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from this side of hell yeah

Recipe: french toast

Greetings from Crested Butte, Colorado! It’s one of my favorite places to be, especially right now at the height of the wildflower bloom. We chucked our bikes on top of the car and packed our hiking shoes in case the flowers were a bust. Turns out the flowers are great – but we’re still hiking and biking because it’s just too good not to. So it’s a lot of shooting, hiking, biking, eating, and not getting much sleep. Totally worth it. I’ve been taking some snappies with my backup camera because I realized a few trips back that I don’t do enough of that on my photoshoots.

lupine in bloom

the beautiful elk mountains

aspens in the rain

The town of Crested Butte is as charming as its surrounding wilderness is spectacular. We made sure to swing by our favorite place for dinner the first night – Secret Stash.

a soaking rain enveloped the town

there are t-shirts to be had

the interior decor is mountain hippie

but the pizza is 100% nomsilicious

This is where I’m happiest. Not Crested Butte specifically (although it is definitely in my top 5 favorite places ever), but outside, in and around the mountains. As offices go, I have to say it’s not too shabby. Not too shabby at all.

stalking hummingbirds

we are talking carpets of wildflowers

mount crested butte

mix and match

I’ve often said that breakfast is my least favorite meal of the day. I am just not a brekkie kind of girl. And if I *do* eat breakfast, I prefer something of the savory persuasion like bacon, sausage, or hash browned potatoes. Because we are waking up so early to shoot sunrise on this trip, we start to feel hungry by 9 am because we’ve been up for several hours by then. For simplicity’s sake, I just stuff a bunch of fresh fruit into my mouth and keep on shooting. But the one thing I love with fresh fruit is French toast.

cinnamon, vanilla, challah, eggs, and milk

thick slices of bread

French toast is a great way to use up bread. If I get to choose the kind of bread for my French toast, I think panettone or brioche is my favorite. However, challah works nicely too (as I used in this example). I like mine to be relatively thick slices. Pre-sliced sandwich bread loaves turn out some truly wimpy French toast. Then all you need are some eggs (I always have eggs in my fridge) and milk – a dash of vanilla and cinnamon if you like.

beat the milk into the eggs

whisk in the cinnamon and salt

It’s not clear to me that you even need to measure any of this out. I tend to eyeball it and call it good. A quick dunk of the bread on both sides into the batter is enough to soak it through. Then fry it in a pan. Anything fried up in a pan is going to be stellar.

dip the bread into the egg batter

fry until golden

I love my French toast with powdered sugar and fruit. Some people prefer syrup. If you have leftovers, just toast them in a toaster oven for a quick no-fuss breakfast. I’m all over that.

serve with fruit and dust with powdered sugar

French Toast
[print recipe]

3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
6-8 1-inch thick slices challah or brioche (brioche for richer, more buttery toast)
powdered sugar (or syrup)

Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl. Mix in the milk and vanilla. Add the cinnamon and salt and whisk until combined. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a frying pan over medium flame. Dip a piece of bread into the egg mixture so both sides are coated. Place in the frying pan and cook until the bottom is golden. Flip the toast and cook until golden and the toast is not soggy in the middle. Repeat for the rest of the bread (I do 3 slices at a time in my pan). Serve with powdered sugar dusted over the french toast or with syrup. Add fresh fruit if you like. Makes 6-8 slices.

27 nibbles at “from this side of hell yeah”

  1. joan says:

    gorgeous pics! may i know what lens did you use to capture mt crested butte and the t-shirt photo?

  2. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga says:

    your challah french toast looks perfect!

    as do all your awesome pics!

  3. Melissa @ Dash of East says:

    Yum! That french toast looks delicious! I’m also a powered sugar/fruit kind of girl, not a big fan of syrup.

    Crested Butte looks like a beautiful place to be, I love my oceans more than mountains (grew up in the mountains of Southwest VA, and I think that was plenty for me), but your photos make me want to visit Crested Butte :) Any luck with stalking hummingbirds? Would LOVE to see those photos!

  4. Keeley says:

    I never considered toasting leftover French toast! Brilliant!

  5. Bev Weidner says:

    I SO have a crush on french toast. Or is it men? Either way, the crush is happening.

    I’m over these. Just like the french men.


    (looks delish!)

  6. Caterina B says:

    Wow! Those are gorgeous photos. I especially like the one of Crested Butte from a distance. I haven’t been there for years but now I’ve gotta go back! Thanks.

