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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Stuffed French Toast, and Breakfast Memories



Is there anyone that doesn’t love going out for breakfast?  I don’t think it’s possible.  There’s so many choices, and I don’t know about all of you, but for whatever reason, some things just taste better when someone else makes it.  I know, I’m weird.  But I like other people’s eggs better than mine.  A peanut butter and jelly sandwich?  Great the way it is, but when someone makes it for me, it tastes better.  Are they putting extra love in it?  I have no idea.  And don’t even get me started on omelettes.  I’m still working on making decent ones—my husband makes good ones!  Mine?  I definitely need practice.

Going out for breakfast has always been a special thing for us.  It wasn’t for me until I met my husband.  When we were dating, he took me to all kinds of great places (and luckily, he still does!), and breakfast was no exception.   There was one place we loved so much, that we’d wait outside in rain, snow, sweltering heat, or freezing temps just to get in.  And it was so busy, that this could sometimes take up to an hour, maybe more.  Some of you local readers may remember it—Jakes, in Dover, NH.  It was THE place to be on weekend mornings.  Seriously. 



It was so funny, because there were two little tables by the the windows, on either side of the door?  And if you got a window table, you’d have starving people waiting in line, looking in your window and drooling over your food!  And when you finally made it inside the vestibule (which could fit about 4 people, but often held 6 or 7 in bad weather, hehehe) you’d see the waitresses carrying trays full of the most delicious foods ever made for feasting on—right in front of your starving face.  And everyone would say “I’m having that!  And that!  Oh, and that, too!”  They had amazing omelettes, delicious muffins, pancakes, waffles—and nothing was average.  I truly miss that place—it’s gone now.  But I have some delicious/hilarious memories of it.  Remind me to tell you all about Karl’s someday…Snotty Fries, anyone?  ;-)  (No, I didn’t go to UNH, but had friends that did, and got to enjoy Karl’s firsthand.)

We still judge being full by “Jakes Full.”  As in, “I’m so full!” 

“Really?  But are you Jakes Full?” 

Because you’d waited so damn long to get in, that when you finally did, you wanted everything.  hehehe

Good times, gooooood times. 

Look at the brown sugar melting into the sour cream…



But our current favorite is Betty’s Kitchen in Hampton, NH.   Their food is great, and their menu is huge!   They have about a million* omelettes, and a hundred** Benedicts (the lobster one is always a favorite), plus all of the expected breakfast fare.   You can see a sample of the menu here.  There’s way more!  Look at the SpecialsAnd they also serve a great lunch.


*Slightly exaggerating.

**Still exaggerating.


I’m stuck in a rut at Betty’s, though.  And by no fault of theirs!  I can’t go without ordering their Stuffed French Toast.  It gets me every stinking time.  It’s too good to pass up—I can’t help myself!  It’s French Toast, layered with strawberries, blueberries, and bananas.  And topped with a dollop of sour cream and brown sugar.  And a side note here—if you’ve never tried fresh strawberries dunked in sour cream and then in brown sugar?  You’re seriously missing out on one of life’s greatest simple pleasures.


The guests of honor at today’s brunch?  Blueberries and strawberries, and their wacky friends, the bananas.  stuffed-french-toast-fruit 


There’s no set recipe for this.  French Toast is pretty basic, right?  Beaten eggs, a little cream, and extras like vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and we like to use agave instead of sugar.   Use what you like and what you have on hand.

Stuffed French Toast

To print this recipe, click here!

your favorite sliced bread
4-6 eggs (depending on how much you're making--I made 9 slices from this amount)
a splash of cream (I use half and half, because it's always in my fridge)
vanilla, a tsp or so
about 2-3 tsp agave (but you can use whatever sweetener you like) 
cinnamon, about 1/2 tsp
nutmeg, about 1/4 tsp

Beat all ingredients in a bowl, then pour into something shallow, like a pie plate.
Soak a couple of pieces of bread, on both sides, until they're saturated with the egg mixture.
Heat a little butter and oil in a sauté pan, and when it's hot, add your soaked bread.
Cook for about 2-3 minutes on the first side, until golden brown, then cook the other side the same.
After you make the first two, you get the rhythm of how long it'll take to do each side to the doneness you want.
Remove to a plate and keep warm while you cook the rest.  I soak the next two slices as two are cooking, so I always have some ready to go into the hot pan.

When you're done cooking, layer the French toast with sliced strawberries and bananas, and the blueberries. 
Put a dollop of sour cream on the top, and sprinkle some brown sugar over that. 
Serve with your favorite maple syrup.



And speaking of maple syrup!  Has everyone seen the Agave Maple Syrup Blend at Trader Joe’s?  It’s a perfect blend of real maple syrup with agave.  Delicious!


I’m a potato snob and always judge a breakfast place by it’s potatoes.  It’s pretty hard to screw those up, but so many places do.  In fact, Betty’s potatoes could be a little crispier, but I love everything else there so much, that I’ll forgive them that.

So, what are your favorite things to get when you go out for breakfast?   And what is your favorite breakfast place?

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Judy@nofearentertaining said...

That looks so good. I love any breakfast with fresh fruit! Really my favorite!!!

kellypea said...

You're bringing back some pretty fine memories of country breakfasts we've waited in line for, but it's been quite a while since we've been out for breakfast. French toast just like this is a Sunday fave when it's not busy season. I'm drooling right now...

