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Strawberry Watermelon Smoothie

For 4 servings

6 cups 1/2-inch cubes seeded watermelon, divided
1 pint strawberry sorbet, divided
Fresh strawberries
Watermelon chunks (with rind)

Combine 3 cups watermelon and half of the sorbet in blender or smoothie maker. Blend until smooth. Transfer mixture to a pitcher. Repeat with remaining watermelon and sorbet.

Divide smoothie among 4 glasses. Garnish with strawberries and watermelon chunks. Serve immediately.

Caramel Apple French Toast

1 (16 ounce) loaf French bread, sliced 1 1/2-inches thick
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 small Granny Smith apples, peeled, sliced and cored
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
8 eggs
2 cups milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Slice bread and set aside, reserving 12 slices. Cover bread with a cloth to prevent it from drying out.

In a saucepan, whisk together brown sugar, butter and corn syrup. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly for 1 minute. Pour into a buttered 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Place six slices French bread on top of this mixture. Layer slices from each of the six apples over each of the six bread slices.

In a small bowl, mix together sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle half of this mixture evenly over the apples and bread slices.

Place remaining bread slices on top of the apples. Sprinkle with remaining sugar/cinnamon/nutmeg mixture.

Using a mixer, beat eggs, milk and vanilla extract together until frothy. Pour over the bread slices. Refrigerate overnight, covered.

Bake the next morning, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes.

Serve with warm maple syrup. Enjoy!

Raspberry Caramel French Toast

In small saucepan, combine butter and brown sugar, heat to boiling. Pour into a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish.

Remove 1 inch from each end of French bread loaf, slice into 24 equal slices.

Beat eggs and milk until smooth. Using tongs, quickly dip 12 slices of bread into egg mixture, arrange in single layer over brown sugar mixture. Spread cream cheese evenly over bread slices in pan. Spread 1 tablespoon raspberry jam over cream cheese. Dip remaining bread slices in egg mixture, arrange over jam layer. Slowly pour remaining egg mixture over bread slices. Combine 2 tablespoon sugar and cinnamon, sprinkle evenly over French bread. Refrigerate, covered, several hours or overnight.

Bake, uncovered, in a preheated 350 degree F oven until browned (30-40 minutes).

Meanwhile, combine sliced raspberries and 1/4 cup sugar.

In pitcher, combine lemonade powder with water until smooth.

In small saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups lemonade mixture with cornstarch. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, boil and stir 1 minute.

To serve, stir raspberries and juice into lemonade mixture. With spatula, remove each serving to dinner plate. Top with strawberry-lemonade mixture, dividing evenly.

Serves 12.

Stuffed Cinnamon Pecan French Toast

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup chopped pecans
4 tablespoons apple butter
8 slices cinnamon-raisin swirl bread
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup half-and-half or whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Extra butter to grease baking sheet
Confectioners’ sugar
Warm maple syrup

Combine cream cheese, pecans and apple butter. Spread evenly on one side of each slice of bread. Put bread slices together, cream cheese side to cream cheese side, to form a sandwich.

Beat together eggs and sugar. Beat in half-and-half, vanilla extract and salt. Pour into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Place sandwiches into egg mixture and turn over several times. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a baking sheet.

Using a large spatula, lift the sandwiches onto the prepared baking sheet. Discard remaining egg mixture. Brush 1 tablespoon melted butter over the sandwiches. Bake 10 minutes. Turn, brush with remaining butter and bake 8 to 10 minutes more until bread is puffed and golden brown. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.

Serve with warm maple syrup.

Serves 4.

Baked Pecan French Toast

Assemble the night before serving, then bake instead of fry! This is a good time-saving, tasty recipe!

4 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg or cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (8 ounce) loaf French bread, cut into 12 (1-inch) slices
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Vegetable oil spray or melted butter
Maple syrup

Place the eggs, milk, sugar, nutmeg or cinnamon and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine.

Mist the bottom of a 12 x 8-inch glass casserole with vegetable oil spray or brush with melted butter. Place the bread slices in a single layer in the pan. Pour the egg mixture over the bread, distributing it evenly. Turn the bread slices once. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the pan from the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap. Sprinkle the bread slices with pecans and drizzle with melted butter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until bread slices puff up and pecans are deep brown but not burned.

Serve warm with maple syrup.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Banana French Toast

This is great to make the night before, then refrigerate until baking time.

