Chow Bella

Foolproof Mother's Day Breakfast: French Toast in Bed

For Mother's Day, we wanted to give the doting partners a foolproof plan for what to prepare (with the help of the kids, of course) on Mother's Day morning while you're letting her sleep in.

Just remember, it's the thought that counts and if you remember only one thing: You must let her sleep in. Yes, she knows where everything is in the kitchen, but you can figure it out for one morning, we have faith in you.

While she's in dreamland, take the kids outside and do a little foraging for flowers to put on her breakfast in bed tray. No need to find a fancy vase, just a pretty little teacup will do.

If your kitchen is poised to make her favorite morning beverage, get that coffee pot or hot water boiling. Or if you're feeling energetic, swing by her favorite cafe and order one to-go.

Freshly squeezed juice is also a super-thoughtful addition. If you can, ask your friends this week who have access to backyard citrus to hook you up with a bucket of the last of the season oranges or grapefruit. Clean and halve the citrus and then give the rest of the job of squeezing and pouring to the kids if they're old enough.

And the main attraction -- French toast! We like that French toast can be made with most pantry ingredients. We hope that you can find a piece of good bread, though sandwich slices will do, and of course eggs and milk.

What will make it extra special are a few tricks. First, if you can score a loaf of challah bread, your French toast will be outstanding. Also, if you cook your soaked bread in a cast-iron pan, it will really crisp up, making you look like a wizard in the kitchen.

Here's your game plan:

Foolproof French Toast for Mother's Day very much inspired by Orangette's French Toast serves 2 adults and 2 kids

Ingredients 8 slices of bread (loaf of challah is ideal, or 8 slices of whatever you have) 1 cups milk (whole is the most decadent, but any variety is OK) 4 eggs 1 Tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract pinch of salt Neutral oil for the pan, like safflower, canola or peanut oil Maple syrup (Grade B is best, or if you are out of maple syrup, chop up 2 cups of fruit and cook over medium-low heat with a ½ cup of sugar and a ¼ cup of water until thickened) Fresh flowers Coffee/Tea

Mix (very well) the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt in a shallow container wide enough to hold a slice of your bread.

Heat up your cast-iron (or non-stick) pan to medium heat and add your oil to just coat the bottom of the pan. While you're at it, heat up the oven to 200 degrees to keep the French toast warm until everyone's ready to eat.

Once the pan is hot, soak your bread in the custard for a few seconds on both sides, making sure that you've gotten it to drink up the milk and eggs but not so long that it starts to fall apart.

Make sure you let all the excess custard drip back into the dish before you place the bread in the pan (you don't want sweet scrambled eggs stuck to the sides of your breakfast). Once the first side of the french toast is crispy and a deep caramel color (use your spatula to peek), flip and cook the second side until it is also crispy, brown and the middle is cooked through.

Place the cooked slices in your oven to keep warm on a big plate or a cookie sheet with a cooling rack set inside, if you have it -- they'll stay crispier that way.

While you make the french toast, have the kids make mom a card, if you haven't already. Give them access to the art drawer and let them go crazy, the more creative and original, the better.

Mom may or may not want breakfast in bed. You might want to find out first by bringing her the card and her hot drink. If she'd rather not accidentally drip syrup on her pillow case, she'll probably want to join you at the table for breakfast. Or if she'd rather not move a muscle, bring it all to her in an artfully arranged tray. Either way, use the nice silverware, cloth napkins, and fresh flowers. She's earned it.

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Jennifer Woods
Contact: Jennifer Woods