Orange Zest Sour Cream French Toast with Caramelized Bananas

2016-03-20 14.15.19So it’s the weekend again, and to me that means only one thing: Brunch time! I looooove breakfast foods and it’s hard for me not spend a little time in the mornings to cook up something on with ingredients on hand.

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Earlier in the week, it was Pi Day, and if you follow me on Instagram you know that I can’t resist any excuse to make delicious food. I chose to make “a pie worth waiting 40 years for” (because doesn’t that sounds like a necessity??) from Food52, except I subbed raisins for mini-chocolate chips, so it was essentially a chocolate chip custard pie. Anyway, this is just to say that I had a lot more sour cream left over than intended, since it was one of the main ingredients in the pie.

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Incidentally, I also had about a half a loaf of stale Tuscan french bread which led me to ponder french toast ideas. Did you know sour cream could be an ingredient in french toast? Initially I thought it was weird, but then I thought it might be good! Creamy, tangy, a little sour with a little sweet. Yum!

Just to add a little pop or flavor, I threw in the juice and zest of a Cara Cara orange; these oranges are absolutely my favorite citrus fruit right now. I’ve never had them before this year, and they are hands down amazing.

And just to add a little finishing touch, after all the toast was cooked and warming in the oven but the pan was still hot, I cut up a ripe banana and put it in with some sizzle-y butter, until it was sweet and caramelized. Nothing like a little caramelized banana on top of that french toast!

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And just for fun, who doesn’t love a little peanut butter with their banana french toast?

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Orange Zest Sour Cream French Toast with Caramelized Bananas


  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2-3 Tablespoons milk of choice, or light cream
  • zest and juice of 1 large Cara Cara orange
  • 7-8 pieces of sliced french sandwich bread, cut in half
  • 2-3 tablespoons of butter, for frying


  1. slice french bread pieces in halves, zest and juice orange.
  2. Combine zest, orange juice, sour cream, milk and eggs in a large bowl, mix well. The sour cream will be lumpy, try to mix well to get out the lumps.
  3. Put 2-3 pieces of bread to soak in the egg mixture, heat a pan to medium heat with some butter.
  4. Cook on both sides until well done, meanwhile begin soaking the next pieces of bread. Once cooked, put on a plate in a warm oven (~200 degrees) until ready to serve.
  5. While pan is still hot but the french toast is all done, cut a banana lengthwise, then in half, and put in a pan with some butter, first with the flat side face down. Let cook for several minutes until brown and bubbly, try not to disturb the surface as the caramelization takes place! After 2-3 minutes, flip over and cook another few minutes.
  6. Serve hot, drizzled maple syrup and topped with caramelized bananas, additional and delicious options include peanut butter, or even nutella!

Serves 4

There’s a snow storm coming tonight, and as usual, everyone has stocked up on bread, milk, and eggs. I think they are all thinking the same thing: FRENCH TOAST!!

Happy Sunday!



Chocolate Chip Banana Protein Pancakes

It’s Sunday morning, and there’s no food in the house. All I have is two week old bananas that look a little sad and brown: perfect for cooking! There’s no milk or eggs, only a free bottle of vanilla flavored protein shake I picked up as a sample at Boston’s Earthfest this weekend. I don’t even know why I took one, I hate vanilla flavored drinks! I also had less than half a bag of mini chocolate chips…the makings of some banana pancakes! So instead of running to the corner doughnut shop to pick up breakfast, as my fiance kindly offered to do, I opted to try using this protein shake (which was mostly soymilk based) as a milk substitute in a chocolate chip pancake recipe. The results were surprisingly delicious!

2014-05-18 09.45.01Modified from Bakerella’s Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes

  • 1 1/2 cups of Flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar (optional)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp Flax Meal + 3 Tbsp water, mixed (or 1 egg)
  • 1 cup Svelte Organic Vanilla Protein shake (or milk of choice)
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 2 mashed ripe bananas (~1 cup)
  • 1 cup miniature chocolate chips

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The banana and chocolate flavor nicely masked the protein-vanillaness of the shake, and gave it an extra something to keep us full throughout the day. I also used two tablespoons of sugar in my pancakes but I think it could even be omitted since they were plenty sweet already between the shake and the chocolate. I didn’t even have to use syrup.

To start, mixed the dry ingredients in a bowl. Then separately (I like a Pyrex 2-cup measuring cup instead of another bowl) mash the bananas, to one cup. Then add the protein shake “milk” to 2-cups, mix, and add flax “egg”, melted butter and mix it all up. Then pour it into your dry ingredients and stir a few times until combined. I like to melt butter in a pan over medium heat before adding the pancake batter, then flip away! I add more butter each time I make a new batch to prevent the pancakes from sticking. If you have a non-stick griddle this isn’t necessary.

Tips for flipping pancakes perfectly every time: Once I volunteered at a pancake breakfast, pouring and flipping dozens of pancakes at a time. People were surprised how easily and mess-free my flipping skills turned out to be: apparently pancake flipping was my secret superpower! I had learned from my mom how to flip pancakes long ago, and her method turned out to be foolproof. I followed these simple steps:

  1. Pour a spatula sized amount of batter into the pan. Not too big, not too small (although smaller is easier). A little less than a quarter of a cup of batter.
  2. Don’t touch the pancakes until the edges are matte (no longer shiny) and bubbles appear. You should see bubbles even toward the middle of the pancake, even if it is still shiny in the middle.
  3. Slide your spatula underneath, wriggling it slightly side to side as you go
  4. Twist your wrist to flip, and flip with confidence! Don’t panic.

Now you’ve made the perfect pancakes!

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