Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut. ~Ernest Hemingway
This past Friday your two favorite chefs packed their bags and boarded a (disgustingly early) train to meet Liberty’s family and some friends in St. Emilion for the weekend. Just outside of Bordeaux, this romantic little town is known for many things, most notably its WINE. Now, we aren’t exactly wine connoisseurs, but that does not mean that we don’t appreciate the difference between a classy bouquet and franzia.*
We spent most of Friday wine tasting. There was so much to try, and we thought it was only fair to give as many proprietors as possible a shot at our business. We declined the use of the spit bucket during the tastings because we are ladies. More importantly, we do not believe in wasting good booze. This may not have been our best idea ever, but it certainly wasn’t our worst! With the exception of some minor curling iron burns sustained before dinner, we survived the day and night without incident.
|Looks like it’s going to be an excellent vintage.|
Our commitment to “wine education and discovery” made getting out of bed on Saturday morning slightly more difficult than anticipated, especially when we remembered our promise to make brunch for everyone. No rest for the weary, etc. etc. Thankfully, there is nothing four cups of coffee, a pair of dark glasses, and a commitment to domesticity can’t fix. By noon, all seven of us were sitting down to a delicious outdoor feast of croissant french toast with strawberries and cream. It was not only delicious, but just what we needed to So, this weekend, get your ass out of bed and whip up brunch for your friends and family.
*We do not mean any disrespect to franzia. We have both enjoyed it on occasion and are also fans of their packaging.
Strawberries n’ Cream: (Serves 4)
Preparing your strawberries:
-Wash the strawberries and remove the stems. Slice them vertically into bite-size pieces.
-Add the Crème Fraiche, Powdered Sugar, Vanilla bean, and pinch of salt. Mix well
*Fresh mint leaves are an easy and bright way to spice up your strawberries. We’re all about looks.
Fabulous French Toast: (Serves 8)
Preparing your French toast:
-Whisk all of the ingredients well in a deep dish.
-Soak both sides of the bread in the batter. If you are using croissants (which we recommend…so delicious), carefully remove the top and bottom of the croissant with a serrated knife.
-Melt butter in a frying pan, and when it’s very hot, add your bread. Cook until golden brown on both sides. (This should take about 3 minutes per side).
|Liberty is being very helpful.|
*Serve with maple syrup or powdered sugar. Or both!
Great Brunch Extras:
**NOTE: A Sticky Situation.
Apparently people in France don’t eat maple syrup, or at least you can’t buy it in the grocery stores. Serena prefers the fancy shmancy pure maple syrup from New Hampshire, or whatever little state that stuff comes from. I, however, was raised on Aunt Jemima’s “comes-in-a-plastic” bottle syrup in in Miss-ur-ah. SO DELICIOUS. This is irrelevant since neither is available in France. I decided to try to make a simple syrup to compensate, but it didn’t go so bueno. Who knew hardened caramel was so hard to scrape off plates? So, if for some crazy reason you don’t have maple syrup in your cupboard when you are scrambling for Sunday brunch, just use powdered sugar. Trust me.
The easiest way to spruce up a spring table is to put a few brightly colored flowers into champagne glasses. Voila! Instant minimalist chic. If you don’t have easy access to flowers don your blacks and take a midnight skulk into your neighbor’s garden with some scissors. (We swear we didn’t do this…)
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 1 Cup Skim Milk
- 6 Eggs
- ½ tsp salt
- 8 pieces of bread (any kind you like!) or 8 croissants
- Whisk all of the ingredients well in a deep dish.
- Soak both sides of the bread in the batter. If you are using croissants (which we recommend...so delicious), carefully remove the top and bottom of the croissant with a serrated knife.
- Melt butter in a frying pan, and when it's very hot, add your bread. Cook until golden brown on both sides. (This should take about 3 minutes per side).
- Serve with maple syrup or powdered sugar. Or both!