Savory French Toast with Tomato-Avocado-Basil Maple Syrup


Last night I made my savory french toast with roasted red pepper-tomato maple syrup recipe, but with a slight modification. I omitted the red pepper and added diced avocados and fresh basil. Fantastic summer dinner!

Here’s the original recipe


Pumpkin Cranberry Bread


Another one handed recipe! Just two, maybe three, things to do before you pick up that baby: crack the eggs, grease the loaf pan, and unless you are very adept open the can of pumpkin puree.  Feel free to play around with the spices in the recipe, I suggest 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon but you could use pumpkin pie spice, or your own mixture of ginger, nutmeg, cardamom…I’ve also mixed up the flours a bit too, occasionally I’ll replace 1/2C of regular flour with almond meal for a nice nutty flavor or replace up to 1C flour for the whole wheat pastry flour, when I feel like being healthier.

2 1/4 C flour

1 1/2tsp Baking powder

1tsp Baking soda

1tsp Salt

1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1 Egg

1 Egg white

1 C Brown sugar

1 1/2 C Pumpkin puree

1/4 C Oil

1/2 C Dried cranberries (soaked in warm water or cider for at least 5 minutes and up to 1 hour)

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9x5in loaf pan. Soak the cranberries and set aside. Stir the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl stir together the wet ingredients. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, drain the cranberries and stir into the batter. Pour everything into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a cake tester/toothpick comes out clean.

Savory French Toast with Red Pepper-Tomato Maple Syrup

Savory French ToastIn my house we always seem to have half a loaf of partially stale French bread laying around. I can only save so much for bread crumbs and since I was sorta in the mood for breakfast for dinner but didn’t really want something super sweet I came up with this.

Since having the baby cooking has become a little more challenging in that I don’t have as much time, or the use of both hands while cooking. So I’ve started developing one-handed recipes. These are very forgiving recipes where if you have time to measure ingredients great! But if not, just eyeball it and everything will work out. A dash of this, a sprinkle of that and dinner will still taste wonderful.

6-7 Slices French bread, slightly stale
3 Eggs
3/4 C Milk
1tsp Mustard, dry ground or prepared
1tsp Favorite herb (thyme, oregano, marjoram etc.)
1/2 tsp each of Salt and Pepper
Dash of Cayenne pepper

Arrange bread slices in a single layer in a dish, 9×13 pan works well. Whisk the remaining ingredients together and pour over bread. Let it sit for at least an hour and upto overnight.

1 Tomato, diced*
1/4 C Red pepper diced**
1C Real Maple Syrup
1/4tsp Pepper

Put everything in a small pan and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the peppers are soft.

Heat a large skillet on medium heat, add a little oil/butter. Place the soaking bread in the hot pan, turn over when the first side is golden brown. When the second side is golden brown transfer to a plate and serve with the warm syrup.

( I didn’t have and arugula or spinach in my fridge last night, but I bet the bitterness of the greens would be a nice foil to the sweetness of the syrup. So if you feel like trying it, serve this dish on a bed of greens. If you do try it, please let me know how it is!)

Serves: 2

*I used a fresh tomato, but I bet canned diced tomato would taste just as good, maybe better depending on the season and your location
** yellow, red or orange peppers can be used for this recipe. I’ve seen frozen bags of grilled sliced peppers that I think would taste fantastic here. Or frozen corn would be a good alternative too.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese

Most pumpkin cream cheese spreads you can buy taste like frosting; way too sweet for anything but dessert (and this is coming from a girl who considers pie an appropriate breakfast). I want to be able to taste some of the tang from the cream cheese and a little bit of the earthiness of a pumpkin, not just have a creamy sugary cinnamony spread on my bagel. So that’s what I came up with. Enjoy!

1 Cup Cream cheese
1/4C plus 2T Pumpkin puree
1T Brown sugar
1/4tsp Ground ginger
1/4tsp Ground cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg

Whisk it all together and enjoy on bagels, crumpets, toast, graham crackers etc.

Eric Egg Strata

Last weekend I made a strata for a brunch I hosted for some family members and a friend. I’m not sure if it was because we were all happy to be hanging out together, the sunshine or the fact that we were going to get doughnuts after brunch, but we thought renaming the dish Eric egg strata was hilarious! (I’m sure we are not the first to think this is a great idea)

If you’ve never made a strata before you are missing out on one of the easiest and tastiest brunch items. Super easy to assemble, very forgiving ingredient wise (throw whatever you have in the fridge into it: peppers, ham, cooked bacon, artichokes, any kind of cheese…) and you make it the night before.

1 Baguette, cut into 1in cubes

8-10 Eggs (If you like an eggier dish add the larger amount of eggs)

3/4C Milk (can use any combination of milk, cream, sour cream or 1/2 & 1/2 to make 3/4C of liquid)

1 Onion*, diced

1 tsp Ground mustard

1 tsp Salt

1/2tsp Pepper

1/4tsp Thyme leaves

1/2C Swiss cheese

Butter a 9×13 pan and set aside. Saute onions, mustard, salt, pepper and thyme leaves in a large pan until the onions begin to turn translucent. In a large bowl whisk together eggs and milk. Add the cooked onion mixture and the bread cubes to the egg mixture and toss it all together. Pour it all into the prepared pan, top with the shredded cheese and cover the dish with foil. Let it sit in the fridge over night.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven covered for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and increase the temp to 400 degrees, and bake until golden brown about 15 minutes more.

*If you are replacing the onion with any vegetable make sure you cook it a little first


Breakfast for dinner or dinner for breakfast, either way this is a fast easy meal. I love to sop up some of the runny yolk with a forkful of crisp bread, bitter arugula and a juicy tomato bit. This recipe is also a great way to use up day old bread.

4 Slices of bacon

2 1in Thick slices of good bread (I like to use sourdough)

2 Eggs

1 1/2 C Arugula

1 Small tomato, sliced

1T Balsamic vinegar

Use a cup or a cookie cutter to cut out a hole in the center of the slice of bread and set aside. Cook bacon in  a large saute pan until crisp, remove from the pan and wipe out all but 1 T of the grease. . Lay the bread and the cut out pieces in the hot pan. When the bread is almost toasted to your likeness crack one egg into the hole in the center of the bread. Cook until the bread is  nice and toasted, then gently flip over and toast the other side (I like my yolks a little runny, so the whole process took about 6-7 minutes). While the eggs are cooking, divide the arugula and the sliced tomatoes between the two plates, drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar and a little salt. Place the toads-in-a-hole, the cut out pieces and the bacon on the plate with the arugula, crack some fresh pepper over the whole plate and serve.

Sunday Breakfast

I recently received the cookbook Jamie Oliver at Home as a gift, and I absolutely love it! One of my favorite recipes so far is his hot and sour rhubarb with crispy pork and noodles.
The bitter/sour rhubarb is fantastic with the fatty pork belly. This weekend I made his Eggy crumpets with bacon.I modified it slightly by using 2tsp of Sriracha sauce instead of the fresh chilies and added 2T of milk to the egg bath.
Fry some bacon in a pan, push the cooked bacon to one side of the pan and add the crumpets that have soaked in the egg bath for 2 minutes, cook until golden brown on both sides. Serve with a little maple syrup.

It’s so good, you shouldn’t wait for Sunday!