It's Grocery day today! That means I make lots of lists, like this one:
And this one:
Grocery shopping actually makes me pretty happy. I love looking at all the produce and fresh foods (especially when I'm at Whole Foods), and I imagine their potential. It makes me happy, knowing those things are going into what I eat.
Anyway, Ina Garten is gracing my blog yet again! I wanted to make some yummy breakfast for Mark, and the first thing that came to mind was the Challah French Toast recipe found in this lovely cookbook:
(It's actually what's pictured on the cover!)
I didn't use the challah bread it calls for, because Mark had gotten some French sourdough bread at the store the other day. The sourdough didn't do as well as the challah probably would have, but oh well. You can't have everything.
So I got up early, and went downstairs to make breakfast.
First I had to make this little dear happy:
Once we get out of bed, she likes to be fed IMMEDIATELY.
After the meowing had ceased, I started cooking. French toast starts with these things:
Yummmm. I actually modified the recipe, because I wasn't using a whole loaf of bread, but the original recipe will be posted at the bottom. So, I took four eggs, and cracked them in a big bowl.
Then I added a cup of milk.
(Sorry about the bad lighting ... my kitchen is not the optimal picture-taking area in the mornings.)
Then, because I didn't have any fresh oranges to zest, I added a tsp. of dried orange peel.
I guesstimated 1/2 tsp. of vanilla, 1/2 tsp. of salt and 1 Tbsp. of honey.
(The honey that I'm using is organic acacia honey from the Savannah Bee Company. It's my favorite kind of honey in the whole world ... it's very light, and very sweet, and I honestly could sit and eat it with a spoon.)
Then I whisked all that goodness up together.
And put my bread in to soak. For the challah bread, it's supposed to soak for like 5 minutes, but that was way too long for my little slices of French sourdough (the first piece I tried totally fell apart), so I cut the time half. Do this with several pieces at once if you can.
Then I got some yummy unsalted butter, heated it over med. heat in a big pan, and fried those babies up.
After they were done, and Mark wasn't quite ready to eat yet, I popped them in a warm oven to keep them from cooling off/getting soggy.
Once he was ready, I topped them with sifted confectioner's sugar and served them with maple syrup. We were so busy eating them that I didn't take pictures until we were almost done! But here's the half-eaten product:
That's some good stuff.
Now, here's the real recipe:
Challah French Toast
6 extra-large eggs
1 1/2 c. half-and-half or milk
1 tsp. grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon good honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large loaf challah or brioche bread
Pure maple syrup
Good raspberry preserves (optional)
Sifted confectioner's sugar (optional)
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, orange zest, vanilla, honey, and salt. Slice the challah in 3/4-inch thick slices. Soak as many slices in the egg mixture as possible for 5 minutes, turning once.
Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a very large saute pan over medium heat. Add the soaked bread and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until nicely browned. Place the cooked French toast on a sheet pan and keep it warm in the oven. Fry the remaining soaked bread slices, adding butter and oil as needed, until it's all cooked. Serve hot with maple syrup, raspberry preserves, and/or confectioners' sugar.