Vanilla French Toast for a Cool Autumn Day

by Jenn on October 15, 2010

in Breakfast,Gluten Free

French Toast Sunday Morning's French Toast

French toast is one of those “candy-for-breakfast” meals that I treasure on cool mornings.  There’s just something so relaxing about sleeping in, shutting all the windows to block out the trains passing by and the traffic down the street, instead to just take it slow.  And this past weekend is no exception.  Why? Amidst all the bustle of our work-lives, the weekend is our time to relax.  There are some times on Saturday when we don’t get out of our apt. until noon, and it’s a beautiful beautiful thing.

I like to save French toast for the Fall because it has to be chilly out for me to really enjoy a hot breakfast.  Not just “I should wear long sleeves” chilly but “I can see my breath, and if I didn’t have a scarf on, my chin would probably fall off” chilly.  Ok, so it hasn’t gotten that cold here, and it probably won’t.  But a couple ºC feels mighty brisk when the wind is blowing.  Right now the leaves are turning, and a few are even getting some bright colors!  Maybe it’s a New Englander thing, but I’m obsessed with pretty colored leaves.  When I tell people that where I grew up, this time of year was the main tourist season because people would travel from all over just to come to my neck of the woods to watch the leaves change colors, I often get really confused looks. Seeing hills and mountainsides alive with color, nature’s very own canvas for her paintings of joy, excitement, and celebration of the past summer, have a special place in me.  They always have, they probably always will.  So it’s completely natural that I would love to go traveling around the Swiss countryside for the sole purpose of admiring the gorgeous color of the trees.

Oh wait, I do, haha.  We sort of did last weekend as we went hiking in the canton of Fribourg near Gruyères.  The hills were just starting to develop some color…at least what we could see from the fog rolling through…

Sentier des Fromageries: Gruyères-Gare to Moléson-Village

Sentier des Fromageries: Gruyères-Gare to Moléson-Village Sentier des Fromageries: Gruyères-Gare to Moléson-Village

Hiking in the fog is really a great thing.  It means you get to stay cool, and the entire landscape around you takes on this ethereal quality.  You sometimes wonder if another world might poke itself through if you squint hard enough into that dense fog…

Sentier des Fromageries: Gruyères-Gare to Moléson-Village

Makes you just wanna curl up in your comfiest sweatshirt huddling a cup of hot steaming tea, doesn’t it?

Of course we were on the Sentier des Fromageries, so our hike wouldn’t be complete without some cows and old rustic barns & huts…

Sentier des Fromageries: Gruyères-Gare to Moléson-Village Sentier des Fromageries: Gruyères-Gare to Moléson-Village

French toast seems fitting to go with a leisurely hike through the Autumn hills of Suisse.  It’s quicker than pancakes, and so stress-free.  Really, I don’t think that you can mess it up.  All you need is good bread (which, luckily, we easily buy gluten free here), some eggs, milk, and of course, real maple syrup.  Again my New England roots are showing, but I really am a purist when it comes to maple syrup.  Go splurge on the real stuff, you’ll thank yourself later.  The flavor just doesn’t compare.  And real maple syrup soaks into the bread so well, it’s key to making sure you are eating candy for breakfast :)

Also submitted to – Gluten Free Wednesdays

Gluten Free French Toast


2 eggs, beaten
1/2 – 3/4 cup milk
1/2 vanilla bean
pinch nutmeg
8 slices of good quality bread (gluten free or regular depending on your needs) *
lots of butter

1.  Whisk together eggs and milk in a bowl.  Cut vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the liquid and add nutmeg.
2. Dip bread slices in the mixture, making sure to coat every surface well.  I usually let them soak up liquid for at least 15 – 30 s.
3. Heat a grill pan and melt a knob of butter, making sure to spread it around evenly on the pan on medium high. When hot (i.e. test with some water and make sure it sizzles), fry the bread slices, 30s – 1 minute on each side – this will depend on your exact heat setting, but you want to bread to brown nicely.  Melt more butter as needed.
4. Serve in a pretty stack and pour maple syrup on top to enjoy :)

*Note – you will notice there are two types of bread in my photos.  That’s because while my husband is gluten free, I do not need to be and to save money, I eat glutenicious bread.  In order to safely prepare this meal for the both of us, I make his French toast and serve it to him first before ever attempting to even so much as take my bread out of its bag so that I don’t contaminate things for him.  Please do not attempt to mix glutenicious and gluten free foods in the same dish, you will render your “gluten free” versions unsafe for those that cannot tolerate gluten.  Please contact your certified health care professional about the exact requirements of maintaining a gluten free environment if you have a mixed gluten free/glutenicious household, and please please please do not assume that what works for me and my husband’s sensitivities will work for you.


French Toast


Deanna October 15, 2010 at 11:13 pm

You know, I completely don’t even crave bread products anymore, but looking at those photos is enough to make me want French Toast. Beautiful!

Jenn October 15, 2010 at 11:47 pm

Thank you! Mmm I always want French toast… it’s one of my favorite breakfasts :)

torviewtoronto October 15, 2010 at 11:22 pm

lovely autumn pictures

Jenn October 15, 2010 at 11:47 pm

Thank you!

Rosa October 15, 2010 at 11:33 pm

Delicious! I love those shots. I saw them on Flickr a few days before and enjoyed them a lot…



Jenn October 15, 2010 at 11:47 pm

Thanks Rosa!

Imwaytoobusy October 16, 2010 at 12:26 am

Oh, I swear I am drooling! Fantastic photos!

Jenn October 16, 2010 at 8:02 am

Thank you !

