed in microwave for 20 seconds
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 8 (1/2-inch) slices day-old or stale country loaf, brioche or challah bread
- 4 tablespoons butter
The night before, slice your bread and put it on a cooling rack to dry out over night. This will help it absorb more of the custard. (Not letting the bread dry out will result in soggy slices that fall apart.)
The next morning:
In medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, honey, and salt. You may do this the night before. When ready to cook, pour custard mixture into a pie pan and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Dip bread into mixture, allow to soak for 30 seconds on each side, and then remove to a cooling rack that is sitting in a sheet pan, and allow to sit for 1 to 2 minutes.
Over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a 10-inch nonstick saute pan. Place 2 slices of bread at a time into the pan and cook until golden brown, approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and place on rack in oven for 5 minutes. Repeat with all 8 slices. Serve immediately with maple syrup, whipped cream or frui