What’s Cookin’ at Callie’s Cabin: Wake Up to Fruity French Toast
Imagine: You’re in a plush Mediterranean-style hotel room. It’s quiet. Your eyes feast on the perfect linen white sheets with a chocolate mint on your pillow. You smell the fresh, white, fluffy towels and a sparkling clean room – all yours. You’re tuned into cable movies without work to do and no fur child demands. The best part is: room service. In the morning, you know you can reach for the telephone and place your order: French toast with sliced fruit; honey on the side; coffee and fresh-squeezed orange juice. Fifteen minutes later, the knock at the door is your cue to get out of bed and wake up to that dream breakfast. That was a scenario I experienced – more than once – when I was on the road on a book tour without my high-maintenance Brittanys.
Back to the present, my life in the real world is a bit different. On Sunday morning this week I craved that room-service instant gratification thing, but I had to put a little effort into getting my breakfast. After my Brittany duo were fed and watered and taken outdoors, I climbed back into bed with a cup of hot Sumatra java. There was no room service to call so I did what I had to do: I got up and whipped up my last days of summer fantasy breakfast.
1/2 cup lowfat ricotta cheese
2 brown eggs, beaten
1 cup 2 percent low-fat organic milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
4 slices wheat sourdough bread
2 tablespoons European style butter
2-3 tablespoons honey
1 cup fresh fruit, sliced (bananas and strawberries)
In a bowl, mix milk, eggs, vanilla and cinnamon. Spread ricotta over 2 slices bread. Melt butter on medium heat in large frying pan. Dip bread in egg-milk mixture. Cook sandwiches till golden brown. Serve on plates with sliced fruit. Garnish with dark chocolate curls. Drizzle with honey. Serves 2.
For the first time, I used Tupelo honey. It’s a buttery, fruity and light honey flavor that is common in Georgia. To my surprise, it was sweet and sublime; a treat for your palate. Once you use honey on French toast you will not go back to syrup. Sure, I would have loved room service, but DIY breakfast has its perks. Note to self: Call our local dog trainer and see how many sessions it would take to train my canine companions to make and serve me breakfast in bed. I’d settle for my sporting pooches to retrieve me a cup of java. Can dogs do that?
Next week, the first day of fall will arrive. The word is, Americans aren’t getting enough fruits and vegetables. On my store run this week I’m stocking up on seasonal delights: apples (a variety), bananas, grapes, grapefruit and oranges (good for another round of French toast or chocolate chip pancakes). Vegetables will include eggplant, potatoes (russet and sweet) zucchini, tomatoes and dark leafy greens. Fresh seasonal produce is versatile and can help boost your immune system so we locals can keep flu and cold bugs at bay.
– Cal Orey is an author and journalist. Her books include “The Healing Powers” series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate) published by Kensington. Her website is http://www.calorey.com.