Tag Archives: raspberry

Carmelized Praline French Toast Bake


This is a Paula Deen recipe that I changed around a little with the Raspberry sauce, so expect a lot of butter, cream and an amazing breakfast/brunch.  My college friends were in town for a wedding and found this delicious.

Add to your grocery list:

1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup milk
8   large eggs
2 cup half-and-half
Butter, for pan
1   loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
Praline Topping, recipe follows
Raspberry Syrup, recipe follows

Praline Topping:
2 sticks butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2-tsp. nutmeg

Raspberry Syrup:
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 Tbsp. corn syrup
1 Tbsp. honey
3 Tbsp. preserves (I used Bumbleberry, purchased on a fruit picking farm)
2 tablespoons white wine, I used a dry white wine to take away from the sweetness.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit (unless you are using the overnight method). Generously butter a 9 x 13 glass baking dish.  Slice your french bread into approximately one-inch thick slices. The recipe calls for 20, but I had a hard time fitting them all in a single layer in the casserole dish.  After jamming the slices in, I realized an easier layout for the bread would be to layer them resting on top of each other, like a cheese tray.

In a mixing bowl, whip together the eggs, milk, half-and-half, nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla with either a whisk or a hand mixer. I also added in a little bit of black pepper.  The mix should be thouroughly blended, so I suggest the hand mixer.  I used a fork and had two egg yolks still whole when I poured the batter over the toast, the next step. When pouring the egg combo, be sure to cover all the bread slices evenly. I kept going and just baked the bread immediately after I soaked the bread slices.  You can also cover up the baking pan and refrigerate overnight for a softer texture and fully soaked bread.


When your bread has chilled overnight, or you are ready to immediately bake your dish, whip up the praline topping.  In another bowl, intermingle all the ingredients until well-integrated.  Evenly paint on the mixture to the top of your bread covering the entire dish creating a sweet, slightly thick, top layer.  Cook in the oven for 45 minutes or until the egg mixture turns into a solid, slightly mushy state.  The eggs should have cooked thoroughly through and the praline topping will have melted and become a dark brown, crystallized crust.image

While your brunch is baking, you can heat up the fruit topping. I didn’t have the ingredients Paula called for, so I whipped up my own version. In a saucepan, combine all the ingredients on low heat stirring until completely heated.  Set aside for later.

 It was a little sweet, so you could probably remove either the corn syrup or honey.  The wine definitely brought down the kid-in-a-candy-store sweetness with a grown up kick, so if you follow the recipe exactly I would make sure to add this.  Any fruit and preserve would work, so if blueberries are in season and cheaper, try a variation of the raspberry topping.image

When the french toast bake is finished, dish out one-two slices per plate and top with the raspberry topping.  Delectable!image

The best part was definitely the crunchy, candied pecans crusting onto the gooey, egg-thick french toast.  It didn’t stick your teeth, but sure tasted like a taboo candy that would rot out your molars.  The fresh fruit on top made the dish feel healthy and brought another level of flavor to the agreeably sweetened, nutty french toast.  A great brunch item paired with a mimosa or watermelon cooler and some fresh fruit.image

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Filed under Breakfast, Food

Cinco de Margarita

In leau of Cinco de Mayo (which I just found out is not Mexico’s independence day, but rather a celebration of their freedom), I made a few margarita’s for myself. If you don’t have a Magic Bullet, I highly recommend it. We haven’t had it that long, so I don’t know the shelf life of it just yet, but it works better than any blender I’ve used (other than the über expensive Starbuck’s brand ones). It is also great for breakfast smoothies and humus. The best part of the bullet is it’s perfect for one person and when you are done chopping and grinding, you just spin the top off and have a glass to drink out of.


My recipe stemmed from left over On the Border regular lite margarita mix, sans the alcohol. The golden tequila makes my stomach churn just at the initial waft of _ taste, so I bought a cheaper clear tequila and put a shot worth in.I added previously frozen fresh strawberries and raspberries for an added frozen tundra slushy effect. Then about 1/3 of the way up of the margarita mix and some fresh lime juice from those cute little gold ball sized key limes. To finish it off I added ice to the top and blended until smooth. I cut the other half of the key lime into a wedge and searched everywhere for a straw, but with no luck drank my sweet, tangy, slightly pungent creation from the glass. And when my head twinged with a brain freeze, I switched to sipping it from the spoon. All it needed was some guac and friends for the ultimate Cinco de Mayo celebration.


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Filed under Drinks, Food


Chili chocolate. Up until the other day I had only heard of this and dreamed of finding some. Thank you Lindt for this dream come true.  Several friends mentioned this delicacy to me after trying it at Filipino family parties, but couldn’t remember the name. It is a spicy sweet, best used in dark chocolate, the chocolate counteracting the heat and toning the chili pepper down.


Trader Joes intrigues me with their organically cheap goods. I put together a 2-buck Chuck and frugal joe’s ordinary beer birthday baskets. The beer will pair well with nut mix, differed with chili lime flavors. It is spruced with dried limes. The red wine is brought to life with fruits, so a dried chocolate, raspberry nut mix seemed appropriate. The chili chocolate will be great after some chili lime nuts and sea salt dark chocolate with the chocolate, raspberry nuts. To top these gifts off I found a fresh pretzel roll, threw them in wicker baskets, and cellophaned them closed with an oversized bow.

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Filed under Food, Snacks