Orange Croissant French Toast


A funny thing just happened. I have a cookbook that was printed back in 2009. In it are recipes that received the greatest number of kudos from guests and family alike. Don and I are doing a cooking class demonstration on Thursday and, you guessed, while preparing everything and, of course, sampling the fare before we go, Don said I should print off this recipe so everyone can follow through. Yea, I said….then I tried to find it. HA! I never did post it.

Here it is….it is an elegant, exceptionally fine cuisine and a real WOW factor.


  • 6 large eggs
  • 1  1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 – 3 tsp. Grand Marnier
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • grated zest of one orange
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp. icing sugar
  • 4 croissants, one day old
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp. Crisco oil
  • orange syrup (recipe follows)
  • 2 segmented oranges

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Whisk together the eggs, cream, Grand Marnier, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and zest in a medium bowl. Stir together the cream cheese and icing sugar in a small bowl.

Cut the croissant in half lengthwise and spread the outside bottom with cream cheese mixture and the outside top with the marmalade. Place back together (they will be inverted with cut side out) to seal. (they will look inside out)

Place the stuffed croissants in a shallow baking dish large enough to hold them in a single layer. Pour the egg mixture over them and soak for 5 minutes. Turn over and soak for another 5 minutes or until soaked through.

Heat 1 tbsp. butter and 1 tbsp. Crisco oil in a large frypan over medium heat. Fry each side until golden brown. Place on a wire rack and place in the oven while cooking the remaining croissants.

Wipe out the frypan and repeat with the oil, butter and croissants.


Orange Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tbsp. corn starch
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter

Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Combine juice and cornstarch in a bowl and then mix into the sugar syrup. Simmer gently until thick. (About 6-8 minutes). Add butter and stir until it melts. Serve warm over the croissants.


Special Blood Orange Cocktail

‘Tis the season to be jolly and when your company arrrives, what better way to welcome them with this special ‘signature drink’.

Each year, I tried to have a different special welcome to our home drink. This is easy, super tasty and such a pretty colour as well.


  • 1 cup blood orange juice
  • 1 cup Grand Marnier
  • 1 750 ml bottle of sparkling wine

Stir the juice and liqueur together in a pitcher, cover with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator until well chilled.

Divide among some chilled martini glasses. Toast the New Year and the         conversation will start.

In case I didn’t mention it…….yummy!

Cranberry Butter

This is a great flavoured butter to use in many ways, but one of the best is to make gingerbread scones and use this butter. Try it with turkey sandwiches, perhaps. Besides, this is one recipe you can set aside for Christmas which is only four months away. Oops!


  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier or just orange juice
  • 1/2 cup berry sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of room temperature butter

In a small saucepan on medium heat, stir the cranberries, Grand Marnier or juice, sugar and salt and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer until the cranberries have split open and the sauce has started to thicken (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes.

In a food processor blend together the butter and cooled cranberry mixture for about 2 full minutes. Spoon into a serving bowl .

There, that’s all there is to it.

Grand Marnier Souffle with Creme Anglaise

Every once in awhile I want to make a dessert to WOW our guests and this is definitely one of the best.  It takes a few moments to read and follow the steps, but you will never be sorry. You would, however, regret not having tried it.

This is definitely party fare as it serves 12 individual souffles.

Ready? Set? Say after me “Damn I can do this”…..


  • 5 egg yolks
  • 5 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tbsp. Grand Marnier Liqueur
  • icing sugar
  • sweetened whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat the yolks with 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in the flour until it is a paste.

Bring milk to the scalding point and remove from the heat. Gradually add the hot milk, whisking constantly. Return to the heat and vigorously whisking until the paste is incorporated and smooth. Bring this to the boiling point and reduce the heat to a simmer. Continue to stir this with a wooden spoon until the texture is like a pastry cream. Add the Grand Marnier and stir until blended. Set aside to cool.

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, while still beating, until the sugar is incorporated and whites are still and shiny in appearance.

Very carefully, fold 1/3 of the whites into the souffle batter until incorporated. Now carefully fold in the remaining whites until JUST incorporated. Do not overmix.

Spoon into 12 lightly buttered and sugared individual souffle dishes or ramekins, filling to 3/4 full.

Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden brown. Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately with the Grand Marnier Sauce.


Grand Marnier Sauce

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup half and half cream
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp. Grand Marnier

In a saucepan (not on heat) whisk the egg yolks until thick. Slowly add the cream and whipping cream. Place the saucepan over a low heat and stir  until mixture has thickened. Do not boil. Remove from heat and add the Grand Marnier. Cover and refrigerate until cooled.

Serve with a glass of  wine….what a way to end the evening.

The Glam Martini



  • 6 parts Grey Goose Vodka
  • 5 parts fresh Orange juice, no pulp
  • 1 part mango nectar
  • 6 parts grapefruit juice
  • 1 part Grand Marnier

Pour ingredients into shaker filled with cracked ice and shake well. Strain into chilled martini glasses. Garnish with a thin orange slice.

Sounds good, tastes great. Try it!

Strata-style French Toast

Easter is around the corner and that usually means company’s coming…I know it is at our house.  Here is a really different stuffed french toast and is really yummy. This can either be Breakfast or Lunch…in our case, Brunch!

  • 24  3/4″ thick slices of Italian bread about 3 inches in diameter
  • 12 slices of very thin cooked ham
  • 12 very thin slices of cooked turkey
  • 2 pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 12 slices (again thin) provolone cheese
  • 4 beaten eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup light cream
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • shredded orange peel
  • 3 tbsp. Grand Marnier

Arrange one half of the bread slices in the bottom of a greased 3 quart rectangular baking dish.  Top each slice in the dish with a slice of ham, turkey, the pears and cheese (cut to fit).  Top with the remaining bread slices.

