Almond-Crusted French Toast with Raspberries

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Challah is the bread of choice here because it really absorbs the custard, creating an eggy, sweet version of French toast similar to the pain perdu of New Orleans. Crunchy almonds, fresh raspberries and fragrant orange zest bring this classic breakfast dish to a whole new level.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
6 eggs
1 cup half-and-half
2 Tablespoons sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
3/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 thick slices challah or other egg bread, preferably day-old
Canola oil or clarified butter for cooking
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup  fresh raspberries
Pure maple syrup, for serving

Directions:
Preheat an oven to 350°F.

In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, sugar, orange zest, almond extract and vanilla. Add the bread to the egg mixture and turn gently to coat evenly. Let stand until the bread has soaked up some of the egg mixture, about 1 minute.

Preheat a griddle over medium heat until hot; a few drops of water flicked onto the surface should skitter across it. Lightly oil the griddle. Spread the almonds on a plate. Remove the bread, 1 piece at a time, from the egg mixture, letting the excess liquid drip back into the bowl. Dip one side of the bread into the almonds, pressing gently to help the nuts adhere, and place on an ungreased baking sheet.

Place the bread slices, almond side down, on the griddle and cook until the nuts begin to brown, about 2 minutes. Flip the slices and cook until golden brown on the other side, about 2 minutes more. Transfer the slices, almond side down, to a lightly oiled baking sheet. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake until the center of the bread is heated through but is still moist, about 10 minutes.

Serve the French toast hot, almond side up, topped with a handful of raspberries and drizzled with maple syrup.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor


Shaved Asparagus Salad With Limoncello Vinaigrette

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I love spring time produce and there is nothing more perfect than long green stalks of asparagus for a really quick meal.

What is trending in the food world right now is shaved vegetables eaten raw, like carrots, Brussel sprouts, and asparagus. And the best thing about shaved vegetables, you can eat them raw, making them the perfect ingredient for light salads that can be served for lunch and/or dinner.

In this recipe, a Limoncello vinaigrette is called for as a dressing for the salad. However, you can just use freshly squeezed lemon juice tossed with the shave asparagus for a truly paleo gluten-free salad.

Enjoy!

Serves 4

Ingredients:
One pound large asparagus spears, washed, trimmed and peeled

For the Vinaigrette:
1⁄4 cup limoncello
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 1⁄2 teaspoons dijon-style mustard
1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste

Blood orange zest, for garnish
Lemon zest, for garnish

Directions:
Working with 1 asparagus spear at a time, use a vegetable peeler to shave spears into long, thin shavings. Transfer to a medium bowl. The the tips will snap off as spears get thinner, so add them to the bowl as well.

Whisk the limoncello, lemon juice, zest and mustard in a small bowl.Whisk in the olive oil and season to taste with salt.

Drizzle vinaigrette over shaved asparagus and toss to coat. Divide asparagus salad among plates. Sprinkle orange an lemon zest over the salad and serve immediately.