Cinnabon French Toast

We're sitting on the couch listening to Jason Mraz sing "I'm Yours" on Palladia, and so far it's the perfect Valentine's Day and the perfect Sunday.

Our tummies are full from breakfast, and we're looking forward to getting outside for a bit because there's actually some sun out there. Maybe we'll take Gunner (who just celebrated his third birthday yesterday!) out to frolic at the Weston Reservoir this afternoon. He loves it there. Or maybe we'll go for an extra-long walk to Harvard Square because it might just be too muddy there.

I made our special Valentine's dinner and dessert last night, so today could be a completely unscheduled, unplanned day -- perfect for relaxing and spending time together.

But before we head out, I'll tell you about breakfast. When we have time to have a leisurely breakfast and we're looking for something sweet, it's always a toss-up between pancakes, waffles, and French toast. French toast is my top pick among those, and it's perfect for cutting into hearts.

When we were picking up groceries for this weekend on Friday evening, I had just put some sliced white bread in the cart when a package of Cinnabon cinnamon bread caught my eye (it has bursts of cinnamon instead of raisins!). Without a second thought I switched out the white bread and grabbed the cinnamon bread. I was pretty sure it would make some phenomenal French toast.

I don't really follow an exact recipe for French toast, but I always use thin bread because I'm not a huge fan of soppy, soggy Texas-toast style French toast. My dip consists of just eggs, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon, and I don't measure any of it.

To make about eight slices of French toast, I crack two eggs in a bowl, add a nice lug of milk, a small splash of vanilla, and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.

Then I usually just smell it to see if I need a little more cinnamon or a little more vanilla and adjust as necessary.

With my egg mixture prepared and ready to go, I plugged in my Cuisinart Griddler. While I let it preheat to 400 degrees, I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut hearts out of a couple of slices of bread. (Don't worry about the bread outlines going to waste -- you can fry those up as well.)

Then once I made sure I had everything set up and ready, I melted a little butter on the griddle and started dipping my French toast.

Because I don't like it soggy, I just put a slice of bread in the egg mixture, swirl it around, flip it over, swirl it again, and drop it on the griddle.

I probably like my French toast a little overdone compared to other people's standards -- but again, this is to keep it from being wet -- but I just check it occasionally until the bottom looks as dark and dry as I want and then flip it over, letting the other side cook just as much.

Depending how many slices you're making, you can transfer it to a plate and cover it to keep it warm, or you can just serve it right away (I recommend serving it right away, especially with heart-shaped grapefruit, sliced Cara Cara oranges, and fresh pineapple, cut into perfect rings).

While I sometimes use maple syrup, I think the best way to eat french toast is with a lot of butter and confectioners' sugar.

And I'm a little weird -- I always have to cut away the edges and eat those first, so I'm left with the middles where the butter pools and mixes with the sugar.

Oh, and don't forget... there's nothing wrong with playing with your food every now and then! (I blame it on the sugar.)

Happy Valentine's Day! And happy Sunday!

What are you doing today?