Sunday, October 17, 2010


At $8 a slice for their custard French toast, Cafe du Berry was easily ruining our weekly food budget.  So custardy, their French toast was unlike anything we'd ever had.  No need to eat it with a knife because it was so soft.  It was like eating dessert for breakfast.  So flavorful, the restaurant didn't serve syrup with it, and nobody ever asked for syrup.  Except for me. 

Cafe du Berry you will no longer ruin the budget.  And I will no longer be intimidated to ask for syrup.  Why?  Because I've figured out your recipe.  Or at least come very close to it!

Custard French Toast
Makes 6 servings

12 slices French bread (cut diagonally, 1 inch thick) or Texas Toast
3 T butter, melted
4 eggs
2 egg yolks
3 cups milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 T vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
Powdered sugar
2 lemons
Maple Syrup

Layer bread into a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. In a large bowl, beat eggs and yolks. Add milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, and melted butter; mix well. Pour over the bread slices. Cover and chill overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.

On a greased rimmed baking sheet or baking pan, lay bread down in a single layer.  Bake, uncovered, at 425° for 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with powdered sugar, lemon wedges, and maple syrup.

Note:  This isn't your typical French toast.  It's custardy on the inside and almost has a stuffed appearance to it. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Everything tastes better with cheese. With two different vegetables smothered in cheese, this dish is perfect for kids. And adults who don't like vegetables.

Cauliflower Gratin
Makes 6 servings

1 head cauliflower or broccoli
1 T butter
2 tsp flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup carrot or butternut squash puree
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a medium saucepan of water to boiling. Cut cauliflower into bite-size florets.

Blanch cauliflower for 2-3 minutes. It should be tender, yet still firm. Drain in colander and set aside.

In same saucepan melt butter. Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute over medium heat.

Slowly whisk in milk to prevent lumps from forming. bring to a boil. The mixture will begin to thicken. Cook 2-3 more minutes.

Reduce heat to low and add cheddar cheese, puree, salt, and pepper.

Add cauliflower to the cheese mixture and transfer to a greased 9" baking dish. Top with parmesan cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until gratin is bubbly and top begins to brown.

Note: Broccoli can be used instead of cauliflower. Carrot/squash puree isn't a necessity in this recipe, but it's a great way to get in some extra veggies.

Carrot Puree- peel, trim, and cut carrots into 2-inch chunks. Steam for 10-12 minutes. Use a food processor or blender to puree into a smooth paste. Add a few teaspoons of water if necessary.

Squash Puree- roast unpeeled butternut squash halves, seeds removed, on a baking sheet in the oven at 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes, or poke with fork and microwave until soft. Scoop out flesh and puree.