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What's Up Magazine

Brunch, the New At-Home Happening

Apr 21, 2011 06:01PM ● By Anonymous

“An at-home brunch is the perfect opportunity to express the flavors of the season with herbs and spices — sweet and warm cinnamon brightens Stuffed French Toast, while lively ginger, savory thyme and unmistakable vanilla all contribute to an unforgettable occasion your guests will enjoy,” said Mary Beth Harrington of the McCormick Kitchens.

Harrington shares ideas for successful brunch entertaining, including adding fresh twists to popular dishes, like the distinct taste of a vanilla vinaigrette on a field green salad. She suggests heightening the flavor of favorite dishes with a mix of herbs and spices. Try picking recipes that can be prepared the day before, like Lemon Cheesecake Bars, or welcome guests with a Be Your Own Flavor-ista coffee station that can be set up in just a few minutes.


Stuffed French Toast

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Makes 8 servings
1 tub (8 ounces) whipped cream cheese
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract, divided
16 slices Italian bread (1/2 inch thick)
1/2 cup apricot preserves or jam
5 eggs
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, divided

1.Mix cream cheese, brown sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1 teaspoon vanilla in small bowl until well blended. Spread 2 tablespoons cream cheese mixture on each of 8 slices bread. Spread 1 tablespoon preserves on remaining 8 slices of bread. Press one each of the bread slices together to form 8 sandwiches.

2.Beat eggs with wire whisk in 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Stir in milk, remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until well blended. Dip sandwiches in egg mixture, soaking for 2 minutes on each side.

3. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large nonstick skillet or griddle on medium-low heat. Place 4 sandwiches in skillet. Cook 4 to 5 minutes per side or until golden brown. Repeat with remaining sandwiches, melting remaining tablespoon butter in skillet. Serve French toast with maple syrup, if desired.

Nutritional Information per Serving: 398 Calories, Fat 18g, Carbohydrates 47g, Cholesterol 173mg, Sodium 496mg, Fiber 2g, Protein 12g