  7. Rosa says:

    What amazing landscapes! it looks like paradize.

    That French TRoast is simply droolworthy!



  8. Heidi @ Food Doodles says:

    I love all those wildflowers! So beautiful. Up in the mountains around here(just the edges of the rocky’s in Canada) we don’t have much for wildflowers but even the few that we do have are gorgeous. I can’t wait to do some more hiking now that I have my camera :D
    That french toast looks awesome. Your photo of the end product looks so bright and fresh and morning-like. Very nice :)

  9. Melissa says:

    Nomsilicious? You outdid yourself there…

    Steve’s been bugging me to make him French toast. Go figure. :)

    My favorite place to be is also the mountains, hiking. It’s why, as my move approaches, I don’t feel particularly sad about leaving the beach, but I stare longingly at the hills and peaks to burn them into my memory. And they’re nothin’ down here compared to Big Sur, or Colorado. *Sob*

  10. debbie says:

    Beautiful pictures! I am definitely a breakfast person and would love to devour that French Toast!

  11. crunchy domestic goddess (amy) says:

    beautiful pics, jen! it looks gorgeous there. i’d love to visit sometime as it was one of the places where my sister enjoyed spending time. and that french toast – yum!!! :)

  12. amy says:

    oh thank you—as a new to Colorado-local (only 1 year), CB is on my short list of places to go. Where do you normally stay when you go?

  13. Anne says:

    I’m so with you on the mountains. A trip to the Sierras (or the Rockies when I have the chance) hits the reset button on my sanity. Thanks for the window into such a beautiful place.

  14. Allie says:

    Your food styling has got to be one of the best out there. Nothing trite and overdone. Everything elegant yet still really simple. The food is the star, not the background! I love it!

  15. Melissa @ Baking For The Boys says:

    I have such fond memories of Crested Butte. As a child it seemed like we went there at least once a year. My fondest memory is picnicking in the back country. My sister and I picked flowers, placed them in dixie cups and set them on our table (cooler). I think I was 11. Thanks for sharing

  16. Donna says:

    Stellar photographs, they look like I could reach out and touch the scenery. Thank you for sharing a beautiful experience.

  17. paula hennig says:

    gorgeous photos! French toast looks amazing!

  18. Margie says:

    Shame on you, now I am more homesick than ever!

    Beautiful photo’s. Absolutely.

  19. Barbara says:

    Nomsilicious. I like that. I’m a gonna use it.

  20. Science Teacher Mommy says:

    Is that Beau Jo’s Pizza?? I am in Eugene and “Mountain Hippie” is like the favored decor style!

  21. Andrea @ Fork Fingers Chopsticks says:

    I haven’t been hiking out that way yet. Thanks for the pictures and motivation to get on my backpack.

  22. Amy says:

    Beautiful scenery. I can’t wait to make it to Colorado one day soon :)

  23. Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily says:

    Great title. Great post. Amazing photography!!! Wow. Honestly, this gave me goose bumps. So beautiful.
    Thank you for sharing.

  24. Mrs Ergül says:

    I love using brioche for french toast too and I also agree that Challah makes fine french toast. Did you make that handsome loaf of challah?! If so, I want the recipe! My challah always rise into a messy blob and looks real “untidy”!

  25. Allison says:

    That second photo looks like a painting! Gorgeous.

    Also, yum. I can’t remember the last time I had french toast… which means it’s high time to change that. ^_^

  26. Jenny says:

    Gorgeous shots! I just spent a few days romping around Grand Mesa, and the wildflowers are in full bloom! Isn’t it great to live in Colorado?

  27. jenyu says:

    Joan – 24-70mm 2.8 Nikkor

    Melissa – I grew up in Virginia and I dare say the mountains in Colorado are NOTHING like the mountains out east :)

    Keeley – oh yes, if I had to make it fresh every time, I doubt we’d see it too often.

    Melissa – when is the move? Maybe you guys could “get lost” and wind up in Big Sur instead? oops! :)

    crunchy domestic goddess – Amy, I think I can understand why Carrie enjoyed it so much, it’s lovely. You must visit, it’s a wonderful place.

    amy – we’ve camped before, stayed in Gunnison, and recently tried the hostel. The dispersed camping is nice, but not so good for photo shoots…

    Science Teacher Mommy – oh hell no, it’s Secret Stash which is probably 100 times Beau Jo’s :)

    Mrs. Ergül – no, I don’t bake a lot of bread, especially in summer. I bought it.

    Jenny – absolutely! :)

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