An EPICurean Delight Worthy Of Christmas Morning Breakfast

I love food. I love to cook even more. Now let me preface this by saying that I can’t bake worth a damn, and anything that requires me to follow instructions or a recipe can result in disaster {you know, like a simple IKEA bookcase gone bad?}

Those close to me can attest that “bland” is not my cup of tea {and I don’t even like tea} so needless to say, when I cook – I cook with passion – and have been known to use a spice or two.

Several years back when Nikki and I first stayed at the Encore in Las Vegas we were introduced to a little gem called Society Cafe. We had such an EPIC late night snack {those Lollipop Buffalo Wings in my prior post} that we decided to check it out for breakfast. Little did I know that breakfast would turn out to be of celestial awakening of my taste buds that would change the way I viewed French Toast forever.

Society Cafe French Toast

My French Toast, one of the few things that I cook with such love + divine flavor {that one thing I thought could never have been done better} had been trumped.

Not to be outdone, I set out on a quest to not only replicate Society Cafe’s French Toast – but to kick it up a notch.

Now It all starts with the bread, and many will argue that using fresh sourdough or french bread {yuppy style} is the best for French Toast – I personally disagree. I mean, they’re good and all, but I like to know that my French Toast batter is evenly distributed and saturated across all slices {which you simply can’t achieve with a traditional loaf} and not to mention, this is WAY more family friendly for those little critters who don’t like crust. Yeah, I know…who doesn’t like crust {my son}??

So….I use the standard Texas Toast bread available at the supermarket. Cheap, easy, gets nice and crispy, and super FLUFFY!

texas french toast bread

You’re going to need the following ingredients which should yield 6-8 fluffy slices:

4 Eggs

1/3 Cup Low Fat Milk

4 Tsp Cinnamon

2 Tsp Nutmeg

1 Tsp Ginger

1 Tsp Salt

3 Tsp Vanilla

*2 Cups Frosted Flakes

*Maple Syrup

*Raw Chocolate Chunks or Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

*1/2 Stick Butter

French Toast Ingredients

Whisk eggs, milk/cream, vanilla, and spices together in a bowl so that the egg mixture is COMPLETELY mixed in and you can not see egg white/yolk separation. From here, I typically play around with a little extra cinnamon, milk, or vanilla based on how the mixture appears and based on how many slices I need. Remember, there’s no perfect science – only preference.

Next, to the side, prepare your Frosted Flake crust mixture. Take 2-3 cups of Frosted Flakes and toss them in a zippy bag. You can crush by hand or with a rolling-pin – just make sure they’re pretty finely crushed {but not powdery}

Frosted Flakes

Now, I’m not sure if you have one {not necessary for your success here} but I’d highly recommend having a Cast Iron Skillet. They’re the absolute best for cooking anything at high heat, are naturally non-stick, aren’t cancer causing, last longer than we do, maintain stable temps, and the list goes on and on. Ohh, and they’re cheap – mine was $24 at Target

I like to use a nice organic Coconut Oil from Trader Joe’s mixed with a tad bit of vegetable oil. I find that butter burns too quickly and the blend of oils provides a nice health vs functional cooking benefit. You’re going want to have your oil starting to slightly ripple {not bubble or smoke} when your almost ready to drop your toast in.

Trader Joes Coconut Oil

Your pan is hot, your oil is nearly ready, and the kids and dog are salivating at the mouth {not to mention picking through the chocolate chips below} so it’s time to cook these puppies up!

First, you’re going to dip and soak your fluffy bread in the egg mixture so that it’s fully saturated {usually 30-45 seconds per side}. Let excess liquid drip off and then transfer to the Frosted Flake plate where you’ll lightly dust the entire slice.

As not to let the crunchy flakes turn soggy too quick, transfer slices to the hot oil ASAP. Cook each side until golden brown.

While you’re French Toast assembly line is going, you should be easily able to get your savory syrup going.

Chocolate Maple Syrup

I like to do it the easy way in the microwave personally. Toss 1/2 stick butter and approx 1/2 cup of Maple Syrup in a microwave safe serving cup and cook for a minute or so – until it’s nice and hot and the butter is fully melted.

Now, slowly whisk in your chocolate chip pieces until you reach a desired consistency. This is rich, sweet, and savory – so probably won’t need to butter your toast as the butter is built-in!

Frosted Flake French Toast Recipe

Now that you’re ready to eat, garnish with some fresh fruit {I prefer bacon} pour your self a mimosa and enjoy!

Good luck ~ And thank you for sharing!

