The pecan french toast with blueberry compote recipe at the end of this post is perfect for any special day – like days that end in y!
I am not a fan of Valentine’s Day. Oh sure, for children I think it’s fun and a great way to teach them compassion and caring plus how to deal with jealousy and disappointment when their expectations for the holiday don’t match their reality. But after that, it’s much too competitive and it spoils it for me.
My husband and I decided decades ago to ditch the greeting card holiday. It came after a particularly gruesome Valentine’s Day at the office when flowers started arriving regularly headed for the desks of my female coworkers who’d instructed their husbands that they had better send a dozen roses to the office so that the “girls” could see them. Strangely, instead of keeping this tidbit of information to themselves which made them seem shallow and greedy and their husbands appear sad and controlled, they proudly shared the info with anyone who dropped by to admire the goods. Damn the $100 price tag (1990’s prices) for roses that would be $19.99 the next day.
As the day continued and the end of shift neared, those women who hadn’t received a delivery began spitting venom at what their husband would suffer when she got home for his failure to comply with her expectations. It was at that moment that I realized how ridiculous it all was.
That was the day I brought home my flowers, chocolates, balloons, sparkling cider, and the usual piece of heart-shaped jewelry (my husband is an overachiever) and I told my husband, enough! What a waste of money! That money came out of our joint account and could have been used to buy a piece of furniture or a new vacuum which we desperately needed.
Make every day a special day
It was then that we decided that instead of having one day a year where we shower each other with garish pink and red keepsakes we’d soon forget and sentiments that someone else wrote for us, we’d take the novel approach and be nice to each other every day. It’s worked for us so far and I don’t see it changing anytime soon. I still have most of the jewelry he bought me those first few years before we wised up. Plenty of pairs of earrings with one-half of each set having gone missing years ago. It doesn’t matter though as I no longer have pierced ears!
Instead of a drawer full of heart-shaped trinkets, ridiculously uncomfortable lingerie, and cheap stuffed animals, I have many beautiful memories of him doing sweet things for me every day. Like bringing me his prized wool hiking socks when he sees my feet are cold (the fact that my toes turn blue makes it easy for him to tell), or stopping on the way home to bring me my favorite soft drink with ice, or randomly calling me from work to tell me he was about me and it made him smile. Of course, I do the same for him.
So on this Valentine’s Day holiday when relationships will be tested as couples bend under the peer pressure of showing just how much they love each other, I suggest you take the simpler (and more economical) approach of making every day special. You can start with this breakfast recipe. Begin the day with pecan french toast with blueberry compote and make the day special!
Pecan French Toast & Blueberry Compote
Get a head start and make the blueberry compote up to one day ahead. Less work to do in the morning!
Serving your french toast
Here is the full recipe for you to save and print!
Make any day special with this breakfast recipe that is perfect for 2!
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (or raspberries or a mix of both) plus 2 Tbls fresh blueberries for garnish
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 1-1/2 tsp water
- 1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice OR dash of cinnamon, ginger, and allspice
- 4 slices of brioche bread (sliced 3/4" wide)
- 3 large eggs
- 3 Tbls vanilla soy milk OR substitute 3 tbls milk plus 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extra
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- Dash of salt and 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice OR dash of cinnamon, ginger, and allspice
- 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped (not ground as mine were - oops!)
- Butter for frying and serving
- 2 large strawberries with leaves attached, sliced in half
- Powdered Sugar if desired
- Maple Syrup
- In a small saucepan, on medium heat add the berries, sugar, water and water. Bring the mixture slowly to a boil.
- After about 5 minutes the berries will soften and a sauce will start to form. At this point, taste the berries and add additional sugar if desired.
- Continue cooking, stirring often for another 2-3 minutes or until you can see the bottom of the pan when you run a spatula through it.
- Remove the compote from the heat and stir in the spices.
- Keep warm if serving immediately or refrigerate and warm before serving.
- Heat the oven or toaster oven to 225ºF
- In a wide bowl (wide enough to fit a slice of bread), add the eggs, vanilla soy milk (or milk plus extract alternative), sugar, salt, and pumpkin pie spice (or a dash each of cinnamon, ginger, and allspice). Whisk until completely incorporated.
- In a heavy frying pan, melt 1 tsp butter.
- Set up a dipping station - spread the pecans in a shallow bowl or plate next to the egg mixture.
- Dip a slice of brioche into the egg mixture; turn it over and moisten the other side. The bread should be completely covered in egg, but not soggy. If your bread falls apart, it's too wet. Let the extra egg drip off and immediately place the bread into the pecans, pressing lightly to help them adhere (TIP - don't over-process your nuts like I did - I hit the ground option instead of chop). Only dip as many pieces of brioche as your pan can handle at a time.
- Cook on medium heat for about 4 minutes (it should be turning a golden brown). Flip to cook the 2nd side (only turn once).
- Transfer the cooked french toast to an oven-safe dish and keep it warm in the oven.
- Repeat the process until all of the toast in done.
- Place two pieces of French Toast in the middle of the plate. Add butter and then pour warm blueberry compote over top (reheat if necessary) and top with reserved blueberries.
- Cover with warm maple syrup (not shown in the photo, but delicious!)
- Slice the strawberries in half to expose their heart shape.
- Serve with two forks and share with your sweetheart!
What do you think? Ready to try what works for us? I’m curious how you feel about Valentine’s Day.