I enjoy the little things in life. Waking up to sunshine… getting magazines in the mail… but one of my all-time favourites is Sunday brunch. Whether you sleep in or get up at the crack of dawn to run, brunch is waiting for you well into the afternoon.
Brunch features some of the best comfort foods around: eggs, melted cheese and Hollandaise sauce, French toast, pancakes and maple syrup, home fries, fresh coffee, mimosas… basically pure decadence.
However, brunch is not traditionally very “holistic.”
Take my recent trip to Mitzi’s on College, which I added to my ‘must-try’ list after Susan blogged that it had The Best Pancake She Ever Had. I took the bf there a few Sunday mornings back, hoping to wow him with my impeccable taste in brunch spots…
And the French toast he ordered had a chopped-up butter tart on top of it. Enough said.
Mitzi’s is a funky little place where nothing matches – not even the tables and chairs. With art decorating the walls and the odd Homer Simpson coffee mug on a table, the place definitely has character.
They have a simple but varied weekly brunch menu – the staples are always the same but they mix up the toppings. For example, if you order Mitzi’s Famous Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancake, you’re always going to get one massively thick, delicious pancake. But depending on to the day you go, it may be topped with any number of sweet or savory items.
On the day we went, I had the pancake with chopped banana and “banoffee” sauce – that’s a winning combo of banana and toffee. An odd but amazing mixture.
The coffee was excellent and so was the service. I will definitely be back to try that French toast for myself.
And speaking of French toast…
I was home this weekend for Easter and thought that Sunday would be the perfect day to make a homemade brunch at the bf’s house. This was my first time cooking for him and I wanted him to love it. I also wanted to make it as healthy as possible, as I know how he tends to eat when left to his own devices!
Knowing his affinity for French toast, I searched the blogosphere to find the perfect recipe. And find it I did – Caitlin’s French Toast Sundae looked too decadent to pass up.
The recipe is simple and quick – and it’s definitely a crowd-pleaser (I made it as a test-run for my parents on Saturday and they loved it). But best of all, it’s surprisingly healthy. Check out the ingredients:
(For one serving)
2 slices whole wheat bread
2 eggs (I used 3 for two servings and it was plenty)
1 tbsp almond butter (or other nut butter)
1 frozen banana (a.k.a. Banana Soft Serve)
1 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp honey
Mixed berries (I used strawberries and blackberries)
No sugar, no cream – but your taste buds won’t know it.
First thing Sunday morning, I set to work in the kitchen while the bf went on a coffee run (after a late Saturday night out, this was an extremely important job!)
I started out by spraying a casserole dish and pre-heating the oven to 375. Then I dipped the bread in the egg/nutmeg/cinnamon mixture as per regular French toast, placing one slice on the casserole dish. I spread the almond butter on top, and then covered it with the second slice of bread.
I threw that in the oven to bake for 20 minutes, then set out to chop the fruit and make the chocolate sauce (cocoa powder and honey, warm if necessary and stir until fully mixed. So easy).
My favourite part of the morning was introducing the bf to Banana Soft Serve. It will change your life, seriously!
The night before, I had peeled and chopped two bananas and put them in the freezer.
He watched skeptically as I dumped the Tupperware contents into the food processor. At first, it was noisy – like, really noisy. I stopped it a few times to scrape a weird-consistency-formerly-known-as banana off the sides. But after a minute or two, it magically began to take on the appearance of ice cream – soft, smooth and creamy. I took off the lid, handed the bf a spoon and said: “Try it.” He did – and I think his only words were “Wow.”
Yes, that’s what I was going for
When the French toast was done baking, I assembled all the goods together – French toast sandwich, then banana soft serve, then chocolate sauce, then fruit.
As we dug in, I held my breath. Though I’m getting more confident in my skills, I still get nervous when I cook for other people. I was thankfully put at ease in mere seconds when the bf said: “This is awesome.”
It was one of those meals where most of the conversation revolves around the meal itself. In my mind, that makes it a pretty smashing success!