Musical pairing – Starfish and Coffee by Matt Nathanson

Can we talk?  Sometimes I dream about breakfast – eggs, bacon, hashbrowns . . . but most of the breakfasts I remember eating as a kid, consisted of cold cereal or peanut butter toast – occasionally we’d have waffles on a weekend but no buttered Pop Tarts for me!  Bleh.  So for more years than I care to count, I skipped breakfast all together and sometimes lunch too – bad, bad, bad girl as I now have the metabolism of a dead slug.  Not to worry because in my next life, I’ve already put my order in for the body of a tall, leggy Blonde.

But now that I’m all grown up (ahem . . . and then some) I find that I rather enjoy putzing around the kitchen in the morning (especially weekends) whipping up lovely breakfast foods like Pancakes, Fritattas, Crumb Cakes or even French Toast with this oh-so-divine homemade Strawberry Jam.  In fact, French Toast is one of those dishes that seems so basic, I debated whether or not it deserved its own post.  However, I’ve convinced myself that there are probably as many variations on French Toast as there are people and since I didn’t discover Challah and Brioche bread until . . . well I won’t tell you just when I discovered Challah or Brioche . . . suffice it to say, that the bread was a revelation – and yes, man (or this woman) could live quite easily on French Toast with Strawberry Jam alone.

Now before you throw your hands up in the air and wail, ‘But I can’t make jam!’ I’m going to say, ‘Snap out of it Lucy – oh yes, you can!’  Because what if I told you the washing and hulling of the strawberries is the hardest part?  Easy-peasy and waayyyyy better than anything you can purchase in the store.  Which for moi, is much too rubbery, sugary and overcooked leaving no resemblance of  strawberries whatsoever.  I made this batch with strawberries purchased at my local Costco (no, they didn’t pay me to say that) and the jam is quite good; BUT I am salivating at the thought of making this recipe with strawberries from my very own garden – swoon!

NOTE:  You can make the jam without the pectin (I did here) – it won’t set up quite as firm but then you have the excuse to swirl a spoonful in plain Greek yogurt or use as an ice cream topping . . . guilty on both counts . . .

So – how’s your metabolism these days?


3-4 slices Challah OR Brioche Bread, cut approx 1-inch thick
2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
2 Eggs, whisked
2-3 Tablespoons Milk (approx)
1 tsp of vanilla
pinch of salt

Skillet on medium heat, add 2 Tablespoons canola oil and 1 Tablespoon butter; using a combination of oil and butter allows you to get nice, crispy edges without the butter burning.

Whisk eggs, milk, vanilla and salt into shallow dish; dip one side of sliced bread into egg mixture, leaving it sit for about 1 minute or so, then flip to the other side and leave in the egg mixture another minute or so.  Place in skillet and cook about 5 minutes and check for brownness – flip to the other side when it’s to your liking.

Serve with Strawberry Jam and a great cup of coffee and The Professor will love you forever – well, he’ll love me forever!

Adapted from Tom Colicchio, ‘wichcraft’ Page 39

4 Cups Strawberries, washed, hulled and cut into halves
2 Cups plus 1 teaspoon Sugar
Zest from 1 lemon
Juice from the Lemon above
1 teaspoon powdered pectin

In a bowl, combine strawberries, 2 Cups sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice and refrigerate overnight in a tightly covered container.  The next day, in a saucepan, bring the strawberry and sugar mixture to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the pectin and remaining teaspoon sugar and temper it by adding a small amount of the hot strawberry mixture and stirring quickly.   Add the pectin mixture back into the original saucepan; return to the stove and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and place into a clean container with a lid. Once the jam has cooled, close the lid and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


  1. I love french toast and with this jam oh my what a weekend treat..yummy..I need to try this jam I would love to mix it into my yogurt..


  2. I sometimes think that cooking the breakfast is the best part. I love the look on my family’s faces when they see home-made breakfast (instead of the typical cereal or oatmeal). Your pictures look scrumptious!

  3. Freezer jam is THE BEST Barbara – I’ve made it yrs ago and now that you’ve jogged my memory (I’m showing signs of senility!) I’m going to dig around and see if I can find that recipe!

  4. Do you know, I can’t for the life of me remember what my mother gave us for breakfast. Will have to ask my sister and see if we’re both showing signs of senility! But when my grandmother was there…oh yes. She made breads, sweet rolls, coffee cakes. I’m not saying my mother wasn’t a good cook…’cause she made that freezer jam with both strawberries and raspberries. It’s a really old recipe. Wonder if anyone makes it anymore?
    Your French toast would be welcome on Mother’s Day morning on my breakfast tray!

  5. Liren honey, I have a feeling your children are going to learn how to cook, judging from the fab meals that come out of your kitchen!

  6. This is my dream Mother’s Day breakfast – anyway you can come out and train my seven and four year old? Beautiful French Toast – it really is best with Challah or Brioche! And I couldn’t agree more with you on the sad state of some store bought jams. Jams should be lovely and chunky, not emulsified to oblivion!

  7. Lucky girl Sasa ~ both on learning to make French Toast AND your metabolism!!! Oh how I wish!

  8. French toast is the first thing I learned how to make! Lots of icing sugar is how I like it…I think I have a pretty fast metabolism because I’m always eating and have done so since a child ;P

  9. French toast with strawberries. Perfect for a lazy Sunday morning.

  10. Beth ~ You have made me a happy woman knowing you’re going to make jam for a leisurely weekend breakfast!

  11. I love weekends because of the ability to enjoy breakfast as it was meant to be. I am so going to make some jam now for our weekend delights, you’ve inspired me.

  12. Maria ~ It must be the week for French Toast – I have seen quite a few posts on Twitter today!

  13. I have a french toast recipe up on my blog too:) Great minds think alike. It is my favorite breakfast treat!

  14. Thank you Miss Rowdy – I love this particular recipe because most of the fruit remains intact. I’m a sucker for a great jam! And yes, we’ve been know to eat French Toast for dinner too!

  15. Your jam is so pretty! I love french toast, even for dinner. With lots of butter and a little blackberry jam on top, ideally.

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