I love cooking breakfast for our guests. I have a few favorite recipes that I keep coming back to again and again with a few variations. But I also like to try new things. I hate to bore myself, so I keep looking for new and fun recipes.
I am a recipe follower, unlike Janice, who cooks at Die Heimat on the weekends. Janice is a self-proclaimed “dumper”; a little of this and a little of that. Her old-fashioned oatmeal is an example. Guests love it and often ask her for the recipe. She proceeds to tell them – “Well, I put a large pot of water on to boil about an hour ahead of breakfast. I add some raisins and cook them in the water to “plump them up” for about 5-10 minutes, then I add a little brown sugar, some cinnamon and vanilla maybe, and a pinch of salt. Then I just dump in the oatmeal (Do I measure? No, I just eye-ball it. If it needs more water later, I add it – oatmeal is very forgiving.) and cook it low and slow. I stir it now and then and when it starts sticking a little I know it is about ready. Sometimes I add sliced apples or other fruit or even a chunk of butter to add more flavor. Then we serve it with milk on the side.”
Below is my recipe for basic French toast with several topping options. I serve French toast when our groups are smaller and I plate the food. It doesn’t lend itself so well to the mornings we serve 30-40 people in our dining room. Then it’s better to make an overnight baked kind of french toast that is also delicious.
Basic French Toast – Serves 4
1 small loaf of homemade or purchased French bread, cut in slices
4 eggs, ½ C milk or half ‘n half, 1 tsp. vanilla, 2 T sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, dash of salt
Soak bread in egg mixture and cook on buttered griddle (350 degrees) on each side for a few minutes – until browned and crispy on the outside.
Plate, and add one of the following toppings. Make sure to serve soft butter and maple syrup on the side for those who want it.
- Apple Compote – 4 servings
4 T butter melted in small frying pan
2 apples peeled and thinly sliced, 2 T brown sugar or maple syrup, 1 tsp. cinnamon – sauté for a few minutes until tender, but not mushy.
Serve warm over French toast or Pancakes.
- Praline Topping
1 stick of butter –melted in microwave
½ C. brown sugar, ½ C. pecans chopped, 1 T lite corn syrup, ¼ tsp. cinnamon, ¼ tsp. nutmeg.
Mix together. Just before serving heat in microwave for 30 seconds. Spoon over French toast for a sweet, crunchy flavor.
- Fruit Topping – ( a combination of several of these – Blueberries, Raspberries, Cranberries, Cherries)
2 C. berries, 1/3 C. orange juice, 1/3 C. water, 3 T brandy, 1/3 C. sugar – mix in medium saucepan (except raspberries). Stir over low heat until cranberries pop, if using them.
Add 1 T cornstarch mixed with ¼ C. cold water and cook until desired thickness.
Stir in raspberries and serve warm over French Toast.