I’m ready for Autumn.
I’m ready for crisp air, leaves painted orange and yellow and red painting the lanscapes a new color.
I’m ready for pumpkin patches and hay rides, mittens and red noses.
There’s just one problem. I live in Florida and we don’t get Autumn. The only “fall” we get is a couple of weeks where we fall back into Spring followed directly by several weeks of winter temperatures. Autumn tends to make a cameo appearance here in the Sunshine State rather than taking center stage.
I miss Autumn.
That doesn’t mean I can’t experience Autumn. I can wrap a scarf around my neck and stick my head in the freezer. WizKid and I can go to the local grocery store, pick through the pumpkins shipped in on crates and pretend we’re on a pumpkin farm searching for that “perfect one.” You know, the one that is flawlessly round, has no major bruises or scratches and still has a nice stem. Yeah, that one.
I can also have Autumn by living vicariously through my kitchen as well. Dishes like pumpkin pie, apple cobblers, warm spicy chilis, stews, soups and whole grain breads…(sigh) do you feel a chill in the air?
Of course as soon as I go outside I’m rudely slapped in the face by 90+ degree heat and humidity, and my perfect Autumn fantasy is ripped from my imagination like Cinderella’s dress. Would it be ok to hibernate inside for five months of the year?
Oh my gosh!!! I just thought of the PERFECT solution. AHHHHHH (queue angel choir). I want to install electric billboards on all my windows and sliders, you know the ones that flip to a different picture every few minutes? They usually have three sides which is perfect. Since it’s always Summer here in Florida I can just turn them on and flip to a new season whenever my calendar tells me a new one has begun. It’s Genius!
Either that or I have had one too many trips through Spaceship Earth at EPCOT.
Doesn’t matter, you know you want one.
Until I win the lottery and can afford to get my window shutters on steroids installed, I’ll cook.
I recently was in the mood for apple pie, which is weird because to be honest I’ve never really cared for apple pie. I don’t why know really, I was never a fan of cooked apples. But they’re just another thing starting to grow on me as I get older.
However I didn’t want to actually MAKE apple pie. I WANTED French toast. Which got me thinking, why not make apple pie French toast? Hmm sounds promising. Somehow that introduced the idea of oranges which in turn gave birth to the addition of my latest obsession….
If you don’t have a bottle of Grand Marnier in your pantry, stop reading..yes right now, just stop. No I mean it, stop reading, get in your car and go get one. When you have one, then you can come finish. There are rules for cooking,
Never cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink and
always have a bottle of Grand Marnier on hand (and rum, and vermouth oh and brandy)
They’re real rules, I wouldn’t make this stuff up.
I played with amounts a bit here and there and loved the flavor the the GM added. Plus I think it really makes it “French” toast since GM is made in France. See, authentic.
The trick to French toast is when making you batter, mix the eggs, sugar and spices with a whip first before adding your milk and cream. This prevents the spices from floating on the top of the batter and not incorporating completely.
So the oranges aren’t exactly Autumny (it’s a word (kinda)) but this just LOOKS like Autumn. It has all the right colors and the spices assail the senses and I even liked the cooked apples.
It may not come with cool breezes and leaf piles for jumping in but for here, for Florida it’ll do in a pinch. Maybe I can live my seasons through my readers?
Do you get Autumn in all it’s glory? What do you like best about Autumn? Do you have favorite dishes you look forward to cooking or decorations you like to put up?
If you tell me your stories, I’ll provide the recipes. (Bribery is a necessity at times).
And if you get a chance, will you jump in a leaf pile for me? If you want you can send me your pictures too. I would love to see how you are welcoming the new season.
I’m getting melancholic, I need to go cook something warm and spicy.
Maybe pick a pumpkin for me too.
- 4 eggs
- 2 tablespoons Sugar
- ½ teaspoon Nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Allspice
- 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
- ¾ cup Heavy cream
- ½ cup Milk
- Orange Zest
- 6-8 Thick cut Bread
- 1 Medium orange, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 Apples, peeled and sliced
- ½ cup Brown sugar
- ¼ cup Sugar
- 3 tablespoons Butter
- 1 tablespoon Lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon Vanilla paste or ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1½ ounces Grand Marnier
- ½ cup Pure Maple syrup
- Combine all ingredients excluding apples, oranges and butter in a bowl and mix well.
- Heat sauce in a sauté pan on medium-low heat & add apples, oranges and butter.
- Simmer slowly until sauce begins to thicken & apples are tender.
- Add eggs, sugar, spices & Grand Marnier in a flat bottomed bowl and mix well. Adding spices before the milk & cream ensures total incorporation and prevents them from floating on the top of the batter.
- Add cream, milk & orange zest and whip well.
- Heat a skillet with a little butter to medium-low.
- Dip bread slices in batter and drain excess. Cook on both sides until golden, about 7 minutes. Careful not to burn.
- Cut each slice of toast in half diagonally & plate.
- Top with apples & orange syrup. Garnish with powdered sugar & more orange zest if desired.