Margaret Massey October 16, 2010 at 12:30 am

Yum is right!! Thanks for reminding me. Margaret

Jenn October 16, 2010 at 8:02 am


Barbara | VinoLuciStyle October 16, 2010 at 12:40 am

I love French toast and this looks divine. And one of the many things on which we agree? What I call ‘real’ maple syrple (OK…started that as a kid, now a joke and can’t seem to call it anything but!); it’s so worth the extra money for the real deal.

Amazing scenery Jenn…when can I come for breakfast?

Jenn October 16, 2010 at 8:03 am

Yay, glad someone else likes “real” maple syrup! Come visit me en Suisse anytime :)

Brie October 16, 2010 at 1:15 am

those are beautiful photos. making up to the Northeast to watch the leaves changes is at the top of my to-do list in life. your French Toast also looks scrumptious – great recipe!

Jenn October 16, 2010 at 8:08 am

Thank you! And yes, you def. should. Though I hear that this particular year isn’t the awesomest for color in the Northeast… last year was incredible!

Heidi October 16, 2010 at 4:43 am

Such breathtaking photos Jenn, thank you for sharing them!

Okay, I have to ask…which of the two breads is gluten-free? They both look really good, but the second bread looks like French bread, am I right? 😀

Jenn October 16, 2010 at 8:13 am

Actually, none of them are French bread! The pic just before the recipe, that is of the gluten free “country bread” that we get for sandwiches for lunch for my husband. It’s pricey, but making lunch with it is still cheaper than waiting to buy at work. Honestly, I cannot tell by tasting it that it’s GF, it’s freaking incredible. The other bread I think was a half-wheat bread, but I could be wrong. There are more kinds of bread en Suisse than I ever imagined. For myself, I usually end up buying whatever is “bio” (organic) and cheapest.

Cherine October 16, 2010 at 9:53 am

Oh my, such mouthwatering photos! Would love to have this for breakfast now!!

Jenn October 16, 2010 at 11:03 am

Thank you! You should go make some French toast then!

InTolerantChef October 16, 2010 at 11:55 am

I am very upset right now. We are supposed to be gearing up for hot weather, but today we got snow on our mountains!! This is just not OK. Maybe I’ll make this for breakfast tomorrow to cheer us up! Yumm…

Jenn October 17, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Ooh snow!! I haven’t had any snow yet, but this morning I looked out and the peaks were white for the first time in a long time :)

Jennifer @ Maple n Cornbread October 16, 2010 at 2:50 pm

GORGEOUS photos and fabulous french toast! Hmmm I’ve not had breakfast yet!

Jenn October 17, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Thank you! Yeah, French toast is my favorite weekend breakfast :)

m October 17, 2010 at 5:37 am

Gorgeous photography! What’s your camera of choice?

Jenn October 17, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Thank you! Details on my camera equipment are on my Photography page, but I don’t really have a very fancy setup/lens collection. My camera was a wedding gift when my husband and I got married, it’s a Nikon D200.

Laura October 17, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Your photos are stunning!

Jenn October 17, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Thanks !

Sophie October 17, 2010 at 10:51 pm

Hello Jen!! What great pictures of the lovely nature on your hike trip!! Your vanilla French toast looks so appetizing,…mmmmmmmmmmm!!!

Lovely food!

Jenn October 18, 2010 at 10:03 am

Thank you Sophie!

Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours October 18, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Lovely French Toast! and great photographs.

I miss my holidays in Switzerland, but not the boy I had the holidays with!

Jenn October 18, 2010 at 7:45 pm

Thanks so much! You should come back for a vacation sometime, I’d love to cook with you! October 19, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Gorgeous photos Jenn!
I LOVE french toast and yours looks incredible.
I’ll make some tomorrow, why wait for the weekend?

It’s sunny and breezy here in Maine and the gorgeous golden, magenta and orange leaves are almost gone!!!


Jenn October 19, 2010 at 8:46 pm

Thanks so much! So sad to hear your leaves are almost gone, I think here the color is really coming out now :)

Linda October 20, 2010 at 4:17 pm

French toast has always been a favorite of mine. Since going gluten-free I don’t make it often so it is a real treat. I didn’t know that you are not gluten-free! You take wonderful care of your husband. I enjoyed those photos as always.

Jenn October 20, 2010 at 6:52 pm

Thanks Linda! Yes, French toast is quite the treat!

Allie October 20, 2010 at 5:55 pm

hi! I just found your blog! how did I miss it?!

This looks sooooo delicious – definitely making it asap. and I love your photography – gorgeous! :) I’m definitely adding this to my blog roll!

Jenn October 20, 2010 at 8:20 pm

thank you Allie! Glad you like it!

Shirley @ gfe October 21, 2010 at 7:01 pm

Beautiful, Jenn … everything! It’s always a treat for the senses to visit here. :-)

So the Swiss don’t get excited about their leaves changing color? Or, they just wouldn’t travel to see the fall foliage? I love the change in the leaves. We’re headed back to our mountain property this weekend and I expect the leaves to be gorgeous. Can’t wait!


Jenn October 21, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Well the trees change color just about everywhere en Suisse, so it’s not like (as far as I can tell) there is a huge influx of tourists just to admire the leaves…I think we are about approaching the peak for color now though (at least where I am), can’t wait to go hiking this weekend!

Bernadette November 18, 2010 at 12:19 am

WOW those photos are absolutely gorgeous! and thanks for filling my psychological craving for french toast, too! :)

Jenn November 18, 2010 at 9:16 am

Thank you ! !

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