Girls’ Brunch

I had a really fun Saturday morning!  I got to participate in a girl’s day brunch!  We were celebrating our friend, Courtney Dale, who is having a little girl in the very near future.  Since this is Courtney’s second baby, she didn’t want a real shower.  So we came up with the perfect excuse to schedule a day together.  No excuses.  It went on our calendars 6 weeks before it actually happened!  (We are all in that busy phase of life when getting together with friends takes a back seat to working on our careers.)  Our time together was so needed and so much fun!

Charis came up with our theme, “Toes to Bows.”  Cute, right? We started our morning with brunch at my house.  Courtney Pahmiyer brought the most beautiful, pink tinged flowers and had them arranged in a birch vase that Charis had monogrammed for little baby Emmy Jane.  I served up blueberry cream cheese stuffed French toast, a sausage and egg scramble with fresh sliced tomatoes and avocadoes and homemade tomatillo salsa.  Charis brought a delicious berry medley that she dressed with brown sugar, lime juice and fresh mint.  Courtney P made us a sparkling punch with blueberry pomegranate juice and frozen berries.  We ate until we couldn’t move!  It was such a sweet time to be able to lazily catch up with each other and hear about what each of us was “up to our ears” in.  Food has a way of creating a backdrop for such conversation!  Once we had our fill (and then some…) We moved on to the next phase.  Toes!

We moved our party (complete with extra punch in our travel tumblers) to the nail salon.  After picking out colors, we continued our catching up while sitting in massage chairs and getting our toes pampered.  After all, it IS time to move on from summer pink to Fall bronze, right?  Once we were scrubbed, lotioned and painted, we moved on…  BOWS!!

This was the really fun part of the day.  A shopping spree for baby Emmy Jane.  We traveled to Little Root in Riversquare Center and began oohing and ahhing over all of the sweet baby clothes and accessories.  Who knew that a baby could “need” so much?!  Courtney picked out a dress and no less than 10 bows for our littlest participant of girl’s day.  PERFECT!

Still in food comas, and a little worn out from all of our adventures, we said a fond farewell to each other and went our separate directions.  (Most of us headed to continue “vegging” in front of BU football, truth be told!)  While most girl’s days don’t have to be quite this elaborate, we were all reminded of the value of spending time with the special women in our lives who love us, support us, and listen to us.  It was refreshing and we are looking forward to the next one!  (maybe Emmy Jane will have made her appearance by then!)

Here is my recipe for blueberry stuffed French toast.  It is in my cookbook, “To Taste.”  Remember that sales of my cookbook benefit the 254 foundation which distributes funds to organizations dedicated to feeding those affected by poverty in the Waco area.  They make great Christmas gifts if you are already thinking about that…

Blueberry Stuffed French Toast

1or 2 baguettes (depending on size)

2  8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened

2 Cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Zest of 1 orange

1 Cup powdered sugar

12 eggs

2 Cups half and half

1 Cup maple pancake syrup

1 t ground nutmeg

1 pint fresh blueberries, powdered sugar and mint leaves for garnish


1.   Slice the baguette into ¼ inch thick slices (about 30 pieces total)

2.  Spray the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray

3.   Place a layer of baguette in the baking dish, covering the bottom

4.   In a bowl, mix the cream cheese, the powdered sugar and the orange zest

5.   Spread the cream cheese mixture over the baguette

6.  Spread the blueberries over the cream cheese

7.   Put another layer of bread over the top of the cheese, covering as well as possible

8.  In a bowl, crack and whisk the eggs until beaten

9.  To the eggs, add the half and half, syrup and nutmeg, mixing well.

10.   Carefully and slowly, pour the egg mixture over the top of the French Toast, being sure to cover all of the top layer of bread.

11.  Cover tightly with saran wrap, pressing down on the top of the French Toast to help it absorb all of the custard.

12.   Leave overnight in the frig.

13.   The next morning, Bake it at 350 degrees for 40-60 minutes, or until it is set and golden brown.

14.   To serve: Cut pieces and sprinkle with powdered sugar, fresh blueberries and mint leaves.  Serve warm syrup on the side.

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