It’s a brisk but beautiful day in Michigan this October morning. The chickens are enjoying the sun and I started my morning off with a good cup of coffee. Then inspiration hit me, what was I going to make for breakfast. This Unprocessed October has been a challenge to me in that I have to plan more of what we eat so I do not fall into a trap of just getting something from a box in the freezer. So instead, this morning, I surveyed my kitchen and decided to use a loaf of starting to stale bread, fresh eggs and my homemade vanilla extract and make up a pan of baked French Toast.
I have seen this done on tv and on Pinterest. Most recipes I found called for soaking the bread overnight in the egg mix. Well, that was not going to work for me this morning so I set about with an experiment. I tore the bread up and placed it into a 9×13 glass baking pan that I had lightly grease with butter. Yes, the real butter…we are not using chemically formed butter flavor spreads at this house anymore, thank you Unprocessed October! After I set aside the bread in the pan, I started to whip up my egg mix. Into a bowl, I cracked 3 eggs and 3 egg yolks. I mixed in a cup of milk, a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons of my vanilla extract that I made with Brandy. Once this was whisked together I poured it over the bread and let it soak in for 30 minutes. It was the best I could do with hungry boys and man starting to wake up. I preheated the oven to 350 degrees. I then melted 2 teaspoons of butter and drizzled it over the bread that had soaked up all the egg mix. Just before popping the pan into the over I topped it with a couple of heaping table spoons of cinnamon and sugar. It smelled heavenly while it baked for 35 minutes. Once the top had formed a nice crunchy top, I served it up with maple syrup. It was fabulous. The next time I make this, I will make 2 pans…note to self.
As for Unprocessed October, I have to say we have gone out to dinner twice this month and breakfast once and while out, I threw caution to the wind and just ordered my meals without considering the processed foods they may contain but over all we have been really sticking to this. One of the convenience foods my family would not give up was cereal. Darn you big grain cereal manufactures like Kellogg who are financially backing the opposition of labeling GMO on food labels that will be on November’s ballot in California. It is something that I am passionate about but my children love their cereal and not just for breakfast, they eat it as snacks too. The boys and man also did not give up chips but hey, it was my decision to join this challenge so they are good sports for the most part.
Speaking of Unprocessed and homemade, the vanilla extract made with Brandy was fabulous! I’m excited for how the bourbon vanilla extract is coming along. It’s almost 2 months from conception, and now beginning to have a more powerful smell of vanilla over the bourbon. The smokiness of the bourbon is still pronounced…thank goodness.
Our plans this afternoon include a trip to the pumpkin patch. The sun is shining and this promises to be a good day of simple family togetherness and fun. Call me cheesy I don’t mind but I do hope everyone enjoys their Sunday. Take time to breath in the fresh air, it does wonders for the soul.