So I lied when I said I didn’t do any cooking while I was in Mexico. I made one dish, and The BF made another. The resort we stayed at had a full kitchen (oh squee!) so if we were less lazy and more enterprising we would have cooked more. But, c’mon, we were on vacation, let’s be real.
In the interest of making everyone supremely jealous I’m going to post a few pictures of our trip. You can all live vicariously, unless you’re already in Mexico or some other beautiful Caribbean island, in which case, why are you reading a blog on vacation?!
This was actually my fourth trip to Cancun, which doesn’t make me all that special, it means I have super generous family members and a totally awesome uncle that’s allowed any of those trips to happen. (Yes I’m trying to butter them up for more awesome trips!) But I was really excited to share the beautiful resort with The BF and his family. Yeah that’s right, I even arranged to have his parents surprise him IN CANCUN for the big birthday. This pretty much means I’m the best. You can all be jealous now.
I can’t even tell you how many gray hairs I have from trying to keep this whole trip a secret. My aunt planted the seed of the idea a year ago and then six months ago I started planning it as a surprise. I told him I would be taking him some place warm in the first week of January and to ask for the time off. And then he tried valiantly to ask in a number of sneaky ways where we were going. And I was doing a fantastic job of keeping my mouth shut and only calling it “Our Vacation” until one day a week before he was to find out we were walking down the street and I carelessly said, “Oh I hope I can get a haircut before Can……..cation.”
He called me out immediately, the little snot. But he admitted that he pretty much already knew. Cancun is a pretty well known fact among our family members, everyone’s gone at least once. He’s smart enough to put two and two together. However, I pulled an amazing trick by inviting his whole family (though his brother and SIL couldn’t make it, because lucky ducks, they were in Cancun just a few weeks before for a wedding) down to surprise him.
So three days before we were set to leave, as I was wallowing in self-pity because of a raging eye infection that made me look like a swollen, angry racoon, I waited anxiously on our terrace frantically following flight updates for the perpetually cancelled and delayed flight for his parents. He kept saying things like “Let’s go down to the pool” and other actions that would have drawn us away from the room when they were supposed to arrive any minute. I had even snuck into the spare room of our resort to make dinner reservations for four people, not two, and had to shoo him out of the room so he wouldn’t know.
Then, three hours after they were supposed to arrive, The BF’s parents snuck in the door while he was napping and we surprised him. He was utterly stunned, and I was super proud of myself. I puffed up like a self important puffin (this is the picture I have in my head of people who feel too important, little puffed up puffins with tophats and canes). The rest of the evening he kept looking at me going, “You sneaky girl.” Of course he also gave me some withering looks because I took him to Perico’s – the epitome of a tacky Mexican restaurant.
Other than my surprise and surprise eye infection, we had a fabulous time. We found an amazing small Mexican lunch spot called Habeneros that was just delicious. We met the owner, Mario, who was just SO FRIENDLY, MY FRIENDS! And then he made us his “special” and we were instantly sold and went back again the next day. If I hadn’t screwed up the first time we tried to find it we probably would have eaten there every day.
Anyway, now on to this super easy breakfast that you can even make on vacation! I bought vanilla because Mexican vanilla is heavenly, has a sort of chocolately almost coffee smell to it that is addictive. If I didn’t look like a total weirdo I would have walked around with a small bottle of it stuffed up my nose, it smells that good. Trust me, it’s a fact.
*Just a note: I only had a few ingredients at my disposal, because vacation!, but if you have nice Italian or French bread, some cinnamon or other spices you’d like to add, by all means go hog wild. This is a crazy adaptable recipe.
Strawberry Stuffed French Toast
My own recipe by scrounging through the fridge
4 large pieces of bread, cut in half (I just used regular sandwich bread)
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
chunky strawberry jam or preserves for filling
Preheat oven to 325 F. Set a baking dish in the oven so it gets hot.
Preheat a skillet over medium heat, and let a generous pat of butter melt. The butter helps give your french toast that awesome golden, crispy crust.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla and salt in a wide, shallow bowl. Taking two halves of bread, spread a generous amount of jam between the slices; don’t overfill these because the jam will ooze out the sides and make an unholy mess in your pan if you’re not careful.
Now with your jam sandwich, dip it in the egg mixture and let it soak on one side for about 15-30 seconds. Flip and let soak on the other side. Drop into the pan and cook 2-3 minutes a side, until golden brown. Don’t overcrowd the pan, but you can usually cook about 2-3 slices of this french toast at a time.
Once fully cooked, place in the oven and finish your batch. Let the french toast bake in the oven for about 5-10 minutes. This helps the edges crisp up because the “sandwiches” are so thick sometimes the edges are still a little gooey.
Serve hot with a dollop of whipped cream or yogurt and sliced strawberries. A dusting of confectioner sugar would also taste lovely.
These are best eaten the same day they’re made, they’re not as tasty the next day. Trust me, I had them for lunch. 😉