This past weekend I went to lovely Deerfield, Massachusetts to visit Mark and his family. Deerfield is “half-way” between Geneva (where I am) and Burlington (where Mark is). It’s not exactly halfway, but going to what now seems like my second home is always a plus. Little plug—the Old Deerfield Craft Fair is this coming weekend (the 18th-19th). It is a super cute little fair selling jams, jewelry and carved wooden figurines etc. If you’re in the area… you should go.
Plug complete… So, on Friday night we threw all of the veggies in the fridge into some fajitas/burritos… which consisted of red peppers, mushrooms, tempeh and refried beans all mixed together with all the Mexican-esque spices in the house. Then we topped them with some spinach, Gouda, and tomatoes… hardly attractive looking, but pretty darn tasty after a 4 hour drive.
The weather wasn’t spectacular but we did fit in some exercise at the newly renovated Deerfield Academy gym, courtesy of Mark’s fancy-pantsy Alum card. Let’s just say this gym was a little too high-tech for me… touch screens don’t register my cold fingers. And looking at the HDTV mounted right in front of my face made me feel nauseous after about 2 miles. I’ll stick to the roads and old school gyms from now on.
We double dated with Mark’s “best friend from home” and his girlfriend at a local Thai place… I got mango curry over brown rice… very tasty.
The highlight of our culinary adventures for the weekend however was stuffed French toast. My dad had it at a restaurant once and came up with his own version at home. It’s super easy, it looks very elegant, and you can fill it with whatever you’d like. I usually go for strawberries and blueberries or peaches with cream cheese or yogurt. Or for those who love peanut butter… PB and banana.
We used this great oatmeal bread from a farm in South Deerfield and filled them with strawberries from a farm stand literally a stone’s throw away and some vanilla yogurt.
Also this breakfast was a chance for us to use the can of Canadian maple syrup that happened to be sitting on the counter… this can intrigued both Mark and me; hence our desire to find a recipe that would require opening it.
Stuffed French Toast
Makes 3 stuffed slices, I ate 1, and Mark ate 2 for reference
6 slices of good bread, we used oatmeal bread, (3 slices if using the pocket method… see below)
Oil or cooking spray for frying pan
¼ cup of milk
Teaspoon or so of cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
½ pint of strawberries, hulled and sliced
¼ cup of yogurt or cream cheese, we used Stonyfield vanilla yogurt
If you are using fresh bread, cut three slices, then cut a pocket into each one. Do this by inserting a knife into the crust side of the bread, about halfway between the top and bottom. Wiggling the knife around to make the pocket bigger, but be careful not to cut through to the three other sides or through the top or bottom. This method keeps it a bit neater, but if you are using pre-sliced bread as Mark and I did, just go for the sandwich method.
Heat a skillet over medium heat, make sure to coat with cooking spray or place a tablespoon of oil in the bottom and rub it around with a paper towel.
Combine eggs, milk, cinnamon and nutmeg in a shallow dish. Make sure the dish is big enough to fit a slice of bread. If using the pre-sliced method, spread a thin layer of yogurt or cream cheese on both slices of bread, arrange slices of berries on one side and then top it with the other slice of bread, so that the yogurt is on the inside of both slices. If using the pocket method, put some yogurt or cream cheese on a knife and wiggle it around in the pocket, trying to get an even layer all throughout the pocket. Then carefully place strawberry slices inside as well.
Dip each fruit filled toast in the egg mixture then turn to coat the other side, make sure both sides absorb the mixture well before flipping over. Remove from egg mixture and let excess drain off, back into the bowl. Place toast in the skillet and cook on both sides until golden brown, a few minutes each side… but remember the second side always takes less time.
Remove from heat once golden, slather with syrup (or drown in Mark’s case), sprinkle with a few hulled, sliced berries and enjoy!
We ended our prefect weekend with a hike up to the top of Mount Eaglebrook, which looked like a winter wonderland with all of the Laurel in bloom… a special thanks to Mama Mac for the tip off. The top of the mountain has the most breath-taking views of all of the Deerfield Basin (geo-nerd moment). Not to metion this hike holds many memories for Mark and me, having hiked it a handful of time each summer since we began dating