Thursday, March 29, 2012

Upsy Daisy Tablescape

I manage to stay pretty busy most of the time.
Between three busy teenage boys, a home schooled preteen daughter, pets, church activities, my blog and life's little surprises it can difficult to find the time to concentrate on my marriage.
So every once in awhile I like to surprise my husband with something special.
Today I am surprising him with a special breakfast...but just for the two of us.

Breakfast Menu For Hubby {or Easter Morning}:

Iced Coffee
Soft Boiled Eggs and Toast
Citrus French Toast
Fresh Pineapple

Now, let's set the table.

First on the table are a simple table cloth and some place mats.
I know this looks odd.

I made a cute little bouquet in a little pitcher.

I am adding two little saucers for the syrup and coffee.
Drips will be easier to clean off a saucer than the place mat.

Citrus syrup for our french toast and a little pitcher for chilled coffee go next to the flowers.

Two place settings.
I like the opposite effect here.

Striped plates and polka dot napkins go on next.

Soft boiled eggs with demitasse spoons.

I added a few extra daises to the table for fun.

Finally the coffee is on and we are ready to eat.
The kids are going to bring us the french toast when it is ready.

I could not resist some fresh flowers for the table.
These daisies are so beautiful.

The spider mums add a fun pop of color to the arrangement. 

I am linking to Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch and On The Menu Monday at Stone Gable.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Citrus French Toast

I think this should be called sunshine on a plate.
Citrus French Toast is a special treat in our house.
The syrup is thick and rich while the french toast itself has crunchy edges and an eggy middle.

The board of ingredients:
  • Sugar
  • Half and Half
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • 2 Loaves White Bread (I am using roughly 1 pound loaves)
  • Citrus: Lemons, Limes, Oranges
  • Eggs

Cut the bread into large cubes.
I cut the crust off of one loaf and leave the crust on the other loaf of bread.
The crusts that I cut off become bread crumbs.
If you like the crunchy edges and want more of that crunch throughout your french toast, leave all the crusts on.

Now we'll start making the custard in a large bowl.
Eggs go in first.

Use a whisk to mix up the eggs.

Next in is the half and half.

Add the sugar and a pinch of salt.


Next we need some zest.
We use a micro plane to zest our citrus and my son is the king of zesting.
{Grammar Alert!!! Zesting is used improperly above.}
Zesting, used as a verb, means: to give zest, relish, or piquancy to.

The trick to 'zesting' is to get the green layer off the lime while leaving the white stuff behind.
The white stuff is bitter and not too tasty.
So just gently rub the fruit down the micro plane  for a few inches and then turn the lime to zest a new spot.

Look at this lovely little pile of zest.

I just eye ball the pile and try to divide it evenly into two piles.

Half the zest goes into the custard, the other half goes into a small sauce pan.

Stir the zest into the custard and then pour the custard over the bread cubes.
{Actually it would be easier to add the bread cubes to the bowl of custard and mix it all up in the bowl....but I did not start with a large enough bowl.  Learn from my mistake!}

The bread cubes will compact when they soak up the custard.
Make sure to clean the edges of your baking dish before it goes into the oven.
Bake this for forty five minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Next we need to juice the fruit.
Cut the fruit in half cross wise so you see the lovely little sections.
It's easiest to juice the fruit this way.

My son loves using the juicer, but you could use a reamer as well.

The juicer is very efficient.
It gets every bit of pulp and juice.

 The amount of juice you get will vary according to your fruit.
We will not need this much juice for this recipe.
{Add the left over juice to iced tea or to tonic water.}

Now, it's time to make the syrup.
Add sugar and a pinch of salt to the zest in the saucepan.

Add the juice,water and butter to the sauce pan.

Stir over medium low heat until the mixture begins to boil.

Let the syrup boil gently over low heat for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
As soon as the syrup starts to bubble, remove the spoon.
Stir occasionally, removing the spoon after you stir.
If you leave the spoon in the pan, the syrup could crystallize and you don't want that.

Add the citrus juices slowly and stir.
This just looks like pure sunshine.

This makes about a cup of syrup which is the perfect amount for the french toast.

It's time to eat!


Citrus French Toast


French Toast:
7 Eggs
2 Cups Half and Half
1/2 Cup Sugar
Zest of Half a Lime
Zest of Half a Lemon
Zest of Half an Orange
2 Loaves of White Bread or French Baguette

Zest of Half a Lime
Zest of Half a Lemon
Zest of Half an Orange
2 Tablespoons Water
4 Tablespoons Butter
1 1/2 Cup Sugar
Pinch of Salt
1 Tablespoon of Citrus Juice
1/3 Cup Citrus Juice


1.  Preheat oven to 350° F.
2.  Cut bread into bite sized cubes and grease your baking dish. 
2.  Combine eggs, half and half, zest, sugar and salt. 
3.  Add egg mixture to bread cubes and mix until the bread is soaked with the egg mixture.  Pour into greased baking dish.
4.  Bake at 350° F for 45 minutes.
5.  Meanwhile, add butter, sugar, salt, juice, water, and zest to a small sauce pan over medium low heat.  Stir sugar until it is melted and comes to a boil.  Remove spoon from pan and stir occasionally removing spoon after each time you stir.  Reduce the heat to low and boil for 5 minutes.  Set the pan aside to cool for a few minutes. 
6.  Add 1/3 cup of juice mixture to the cooled syrup.
7.  Let french toast cool for 5 minutes.  Cut, serve and add citrus syrup as desired.  Enjoy!  Serves 8.

For a printer friendly version of this recipe click here. I am linking to Foody Friday at Rattlebridge Farm.