Challah French Toast with Mascarpone + Blueberry Meyer Lemon Compote + 5 French Toast Links for Easter Brunch!

 

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If you love French toast you must try this recipe! Is it the challah bread that makes this recipe stand out or the blueberry Meyer lemon compote? I’m not sure if it matters! The combination of the two along with the slightly sweet and tangy mascarpone makes this breakfast a treat. Give it a shot this Easter. While your family happily scarfs it down you can quietly sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee. A bit of silence and a cup of coffee in my hand is my idea of a perfect morning.

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Challah bread is so pretty and so damn delicious. I bought this bread at our local Whole Foods. This bread is perfect for French toast, because it is sturdy and won’t fall apart when you cook it. Also, it is spongy so it will absorb the custard really well. If you want to make your own bread head to King Arthur Flour for the recipe. Are you worried you might screw up the French toast on Easter morning? Head to Bon Appetit for the 7 most common French toast cooking mistakes. Read and learn…I did.

cft0025I made a blueberry Meyer lemon compote, because I feel like I need more compote in my life. No, just kidding. I saw a chef make a compote on Chopped and I thought: I should try that. So I did. I used frozen blueberries, but I can’t wait until blueberries are in season. Fresh blueberries will really make this standout. The Meyer lemon juice and zest adds a nice brightness and acidity to the sweet berries.

cft0031I love mascarpone because of its subtle flavor. I added a little lemon juice, lemon zest, confectioners sugar and salt to the cream cheese. I then stuffed the French toast with it. I wouldn’t eat this everyday, but a decadent breakfast once in a while is necessary. Treat yourself…and your family!

cft0046The kids and Bubba loved it. Happy spring and happy Easter!

Challah French Toast with Mascarpone and Blueberry Meyer Lemon Compote

Serves 4 or 8 large pieces

recipe barely adapted from Ina Garten

Ingredients for French Toast:

6 large eggs

1 1/2 cups milk

1 tsp. Meyer Lemon zest

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tbsp. agave nectar or honey

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 large loaf challah bread

unsalted butter

canola or vegetable oil

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, lemon zest, vanilla, agave nectar, and salt.

Slice the challah in 3/4-inch thick slices. Soak as many slices in the egg mixture as possible for about 5 minutes, turning once. I did 3 at a time.

Over medium heat, heat 1 tbsp. butter and 1 tbsp. of oil in a large sauté pan or skillet. Cook the soaked bread for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until nicely browned.

Place the cooked French toast on a sheet pan and keep it warm in the oven until ready to serve.

Fry the remaining soaked bread slices until it’s all cooked. Add more butter and oil to pan if necessary.

Serve hot with mascarpone cheese and blueberry lemon compote. Enjoy!

Ingredients for Blueberry Meyer Lemon Compote:

recipe barely adapted from Ellie Krieger

2 cups frozen blueberries

3 tbsp. water

1/4 cup sugar

zest and juice of one Meyer lemon

Directions:

Mix 1 cup of the blueberries, water, sugar, lemon juice and zest in a small saucepan. Cook the berries over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add the remaining cup of blueberries and cook for 8 minutes longer, stirring frequently. Serve warm. If you have any leftovers; save and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Use the compote as a topping for vanilla ice cream or Greek yogurt!

 Ingredients for Mascarpone Sauce:

1 8 ounce container Mascarpone, slightly softened

Confectioners’ Sugar, to taste ( I used about 2 tbsp.)

pinch kosher salt

zest and juice of one Meyer lemon

Directions:

In a small bowl mix together the Mascarpone, 2 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar, pinch of kosher salt and the zest and juice of one Meyer lemon. Mix until smooth. Spread a heaping spoonful on a piece of cooked bread, top with another piece of cooked bread. Pour as much compote as you like all over it and enjoy!

5 French Toast Recipes to Try for Easter!

One of my favorite food blogs is Dash and Bella. I love the recipes, writing and photography. Check it out if you haven’t already! Phyllis’ recipe for Baked Baguette French Toast is on my must try list. The photo alone will make you want to save your baguette scraps for next weekend’s brunch!

Need or want a vegan French toast recipe? What’s Cooking Good Looking a recipe for vegan eggnog French toast. I think I will make this next Christmas. Yum!

Need to prep breakfast the night before? Head to How Sweet It Is for Cinnamon Sugar Sourdough Bake with Whipped Greek Yogurt Cream. Yes. You read that right. Whipped. Greek. Yogurt. Cream.

