Heart-Shaped French Toast for Two: Valentine’s Day Blog Swap!

heart shaped french toast - photo 1Valentine’s Day is almost here! As a special treat, today my humble little blog is being visited by my good friend Amy of Foods For the Soul!

Amy is a stellar photographer and baker, and has me salivating over every post with her healthier takes on meals and desserts. Not only does this girl have some serious blogger style, but we were also friends in high school! We had a lot in common then, and after a recent reconnection, have found that we still do. Back in the day, we looked up funny words in the back of our French textbooks, roomed together during at least one marching band trip, and even dated the same guy (but not at the same time). Nowadays, we share a love of running, baking, and food blogging.

Without further ado, I bring you my sweet friend Amy of Foods For the Soul and her heart-shaped french toast for two!

heart shaped french toast - photo 4

After dessert, breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I have a huge weakness for the baked treats—blueberry scones and cinnamon rolls and streusel-topped coffee cake. What girl wouldn’t, with a sweet tooth as big as mine?

But then there’s my guy, who skips breakfast nearly every day. He prefers eating a second lunch or extra savory snack, unless I toss him a fresh bagel as he heads out the door. Even then, it better not be sweet! Try poppy seed, onion, or—for the indecisive days—an everything bagel.

So I thought it’d be impossible to cook a breakfast we could both enjoy for Valentine’s Day (let alone have it be romantic!). But when I cracked eggs into a bowl to make french toast last weekend, he moseyed into the kitchen and snuck a taste while I flipped the second round of bread in the pan. He even asked me to pass the maple syrup when I handed him a plate!

February 14th just might start out on a sweet note after all!

heart shaped french toast - photo 2Heart-Shaped French Toast for Two
serves 2

You can make French toast bites out of the extra bread! Just slice into rectangular shapes and cook like normal.

6 slices wheat bread
1 whole egg + 1 egg white
¼ c. skim milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg (optional)

  1. Cut each slice of bread into a heart shape using a heart-shaped cookie cutter or a knife. Set aside.
  2. Lightly coat a large pan with nonstick cooking spray, and preheat for 1-2 min on the stove over medium-low heat. While the pan heats, whisk together the remaining ingredients (egg through nutmeg, if using) in a pie tin or bowl with a flat bottom.
  3. Dip both sides of one slice of the prepared bread in the egg wash, and cook for 2 min on each side in the preheated pan, or until browned. Repeat with the remaining bread. Serve hot with butter, syrup, jam, or powdered sugar.

heart shaped french toast - photo 3Mrs. Webb says…

If that doesn’t have you frantically heating up a skillet and digging out your heart shaped cookie cutters, I don’t know what will! For more sweet and healthy treats, I recommend checking out Amy’s Fudgy Beet Brownies and her Peanut Butter Nutella Popcorn Balls, the latter of which I actually got to taste!

Oh, and be sure to check out my Valentine’s guest post on Foods For the Soul today, where I show you how to make Truffle Stuffed Strawberries- a fun spin on a classic dessert!

Sweet strawberry scones.

Someone’s all dressed in red for the big v-day tomorrow. And it’s not me. Pink is more of my color.I have been a big fan of making scones since my first batch earlier this summer. Like most of my favorite recipes, they are simple to make, have relatively few ingredients, and have just the slightest feel of “fancy.” Another thing I adore about them is that there are quite literally endless possibilities for adaptation.

When it come right down to it though, the cause of my love for scones is how much my husband enjoys them as well. I came from a family that loves breakfast- we had “breakfast for dinner” night several times a month and would gather ’round the table saturday mornings for good ol’ flapjacks and scrambled eggs. My husband does not share the same sentiment- most days he would rather get breakfast over with in the form of a smoothie than sit down and celebrate the morning meal.

Scones are the one breakfast item that he and I can enjoy together. For this day celebrating love and romance, I baked up something that would inspire him to say, “ah, be still my heart!” and that I would enjoy as well.

This is a basic recipe for scones, given to me by my lovely friend Julia, that I nearly have memorized at this point:

  • 1 cup flour (all-purpose works best)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/6 cup COLD butter
  • 1/2 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 t. pure vanilla extract

Directions: Sift together the first four ingredients, and then cut in the butter using a pastry blender or a hand mixer on low speed. The butter should be combined into the dry ingredients only to the point where the texture still looks coarse and there are still pea-sized chunks of butter. Combine the remaining three wet ingredients, and mix into the butter mixture just until everything is wet. Do not over-mix: I usually do this step with a spoon rather than a hand mixer to ensure that the dough does not become too smooth. The beauty of the scone is the flaky, buttery texture that is a result of the butter not being fully incorporated. Fold in whatever mix-in you would like at this point, and then drop by rounded spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Makes six smallish scones- the perfect amount for two.

My substitutions to this recipe were to make it gluten-free by subbing out the regular flour for 1/2 quinoa flour and 1/2 white rice flour. I also substituted regular milk for almond milk, simply because that is what I had on hand. These substitutions made the scones taste slightly earthier/healthier than usual, but Chris and I still enjoyed them immensely. I also folded frozen strawberries into them, and cut them into a traditional triangular scone shape before I baked them.

Although these were delicious on their own, I got festive and made a strawberry syrup to top them with. I boiled 3 oz of frozen strawberries and 1/4 cup of real maple syrup for about 5 minutes, mashing the strawberries up slightly as they broke down into the syrup.

Certainly a sweet start to our day-before-valentine’s day!