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Finding The Silver Lining

Last weekend, Nikki and I packed up the Prius and embarked upon our 4 hour trek out to Las Vegas {Vince calls it “lost vegas” – which I see fitting} for a couple of nights away from reality. On a side note, I promised Nikki that I wouldn’t run us out of gas in Death Valley again and would surely keep it above 1/4 tank at all times – OOPS.

This trip however was graced with pouring rain – THE WHOLE TIME. Not exactly what we’re used to when we hit up Vegas for a “break.” Soon enough however, we checked into our all time fave hotel in Vegas – Encore @ The Wynn. After years at the Bellagio, Four Seasons Mandalay, and many others {including an incredibly BORING Palms Place stay last June} we decided to never stray from the place that makes us feel at home {without screaming children}

Encore Las Vegas Tower Suites

Tower Suites – Encore Las Vegas

If you haven’t had the opportunity to stay at the Tower Suites in The Encore Las Vegas, next time….DO IT!  It’s AHHMAZING! It all starts with the service, and frankly from what I recall still the only place in Vegas where they actually open the door for you upon arrival.  If you’re driving, valet is free {yes – F R E E} and check-in is as smooth as can be.  Hotel is Contemporary Asian meets Neoclassical, but still pure American luxury. Clean, refined, light and bright – it is quite harmonious for your all your senses 🙂

Encore Las Vegas Tower Suites Bed

THE BED – Encore Tower Suites, Las Vegas

But seriously – now the important stuff. The BED. The bed is…unbelievable!  Maybe its monotony, or 6am kid wake-ups, or a 100lb Jack Russel {he’s really only 18lbs but uses an easy 100lbs of sheer force} in and out of the covers all night….but the beds are pretty stinking cozy over here! In fact, generally upon our arrival we’ll cozy into this little piece of heaven and watch Steve {Wynn} give us a tour of the hotel on the in-room entertainment channel.  Keeping it real, I think we’ve watched it a few hundred times now but Steve’s voice just lulls us into vacay mode so easily.

Society Cafe, Encore Las Vegas, Wynn Style

Society Cafe – Encore Las Vegas

Now that we’re completely relaxed and the bottle of Tequila we snuck in our room {sorry Steve} is taking hold – it’s time to hit up Society Cafe for a quick bite of bliss. Hands down, and really hands down, one of the BEST meals in Vegas that won’t leave your wallet feeling raped. Definitely, definitely, definitely try the Lollipop Buffalo Wings {you’ll thank me later} as they’re TO DIE FOR. Sorry vegans.

Ladies Splendid Top, Zachary Prell Mens, Rolex Day Date II, Society Cafe

After a fun first night of drinking, shopping, eating, and more drinking it was time to settle in {yes – before midnight} as we were going to be meeting up with some long time local friends on Saturday.

Saturday came, and as the remote-controlled blackout curtains opened up around 9am {for real} I look out the strip view window to see nothing but RAIN. What?!?! No pool time – that’s all we know! What are we to do?!?

Knowing we weren’t going to be meeting up with Mike & Roya till after 4pm we were forced to get creative. I decided to call in a favor from a friend of a friend that would get us into Pawn Stars to get a VIP tour.

We headed down to Old Town Vegas which is ghetto as hell, but really is experiencing quite the renaissance thanks to Zappos CEO and his quest to vitalize the area. We got down to GS Pawn {aka Pawn Stars} and waited for a few while they wrapped up some filming.

We met up with the manager Jeff and he toured us through the entire facility and showed us how everything works and some pretty cool stuff on display. After seeing nearly everything there is to see in jewelry in my career, not much blows my mind, so it was bound to be something musical or historical to really get me excited.

And although one of Sinatra’s original Gold records signed was pretty darn cool, I think this complete cigar box from the desk of JFK {with cigars} took the cake for a cool $250k

JFK Cigar Box As Seen On Pawn Stars Las Vegas, Geoffrey Scott

Nikki was on a quest to meet ChumLee and little did we know we’d find him roaming around in the warehouse with Antwaun {not causing trouble}

Geoffrey Scott with ChumLee at Pawn Stars Las Vegas

I have to say, after watching the show on the History Channel for a while now, I never quite imagined what actually goes into the production and running of this operation – pure organized chaos.

Good times were had by all and it was onto finish up our stay with a great night out with Mike & Roya. I guess in the end, the silver lining was the rain. As after all, without the rain we would have laid by the pool sipping {pounding} Mai Tai’s all day and would have missed out on such a memorable experience.

Thanks Jeff, ChumLee, and the Rick’s for letting us kick around for a bit!