This winter has been rough on me, and I’m sure it’s been tough for a lot of you too. I check the weather on my phone and see no hope for days. Temperatures lingering well below freezing seem to be the norm now. Of course, there are snippets of beauty amongst this snow and ice. Scenes that would rival any tropical paradise in their splendor.
On the positive side, I do love me some winter fashion. I love chunky knits, boots, pom-pom hats, and huge scarves wrapped around a thousand times. I’ve gotten to wear crimson and berry-toned lip colors, which look out-of-place in the warmer months. I have also been loving goth-inspired nail polishes - very moody and a far cry from the fuchsias and tangerine reds I wear in the summer.
There have also been cozy times I get to share with my husband. Him and I exploring the city and finding a new café. I will get a latte and he will get a hot chocolate because he has an abhorrence that stems from childhood towards coffee. We’ll share a cookie or a croissant or both and discuss things in the world that we don’t understand or can’t wrap our heads around, future vacations we want to take, or whatever may come up.
We’ll also laze around at home more often on the weekends. In the summer I like to be out and about. This winter I’m enjoying staying in more. Usually I’m the type of person who gets in a very bad mood if we don’t have weekend plans. But this winter I’ve been happy to stay-in on a Friday night and cook a nice dinner for just the two of us. Of course friends are always welcome, but rather than going out, sometimes it’s nice to stay snug and comfortable at home. When Sunday morning comes around I’m also skipping the usual restaurant brunches and opting for an omelet or pancakes or French toast at home. I’m not big on sweets for breakfast, but sometimes a nice french toast satisfies like nothing else.
When making French toast I don’t really measure anything out. It’s an effortless dish that will come together if you have the basic ingredients. That’s why I love making it. I paired it here with ruby-toned fruits: blood oranges, pomegranates, and raspberries. And I always use cinnamon and vanilla in my french toast. You can add other spices like cardamom or ground cloves. But the combination of cinnamon and vanilla is my favorite and will make your whole kitchen smell very welcoming.
Cinnamon and Vanilla French Toast with Ruby Colored Fruits
I am providing a loose recipe here, because I really feel French toast is foolproof unless you burn it in the pan. ;)
oil or butter for frying
bread of your choice, sliced a little thicker than usual and day old is best. I usually have whole wheat or sunflower toast, but brioche and challah are optimal.
eggs, use 1 egg for every 3 slices of toast
milk of your choice, use about 1 cup for every 3 slices of toast
sugar, to taste – I like to use raw sugar or sugar with larger crystals so that it caramelizes nicely on the toast.
vanilla extract or a vanilla bean scraped, start with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon for 3 slices of toast, you can adjust the amount according to your taste
a pinch of sea salt
an array of fruits or your choice, I used blood oranges, pomegranates, and raspberries. (fruit combination inspired by @thedelicious on instagram)
chopped nuts, for serving (optional)
to serve: whipped cream or sour cream or crème fraîche or yogurt, orange zest, cinnamon, and pure maple syrup
Beat eggs with milk, add in sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and a pinch of salt in a wide rectangular dish. Soak the bread until the egg custard is absorbed on each side.
Heat a large frying pan with oil or butter on medium heat. Add the soaked toast pieces in the pan. Cook for about 2-3 minutes per side or until golden. Top with the blood oranges, pomegranates, raspberries, nuts, and other topping of your choice.