Monday, March 7, 2011

Nights in Rodanthe: Nutella-Stuffed French Toast with Sides of Bacon and Grits

Since Nights in Rodanthe takes place in a bed-and-breakfast, we can't leave this book without at least one yummy breakfast! One morning in Rodanthe, Adrienne fixed a wonderful breakfast for her guest, of grits, scrambled eggs, toast, and fruit. Later in the week after a blissful night together, Paul brought Adrienne breakfast in bed: Scrambled eggs, French toast, and bacon. (Read more about Paul and Adrienne and their bed-and-breakfast romance here.) All of these--except for the grits--are things I often fix for breakfast on leisurely weekends. I decided that since we would be having houseguests for Larry's confirmation, it would be nice to cook a fun breakfast for everyone, combining some of the things Paul and Adrienne enjoyed together.

I was pondering ways I could prepare French Toast that would be different than my usual method of dipping white bread into beaten eggs with milk, cinnamon, and vanilla, and frying them up in a skillet. The week before confirmation, this article appeared in the Food section of our local paper, describing all kinds of ways to prepare French toast. I had planned on putting together a casserole-type dish with bread and eggs and various other things, letting it soak overnight in the fridge and pop it in the oven the next morning. After the confirmation party on Saturday, I was so exhausted that I decided to scrap that idea and prepare everything on Sunday.

I went ahead and whipped up my usual egg-cinnamon-vanilla concoction, using half-and-half instead of milk. While I cooked some of the bread in the usual way, I tried what the newspaper article had suggested with some of it: after dipping the bread into the egg mixture and placing it on the skillet to cook, I put a blob of Nutella on each piece, dipped another slice into the egg, and placed that on top, cooking it grilled-cheese sandwich style.

Later I discovered it was better to dip only one side of the bread in the egg, so that there was only Nutella and no egg in the middle.


I had some grits in our pantry that I had brought home from our visit to Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway last summer. (Click here to see my blog post about that adventure.) Larry and I both like grits, but Moe, Curly, and Joe don't, so I don't prepare it very often. Turns out that my brother-in-law LOVES them, and of course my Dad is a big fan of them, too. We didn't have any left over.
(If I were a real bed-and-breakfast proprietor, I wouldn't make my guests eat off of paper plates. )

Not everyone was keen on eating the French Toast, but that was perfectly all right. I did put out bread for toasting (mostly because Moe is allergic to eggs) but there were no takers; our three-year-old nephew decided he wanted Lucky Charms. I think that's what Moe ate as well. I decided to skip the scrambled eggs. I didn't want to overdo it; and besides, we might not have had enough for the French toast. I did manage to whip some up the next morning, though.

Next: A unique Sloppy Joe easy enough for a weeknight, and yummy enough for a weekend!

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