Grapefruit-Basil Vodka Gimlet

This is what happens when you make things with what you already have in your fridge/freezer. Grapefruit? Check. A huge pot of basil? Check. Vodka? Check, obvs. Also limes, which have thankgodfully stopped selling for $1 apiece. This was seriously delicious, and refreshing, and had the added bonus of allowing me to trick myself into thinking that I was detoxing, because everybody knows that grapefruit is clearly a diet food. 

GRAPEFRUIT-BASIL VODKA GIMLET (makes 1 smallish mason jar full)
– 2 shots vodka
– 1/2 a ruby red grapefruit, juiced
– Couple of basil leaves, chiffonaded
– Juice of 1/2 a lime
– Splash or two of tonic water
– Ice

1. In a mason jar, add ice, then vodka.

2. Squeeze half a ruby red grapefruit into the glass, then use a citrus reamer to get the rest of the juice. 

3. Juice the lime and add the tonic water.

4. Chiffonade some fresh basil, then stir. Taste and adjust as needed. Oh – hello, summer. 

World’s Greatest French Toast

For years I thought that French Toast was my least favorite breakfast food (sorry Mom). But then my sister invited me over for brunch and made this sensational French Toast, and it changed my opinion completely. I think, like with most simple recipes, the difference comes from really good quality basic ingredients. Collyn brought me home some ridiculous bread from Penn State on one of her work trips, so I used that, and then milk and eggs from Hillside, this really great vanilla, etc. It ends up being sort of a custardy, breakfast-y French Toast/Bread Pudding, which is obviously the best dessert of all time. I would wake up early to make this, and for how much I love sleep, that’s saying a lot. 

WORLD’S GREATEST FRENCH TOAST (makes enough for 4 lucky breakfast guests)
– 1/2 a loaf of really good bread, sliced thick.
– 1 tbsp. vanilla
– 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
– 1/2 tbsp. ground nutmeg
– 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
– Pinch of Kosher salt
– 1 cup milk
– 1 cup heavy cream
– 3 eggs
– Approx. 4 tbsp. butter

1. In a pretty big bowl, beat the eggs. 

2. Add the milk & cream, then the vanilla. Then add the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and a pinch of salt. 

3. Whisk this mixture well.  Soak the bread slices in this mixture as you melt the butter.

4. In the largest skillet you have, melt the butter over medium low heat.  Here’s the secret – ready?  You have to cook these really, really slowly. The french toast should kind of swim in a little pool of custardy deliciousness, slowly forming a golden crust, over maybe 10-15 minutes in total (flip 2-3 times during this process).

5. When French Toast is ready, keep warm in the oven on low heat while you make the other batch. 

6. Serve with maple syrup and enjoy. Even Brendan couldn’t eat more than 3 pieces, he was so full. Finally that 24 year old metabolism has met its match!!!