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A tasty treat in keeping with the season

Happy anniversary to the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival. The sap is running and we were fortunate enough to be included in the celebration thanking all the volunteers for their contributions and valuable time. That commitment is giving throughout the year and that is worth celebrating.

We were finally able to work with Ninutik as a special treat for our guests. The fresh maple taffy wrapped around five-year-old cheddar, gouda and blue cheese was so simple and yet unexpected. It’s been three years since I first connected with Ninutik designer Richard Brault and I am so glad he was able to come and share his craft. Finding something you are passionate about and make a living at is a challenge, but his niche in maple is inspiring. This is part science-specific and but also creative. Community events bring us the opportunity to see so many familiar faces and smiles and share what we have been up to.

This week I made a French Toast Bake for a local employer who’s ordered breakfast regularly for his team for the past seven years. To keep things new and yummy, many guests will allow us to create a menu for them. This is the ultimate compliment as they just trust we will create something great that will be enjoyed. I sure hope they enjoy this one.


Roasted Apple French Toast Bake


5 large eggs

1 cup 10% cream

1 cup milk

3 tbsp brown sugar

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tbsp vanilla

1 loaf day-old French bread or multigrain bread



3 gala apples, peeled, cored and sliced

3 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp melted butter



1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup oats

1/4 cup butter

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger


Butter a 9×13 pan, then layer in the bread;

Whisk eggs and sugar together, add the cream, maple syrup and whisk some more until combined;

Pour the custard mix over the breads, be sure all the bread is coated in the custard. Allow to stand for 1/2 hour;

Toss apples in brown sugar, butter and cinnamon. Place on parchment-lined pan and roast in oven at 350 F until tender;

Once the apples are cooled, place on top of the French toast;

In a bowl, combine butter, oats, cinnamon and ginger into a crumble and add to the top of the casserole;

Bake in oven at 350 F until puffy and golden;

Let stand, serve warm with local maple syrup.

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