On the weekend of my birthday this year, we sat around my best friend’s kitchen drinking red wine. We excitedly booked my flight to New York and agreed that it would be a year to ‘do fun shit’. And only three months into 25, I’ve certainly managed a lot of fun shit. A lot has changed. I mean, a lot. I’m hardly the same person that I was when the clock ticked over to 2013.
I had a lot of untangling to do from the person I thought I was, having grown so close to someone else and from the job I defined myself by. I’m learning a lot about myself now that my future looks very different to how I’d pictured it.
I’m learning to trust my gut because it usually knows what’s what before my brain does. I’m learning to ask for help and guidance, not to over-think everything, to be more present and not stress about the past or the future, to surround myself with true friends that just get me, to be strong in my convictions but gentler with myself and to use my inner critic to push me to be better, not talk me out of potentially fabulous opportunities.
I’ve said it before, spring time is usually a period of inspiration and change for me, and it seems more true than ever right now. I don’t really have a plan, and that scares me a lot. But I have goals and dreams, and it’s going to be a pretty interesting journey to see what unfolds as I try to get closer to them.
And you’re probably wondering, what does all of this have to do with French Toast? The morning after that night in the kitchen, she woke up early to make me a decadent birthday breakfast. She made her signature dish – French Toast – which we ate in the sunshine with glasses of champagne. It’s a day I’ll remember for a long time to come.
The next time we’d drink champagne together would be in San Francisco.
The next time I’d eat French Toast was the day after I quit my job.
If I’m making a lazy weekend brunch, I’m usually more of a pancakes kinda girl. But I wanted to put another spin on this famous breakfast, by sandwiching brioche slices with a vanilla and blueberry cheesecake mixture. It was even more delicious than I expected, and went down a treat with everyone who tried it. I think it would also be delicious with other fruit – strawberries, raspberries and cherries perhaps?
- 1 loaf day old brioche (store bought is fine)
- 150g cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Butter, for frying
- Extra blueberries, icing sugar and pure maple syrup, to serve
Cut brioche into 10 even slices and set aside the two crusts for now. Combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until fully combined. Add blueberries and beat again. Spread cream cheese over half the brioche slices and sandwich together with remaining bread.
In a shallow bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, cream and cinnamon. Heat a non-stick fry pan over medium heat and add a knob of butter. Dip sandwiched bread into the egg mixture for about 20-30 seconds on each side and then place into the frypan. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Repeat with remaining bread. I had a little extra egg mixture so I also cooked the two crusts. Yum!
Dust with icing sugar, serve with fresh blueberries and a drizzle of maple syrup.