French toast sandwiches

Serving and eating French toast sandwiches

March madness!!!

March in Ontario has us all looking forward to spring. And along with that comes a welcome school break – a whole week of free time!

Let’s help Mom and Dad survive March madness by getting creative. We’ll make them lunch!

Start with a loaf of fresh whole-grain bread. Add eggs, low-fat milk and some nice seasonings. Then fill with fruit or low-sugar jams,  and cheese or nut butter. Use any combination of fruit and protein fillings your heart desires. Sweeten your sandwich with a touch of mineral-rich maple syrup, a time-tested spring tonic offered up by our Canadian forests. And you have a lunch anybody would definitely come home for.

Kids, put on your chef hats and get to work on this easy recipe. And remember to clean up afterwards, perhaps while singing about peanut butter. All recipes should be this simple!

French taost sandwiches ingredients.  Bread soaked in egg&milk.

I soaked my bread in egg, milk, and seasonings in this Pyrex bowl.

French toast sandwiches with apples and gouda
Makes two

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons skim milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1  apple, sliced (MacIntosh or other good baking apple is best. My Granny Smith was good, but remained a little crunchy after baking.)
  • 3 ounces cheese (brie, gorgonzola, mild cheddar, gouda, goat cheese or whatever kind you like)
  • 1 tablespoon oil (coconut or canola), flavored with a dab of butter

As you can see, I made  just one sandwich, so I cut amounts  in half.
If your frying pan won’t hold two sandwiches lying flat in a single layer
(like mine doesn’t),  fry the bottoms of your sandwiches one at a time.
Transfer them to a second, larger pan for the oven portion of the cooking and continue from there.

  1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
  2. Whisk the eggs with the milk, cinnamon and vanilla in a shallow bowl.
  3. Soak 4 slices of bread in the egg mixture, turning once, until all the liquid is absorbed.
  4. Slice the cheese thinly and core and slice the apples. See TIP  (below) for slicing apples easily.
  5. In an oven-safe skillet big enough to hold two sandwiches, melt a dab of butter with the oil over medium heat.
  6. Cook two slices of bread in the oil until golden on the bottom.
  7. Layer the frying bread slices with the cheese, then cover the cheese evenly with the apples.
  8. Cover the two filled slices with a second slice of eggy bread.
  9. Flip the sandwiches and move the pan into the oven, preheated to 350F.
  10. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the bottoms are golden.
  11. Remove and serve with a drizzle of maple syrup, if you want.

Variations

Try smearing one of the  slices in your sandwich with nut butter and soak the other side in the egg mixture. Top the nut butter with banana slices or even pear or papaya slices if you want to be more original. Then finish your sandwich as described above.

Experiment with different kinds of bread – try sourdough, croissants (you can get whole wheat ones, these days), or even a fresh rye.

Sweeten the egg mixture with liquid stevia and omit the syrup topping. This option would appeal to folks who want to eliminate added sugar in their meal plans. It’s what I did. The sandwich tasted amazing. Avoiding added sugar lowers the glycemic index of your lunch. It’s especially important for people who want to avoid chronic diseases, like diabetes or fatty liver. Or enjoy your sandwich with only its natural sweetness.

Apple-slicing tips

  • Cut your apple in half with stem end up and slice downwards to the bottom.
  • With flat side down, cut each of the halves in half again, along the core.
  • Take each quarter and angle your knife from the bottom of the core to dead centre (see picture).
  • Then twist and press upwards on the knife. The core pops out easily, without breaking the piece in half. Don’t try this from the stem end, or the segment will break.
  • Finally, cut each quarter into thin slices, about 2 mm wide.
  • Any slices left over after filling your sandwich make nice plate decorations.
  • Check out an earlier post for info on apple nutrition.

Serving and eating French toast sandwiches

Any way you slice it, have an amazing March break. Let Vinny know here all the amazing things you are doing (and eating) over your week away from school.

Advertisements

Cloud eggs send salads to seventh heaven

DSCN7748_edited

Egg clouds crown your salads.

This is an easy and impressive dish if you prepare all your ingredients ahead and save making the eggs till the end.

