Cinnamon Ginger Crumpet French Toast

I love nothing more on a weekend morning than sleeping in and creating an amazing breakfast. Who doesn’t? Sometimes I’m in the mood for a savory meal – say, an omelet or scrambled eggs with sage breakfast sausage and buttered toast. Other times I just want to indulge my sweet tooth and experiment with pancakes or french toast. My favorite pancake experiment to date is cocoa pancakes stuffed with ricotta and orange marmalade (a post for another day!). My french toast needed a boost, however. The choice of bread is pivotal. I’ve tried making french toast with the Pepperidge Farm soft oatmeal bread I use for sandwiches sometimes, and that just never satisfies me. The bread needs to be fuller-bodied, denser, more flavorful, and more absorbable.

Then I had an “ah-ha” moment. Crumpets. That’s it!

I remember these gems from my six weeks studying abroad in England at Oxford University. This breakfast bread is sponge-like, with holes perfect for absorbing a spiced egg and milk mixture. I was also inspired by Jamie Oliver’s recipe for savory eggy crumpets. Trader Joe’s sells plain and cinnamon flavored crumpets. I recommend buying the cinnamon ones, but if you have a favorite crumpet brand, then by all means use those!

Crumpet French Toast
Crumpet French Toast

Cinnamon Ginger Crumpet French Toast (for two, or one if you’re really hungry)

  • 4 plain or cinnamon crumpets
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of milk (approximately…better to start with less milk than too much)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • butter for cooking

1. Crack two eggs into a bowl and add the three tablespoons of milk. See if this is enough milk for your mixture. Remember, you can always add more, but subtracting is near impossible when cooking. Beat the eggs and milk together with a whisk or a fork until combined.

2. Now it’s time to add your spices. I unabashedly shake the spices into my egg mixture, to be honest. Who wants bland french toast? No one. The answer is no one. My measurements up above are, again, approximations. If you like more spice, then please add more!

3. Mix the spices in with the eggs and milk until just combined. You don’t want egg whites separating, but you also don’t want an over-beaten mixture.

4. Warm up your pan while you soak the crumpets. Take one crumpet at a time and submerge it in your egg/milk/spice mixture. Make sure that both sides get covered. Leave it to soak for about 1 minute. Crumpets will absorb more quickly than you realize.

5. Butter the portion of the pan where the crumpet will be placed. Place the soaked crumpet in the pan and cook for about 4 minutes, or until the side is browned to your liking. Butter the pan again when you flip the crumpet over and cook for the same amount of time.

6. Repeat the process for the rest of the crumpets.

I added maple syrup and fresh raspberries to my plate for a refreshing finish. Let me know if you have ever used crumpets this way or if you have another favorite french toast bread. Happy experimenting!

The Best Fruit Salad I Ever Made

I attended dinner party recently to say goodbye to another dear friend of mine moving away. Charged with bringing a sweet treat, I wanted to make something healthy, refreshing, and incredibly delicious. I don’t know why, but for some reason the most random song came to my head – a song from that children’s show The Wiggles my little sister always used to watch and sing around the kitchen. The song repeats the phrase “fruit salad, yummy, yummy” over and over again. Fruit salad. Yes! Perfect choice.

Fruit salad is truly an all-purpose dish. You can have it with breakfast, lunch, dinner (better yet “brinner”), or dessert (especially over vanilla ice cream). While you can make fruit salad by simply chopping and combining your favorite fruits, adding flavors brings a little more “oomph” to it. Fruits like apples and bananas also brown easily when exposed for a period of time. Do you want to serve your guests brown fruit? Do you want to eat brown fruit? I didn’t think so.

My solution? Add honey, cinnamon, lemon juice, and lemon zest. That’s it! This fruit salad tastes like I’m eating freshly made pie filling, but without the inches-on-the-hips adding crust.

Best Fruit Salad
The Best Fruit Salad I Ever Made

 

Best Fruit Salad

Yield: 4 servings

  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 cup cubed watermelon
  • 1 apple, chopped (the photo below has two, I chopped one and saw I had enough)
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup strawberries, cut into quarters
  • 1/3 cup honey (any kind of honey works – I used clover honey)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon (if you like more, go for it!)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (I used just a little less than this)
  • lemon zest, to taste

1. Wash your fruit (the apples, blueberries, and strawberries in this case).

Let's get chopping!
Let’s get chopping!

2. Slice your banana, watermelon, apple, and strawberries. Keep those blueberries whole.

3. Transfer your sliced fruit to a large bowl.

4. Put 1/4 cup of honey into a glass or microwave safe bowl. Warm up the honey for 30 seconds in the microwave so it becomes more liquid.

5. Add the liquified honey to your fruit. Then, add your cinnamon, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

6. Stir all the goodness around in your large bowl. Done!

Note: If you let this fruit salad sit in your fridge for a few hours, the sugar from the honey will bring out the juices in the fruit (this is called maceration). The flavors will mesh even further, and it will taste even more like pie filling. Yum!