The Inauguration (of President Obama) and Breakfast for Dinner

When you’re a college student in DC, the presidential inauguration is a big deal. On Monday, many of my friends rolled out of bed at 3 a.m. in order to get to the Metro when it opened at 4 a.m. By the time President Obama arrived at the Capitol, they had already been waiting for hours in the cold. I wasn’t wild about the idea of standing in 30 degree weather for hours and hours, so instead a couple of my friends and I headed down to the Inaugural Parade that morning – we had tickets – and managed to get great seats right across from the White House and the Presidential viewing stand!


More importantly, we were conveniently located near a couple of food trucks and we arrived early enough to beat the lines. I had a delicious brunch of chili con carne and cornbread. One food truck – CrepeLove – even had commemorative Obama chocolates!


Oh, and we saw President Obama.


Needless to say, many of my friends didn’t have breakfast before leaving to see the President – who’s hungry when you wake up at that time of night? So when we returned home, I whipped up a proper breakfast: a batch of cinnamon-y French toast for my tired and hungry friends, a delicious end to a great day. Inauguration day only comes around once every four years, but you can enjoy this French toast any day.



Cinnamon Roll French Toast

1/2 loaf Challah bread (approx. 6 thick slices)

4 eggs

2 cups whole milk

1/2 T cinnamon

1 T dark brown sugar

1 T granulated sugar

2 T honey, plus more for drizzling

1 t pure vanilla extract

2 T unsalted butter

Powdered sugar (optional)

1/2 pint strawberries (optional)

Note: Your Challah should be very stale as this is a thin batter. Leave sliced Challah out for no less than a day.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Whisk together eggs, milk, honey and vanilla. Mix cinnamon, brown sugar and granulated sugar in a separate bowl and add to milk mixture.

Pour batter into a large rectangular pan.

Place slices into pan one at a time. Soak each slice of Challah for 20 seconds on each side. Set Challah slices on a paper towel-covered cookie sheet.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large frying pan over medium heat.

Place 2 or 3 slices of Challah into the pan and cook for approximately 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Place slices on a cookie sheet and set aside.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in pan and cook remaining slices. Place on cookie sheet.

Place cookie sheet on middle rack in oven for 7-10 minutes. The French toast should be crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, but not soggy.

Coarsely chop 1/2 pint strawberries. Top French toast with powdered sugar, berries and a drizzle of honey or a dollop of cinnamon whipped cream (see recipe below).



Cinnamon Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1/2 T cinnamon

2 t pure vanilla extract

Note: I always whip cream by hand because I believe it allows me to achieve a more precise texture. Feel free to use a mixer instead.

Pour heavy cream into a medium bowl. Add powdered sugar, cinnamon and vanilla and whisk vigorously until soft peaks form.


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