My mother was one of the best cooks and bakers. Her favorite pastime was reading cookbooks and trying new recipes. I definitely did not take after her in that department. I do not like to cook, probably wouldn't if I didn't have someone to cook for. About the only time I try new recipes is when I'm contributing a dish for a dinner or pot luck. Having company will also provide the impetus to try a new recipe, which is what happened last week.
I would only be making two meals, lunch the first day and breakfast the second. Easy Broccoli Quiche was my choice for lunch. With it, I served coleslaw. The quiche was good, but not great.
Mom used to make coleslaw two ways, creamy and a simple vinegar and sugar. I always preferred the latter, which is what I always make. I used the last of the special Sonoma County Harvest Fair Best of Show vinegar my niece, Lorrie had given me. It was B.R. Cohn's Raspberry Champagne Vinegar which, to my mind, made the best Vinegar Coleslaw. It is available online here and I will consider ordering more. In the meantime, HyVee carries an Alessi Raspberry Blush vinegar which is also very good and less expensive.
I knew I wanted to make baked french toast for breakfast. I found a recipe online for Caramel French Toast which sounded good. With some maple cured bacon and fresh fruit, it would make a good, substantial breakfast to send my friend on the last leg of her journey.
I hoped for a loaf of day-old french bread on the discounted bakery rack at Walmart, but they didn't have any so I substituted day-old Kaiser rolls. Here is the recipe as I made it:
1/2 C Butter (I used a stick of Imperial Margarine)
2 T White Corn Syrup
1 C Brown Sugar
1 C Evaporated Milk
1 tsp Vanilla
1/3 tsp salt
Boil together: butter, syrup and brown sugar for one minute.
Grease 9 x 13 pan and pour syrup mixture in the bottom.
Put slices of bread close together over top of sauce.
Beat eggs, milk, vanilla and salt. Pour over top of bread.
Refrigerate overnight or bake immediately at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes until slightly browned. If refrigerating overnight, take out of frig and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before baking.
I used three kaiser rolls cut in half, placed cut side up. They filled the pan perfectly. I opted for the overnight choice. Just before baking I sprinkled some cinnamon on top the bread. To serve, turn the bread over onto the plate and top with some of the extra syrup.
Oh. My. Goodness. This was one of the best french toasts I've ever had. As you can see around the edge in the picture above, the bottom (the top after flipping to serve) was almost like a flan. And flan is one of my favorite things. I think a few pecans sprinkled in the syrup mixture before adding the bread might be good, too.
I won't make this often because the caloric intake is high, but when I want something easy and special for breakfast or brunch I'll make what from now on is going to be labeled: Ramona's Kaiser Roll Caramel Flan Baked French Toast.
This is definitely one of the times I am glad having company sent me in search of a new recipe. My mouth is watering just thinking about this yummy dish.