November 9, 2010

A French Toast Request!

When the front door of The Maine House opens, we greet family and friends with the tantalizing aromas of fresh baked breads and muffins, freshly brewed New England Coffee along with fresh citrus scents of clove-studded oranges! It begs you to join us in the dining room for a leisurely breakfast.

While visiting our Texas family, my darling grandson reminded me of his favorite breakfast, French Toast! He said, "Remember Grandma, when we would spend the night and you would always make me French Toast on Sunday mornings?"
Well, say no more! Of course that was the inspiration for The Maine House breakfast this week!

When thinking of the holidays approaching, it is probably a good idea to keep a few special breakfast or brunch recipes on hand to surprise your family with new tastes. Just mentioning what is on the morning menu, will make them feel pampered and special. Come downstairs and join me in the dining room as we wrap you up in a comfy robe and slippers while you savor the sweetness of family!

Chocolate French Toast with Strawberry Syrup
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 cups fresh or unsweetened frozen strawberries
3 eggs
1/2 cup vanilla sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
6 slices French bread (sliced on bias 1/2-inch thick)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Unsweetened whipped cream, for garnish
Confectioners' sugar, for sprinkling
Toasted Pecans, optional

Make strawberry syrup: In a small saucepan combine syrup, sugar, spices and strawberries. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Lower heat to simmering and cook until thick and syrupy consistency is reached. Keep warm.

Make chocolate french toast: In a large shallow bowl whisk eggs. In a small bowl combine vanilla sugar and cocoa until well-blended and whisk into eggs. Whisk in milk. In a saute pan, preferably nonstick, heat half of oil over medium heat. Dip bread slices in egg mixture until thoroughly moistened. Carefully transfer half of bread slices to pan and cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side, turning once. Transfer to warmed plate. Repeat with remaining bread slices. To serve, drizzle with strawberry syrup, top with a dollop of whipped cream, and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. I add toasted glazed pecans on top for extra garnish and that delicious crunch!

Charleston Grits
6 cups water
Salt to taste
1 1/2 cups quick cooking grits
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
8 tablespoons butter
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large, heavy saucepan bring the water to a boil. Add a generous teaspoon of salt and the grits and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. When grits thicken add milk, cream and butter and return to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover saucepan and cook for 45 minutes to one hour, until grits are tender, smooth and creamy. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

"I didn't forget your breakfast. I didn't bring your breakfast.
Because you didn't eat your din-din."
Bette Davis, American actress (1908-1989)
'Whatever Happened to Baby Jane'

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