I saw these clouds while surfing for egg dishes and meringues last week. Then I discovered that Rachael Ray herself had copied my take on this idea (haha).

Although most people might like to serve egg clouds for breakfast, my spin involves crowning a lunch-time salad with them. More

A hogbake from Redwall Abbey… and a little kale magic

DSCN7573_edited

Crispy egg ‘N onion hogbake

This recipe, inspired by the Redwall Cookbook for kids, has nothing to do with pigs. For the life of me, I can’t come up with a reason that explains why they named it a hogbake. Perhaps it’s a typo, and they meant to call it a henbake.

Regardless, I loved its simple healthy ingredients. More

BeaverTails deconstructed

2015-01-15 10.20.48_edited

BeaverTails on ice

 

Anyone who’s skated Ottawa’s Rideau Canal knows all about our iconic BeaverTails. Nobody ever leaves the ice without a bite of these sugary deep-fried pastries decorated with cinnamon, chocolate, or lemon, or some other delightful combination of sweet and sour.

As I was focusing on Ottawa’s winter wonderland for my gourmet dinner party, Frozen in Ottawa, I  thought tiny BeaverTails would make a perfect hors d’oeuvre. They would go well with the sweetly tart cocktail we served, Frozen Blues.

BeaverTails are served hot on the Canal. But as my theme was “frozen,” I served mine cold. More

15 steps to making red and green perogies

Use parchment paper if you line your pans. Wax paper sticks.

Use parchment paper if you line your pans. Wax paper sticks.

Last week I posted some tips for up-dating your techniques when making perogies from scratch. I also posted many reasons for undertaking this task, in spite of the effort involved. But isn’t that true of most Christmas preparations? Good things take time to develop.

Without further ado, here is the recipe, which I share mainly so my family can carry on this tradition without further meddling on my part. I’m sure over the years they will institute improvements of their own. The world turns.

If there are readers out there who also are inspired to try these little tasties, please let me know. It will make my Christmas to hear of your success! FYI, Ukrainian Christmas is still to come. Celebrate with us on January 6 :). More

Santa’s elves update Christmas perogies

pirogis

New kitchen tools make it easier to cook perogies from scratch.

Traditional foods…

How perfect is this for Christmas? Everyone’s traditions are different, but for us, it isn’t Christmas without perogies. For a personal twist, I make mine green and red.

My natural food colors have been disappointingly dull. But Stefan’s Gourmet Blog  has inspired me to make improvements. More

Lego salads

Lego salad!

Lego salad tower!

I used to find salads a chore – so much washing, peeling, and chopping. All that, only to end up with tasteless, watery, food suitable only for hamsters.

But then I discovered Lego salads.

Remember Emmet, from the Lego Movie? When he sings, “Everything is awesome when you’re part of a team,” it hit me: What is salad if not a well-oiled team? More

Birthday cake for a country

Happy Birthday, Canada!

Happy Birthday, Canada!

Canada Day in Ottawa, our nation’s capital, is always a great party. The city closes down and the roads are open only to buses, people, and entertainers. The past few years, even our own street joined in the fun, with party food for the neighborhood, everybody bringing something special. Vinny brought his “Jubilation” – a cake made by the young Elizabeth during the war, before she was queen, when sugar was at a premium and food was hard to come by. Here’s the story of how “Jubilation” came to be, which I first published a few years back. More

Tommy Tucker’s brown bread… cheesy and barbecued

Baked cheesy bread

Little Tommy Tucker sings for his supper, What shall we give him? Brown bread and butter. How shall he cut it without a knife? How shall he marry without a wife?

Isla was entertaining us for the 17th time one morning with her latest ditty, as I took my sharp, serrated blade from the rack and a round, seedy loaf of whole-grain bread from the cupboard. She stopped and raised her shoulders, palms out.  “Hey, Vinny, why doesn’t Tommy have a knife?”

“I suspect the poor kid was on the streets,” I answered. “The poem was written… like 200 years ago. If you didn’t have a family to look after you then and you More

Little lambs eat ivy! But kids’ll eat goat cheese strata

What little lambs eat may not be so good for kids of the human variety. But one kind of ivy is a plant people have been eating for nearly ever. More

%d bloggers like this: