Alrighty then! Sooooooo, a friend got his butt in a sling with his SO, (Significant Other). Not good, but it happens…
So whataya do to make thing right? Sure, there are flowers, and that’s never a bad idea, but if you really want to mend that bridge, then the way to a girl’s heart is through her tummy.
Make something really good with love, and you’re on the right track, every time. Start early, and that means breakfast. Here’s a nice little twist on French Toast that, as Emeril would say, kicks it up a notch. Follow these directions to a T and you’ll be back in her good graces in no time; then it’s up to you to stay there…
Grand Marnier French Toast
4 large Eggs
3/4 Cup Cream (Half & Half is fine)
4 Fresh Oranges
2 Tablespoons Grand Marnier, (Triple Sec works too)
1 Tablespoon Agave Nectar (Honey is fine)
1 Tablespoon Orange Zest
3″ Vanilla Bean (1/2 teaspoon of Extract is OK)
8 slices Sourdough
2 tablespoons Butter (NO Marg!)
6 slices Thick Cut Maple Smoked Bacon
1 bottle nice sparkling wine, (That she likes!)
1 large bunch of flowers and greenery that your Sweetie loves.
For the Table
Butter (NO Marg!)
Warm Maple Syrup, (NO fake stuff!)
Make sure the sparkler is nicely chilled.
Make good, fresh coffee. Bring that and paper, tablet, whatever she likes to keep your girl happily in bed. Tell her to stay right there and relax; you’ll call her when breakfast is ready. Make sure she gets coffee warm ups and anything else she needs to stay put and enjoy a quiet morning.
With your finest grater, zest one orange, taking only the pretty stuff, no white pulp. Measure out and set aside 1 Tablespoon.
Take one of the oranges and find where the sections are. With a sharp paring knife carefully cut two sections out. Now, gently remove the skin and any of the white connective tissue, so that you have nice, elegant little supremés of orange. Cut a notch into each; these are garnish for your juice.
Juice all orange and set aside 1/4 cup for the French toast; the rest is for your loved one and you, if there’s enough for you…
If you have or found vanilla bean, carefully slice it lengthwise, then scrape the seeds out.
Measure out 2 Tablespoons of Grand Marnier; add the orange juice, zest, vanilla bean and seeds, and stir to incorporate.
Allow that to sit for 15 minutes.
Remove the bean, leaving the seeds; pat the bean dry with a paper towel, then toss it into your sugar bowl so you get some nice vanilla sugar for later.
Slice Sourdough into nice, even 3/4″ slices.
In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, cream, nectar or honey, and the orange juice-zest-Grand Marnier-Vanilla blend. Blend with an immersion blender, (Or by hand), until all ingredients are fully incorporated and you’ve worked some air into the mix.
Dip each slice of sourdough into the batter, then place dipped slices in a baking pan or cookie sheet with sides. Space them evenly with a little room between each slice.
Pour all remaining batter over the bread evenly. Let them sit for a minute or two, then flip bread one more time.
Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, and up to overnight, (Longer the better!)
Ok, now it’s show time…
Remove all newspapers, magazines, tablets, laptops, etc from table that she likes to eat at best for a nice meal.
Find where your girl keeps the tablecloths, cloth napkins, napkin rings, placemats, candle holders, etc. Set the table with matching versions of all those.
Take flowers/greenery out of plastic wrap and cut about an inch of the bottoms of all stems. Find a nice vase and arrange the flowers tastefully, (You can do it; channel your inner floral designer…) If they came with flower food, dissolve that in fresh water and fill the vase. Doesn’t have to be fancy, boys, just from the heart…
Place flowers in center of table. Arrange two candles on either side of flowers.
Place two of the nicest juice glasses and two champagne flutes you got in the freezer.
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Preheat a skillet large enough to cook the bacon over medium-high heat on your stove top.
Uncover and slip the pan/sheet into a middle rack in your oven. Allow bread to heat through for 15 minutes.
Fry bacon, set onto paper towels to drain.
Preheat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat.
Place a small sauce pan on a burner over low heat. Add a cup of maple syrup, a dash of butter, and a small pinch of salt, (trust me, do it); blend together and allow to heat through. Turn off heat when butter is melted and the syrup is heated through. Cover the pan.
When the timer goes off for your bread in the oven, turn oven off, slip the bacon in there to stay heated, along with two plates and a small boat or dish for the syrup.
Melt a tablespoon of butter in your skillet. Sauté french toast in serving-sized batches until golden brown, about three minutes per side.
Put on some music your girl digs, at low but hearable volume.
If you have or can jury rig a decent champagne bucket, fill it with ice and water and place the unopened bottle in there.
Pull glasses from freezer, fill with fresh juice, garnish with orange slices.
Put heated syrup in the warmed boat on table, along with marmalade and butter and knives for both of those at place settings.
Light the candles.
Call the Lady to breakfast.
Serve french toast and bacon on warmed plates.
Grasp the sparkler cork, gently twist the bottle until cork comes free with a gentle sigh, (Do not shoot corks, period!)
P.S. You didn’t really think that all I know is how to cook, did y’all?