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by Liren Baker

Liren Baker is the voice behind the blog Kitchen Confidante, where she shares taste and inspiration in the kitchen. Inspired by the beauty of food, what it represents, what it invokes, and what we can create out of it, she shares recipes and images that remind her of her heritage, her childhood in New York, and the vibrant culinary culture she has learned to embrace in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she currently lives.

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  • banana bread french toast
    Photo: Liren Baker
  • I awoke to a cat on my head this morning. A big, fluffy, hairball of a cat, the one who has assumed the role of alarm clock in the last decade that she has been part of our family. Her name is Zella, and as I grumpily smushed her to the side of my pillow, she and I glared at one another:

    Get up, her blue eyes scolded as she meowed expectantly. I need breakfast.

    Go away, I responded, as I turned over.
  • banana bread
    Photo: Liren Baker
  • It doesn't matter. Sleeping in does not happen for me anymore, not with pets and children. Soon after, the kids awake, ready for some breakfast. And recently, they've discovered that they love French toast.

    When there's time in the morning, I am happy to oblige. And the most recent French toast I made them was no ordinary French toast. It was a banana bread French toast, thick and delicious, made with our family's most revered buttermilk banana bread

    Better than plain bread, better than challah, maybe even better than brioche. Promise me you'll try it. It may even make waking up easier.
  • banana bread
    Photo: Liren Baker

    Banana Bread French Toast


    3 large eggs
    1 cup half and half
    2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1/8 teaspoon vanilla
    1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
    8 slices day old banana bread, recipe here
    1 cup kumquats, halved
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    Maple syrup, for serving
    Fresh fruit, for serving

    Whisk together the eggs, half and half, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Dip slices of banana bread in the mixture, coating on each side. Do not let the bread get too soggy, several seconds on each side should do. Set aside in a dish, or if possible, on a rack set over a dish.

    Heat a non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Melt one tablespoon of butter and spread to coat the pan. Add two slices of the prepared banana bread and brown on each side. Continue with the remaining slices. Serve immediately with fresh fruit and a drizzle of maple syrup.

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