Do you have childhood food memories?  One of my fondest  memories of growing up in Texas is breakfast on Sunday mornings. We grew up Jewish in Wichita Falls.  My Mom single-handledly taught us Jewish history and songs on Sunday morning at the part-time Temple. My sister, brother, and I got all dressed up and dutifully learned about the Bible, but all I could think about was the yummy breakfast that I knew was waiting for us when we arrived home.

As soon as we walked in the door, we were  greeted by the smell of salami and eggs.  We knew our dad was in the kitchen, frying up thick slices of salami for us with scrambled eggs on the side and a fruit salad of ripe oranges, grapefruit, and strawberries with a little orange juice poured over top.  Sometimes, he would vary the menu with French Toast and crispy bacon on the side, which was my favorite.

How funny is it that I married a man who also loves to cook me breakfast on the weekends?! Instead of salami, Michael makes me chicken sausage, scrambled eggs and onions,  but it still takes me back to my childhood and makes me feel warm and taken care of. Every once in a while when we are being really decadent, Michael will make bacon for us.. but not just any bacon….Scroll down for my indulgent French Toast and Maple Bacon recipes.. sinfully delicious and the perfect menu for breakfast in bed.

Does your man cook for you?  Give him the greatest gift for the holidays, a cooking class at Flirting with Flavors. This is a gift that will keep on giving!!


Serves 8

1 loaf of challah bread

6 large eggs

2 cups whole milk

4 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ cup brown sugar and 2 tablespoons for the strawberries

Zest and juice of 2 oranges

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Maple syrup (optional)

1 pint fresh strawberries

1 vanilla bean

Heat a large non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat.

Slice the challah on the thick side – there should be about 8-10 slices per loaf.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon, brown sugar, and orange zest.

Place sliced challah in a baking dish large enough to hold it all in one layer. Pour the egg mixture over the challah bread and let it soak in for a few seconds. In the meantime, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet. Cook challah about 3 minutes on each side, just until nicely browned. (If your skillet is not large enough to hold all the challah without touching, cook it in batches. Add more butter to the skillet for each new batch. Keep the first batch warm in a 250 degree oven while you work on the rest.)

Cut off stems of the strawberries.  Place in a large bowl.  Add the extra brown sugar and the juice of the 2 oranges. Open the vanilla bean with your knife and scrape out the beans and add to the strawberries. Let macerate for at least 20 minutes. Serve with the French toast.

Before serving, sprinkle a little more cinnamon on the challah and serve with some maple syrup and the macerated strawberries.

Maple-Glazed Bacon

Serves 4

12 slices bacon
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place the bacon on a rack and then on a cookie sheet. Place in oven to cook for just a few minutes until it is starting to brown, but not yet crispy.
In a small bowl whisk together the maple syrup, mustard and sugar.Remove the bacon from the oven and with a pastry brush, apply glaze to both sides. Return to oven and cook about another 3 minutes or until desired crispness. Serve immediately.