To all ye who want to paint with light ...

I should have started this blog many moons ago as I started experiencing the joys of rediscovering the art of photography. But as the saying goes - it's better late, than never!
So, here I am, in the hopes of recording what I learn as I progress from ignorance to enlightenment; about what my eyes can see that my camera can capture; and, what my mind imagines and my camera paints with its capabilities.

Please feel free to add any comments and share your wisdom (tips or tricks) that you have picked up along the way.

And do check out my How-To and Birding pages as well.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Holiday Inspired French Toast

Happy New Year, everyone!  I just thought I'd take a few minutes to post my latest culinary experiment here.  It's been an awfully long time since I've cooked or baked, and even longer since I posted here.  Everything is now happening on my Website, but it's not quite the place for recipes.  And I would hate to lose this blog since it holds many fond memories of my photography journey over the years.

Anyway, so to the recipe ... this was inspired by watching Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network.  I tweaked the recipe as I'm always doing (I have a problem, and I know it) and I adapted it to my tastes.  Unfortunately, I don't have exact measurements or great pictures to accompany the post, since I was really only experimenting.

I made the french toasts orange flavoured, and I absolutely loved it!  You can choose to make regular ones.  I also made a maple syrup reduction by boiling the maple syrup till it was reduced to half.  This created a much more intense maple flavour.  And I used pure maple syrup, of course.

This recipe serves 4.

What you'll need:

For the french toast

8 slices of bread (I used whole grain with raisins and cranberries)
4 eggs
1 heaping tsp of sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp of orange zest
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (I make my own at home)
1/2 cup milk
Butter for frying

For the compote

1 apple
1/2 bag of cranberries
Handful of raisins
Sugar to taste (it shouldn't be too sweet if you're planning on using maple syrup later)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp of orange zest
Butter for sautéing

Maple syrup reduction

1 1/2 cups of maple syrup 


French toast

  1. Prepare the batter by whisking together all the ingredients except the bread and butter.
  2. Heat a frying pan and add a little butter to coat the frying pan.
  3. Dip the slices of bread well and drop into the frying pan.
  4. Fry till golden and set aside on a plate.


    Apple cranberry and raisin compote

  1. Dice the apple into small pieces.
  2. Wash the cranberries and keep aside.
  3. Add a little butter into a saucepan and add the raisins once the pan is hot - the butter should be sizzling but before it starts to turn brown.
  4. Once the raisins plump out a bit, add the apple pieces and cranberries.
  5. Saute for a few minutes and add the sugar and the salt.
  6. Add the orange juice, orange zest, stir and cover the saucepan.
  7. Let the fruits cook for a few minutes and stir occasionally.
  8. If the compote starts to dry up but isn't cooked yet, add a little more orange juice.
  9. Continue cooking till the fruits have softened up, and look mushy.
  10. The taste should be well balanced - a good amount of tartness with sweetness.
  11. Adjust the sweetness as necessary.  If the compote is too tart, add another pinch of salt as salt cuts sourness.
  12. Take off heat and keep aside. 

Maple syrup reduction

In a saucepan, boil the maple syrup till it's reduced to half it's original volume.  Pour into a serving bowl and cover immediately to prevent a skin from forming on top.

To serve, cut the french toast into triangles and put on a plate.  Spoon some of the compote over the french toast and pour some of the reduced maple syrup over it.  If you like, you could sprinkle some icing sugar over the plate for added sweetness and a pretty white dusting.

I absolutely loved the orange flavoured french toast, and it tastes amazing with just the maple reduction, even in the absence of the compote.  I made another batch of these french toasts and I know I'll be making them over and over again - holidays or no holidays!  

The compote was excellent as well!  I kept it on the side of being a little more tart because I was going to use the maple syrup and the french toast was already slightly sweetened.  And I omitted the icing sugar in the end but it didn't make it any less delicious! 

Enjoy!  And let me know how it turned out!  :)