Sweet strawberries, whipped mascarpone, and fluffy French toast make the perfect breakfast for Mother’s Day or any special occasions!
Last Mother’s Day I had an incredible opportunity to appear on our local San Diego TV channel KUSI to show dads and their kids how to prepare two easy breakfast dishes to surprise moms for Mother’s Day. To be honest, I was really close to turning down the offer because one, I have major stage fright and two, Dillon was shy of 9 months old and I wasn’t feeling at my best. On a day to day basis, I feel like a completely failure as a mom. When I see other moms dropping their kids off at 8 AM so well put together with their makeup on and hair curled while I barely threw together Aiden’s lunch and rushed out the door with a messy bun and sweats, I secretly envied them. Sometimes I overhear moms bragging about their barely 5 year olds knowing all their sight words and reciting the multiplication and division tables like no one’s business, I wondered where I went wrong with Aiden’s education because he can barely count to 100. The societal pressure to prepare your kids to be successful even before they start grade school is tremendous. When did preschool success become indicative of college success?
I used to believe that I had the same capabilities as other supermoms who run the world but reality soon set in. With two kids to take care of, being a wife, a working mom, and running my own business, something gotta give whether it’s my kids, my marriage, my work, or my sanity. It’s impossible to put one hundred percent in everything because my time and energy are finite. Overtime I learned that my type A personality was detrimental to how my kids' growth so I stopped micromanaging. It doesn’t matter how many times I tell Aiden to eat his food, put his plate in the sink, drink his milk, or clean up after his toys, he’s only a 5 year old and he’ll pick and choose what he wants to do regardless of what I tell him. I became more realistic in managing my expectations of the boys because at the end of the day their health and happiness mattered most to me. Certain skill sets like reciting sight words and memorizing multiplication and division tables can wait.
After five years of being a mom, I’m learning not to get too absorbed in the moment and to be kinder to myself. On days when Murphy’s law is in full effect with the kids screaming at me or at each other, the house in disarray which is usually 95% of the time, and dinner unlike to materialize, I choose to to laugh at their antics and order take-out. My ideals of motherhood have changed so much since I became a mom. Now it’s all about celebrating little victories like getting both kids to eat breakfast, teaching them to say good morning to grandparents in Vietnamese, or reading at least one book before bedtime. Aiden and Dillon have transformed my ideals of motherhood for the better and I couldn’t be more grateful for every moment with them--the 1 AM tantrums, the mess, the tears, the random I love yous--all of it.
Despite my fear and hesitation of being on TV, with my husband’s encouragement, I took the plunge. I had millions of neurons firing and my heart ready to burst out of my chest but it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life and one of my favorite food memories ever. I was asked to share two recipes that would be reflective of my blog so I decided to make French toast, our favorite weekend breakfast that the boys always request.
Whenever people hear the word French, they think it’s difficult but French toast is one of the easiest and most delicious breakfast dish you can make. With French toast, I like to use brioche or challah. Both breads are enriched with eggs, milk, and butter so they make the most fluffy and buttery French toast. Bread and Cie is my favorite bakery to get those breads. Trader Joe’s has a really good, pre-sliced brioche when I can’t get to Bread and Cie. Use a day old bread because it soaks up the batter a bit better. If the bread has moisture, you’ll end up with soggy French toast and it tastes kind of gross to be honest.
Besides the bread, all you need are eggs, milk, and a few pantry items like sugar, vanilla extract, and cinnamon, or nutmeg. Don’t skip the vanilla and spice because they add a lot of flavor to the French toast. Whisk everything together. Have your skillet on medium-high heat, add a knob of butter, let it melt, and swirl the skillet. Cut each slice to about ¾ of an inch. Dip the brioche slice quickly in the egg mixture and turn it over. Let it cook for about 2-2 ½ minutes on each side until golden.
Once they’re ready, you can serve it with seasonal fruits, a sprinkle of powdered sugar, and maple syrup. My favorite combination is strawberries and whipped mascarpone cream. The whipped mascarpone adds a fancy touch and moms love that extra touch. Sweet strawberries, whipped mascarpone, and fluffy French toast make the perfect breakfast for Mother’s Day or any special occasions!
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Strawberry mascarpone French toast
- 8 slices brioche bread, ¾ inch slices
- 2 small organic eggs
- ⅔ cup organic whole milk
- ½ tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon or nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups organic strawberries, hulled and sliced
- maple syrup for serving
- confectioners' sugar for serving
Whipped Mascarpone cream
- ½ cup organic heavy cream
- ¼ cup mascarpone cheese
- 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, add heavy cream and confectioners' sugar and beat on high speed until soft peaks form. Fold in the mascarpone and beat until well combined. Transfer the whipped mascarpone cream to a serving bowl and refrigerate it while you're preparing the French toast.
- Use a good bread knife to cut the brioche loaf into eight ¾ inch slices. Reserve the rest for other uses.
- In a shallow bowl enough to fit the brioche slice, whisk the eggs, milk, vanilla, sugar, salt, and cinnamon until well combined. Set aside.
- Place a small knob of butter in a large, heavy nonstick skillet over low heat and let it melt slowly.
- When butter is just melted and bubbling, raise heat to medium and bring to a sizzle. Place 2 slices of bread in the bowl with the egg mixture for about 5 seconds and quickly turn them to other side for another 5 seconds. Do not soak them.
- Lift the slices out of the egg mixture with a spatula, gently shake off any excess, and place them on the pan. Cook 2 slices at a time and let them cook at a sizzle for about 2-2 ½ minutes, until just golden brown on the bottom then flip them to the other side.
- Test for doneness by pressing the center. The slices are coooked if the dent slowly springs back. If it remains, the interior is not yet cooked. Continue cooking at low heat, flipping occasionally, until done.
- Repeat until you're done with all the slices.
- Place them on 4 plates and serve immediately. Top with strawberries, mascarpone cream, maple syrup, powdered sugar, or whatever you like.