Hard to believe, but we only have seven weeks of school left until summer break is here. I’m in that mode of getting excited about the idea of less schedule to keep up with, and more sleeping in (one can hope!), playing in the pool, family camping trips, splash park playdates, water balloon wars, beachy vacations, and popsicles. What I’m not looking forward to is sunburns, scalding hot steering wheels, brown grass, and wet swimsuits on the floor.
Another thing I love about this time of year is all the produce that is coming into season. I’m already starting to see the price of strawberries come down, and I can tell they are getting sweeter too. I can hardly wait for corn on the cob, watermelon, cherries, cantaloupe, and peaches! Little Boy #1 keeps asking me when Pluots will be in season. Have you tried those yet?
Since good strawberries are getting easier to find, I’m noticing they are sneaking their way into a lot of my recipes. They do that you know. You have to keep an eye on them or they’ll take over the kitchen.
Homemade Strawberry Syrup is a good way to put those sneaky strawberries to good use. And these Crunchy French Toast Sticks were inspired by Chung-Ah’s Corn Flakes French Toast Sticks. She is an amazing food stylist and photographer, and her recipes will make. you. drool.
I decided to try making them with my favorite cereal, Honey Bunches of Oats, instead of plain corn flakes. I’m glad I did – these are completely fabulous! I also tried baking them instead of cooking them one by one in a pan, and this is the way to go. They still get nice and crunchy, but they are all done in just 12 minutes!
The strawberry syrup is sweet and bright – a fun alternative to maple syrup. I loved using the leftovers on my yogurt and granola bowls. It would also be so good in milkshakes, or as a topping for vanilla ice cream, angel food cake, or cheesecake.
I believe we’ve got a high of 97 degrees forecasted for Wednesday. So unless you live in Minnesota, spring is here, and if you live in Arizona, summer is right on her heels!
- Strawberry Syrup
- 1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries, stems removed
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 c. water
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Crunchy French Toast Sticks
- 3 slices Texas Toast bread, cut into three strips each
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups crushed Honey Bunches of Oats Cereal
- powdered sugar
- In a medium saucepan on medium high heat, combine strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and water. Cook until bubbly. Turn heat down to medium, and boil for 3-4 minutes, until the strawberries are soft. Use an immersion blender to puree the strawberries, and then add the cornstarch. Continue to boil for 6-8 more minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Cool slightly before serving, and keep leftovers refrigerated.
- Use leftovers for topping ice cream or yogurt, or for making strawberry milkshakes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a shallow bowl, whisk eggs, milk, cinnamon and vanilla together.
- Place crushed cereal into another small bowl.
- Quickly dip the strips of bread into the egg mixture, and then into the crushed cereal, one by one. Press the cereal onto the bread to help it stick to all sides. Place the dipped bread onto a greased or Silpat lined baking sheet.
- Spray the top of each strip with cooking spray, or drizzle with a little melted butter if you prefer. This will help it get nice and crunchy!
- Bake for 12 minutes, and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with strawberry syrup or maple syrup.