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Something for the Weekend – French Toast

Weekends are something that can easily be taken for granted. Two full luxurious days to ourselves to do what ever we want; for me usually involving a trip into Derby to browse the shops then baking and for Hubs working on his classic Mark I Austin Healey Sprite. Of course not every weekend is so hedonistic so when we have weekends free we take full advantage of them. Weekday breakfasts are a fleeting affair, often eaten standing up in the kitchen, where the main aim of the morning is to get showered, fed and out of the house in record time so at weekends the one thing we always make time for is a decent breakfast.

We lay the table properly, switch the radio on and have some time for ourselves as a couple over something sweet be it French Toast topped with berries, croissants, pancakes or waffles. Here, bacon sarnies here are reserved for when we have guests. I tasted French Toast for first time last year and have been hooked ever since. If we’re ever out for breakfast the first thing I’ll do is scan the menu for my favourite item.

French toast can be made with a few bready items including your everyday sliced white, croissant and my personal favourite sweet, fluffy brioche. Last weekends French Toast was made with the last few slices of Fruit Beer Bread. Although it didn’t soak up the eggy custard as well as the wonderful brioche it still made a perfectly delicious breakfast. To try and introduce a healthy balance to the breakfast we always simmer down some berries. The freezer is full of various berries that we have picked from the PYO or I have bought off the reduced counter. Last week’s fruit offering was blueberries (yes, you can buy British blueberries) and they cut through the sweetness of the bread perfectly. Of course this is all served with a glass of cold orange juice and a big mug of tea.

The perfect start to a weekend.

French Toast
Enough for 2 people

100g berries
1 tbsp sugar
small amount of lemon juice
4 slices of bread/brioche
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla caster sugar (or use normal caster with a few drops of vanilla extract)
60ml (4 tbsp) milk

1) In a small saucepan slowly heat the berries, sugar and lemon juice until the berries break down and you have a thick, delicious coulis.

2) Melt a small amount of butter in a saucepan. In a shallow dish whisk together the eggs, milk and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Once slice at a time dip the bread into the custard giving the bread a few seconds to soak up the eggy mix then place into the sizzling frying pan. Fry both sides of the bread until browned. Continue with the rest of the dipped bread. Serve with the coulis.

Omega Seed Brittle

With the 3-Peak Challenge looming both Hubby & I are trying to find ways to help us get through the 11am and 3pm sugar slump without reaching for the biscuit tin. To help keep on top of my snacking at work I usually pack a bento box. This helps me control portion size as well as encouraging me to have a balanced diet. Hubby is talking of taking a bento snack box to work to keep him away from the temptation of the corner shop. Hubby in particiular has a very sweet tooth so these bars are perfect for him, because not only does he get a good sugar hit it has the added benefits of slow release energy and all the good stuff that is in seeds. A Mars bar can’t promise to do that!

I always have a packet of mixed seeds in the cupboard. Not only are they great for making granola with, but also for sprinkling on cereal and adding to flapjacks. I also carry a small tupperware box of seeds and dry fruit in my handbag for low energy wobbles. This particular seed mix contains pumpkin, sunflower, sesame seeds and linseed which means it is packed with omega-3. Great for body and mind. Omega-3 is something that the body can’t produce and must be introduced through diet. I know there is some debate as to the benefits of omega oils, but I notice a significant difference in my skin and moods when I have a regular intake of it. However I don’t buy into all the products out there at the moment with “added omega-3”. I prefer to get it straight from the source. These products are just playing on public anxiety and food fads making out that Omega is a new amazing supplement, when in reality it has been something all of our bodies have needed from year dot.

The main source of Omega-3 is oily fish, but as I’m not a big fish eater I try to find other ways to getting it and this is perfect.I buy my omega seed mix from a Vegan Wholefood shop, but I have seen similar mixes in the supermarket.

When your making this, what ever you do make sure you wash the pan soon after making it or you’ll have a job getting the encrusted honey off the pan.

Omega Seed Brittle

85g (approx 6 tbsp) omega seed mix or similar
3 tbsp honey

1) Place both the honey and seeds in a frying pan and slowly heat until the honey has begun to caramelise and the nuts begin to toast.

2) Pour out onto a piece of baking parchment and allow to set in the fridge.

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