(I hereby give myself an award for the blog post with the longest title – oy vey!)
I am not a fan of breakfast.
There – I said it. I don’t know if it’s the fact that 95% of the time I’d rather be sleeping or if I have a legitimate distaste for the traditional breakfast foods, but the idea of steel-cut oats just doesn’t get me out of bed in the morning. Or cereal, I’ve never been a fan of cereal. Soggy grains in milk? No thanks, I’ll pass. In the summer I’ll whip up a quick smoothie, but when I look outside and see snow that is just about as appealing as spending 3 continuous hours on the StairMaster, followed by running a marathon. Besides, I hate feeling rushed in the morning, and if I actually make myself a “real” breakfast I tend to be more rushed than normal. Not quite the best way to start my day, if you know what I mean.
Now brunch, on the other hand, is a completely different animal. I can handle brunch. In fact, I quite enjoy it! I think brunch is the new coffee date, and I’m embracing it wholeheartedly. I love lingering over brunch with a good friend (or 5), catching up, and not feeling any time pressure to be anywhere or do anything else. Brunch feels special, since those types of days don’t happen super often.
As you may have picked up on by now, one of my favourite things to do is to open up the pantry and/or fridge and just start combining. After all, it’s how I first learned how to cook and it is what comes most naturally to me. On top of this innate desire to play, I also hate to waste food. What can I say – I’m Scottish!
(It all makes sense now, doesn’t it?!)
Unfortunately (or is it?), I get bored pretty easily and so leftovers are often abandoned in favour of their newer, more exciting cousins. So…when I looked out the window and saw 2″ of snow (which, by Vancouver standards, is enough to paralyze the entire city…CRAZY I know), opened up my fridge and saw eggnog that was begging for one last chance to shine before being dumped down the drain, and a hunk of french bread on the counter I knew what had to be done.
Brunch on a snow day? Yes please!
Eggnog, egg, vanilla, salt, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, strawberries, white chocolate, bread.
In a shallow dish, whisk together 3/4 c eggnog, 1 egg, 1/2 t vanilla, 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice, 1/4 t nutmeg, and a pinch of salt.
Bonus points if you can find your nutmeg in the abyss of your pantry and grate it fresh. If you can’t…while, you’ll just have to make this 3x as penance.
Now, I’d like to provide you with a little MDM-style disclaimer: I am fully aware that it’s January, and that in January most people make resolutions to cut back on their fat and sugar consumptions. I thought about showing you something healthy and delicious…but when I saw the snow all of my logic went out the window and I started for looking for ways to add more fat and sugar to an already-rich dish.
I’m twisted, I know. I also know that many of you live vicariously through me, so please don’t send me hate mail.
So I thought to myself, while regular eggnog French Toast is good, why not stuff it with chocolate? So I did. But I added strawberries too, just for good measure.
Since strawberries that are in the grocery stores
taste like cardboard aren’t seasonal, I quickly pureed some frozen ones.
One of the most beautiful aspects of French Toast is that it turns out better when it’s made with stale bread. Love that! You could use whatever type of bread you have lying around, but I had the last of a loaf of French bread to play with. I sliced it into thick slices, and then made a pocket in each slice. Don’t cut all the way or the filling will escape!
Put a spoonful of the strawberry puree into the pocket…
And then stuff some good-quality white chocolate in there too.
And please remember, if you wouldn’t eat the chocolate as-is, DO NOT USE IT FOR COOKING!
I’m sorry for yelling, but I feel very strongly about this.
If you had eaten the same melting wafer that I did, you would understand.
Repeat the bread-stuffing process until you run out of bread, filling, or get bored.
Dip the (stuffed) bread into the eggnog mixture, one side at a time.
And then place each slice into a hot skillet. Not too hot though – the trick with French Toast is that you want it to brown on the exterior, but also to not taste like raw egg (nog) when you take your first bite.
After a few minutes, gently flip each piece. Looking good!
When you’re ready to eat, dust each piece with some icing sugar. This is brunch after all, we might as well get a little bit fancy!
Dip in the leftover strawberry puree, if you feel so inclined.
Or maple syrup. Up to you. This is pretty rich, but a nice change of pace from your basic French Toast. Whatever you do, if only for today, please linger and enjoy. If there’s one thing that I know for sure, it’s that snow day brunches are a very good thing.
Love and best dishes!
P.S. Don’t be surprised to see a mango-coconut French Toast in the future…or a blueberry-cream cheese one…or peanut butter and chocolate filled…
P.P.S. Have more eggnog than you know what to do with? Try these scones – they’re delicious, I promise!