New Zealand Adventure #2 – Breakfast

New Zealand Adventure #2 – Breakfast

The food was very good in New Zealand, but what I remember the most are the breakfasts. Maybe it’s because I rarely have time for a sit-down breakfast at home. My habit is to grab a cup of tea and toast with almond butter, or something similarly easy. But breakfast at cafes around New Zealand was a treat and a necessity before a long morning of hiking.

The cappuccinos were works of art.

Not so much the decaf…


Perfectly poached eggs were often on the menu.


Do you see how delightfully orange the yolks were?

Bright orange yolks are not something I have seen since we kept backyard chickens several years ago. The orange color comes from carotenoid pigments in the hen’s diet. If they are fed orange things (cantaloupe, winter squash, carrots for example) and dark leafy greens, the yolks will be more orange. If they are fed corn, they will be medium yellow. And if they are fed more wheat and barley, the yolks will be a lighter color. The color makes no difference in the nutritional value. One interesting thing I found is that different countries prefer different colors. New Zealanders, Australians, and Southern Europeans prefer their egg yolks to be more orange, while Northern Europeans prefer them to be more yellow. Germany is divided in the middle.

By law, no artificial coloring is allowed in chicken feed, but some farmers will add marigold petals to give yolks an orangey color boost.

Smoked salmon was also a common item and was delicious.

Plus the occasional waffle or French toast, sometimes with more salmon.


One morning I had something called Turkish eggs. It turned out to be poached eggs with harissa, yogurt, zatar, and Dukkah. It was unexpectedly different and flavorful.


My fellow travelers from the U.S. were introduced to vegemite. I think you must have grown up on it, they were not fans. Having an English Mum meant we smuggled Bovril back from the U.K. every time we visited.


It has inspired me to be more creative at breakfast, at least on the weekends.



May – Overnight Croissant French Toast Bake with Coffee Rum Sauce

May – Overnight Croissant French Toast Bake with Coffee Rum Sauce

Get ready for the perfect Mother’s Day brunch dish. Why do I say perfect?

Easy – check,

No fussy ingredients – check,

Make the night before – check,

Absolutely delicious and decadent – double check!!

Overnight Croissant French Toast

Overnight Croissant French Toast

Have a relaxing morning as this dish bakes to a delectable double layer, crisp on top and creamy below. You will be a hero to whom ever you serve it to. This is also the perfect dish to contribute to a brunch pot luck, or serve overnight guests. You only need some fresh fruit, coffee or tea round out the meal.

It’s good the next day, reheated (or cold right out to the baking dish).

My taste testers thought it would make a perfect dessert with some dried fruit added to the base.

Overnight Croissant French Toast

Overnight Croissant French Toast

This recipe will generously serve 6 and 8 to 10 if it is part of a larger menu.

I will include the recipe for the coffee rum sauce (easy, easy, easy). A simple custard sauce would be a wonderful accompaniment as well, especially at breakfast time.

Overnight Croissant French Toast Bake with Coffee Rum Sauce


  • 8 croissants (stale is perfectly ok)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (354 ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (117 ml) pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla paste or extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

Coffee Rum Sauce

  • 1 cup (235 ml) coffee ice cream, melted
  • 2 oz (59 ml) dark rum


  1. Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
  2. Tear the croissants into 2 inch pieces and set into the baking dish.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour over the croissants and gently toss to make sure they are coated with the custard mixture.
  4. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Remove the dish from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking and allow to come to room temperature.
  6. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake, uncovered, for 35 to 40 minutes until golden and the custard has set but is still soft.
  7. Combine the melted ice cream with the dark rum and serve over the warm French Toast Bake.

I think melted vanilla ice cream would also be good, with our without the rum.

Note: This can also be prepared several hours in advance, it need not be overnight.

I am taking this to Fiesta Friday #431, hosted by Angie. It’s just in time for Mother’s Day.

Overnight Croissant French Toast

Overnight Croissant French Toast

The recipe comes from the ‘effortless entertaining cookbook’ by Meredith Steele.