Hopping Along to Brunch
“Here comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail, hippity-hoppity, Easter’s on its way”…
My mother would sing this little tune over and over close to Easter when I was a child. Although it was annoying to me when I was a teenager and my brother and sister were young, it still meant that Easter was around the corner- a time of new beginnings, and spirit renewal. I always had a new dress, shoes, purse, gloves (yes, Southern girls in the 60’s wore white gloves to church) and some years, a hat. We had our Easter baskets fully equipped and including chocolate bunnies; Easter egg hunts, and a big Easter dinner. It was a wonderful holiday memory.
I still love Easter, and focus on the “new” in my menu. Always on my menu are new, tiny red potatoes, steamed and drizzled with butter and fresh parsley, tiny new fresh peas, beautiful green steamed asparagus with lemon and dill sauce, fresh, tender salad greens with a tangy vinaigrette dressing, deviled eggs, a strawberry dessert utilizing new, fresh strawberries, and either a glazed ham or pork roast, depending on the request from my son, Chris. This year, my son Chris, daughter-in-law Meghan and granddaughter Ellsley need to leave by early afternoon to travel home, so we are varying from tradition and I’m having a brunch/lunch. My menu will include an egg casserole, fresh fruit, spanakopita, French toast casserole, glazed ham, caprese salad and an Easter Bunny Cake for my granddaughter. I probably will sing the Peter Cottontail song, annoy everyone, and enjoy every minute!
I’m sharing my French Toast recipe with you, as it’s always a hit in my house. Here’s my version:
Twink’s French Toast
- 1 loaf French or Challah bread, cut into 16-20 slices
- 8 large eggs
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1 cup milk
- 2 T. sugar
- 1 t. pure vanilla extract
- ¼ t. cinnamon
- ¼ t. nutmeg
- Maple syrup
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 2 T. light corn syrup (Karo)
- ½ t. cinnamon
- ¼ t. nutmeg
Generously spray a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Arrange bread slices in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. In large bowl, combine eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and whisk until well blended. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all bread slices are covered. Cover with foil, and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, preheat oven to 350. Mix topping ingredients, and spread over bread mixture. Bake for 40 minutes until puffed and golden. Serve with maple syrup.
Until next time, be kinder than necessary, always, and never underestimate the importance of the person in your life who can always make you smile!