French toast can be healthy! Cookie and Kate has a whole grain banana baked French toast recipe with a peanut butter drizzle. Sounds amazing! If you want to avoid peanut butter, because of an allergy sub in Sunbutter. It tastes just as good!

I love chocolate and bananas together. I love oatmeal. This recipe by FoodieCrush is making me drool.

 

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Scones + 5 Cozy Fall Fall Soups

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Ok I’ll admit it. I don’t love pumpkin. I don’t race out to Starbucks as soon as they start making pumpkin spice lattes. I don’t drive like mad to my local beer store to grab the latest pumpkin flavored IPA. I like the occasional pumpkin muffin or cupcake, and pumpkin pie is a must on Thanksgiving. I do enjoy pumpkin soup; ok fine I like pumpkin quite a bit. I like it, I just don’t love it.

Recently C asked me to make scones. My girl loves a little something sweet for breakfast which I allow more often than I probably should. While trying to decide which type of scones I should make, I came across a recipe for pumpkin scones on King Arthur’s website that looked easy and tasty. I went for it and I’m glad I did because both kids and Bubba loved them!

These scones have a nice crusty top which I contribute to the raw sugar I sprinkled on top just before popping them into the oven. The crumb is moist, not dry like some scones. The chocolate chips work well with the cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves, and best of all: the pumpkin is not overpowering which I love. The batter comes together very quickly so making them first thing on a weekend morning is no trouble at all. Make these scones, invite a friend over for coffee, chat and relish in the praise!

1I used mostly all-purpose white whole wheat flour. Also, instead of all-spice I used cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves. I think the addition of orange zest would work nicely here but I didn’t have any oranges in the house. Next time!

2Whisking the dry ingredients together helps to aerate the flour. Joy the baker has a super helpful post on her blog about sifting flour. Check it out!

5Whisk together the pumpkin puree and eggs until smooth. I love that bright orange color.

6Very cold butter is a must for scones. I grated the butter and then added it to the dry ingredients for a more even distribution. Combine the butter and flour with your hands. It is ok if you see small lumps.

8After you add the pumpkin/egg mixture to the dry ingredients; mix together until the dough is moist and comes together. I found it easiest to do this with my hands. Separate the dough in half and form each half into a round 5 inch circle. Brush with milk and sprinkle with raw sugar.

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Cut each circle into 6 triangles and pull apart gently. You will end up with a dozen scones. For the best texture and rise, place scones in the freezer for 30 minutes before baking. Pre-heat your oven to 425 while the scones are chilling. Bake for about 25 minutes but start checking them around 22 minutes. The scones are done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean with no wet crumbs.

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Serve warm or at room temperature. Scones are best the day they are made. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Scones

adapted from King Arthur Flour

Serves 12

Ingredients:

2 cups All Purpose White Whole Wheat Flour (All AP Flour is ok too)

3/4 cups Unbleached All Purpose Flour

1/3 cup of sugar

1 tbsp. Baking Powder

3/4 tsp. Kosher salt

3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

2/3 cup canned pumpkin puree

1/2 cup or 1 stick cold, unsalted butter

2 large eggs

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

raw sugar for sprinkling on top

Directions:

In a large bowl whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Grate the cold butter and mix it into the dry ingredients until it appears crumbly. Set aside.

In a separate bowl whisk together the pumpkin puree and eggs until smooth. Add the wet ingredients and 1 cup of chocolate chips to the dry ingredients and mix until the dough is moist and comes together.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle a bit of flour on it. Place dough on parchment paper and divide in half. Form each half into a 5 inch rounded circle. Brush milk on top of each half and sprinkle well with raw sugar. Cut each circle into 6 triangles. Gently pull apart the triangles so some space remains between the scones. Pop into the freezer for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat your oven to 425 and bake the scones for about 25 minutes. Start checking the scones at 22 minutes. The scones are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with no wet crumbs. Serve warm or at room temperature. They taste best the day they are made. If for some reason you have leftovers; store in an air tight container at room temperature for a couple of days. Enjoy!

5 Cozy Fall Soups

I love soup all year-long, but here are 5 fall soups that are a must try.

This is my favorite sweet potato soup. It is super healthy and hearty which makes for a perfect fall meal. Serve it with warm crusty bread.

I made this butternut squash soup last year for G’s birthday party and everyone loved it. It has a nice kick to it!

When chicken soup is necessary to get over a cold, try this healthy recipe.

I love chili and can’t wait to try President Obama’s recipe.

I make this bean and chicken soup several times a year. Bubba loves it and hopefully someday the kids will too!