2 ripe medium bananas, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 tablespoon lemon juice
12 (1/2-inch thick) slices French bread, untrimmed
1/2 cup semisweet or milk chocolate pieces
2 beaten eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Maple syrup (optional)

In a bowl gently toss bananas with lemon juice. Arrange half the bread slices in the bottom of a greased 2-quart square baking dish. Top bread with a layer of bananas, chocolate pieces and remaining bread slices.

In a medium bowl combine eggs, milk, honey, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Pour slowly over bread to coat evenly. Cover and chill for 6 to 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Uncover the baking dish. Sprinkle bread with almonds and sugar. Bake for 5 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F, then bake 20 to 25 minutes more or until knife inserted near the center comes out clean and top of French toast is lightly browned. Let stand 10 minutes.

Serve with maple syrup, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

j.b.’s French Toast

This was James Beard’s favorite French toast recipe. It originally was served in the dining cars of the Santa Fe Railroad. The crumbled up cornflakes give every bite a crisp crunch.

3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups cornflakes
4 tablespoons butter, divided
6 slices day-old dense white bread
6 teaspoons granulated sugar

Stir the eggs, milk, nutmeg and salt together until well blended. Place in a shallow bowl. Crumble the cornflakes slightly so that each flake is about half of its original size and spread them on a piece of wax paper.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

Dip (don’t soak) both sides of each slice of bread into the milk batter. Let excess batter drip off before pressing bread on both sides into the cornflakes to coat well.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat and fry 3 slices of the bread until golden on each side. When done, sprinkle 1 teaspoon sugar evenly on top of each slice and keep warm in the oven while you fry the other 3 slices in the remaining butter and top with the rest of the sugar.

Serve hot with maple syrup.

Makes 4 servings.

Cherry Almond Cream Cheese French Toast

1 loaf white bread
4 cups frozen Door County cherries (rinsed and drained)
16 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 teaspoons almond extract, divided
1/2 loaf French bread
7 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup sliced almonds

Cut the loaf of white bread into cubes. Place the cubes into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Spread the cherries over the bread. Microwave the cream cheese to soften it. Add 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp almond extract and sour cream to cream cheese. Spread over cherries. Cut ten 1 slices of French bread, place the slices over the cherries. Beat the eggs well, add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon almond extract, the milk, and cream, and beat again. Pour the egg and milk mixture over the French bread slices. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake covered with tinfoil for 40-50 minutes, then uncovered for last 10 minutes to brown slightly.

Let set for about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle top with powdered sugar and sliced almonds before slicing into. Makes 10 servings. Enjoy!

Gooey Orange Oven French Toast

1/2 cup margarine, melted
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoon cinnamon
6 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
16 bread slices; whole wheat or white bread
2 oranges, sliced

Orange-Honey Butter
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon grated orange peel

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

In small bowl, combine margarine, honey and 2 teaspoons cinnamon; mix well. Pour mixture evenly into 2 ungreased 15 x 10-inch baking sheets.

In medium bowl, slightly beat eggs. Add milk, orange juice, sugar, orange peel, salt and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; mix well. Dip bread in egg mix. Place on margarine mix in pans. Pour any remaining egg mix over bread. At this point, can be covered and refrigerated overnight. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes or until golden brown, turning halfway through baking. Arrange on platter with orange slices. Serve with Orange-Honey Butter.

Orange-Honey Butter: In small bowl, combine softened margarine, honey and grated orange peel. Beat at high speed until light and fluffy.

Overnight Oven French Toast

Makes 8 servings.

1 loaf French bread
5 large eggs or 1 1/4 cups Egg Beaters
3/4 cup fat-free half-and-half
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 (20-ounce) bag frozen whole strawberries, partially thawed
4 ripe bananas, sliced
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
1 tablespoon apple pie spice
Pinch of ground cinnamon

The night before cooking, cut the bread into 1-inch slices and arrange in a 9 x 13-inch nonstick baking pan.

In a bowl, beat the eggs, half-and-half, vanilla extract and baking powder until blended. Pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, heat oven to 450 degrees F. Remove bread to a plate. In the same pan, mix the strawberries (thawed enough to separate), bananas, 3/4 cup sugar and the apple pie spice. Top with bread. Sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar and the cinnamon.

Bake until toast is lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

Serve hot, topped with the fruit sauce.

NOTE: If desired, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and a dash of salt may be substituted for the apple pie spice.

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