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I recently saw my granddaughter, Laurel White, graduate from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. Altogether, I have six grandchildren from my husband’s three children, and Laurel is the fourth to finish college.
After a while, graduations seem to be just another thing that happens every May or June, but they are always exciting and I never stop adding them to memories of Thanksgivings, Christmases, and summers on the shore. Often these memories included a whole lot of family lunches (with the latest in Worcester), dinners and breakfasts.
If you will be spending lots of time in the kitchen during this spring’s festivities, I got through breakfasts with these two dishes, one of which you can make the night before while the other can be doubled and put together in minutes, using just about any vegetables.
Lee White of Old Lyme has been a food editor and restaurant reviewer for more than 25 years. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Creme Brulee French Toast
Adapted by Liz Paradise of Portsmouth, Rhode Island
This is a wonderful recipe because it can be assembled the night before and popped into the oven in the morning.
1 cup pecans
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons light or dark corn syrup
French bread, crusts removed and sliced into
¾ inch thick slabs
1 ½ cups half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Cointreau or Grand Marnier
Spread pecans in bottom of 13- by 9-inch pan. Melt butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup and pour evenly over pecans.
Fit slabs of bread tightly over butter-sugar mixture.
Beat eggs, half and half, vanilla, salt, and liqueur and pour over bread slices. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours.
Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Serve immediately.
Yield: 6 servings
3 tablespoon olive oil
6 large eggs
3 tablespoons finely grated parmesan
1 garlic clove, minced sea salt and
freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ pounds ripe plum tomatoes
(5 to 6 medium), cored, cut crosswise
into one-quarter slices
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a large nonstick* skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly beat eggs in a medium bowl. Stir in cheese and garlic and season with salt and pepper. While oil is simmering, pour egg mixture into pan and cook until eggs begin to turn golden brown around the edges. Arrange tomato slices on top of egg mixture. (Some slices may sink.)
Transfer skillet to oven and bake frittata until eggs are just set in the center, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a heatproof spatula, loosen frittata from pan and slide into a warm plate. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.
*While many recipes call for nonstick pans, I only have one non-stick pan that I use only to make crepes. I have found that food I cook in my All-Clad, stainless steel pans do not stick as long as the oil or butter is hot enough (and even if food might stick a tiny bit, it is so easily to clean that it might as well be non-stick).
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