Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Peaches and Cream French Toast

My handsome dude is wonderful for many reasons, but he is especially awesome for having taken an interest in why I care about food so much.  He considers my opinions, asks me questions to understand better, and eats everything I put in front of him.

But every so often, he breaks out a box of this and when he does, I run for the hills.

I can't stand hot oatmeal, something about the texture and it being hot and mushy, in fact most mornings I eat my oatmeal cold as vegan overnight oats.  So the smell of hot oatmeal plus the idea of "peaches" and "cream" just turns my stomach.  Aren't those both supposed to be ingredients that can't stand on their own in a little paper packet?  Thought so.  I think I can make out the word "artificial" not once but twice on that box.  But there's a picture of a real peach...

What happened to making plain oatmeal and cutting a fresh peach into it?  Oh yes, the craziness of med school + the ease of Walmart.

So for the man's birthday (4 months ago, I'm a little late with the post) I figured I would make him a real-ingredient version of peaches and cream, on french toast, adapted from this recipe to be lower in fat with less sugar.

Peaches and Cream French Toast:
You'll need:

  • 1 loaf of french bread, preferably whole wheat
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 T of sugar
  • 2 15 oz. cans of peaches or 2 ripe, fresh peaches*
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
First things first, butter or spray a 9x9 (9x13 if doubled) baking dish.  
Arrange bread in a tight layer in the bottom of the dish.

Whisk eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl and pour over the bread.

Arrange peaches on top (only if using canned peaches) and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.

Here's the canned version: 

Here's what to do if using fresh peaches:

Cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge overnight.

The next morning, take french toast out of fridge a half hour before baking.  
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  
Heat half and half over medium heat until boiling.  
Cook for 10 minutes or until reduced by half, whisking every so often.  
Drizzle half and half over peaches and cook for 50 minutes.

*I baked this once in April, when peaches were not in season, so I had to use canned peaches.  I baked it again in July, doubled the recipe, and used fresh peaches.  If using fresh peaches, do not add peach slices to the bread until just before baking.  

Canned peaches finished product:

Fresh peaches finished product (no half and half drizzled on these):

Okay, okay, I apologize for knocking the peaches and cream oatmeal.  To each his own.  I grew up eating the apple cinnamon oatmeal packets, which aren't any better.  I'll still keep the pantry stocked with it for those mornings I can't spend an hour cooking.  It is the least I can do for the guy who puts up with my crazy food anxiety!  

Maybe someday we can get in the habit of spending the few extra minutes slicing a peach and dropping it into a bowl of un-artificially flavored oatmeal, with a tiny sprinkle of cinnamon and brown sugar, despite the fact that as doctors we will only have minutes to make breakfast.  Real food. Delicious oatmeal. Quick and easy.  

Let's get food back to how it's supposed to be.

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