It’s hardly a secret. Gather a group of girlfriends for a weekend away and witness true chore chick equality. Each of us cooks a meal and the others clean-up. You’re on prep? I’ll set the table then. All present understand what should be universal: no one likes being stuck in a kitchen for the whole shebang. And there’s a sweet upside: sitting down at the table to enjoy a friend’s cooking is up there with foot massages by Idris Elba.
Among my recipe collection of treats are several from shindigs of this variety. This maple-drizzled Baked French Toast was on the menu earlier this year at an annual
find sanity escape with cherished friends. Imagine the sighs of pleasure to have a coffee cup handed as you shuffle sleepily into a kitchen that smells of heaven.
Rules exist on these hedonistic hen parties. Carry it forward. And so it came to be that this breakfast-for-the-gods was on my to-do list this month for a few birthday pals who are no slouches in whipping up treats themselves.
This recipe, from talented baker Joanna MacDougall, is big on the ease factor. I’m for that. And yes, it’s on the decadent side for the maple lovers in the house.
Baked Maple French Toast
Do steps 1 through 3 the night before you plan to serve this for breakfast.
What you need:
- 1 challah bread, crust removed and cubed
- 2 eggs
- 2 ½ cups milk
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons good quality maple syrup
What you do:
- Spray lasagna pan with baking spray. Spread cubed challah bread in bottom of a casserole dish.
- Mix eggs, milk and vanilla and pour evenly over bread cubes.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Mix melted butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup, and drizzle evenly over bread and egg mixture.
- Bake 350F for 40-45 minutes.
Serve warm with extra maple syrup on the side for maple addicts. Fruit and yogurt are good sidekicks. And don’t forget lessons from chore chick: share the labour.
For all those hunting around for weekend treats for Mom this weekend, here’s a tip: she doesn’t need fancy. A steaming coffee mug is a good start… and a side order of snuggles.
From one year ago: Kiss Your Mom
Other weekend reading:
- Made me blink: Jodie Foster’s Fear of Failure.
“Oh yeah,” she said. “Oh my God, yeah. If Mother Teresa is propelled to do good works because she believes in God, I am propelled to do good works because of how bad I feel about myself. It’s the first place I go. ‘Oh, what did I do wrong?’”
- Made me laugh: this New Yorker Game of Thrones wrap-up of last Sunday’s season premiere was the best one I’ve read yet.
- Made me organized: 15 places to donate used clothing in Toronto
- Made me proud of a very clever high school classmate, Sybil Taylor, now communications director for Steam Whistle Brewery, and real life partner to this savvy guy. Imagine if every boss spoke like this:
In any relationship, patience and honest communication is the key. No one person holds the ability to be right. Humility and empathy are essential.
-Greg Taylor, Steam Whistle Brewing
Happy Weekend. Happy Mother’s Day to my mother who inspires me, my mother-in-law who spoils me, and all my mom peers who keep me afloat.