Maria said...

I want to come to your place for breakfast! The french toast looks amazing! We don't go out very often, but when we do I always order french toast. It is my favorite! I love cinnamon and vanilla in the mix, with fresh berries on top! Looks like you made my dream breakfast!

Anonymous said...

Brown sugar and sour cream might be the perfect fruit dip--thank you for reminding me! A bunch of us used to go to The Knife and Fork for a big breakfast every Sunday. Sometimes only 4 could make it, other times there would be 10 of us. Thanks for bringing back those memories, too:)

Unknown said...

So beautiful! I LOVE strawberries dipped in sour cream and then brown sugar. Like little mini cheesecakes. Thanks for the post. Looks very patriotic.

Beth said...

I thought I was the only person in the world that did strawberries with sour cream and brown sugar. Now I don't feel so alone! As for choosing a breakfast favorite, it's way too hard. It's my favorite meal of the day. Your french toast looks amazing!

Joy said...

I'm coming uninvited to your home for breakfast. :p I love, love French toast and that looks absolutely amazing!

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Holy yum treat and fabulous memories!!

*Just Fran* said...

Breakfast is one of my favorite meals. I could it eat morning, noon, or night! Awesome Stuffed French Toast.

Jenny said...

I like savoury french toast like my grandma makes, but when I go out, its eggs florentine all the way, even having read kitchen confidential!

vanillasugarblog said...

Oh lordy Ms. Elle does this ever look so good! Isn't it great to be eating fresh fruit in the spring? I just love it. And you put sour cream on here....:::sigh:::

Ingrid_3Bs said...

Love to go out to breakfast and that one looks beyond delicious! I'm going to try the strawberry brown sugar sour cream combo ASAP!

The one thing I always look for is the bacon. It doesn't matter what I order I need thick crispy meaty bacon and I want four slices! :-)

unconfidential cook said...

My daughter and I are sitting here salivating over that French toast and, yes, we are watching that brown sugar melting....

Sharon said...

Wow,if only someone would make this for me! I love all the fresh berries, that way I can say it's a healthy breakfast.

Sophie said...

Breakfast is the tastiest meal of the day, I love the sweet and savory options...from omelets to french toast, but I'd have to say that the latter is definitely my fav! Yours rocks, I'm loving the fresh fruit!

Bob said...

I loooooove stuffed french toast! That looks so good! I used to go to an awesome diner when I lived in Providence whose name I can't remember. That place was the best though!

kat said...

I agree breakfast out is something special & we love it especially at The Egg & I and Blackbird here in Mpls. I always just get eggs over medium with toast & hash browns...Egg & I makes the best hash browns on the planet.

Anonymous said...

Oh Elle, that looks delicious!

test it comm said...

That berry French toast looks really good!

Marissa Schiesser said...

Gorgeous. Your photography is amazing!

Anonymous said...

what i really like for breakfast is good coffee and waffles topped with fresh fruit

Susan@LunaCafe said...

Oh yum! Now I know what we're having for breakfast tomorrow morning. Maybe I'll get out my new kitchen torch and caramelize that sugar. Ditto on the "love your photos" comments! ...Susan

Creative Classroom Core said...

Can I come to your house for breakfast??? :)
Looks amazing! Thanks for sharing! Yum!

Kristen said...

*drooling* The only way that I'll eat French toast is with fruit, and oh my god, that first picture!

And thanks for the link to Betty's. NH isn't all that far away, after all. ;)

hungryandfrozen said...

Jakes sounds amazing - sad to hear it's no longer. Love the anecdote about "Jakes Full" though, some places really leave an impression on you like that!

The French toast looks and sounds gorgeous - I love the idea of the sour cream with it. Also I have this bottle of Agave nectar that I've had since Christmas and I still haven't used it...French toast wasn't the way I thought I'd get started but it's the most appealing so far :)

Mrs Ergül said...

This is such a wonderful brekkie! Savoury and healthy!

unfortunately, we don't fancy going out for breakfast because we prefer making it ourselves and snuggling comfortably! Or maybe we just haven't found a great place out there!

the wandering fork said...

That is one sexy breakfast.

Peter M said...

The fruit here does offset a little of the decadence...not too much!

I'll have what she's having over there----->!

Deborah said...

I LOVE breakfast, and it's a special treat when we go out. This French toast would be a special treat as well - it looks amazing!

Elle said...

Thanks so much, you guys! I guess breakfast is a popular meal with a lot of people, whether you go out or make it at home. :)

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

I would line up for this breakfast!!

Rachel said...

Your photos look great, even though they are making me hungry all over again!

Breakfast/brunch is one of my favourite meals for socialising. It feels more relaxed and friendly and the food is always great!

We even do a Christmas champagne brunch for family each year and its always a resounding success.

How can you go wrong with french toast? :)

Jude said...

Great story :) Sounds like a fun place to visit if I'm ever in the neighborhood.

emiglia said...

This looks incredible! I've added it to my list of things to make... I don't make involved breakfasts often, even on the weekends, but I may need to make an exception.

lettergirl said...

This looks so delicious, Elle!!!

Jamie said...

Wow! This puts whatever I eat for breakfast to shame! And your breakfast kitchen looks so much better than any restaurant. This French toast does look amazing and decandent! Who would be able to work - or do anything, for that matter - after such a gorgeous treat?

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