Combine the rest of the ingredients and beat well until thoroughly blended.  Pour evenly over all the bread and lightly press the bread down so it is covered with the liquid.  Cover and store in the refrigerator overnight.

Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for about 30-35 minutes until the top is lightly browned.

Let stand for 10 minutes before trying to serve. Serve with warm Cranberry-pear sauce.

Cranberry/Pear Sauce

  • 1  1/2 cups Cranberry juice
  • 2 level tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. finely grated orange peel
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 pear, peeled, cored and chopped

In a small saucepan mix together 1  1/2 cups of cranberry juice cocktail (I prefer the White Cranberry Juice) with 2 level tbsp. cornstarch.

When blended, add 1 tbsp. brown sugar, 1 tsp. finely grated orange peel, pinch of cinnamon.  Cook until it thickens and is bubbly.  Cook for another 2 minutes.  Stir in pear. Serve warm.

This makes 12 servings, so you can cut and plate and either pour sauce on each one or let the guests add their own sauce.  In this case, serve in individual gravy boats. This is so cool to do.

Can you say “damn I can do this”?



Creme Brulee French Toast

When it is the holiday season and company commands you feed them breakfast, this is another way to show them you are glad they are with you. What a yummy start to the day.

This will feed 6. It is prepared the night before and next morning…Voila!


  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. corn syrup
  • 6 slices of french bread, sliced thick
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla
  • 2 tsp. Grand Marnier
  • pinch of salt
  • grated nutmeg

In the melted butter,, add the brown sugar and corn syrup. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Pour into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish that has been brushed with butter.

Cut off the crusts and arrange in the baking dish in a single layer.  Whisk together all the ingredients except the grated nutmeg and pour evenly over the bread.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Remove from the refrigerator and set on the counter for about 30 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake uncovered until light, puffy and golden. Before serving, grate some fresh nutmeg over the top (ever so lightly).

Serve with warm syrup. Yummy, yummy and yummy. This is rich and so tasty.

Creme Grand Marnier

A lovely ‘bread pudding’ with a difference.  Can be made ahead and then while eating the entree, put this in the oven. Perfect. Get the vanilla ice cream ready.


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tbsp. corn syrup
  • 1 large sandwich loaf, unsliced
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1  1/2 cups half and half cream
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla
  • 2 tsp. Grand Marnier
  • pinch of salt

In a small saucepan melt the butter and add the brown sugar and syrup. Stir until melted and smooth.  Pour this into a 13 x 9 inch greased baking dish.  Cut the bread into 1 inch pieces, crusts removed. Arrange  into one layer, scrunching to make it all fit.

Beat together in a small bowl, the eggs, cream, salt, vanilla and Grand Marnier  until well mixed and pour over the bread mixture.  Cover with plastic and put in the refrigerator over night.

In the morning, remove from refrigerator and pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove the plastic and bake in the oven until it becomes puffed and pale golden which could take 5-40 minutes.

Serve hot in pretty bowls with a scoop (large) of the best vanilla ice cream. (Chapman’s ice cream comes to mind).

Ice and More Ice Martini

When celebrating the holidays, I am always looking out  for a new martini for everyone to try.  This is a good one.


You will need:


  • 3 oz. Mango nectar
  • 2 oz. Vodka
  • 1/2 oz. cream
  • 1 oz. creme de banana
  • 1 oz. Grand Marnier

Fill the shaker three-quarters full with cracked ice .  Add all the ingredients and shake really well until it gets really cold.  Strain and pour into your prettiest chilled martini glasses.


Add a few pieces of chopped mango in the bottom of the glass and finish with an orange spiral.


Yummy-Yummy in your tummy.  Serve with a salty hors d’Oeurve.

Maxi-Cran Martini

It has been awhile since I posted a martini……is there any other kind of drink, especially when used as a signature drink?  They are not hard to make, but to make it well takes practice. You want to be known as the ‘great martini maker’.


You will need:

  • 4 parts Cranberry Vodka
  • 1 part Grand Marnier
  • 1 part white Cranberry juice

Fill martini glasses with ice. Pour the ingredients into a shaker filled with crushed ice and shake well.  Remove ice from glasses and strain ingredients into chilled glasses. Garnish with a couple of fresh cranberries and a lime twist.

If  you serve it in  a white martini glasses, the red cranberry colour really ‘pops’. Great look, wonderful flavour, yum-yum.

Bonnie’s Martini

My blog, my martini…so there! Well, actually I was stumped for a name that fit.  It is 7 a.m. and believe me, I’ve not had my fill of coffee yet.

  • 3  parts Chocolate Vodka
  • 2 parts white Creme de Cacao
  • 1 splash of Grand Marnier


Pour ingredients into a shaker filled with crushed ice and shake only 3 times. Strain into chilled martini glasses and garnish with white chocolate shavings.

Ice and Snow Martini

Well, well, well.. it has been awhile since I came up with a recipe for a great martini.  It is funny for the name as it is now summer, but would sure taste good when it is hot outside.

  • 3 oz. mango nectar
  • 2 oz. Grey Goose Vodka
  • 1/2 oz. cream
  • 1 oz. Creme de Banana
  • 1 oz. Grand Marnier

Fill a shaker three-quarters full of crushed ice. Add all the ingredients and shake for a couple of seconds to let it get cold, now strain and pour into  your sexiest martini glass. Add a few pieces of mango, chopped fine. For more “pizzazz”, add a strawberry and orange spiral on a toothpick and let it rest on the side of the glass.